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References for monochrome video + filters

Started by ddoctor, 08/27/2006 02:58PM
Posted 08/27/2006 02:58PM Opening Post
hi group,
i've been using a webcam (toucam) for awhile now and thinking about trying monochrome video with filters (e.g. lumenera or similar). are there any references out there devoted to this area of imaging?
thanks,
dave
Posted 08/28/2006 02:19AM #1
G'day Dave, I'm sure you'll find quite a few and varying opinions on which camera or filters to try, so here's my $0.02 worth to kick things off :-)

Late last year I bought a Dragonfly Express firewire camera from www.ptgrey.com and I am very happy with it's performance. Excellent sensitivity and prtty much any and all features that you'll ever want, also 800Mbit data rate. However it is a bit on the $$$ side, so you might also like to consider cameras from other places like www.theimagingsource.com, eg their DMK series which seem like good value for money. There are other people around here who might be able to comment on which models to look for.

My personal view is to go for a firewire camera rather than usb2, as there is a well supported standard for video over firewire that doesn't have an equivalent in the usb world so every usb2 camera has it's own unique driver (and therefore incompatibilities etc) and you are reliant on the vendor for all support.

I still have the CD that came with my firewire camera but it's not opened, I used all open source software instead and didn't need the vendors driver installed.

But I know that there are people who are enthusiastic supporters of the Lumenera usb2 cameras, I'm sure they'll want to add their support here :-)

The features you're likely to want in an upgraded camera compared to the ToUcam is more flexible control over exposure and framerate, as well as the higher sensitivity that comes with a monochrome ccd. Check out the specs of these cameras, also look for "Region Of Interest" or "Area or Interest" support, that allows you to transfer only the portion of the frame that contains the planet and can save a lot of bandwidth and disk space.

I'm using Astronomik RGB filters and have no complaints. They have excellent bandpass characteristics and low losses.

regards, Anthony

http://www.acquerra.com.au/astro