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Re: Examples digicam

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  • roland_prevost
    ... Wow, I didn t realize you could get such decent images from a digicam! Accumulating 60 sec. shots can sure get you alot of info. I wondered how it would
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 11, 2002
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      --- In OAFs@y..., robr <rob.robotham@a...> wrote:
      > And some links to people's personal pages with samples of what
      > they've done (the first one is just amazing... ( etc., etc. )

      Wow, I didn't realize you could get such decent images from a
      digicam! Accumulating 60 sec. shots can sure get you alot of info.
      I wondered how it would do on galaxies and nebulas, and it sure does
      look good. People are not cooling their chips to do this?

      Very interesting post!

      Rol
    • Rick Wagner
      I think some of them are using the CCCC design - Canadian Climate-Chilled Camera - just observe when the temperature is too cold to be outside. I noticed at
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 11, 2002
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        I think some of them are using the CCCC design - Canadian Climate-Chilled
        Camera - just observe when the temperature is too cold to be outside. I
        noticed at least one of the images reported having been taken at -3C. Not
        very cold, but as good as a lot of CCD cameras will do during a hot summer
        evening in Alabama.

        Rick
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "roland_prevost" <r.prevost@...>
        To: <OAFs@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, 11 March, 2002 07:55
        Subject: [OAFs] Re: Examples digicam


        > --- In OAFs@y..., robr <rob.robotham@a...> wrote:
        > > And some links to people's personal pages with samples of what
        > > they've done (the first one is just amazing... ( etc., etc. )
        >
        > Wow, I didn't realize you could get such decent images from a
        > digicam! Accumulating 60 sec. shots can sure get you alot of info.
        > I wondered how it would do on galaxies and nebulas, and it sure does
        > look good. People are not cooling their chips to do this?
        >
        > Very interesting post!
        >
        > Rol
      • robr
        Yeah - I suppose I should have specified that they weren t using artificially refrigerated ccd cameras. I ve seen notes about people cold soaking their
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 11, 2002
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          Yeah - I suppose I should have specified that they weren't using
          artificially refrigerated ccd cameras. I've seen notes about people
          "cold soaking" their cameras for a half hour or more before taking
          pictures (i.e. leaving them outdoors, turned off). A number of people
          are definitely ignoring the operating range specifications on their
          cameras...

          The way I see it, being able to get anything on galaxies and nebulas is
          just gravy - the planets is where these cameras are a real threat. Plus
          they're a lot easier to use to take non astronomical pictures with :-)
          and so easier to justify.

          Rob

          Rick Wagner wrote:

          > I think some of them are using the CCCC design - Canadian
          > Climate-Chilled
          > Camera - just observe when the temperature is too cold to be outside.
          > I
          > noticed at least one of the images reported having been taken at -3C.
          > Not

          Roland wrote:

          > > look good. People are not cooling their chips to do this?

          > >
          > > Very interesting post!
          > >
          > > Rol


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • richard.harding@sympatico.ca
          I have followed this thread with interest! I too, was quited smitten by the quality of the photos. I would supposed that dimmer objects (galaxies, faint
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 11, 2002
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            I have followed this thread with interest! I too, was quited smitten by the quality of the photos. I would supposed that dimmer objects (galaxies, faint nebulae, etc) would be less successful, but as Rob says..."Heck, you can justify the purchase easier!"
            It remains to be seen "which" cameras would perform best. Any studies?
            Richard
          • Rick Wagner
            The Nikon CoolPix seemed to be the only one that did the long 60 second exposures. I suppose there are lots of things that could be considered in choosing a
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 11, 2002
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              The Nikon CoolPix seemed to be the only one that did the long 60 second
              exposures. I suppose there are lots of things that could be considered in
              choosing a camera:
              - sensitivity of the chip - want to minimize the length of the exposures for
              the planets;
              - number of pixels - want lots of resolution, but there may be trade-offs in
              sensitivity for some of the very high resolution cameras;
              - binning capabilities - most of the cameras allow digital zoom - is this
              binning? it might allow more sensitivity and tuning the resolution of the
              camera to the resolution of the scope;
              - f-ratio of the lens - faster lenses (might?) yield shorter exposures (they
              might not too - taking photos through a scope may make the camera lens
              f-ratio irrelevant;
              - range of exposure speeds - nice and short for planets and the moon, very
              long for deep sky;
              - manual exposure capability - so as not to over-expose those small bright
              planets;
              - depth of the entrance pupil - say what? - I find that my video camera
              wants the exit pupil of the scope to fall somewhere way inside the camera,
              otherwise you can only see a very small section of the field of view;
              - optical zoom - should allow for increasing the size of the planet's image.
              I am sure there are others one might want to consider. And I suspect that
              some of these will have impacts in ways I haven't considered yet. There is
              a lot of research that could be done here. And some of these questions
              cannot be answered from the advertised specs or the user manual. They would
              require some field experimentation.

              I must say, some of those images I would have been proud to have taken with
              a full-blown astro CCD camera.

              Rick
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: <richard.harding@...>
              To: <OAFs@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Monday, 11 March, 2002 12:58
              Subject: Re: Re: [OAFs] Re: Examples digicam


              > I have followed this thread with interest! I too, was quited smitten by
              the quality of the photos. I would supposed that dimmer objects (galaxies,
              faint nebulae, etc) would be less successful, but as Rob says..."Heck, you
              can justify the purchase easier!"
              > It remains to be seen "which" cameras would perform best. Any studies?
              > Richard
              >
            • Richard Harding
              Hi Rick! I thought that we were talking about a digicam not a still digital camera. Was I wrong? Concerning a still digital camera, one of the most
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 11, 2002
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                Hi Rick!
                I thought that we were talking about a "digicam" not a still digital camera. Was I wrong? Concerning a "still" digital camera, one of the most important features (and why the coolpix are popular for astronomy) is the "bulb" or B setting that allows you to keep the shutter open as long as you like. I believe that the digital minicam is taking a whole bunch of shots that are then combined. FWIW
                Richard
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Rick Wagner
                To: OAFs@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Monday, March 11, 2002 6:00 PM
                Subject: Re: Re: [OAFs] Re: Examples digicam


                The Nikon CoolPix seemed to be the only one that did the long 60 second
                exposures. I suppose there are lots of things that could be considered in
                choosing a camera:
                - sensitivity of the chip - want to minimize the length of the exposures for
                the planets;
                - number of pixels - want lots of resolution, but there may be trade-offs in
                sensitivity for some of the very high resolution cameras;
                - binning capabilities - most of the cameras allow digital zoom - is this
                binning? it might allow more sensitivity and tuning the resolution of the
                camera to the resolution of the scope;
                - f-ratio of the lens - faster lenses (might?) yield shorter exposures (they
                might not too - taking photos through a scope may make the camera lens
                f-ratio irrelevant;
                - range of exposure speeds - nice and short for planets and the moon, very
                long for deep sky;
                - manual exposure capability - so as not to over-expose those small bright
                planets;
                - depth of the entrance pupil - say what? - I find that my video camera
                wants the exit pupil of the scope to fall somewhere way inside the camera,
                otherwise you can only see a very small section of the field of view;
                - optical zoom - should allow for increasing the size of the planet's image.
                I am sure there are others one might want to consider. And I suspect that
                some of these will have impacts in ways I haven't considered yet. There is
                a lot of research that could be done here. And some of these questions
                cannot be answered from the advertised specs or the user manual. They would
                require some field experimentation.

                I must say, some of those images I would have been proud to have taken with
                a full-blown astro CCD camera.

                Rick
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: <richard.harding@...>
                To: <OAFs@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Monday, 11 March, 2002 12:58
                Subject: Re: Re: [OAFs] Re: Examples digicam


                > I have followed this thread with interest! I too, was quited smitten by
                the quality of the photos. I would supposed that dimmer objects (galaxies,
                faint nebulae, etc) would be less successful, but as Rob says..."Heck, you
                can justify the purchase easier!"
                > It remains to be seen "which" cameras would perform best. Any studies?
                > Richard
                >



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              • Attilla Danko
                ... digicam means digital still camera . Nikon CP995 is a classic example. You might be thinking of DV recorders as the other variety. They are small
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 11, 2002
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                  Sir Richard wrote:

                  > I thought that we were talking about a "digicam" not a still digital camera.

                  "digicam" means "digital still camera". Nikon CP995 is a classic example.

                  You might be thinking of "DV recorders" as the other variety. They are
                  small video camcorders that write onto digital tapes. I've heard them called
                  minicams. Most of them can also shoot 640x480 single images and are therefore also
                  digicams but most people use them for video.

                  Rick wrote:

                  > - binning capabilities - most of the cameras allow digital zoom - is this
                  > binning?

                  No. Digital zoom is the opposite. In binning, several ccd sensors are used to create
                  one pixel. In digital zooming, one ccd sensor is used to create several pixels.
                  Digital zooming does nothing that any photo manipulation program cant do and
                  is considered by many to be non-useful marketing hype.

                  > - manual exposure capability - so as not to over-expose those small bright
                  > planets;

                  That is probably the most important feature. My S100 digicam is very difficult
                  to use as an afocal astro camera because it has no manual mode. The usual +/-
                  2 stop exposure adjustment is simply not enough.

                  > I am sure there are others one might want to consider.

                  A lens threaded to take filters makes it more likely you can find a camera-to-
                  eyepiece adapter.


                  -ad
                • John MacAuley
                  You missed my favorite (and only) digital capture mechanism, the ubiquitous WebCam. Purchase a cheap one off of e-bay (I got two for $25 US) and with some
                  Message 8 of 10 , Mar 12, 2002
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                    You missed my favorite (and only) digital capture mechanism, the ubiquitous
                    WebCam. Purchase a cheap one off of e-bay (I got two for $25 US) and with
                    some modifications you are off to the races! Limited deep sky applications,
                    but for lunar and planetary stuff it is a lot of fun. The webcam was my
                    only option given I didn't want to spend more on an astro-camera than my
                    cheap telescope. :-)

                    John.

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Attilla Danko [mailto:attilla.danko@...]
                    Sent: Monday, March 11, 2002 8:55 PM
                    To: OAFs@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: Re: [OAFs] Re: Examples digicam


                    Sir Richard wrote:

                    > I thought that we were talking about a "digicam" not a still digital
                    camera.

                    "digicam" means "digital still camera". Nikon CP995 is a classic example.

                    You might be thinking of "DV recorders" as the other variety. They are
                    small video camcorders that write onto digital tapes. I've heard them called
                    minicams. Most of them can also shoot 640x480 single images and are
                    therefore also
                    digicams but most people use them for video.

                    Rick wrote:

                    > - binning capabilities - most of the cameras allow digital zoom - is
                    this
                    > binning?

                    No. Digital zoom is the opposite. In binning, several ccd sensors are used
                    to create
                    one pixel. In digital zooming, one ccd sensor is used to create several
                    pixels.
                    Digital zooming does nothing that any photo manipulation program cant do and
                    is considered by many to be non-useful marketing hype.

                    > - manual exposure capability - so as not to over-expose those small
                    bright
                    > planets;

                    That is probably the most important feature. My S100 digicam is very
                    difficult
                    to use as an afocal astro camera because it has no manual mode. The usual
                    +/-
                    2 stop exposure adjustment is simply not enough.

                    > I am sure there are others one might want to consider.

                    A lens threaded to take filters makes it more likely you can find a
                    camera-to-
                    eyepiece adapter.


                    -ad





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