USB3 camera help required

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PRBenson
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USB3 camera help required

Post by PRBenson »

I have the USB3 version of Point Greys Flea3 camera. I got this version because of the fast data transfer rate allowing for high (>100fps) frame rates.

The camera works fine with PGs proprietary software (FlyCapture) except that due to a built in limitation on file size (2GB) I am only able to save a maximum of 575 frames to a single avi file. If I set the the frame count any higher, multiple avis are created but only the last one is usable (all the others are blank when loaded into Registax!)

So far I haven't managed to get the camera to work with any other software such as FireCapture etc. No other software seems to recognise USB3 cameras.

It seems crazy to me that a camera of such high spec is so restricted in this way. I actually upgraded to the Flea3 from a DMK21AU618 which I used quite successfully with wxAstrocpature and was able to save single files routinely with >1000 frames per file. I regret that now!

I have contacted PG about this and they say that the file size limitation is a design feature to maximise compatibility with media software.

I welcome suggestions from anyone who might know how I can use the Flea3 to create single avi files with 1000+ frames.
TMB152;Tak TOA150/FSQ106ED;Lunt LS152T/LS60THa;Orion 16" Dobsonian;Meade 14" LX200GPS
Canon 5DmkIII;DMK 21AU618;ASI 120M
AP 1200GTO;EQ6 Pro
PRBenson
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Re: USB3 camera help required

Post by PRBenson »

Sorted problem myself... installed 32bit version of FlyCapture 2.5 SDK and then installed FireCapture.
TMB152;Tak TOA150/FSQ106ED;Lunt LS152T/LS60THa;Orion 16" Dobsonian;Meade 14" LX200GPS
Canon 5DmkIII;DMK 21AU618;ASI 120M
AP 1200GTO;EQ6 Pro
Brian
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Re: USB3 camera help required

Post by Brian »

That is good news. Don't forget to post a few images here when you can :)

Best regards,
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
Ro-Ro roof shed
PRBenson
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Re: USB3 camera help required

Post by PRBenson »

Captured this image last night with TMB130 apo and 1.8x TMB barlow. Approx 1500 frames captured with FireCapture and then processed with Registax.

Satellites in order (L-R) I think are Callisto, Ganymede, Io and Europa.
Attachments
Jupiter.jpg
Jupiter.jpg (9.47 KiB) Viewed 7687 times
TMB152;Tak TOA150/FSQ106ED;Lunt LS152T/LS60THa;Orion 16" Dobsonian;Meade 14" LX200GPS
Canon 5DmkIII;DMK 21AU618;ASI 120M
AP 1200GTO;EQ6 Pro
David Frydman
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Re: USB3 camera help required

Post by David Frydman »

. That image is really nice.

Regards, David
Cliff
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Re: USB3 camera help required

Post by Cliff »

Dear PRB
That's a really nice image of Jupiter.
I'm pleased you got your limited frame capture sorted out - a nice start for 2014.
I'd be interested to know how long (or short!?!) a time it took to get your 1500 frame video clip ?
I guessing that all captured frames were stacked.
Best wishes from Cliff
Brian
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Re: USB3 camera help required

Post by Brian »

Excellent image. Impressive detail on the disk and a good wide field of view in one. 8)

Which imaging chip does your Flea 3 have?

Regards,
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
Ro-Ro roof shed
PRBenson
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Re: USB3 camera help required

Post by PRBenson »

Many thanks for the positive feedback. Given how the conditions have been lately I am amazed at how good these initial shots have come out.

To get a nice clean image I always aim for the minimum gain I can get away with to achieve an acceptable brightness level on the disc. This means setting the frame rate to between 25 and 35.

To get 1500 or so frames I am recording for less than a minute and then yes I load the avi file straight into Registax. I set alignment points automatically and then run through the sequence using all the default settings. When it comes to wavelets I usually just play it by ear and then increase the denoise till I get the optimum detail on the disc. Then applying 'do all' brings the satellites into nice sharp focus as well.

I have experimented with colour a little as well (using Meade CCD interference filter set) but as I only have a manual and rather shaky filter wheel at present results have been mediocre up to now.

I'm using the FL3-12S2M camera which has a Sony IMX035 (1328x1048) CMOS chip supporting max 120fps. This gives me a nice FOV size and hence I can fit the satellites in as well as the planet itself quite easily. The posted image has been cropped quite a bit too obviously.

I attach a second image to this posting which shows the result of adding a TMB 1.8x barlow into the system and resizing the image to 140% in registax. Ganymede is to the upper right of the planet this time. The clarity of the disc in this second image pays tribute I think to the quality of the optics in the TMB refractors. A 130SS was used in this case.
Attachments
Jupiter Dec2013.JPG
Jupiter Dec2013.JPG (14.59 KiB) Viewed 7671 times
TMB152;Tak TOA150/FSQ106ED;Lunt LS152T/LS60THa;Orion 16" Dobsonian;Meade 14" LX200GPS
Canon 5DmkIII;DMK 21AU618;ASI 120M
AP 1200GTO;EQ6 Pro
Cliff
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Re: USB3 camera help required

Post by Cliff »

Dear PRB
Excellent again - particularly baring in mind your fine refractor isn't huge aperture.
And thanks for your interesting additional comments.
I think you are right to be happy. Interesting to know your Flea camera has a CMOS sensor.
Best wishes from Cliff
PRBenson
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Re: USB3 camera help required

Post by PRBenson »

Thanks Cliff. Very impressed with the TMB so far. I used to image planets using a Skymax 180 Mak. With a basic F15 focal ratio it gave me excellent image scale. Then I tried an Equinox 120 with a 2x Powermate and images I got from that combination were noticeably sharper and clearer straight away.

The TMB is a very similar setup except for being superior optically. Given the less than perfect skies I suffer from in SE Essex I see no real benefit in going for a larger aperture. Right now I have the TMB130/92 combination and that works great for me.

Regarding cameras I have heard some varied comments about CMOS v CCD chips. Again I have been comparing the images I have obtained the Flea3 with those I got from a DMK21AU618 which of course is CCD based. Any difference in quality is negligible and I think unless you happen to have an observatory where the seeing is very favourable the limitations you get with resolution tend to be atmospheric rather than with the equipment.

More images to come shortly.
TMB152;Tak TOA150/FSQ106ED;Lunt LS152T/LS60THa;Orion 16" Dobsonian;Meade 14" LX200GPS
Canon 5DmkIII;DMK 21AU618;ASI 120M
AP 1200GTO;EQ6 Pro
Brian
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Re: USB3 camera help required

Post by Brian »

That is one fine telescope and it seems very well partnered by your Flea3 camera. Looking forward to some more images 8)
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
Ro-Ro roof shed
Cliff
Posts: 6648
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:18 pm
Location: Manchester
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Re: USB3 camera help required

Post by Cliff »

Dear PRB
Like Brian, I look forward to seeing more of your images, although I've abandoned Night Sky and only observe the Sun these days. In some ways, I was surprised to hear your Flea video camera is CMOS- I use an Opticstar PL-131m (ie monochrome video camera with 1/2 inch sensor) to image the Sun. It captures the full Sun disc easily with my Coronado HA 60mm SolarMax 400mm focal length; the Sun's disc is a bit tighter using my 88mm William Optics refractor almost 500mm f.l.h I use for White Light Sun imaging. My results aren't up to the "top-men" standards but OK for my purposes imaging from indoors, through double glazing using a standard photographic tripod (capable of carrying 5KG load) not motor-driven of course. The SolarMax weighs about 7lbs (3kg) the 88mm refractor about 4kg.
There's a lot to be said for indoor observing\imaging as far as I'm concerned - and MikeF does quite a lot of visual observing at night through bedroom windows.
Best wishes from Cliff
PRBenson
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Re: USB3 camera help required

Post by PRBenson »

A lot of people seem to be quite opinionated about CMOS v CCD cameras but personally if I can get results like these given the British climate it wouldn't worry me if the sensor of my camera was made from cream cheese!

The image attached to this one was taken last night. This again is about 1500 frames captured and processed in the same way as before.

Incidentally I also have a smaller TMB82 Sig Series for wide angle imaging with a QSI 583wsg camera. With an 0.8 reducer the effective focal speed of this system is about F4.6. Last night I took 4x20min exposures of the Horsehead nebula (link below) before turning to Jupiter. Focus appears to be spot on for once and I will try to add some OIII subs to get a bi-colour image tomorrow if its clear. Mount is a Paramount MX.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/30649972@N ... 5/sizes/o/
Attachments
Jupiter-with-satellites-09012014.jpg
Jupiter-with-satellites-09012014.jpg (14.5 KiB) Viewed 7639 times
JupiterCloseUp090114.jpg
JupiterCloseUp090114.jpg (182.44 KiB) Viewed 7639 times
TMB152;Tak TOA150/FSQ106ED;Lunt LS152T/LS60THa;Orion 16" Dobsonian;Meade 14" LX200GPS
Canon 5DmkIII;DMK 21AU618;ASI 120M
AP 1200GTO;EQ6 Pro
David Frydman
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Re: USB3 camera help required

Post by David Frydman »

. Very nice images.
I notice as I did a few days ago that the images are either inverted or laterally reversed, but I'm not sure which.
This is compared with the binocular views that I have had of Jupiter's moons.

Regards David
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