Re: need learning aids for astrophoto

Mike Dodd

On 5/4/2020 7:34 PM, Charles Thompson via wrote:
Dick, there is a choice you will have to make up front on cameras.
Either one shot color like the ZWO ASI294MC Pro or monochrome with red,
green and blue filters like the ASI1600MM.

If you're aiming for "pretty picture" astro images like me, give serious consideration to a ZWO or similar cooled CMOS camera. I use an ASI1600MC Pro, but the '294MC Pro also has a lot going for it.

I used an ST-8 CCD camera with LRGB and narrowband filters for about five years, and got some decent images processing with CCDStack and Photoshop.

The one-shot color camera is MUCH better! For one thing, read noise is very low. For another, getting a color image without filters is a big time-saver. I wouldn't go back, no way, no how.

I also have Ha and Oiii filters for when I want to image in moonlight. I combine these subs with full-color subs taken when it's dark.

Processing has also changed. Now, a program named PixInsight is the go-to choice, because it does EVERYTHING you could wish for. It has a learning curve, but there are books and tutorials.

Finally, a CMOS camera is suitable for electronics enhanced astronomy (EAA), where you can build a real-time image on a computer screen instead of looking through an eyepiece using software like SharpCap or ZWO's ASICap (I think is the name). This is really nice when friends or relatives want to "look through the telescope." EAA shows you more detail and color than you could ever see through an eyepiece.

I hope this helps.


Mike Dodd
Louisa County, Virginia USA

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