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The Celestron Neximager

Posted by Robert Fields   11/05/2004 12:00AM

The Celestron Neximager
I gave my SAC 7 aircooled imager to my son away at college and haven't seen it since, so I was looking for a way to return to webcam imaging without shedding a few hundred dollars OR figuring out how to do home webcam modifications. Quite frankly I am just too lazy. In comes the neximager from celestron. No fancy parts, just an imager that hooks up to the standard usb port on your laptop and a single software kit with the camera works and post-processing software in an all-in-one cd.

Loading the software was a piece of cake. Just follow the simple rules on the screen and follow the prompts. That took about a whole 5 minutes. Next step, plug in the camera. Tough stuff and right at my level.
So the real test is to see what it can do and that was done this morning under subpar skies.

I setup the SCT in the typical fashion and placed the camera in the back of the scope....slewed to the moon...clicked on the amcap Icon, which is the camera's control function and bang there was an out of focus blob,
which quickly became a sharpened image of the moon surface!

Initially the image seemed a bit small so I adjusted this as the platform allows for you to adjust the video size to a max of 640x480. Obtaining the AVI video is the next step and that is snap too. I hit a few buttons and had 30 seconds of video which is approximately 900 frames that is ready to be stacked in the celestron version of registax. Registax is a free software that is downloadable from the net for taking AVI video images and stacking them to make a single sharp more pleasant image but is included in the disc from celestron. I am already familiar with that package from my use of SAC 7, but this too is a user friendly package that is easily mastered in a few sessions.

So what about the results?

I am very pleased to provide you with my first neximage of the moon. I am now gearing up to take some photos of saturn and jupiter...when the skies clear up again.

If you are looking for a fun and mindless way to get into ccd webcam photography. Take a look at this $99 camera.
Clear skies,
Bob Fields

Click here for more about this imager. -Ed.