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Altair Hypercam 183C review

Altair Hypercam 183C Review

|Camera|30 Comments

Thanks to my friends at Ontario Telescope and Accessories, a brand new Altair Hypercam 183C arrived at my door last week.  The striking purple exterior color of this one-shot color CMOS camera makes a bold statement, but it's the deep sky imaging capabilities of the cooled sensor that have captured my attention. There are many options available for deep sky astrophotography these days, and traditional DSLR images such as myself are left with some tough decisions.  One look at the data captured using a cooled CMOS sensor, and you will notice the astonishing difference this can make. Vie…

The Altair Hypercam 183C – Color CMOS Sensor Camera

|Camera|0 Comments

I am extremely excited to review a new astronomy camera from Altair Astro, the Hypercam 183C.  This is a CMOS color deep sky imaging camera and boasts some impressive astrophotography features out of the box. I should be receiving the Hypercam as early as next week, and I will be providing a video review of its deep sky imaging capabilities. At under $1000 (CDN), this astronomy camera is a solid contender for those looking for an upgrade to their stock DSLR. This is an affordable Color CMOS digital camera with impressive astrophotography features. Thanks to my friends at Ontario Te…

Astro Photography Tool Review

Astro Photography Tool for Camera Control

|Camera|18 Comments

I have recently installed the Astro Photography Tool camera control software on my dedicated astrophotography laptop. From my very first imaging sequence, I knew I was going to like this application. There is no better way to learn a new imaging application than to put it to use for a night of deep-sky imaging. With a clear night ahead of me, I dive into Astro Photography Tool to plan my Whale Galaxy astrophotography project. In the video below, I also discuss my ongoing transition from a DSLR camera to a cooled CMOS camera. The process of controlling a dedicated astronomy camera like th…

CCD Camera vs. DSLR for astrophotography

CCD vs. DSLR – A New Learning Curve

|Camera|8 Comments

Update: When this article was written, I referred to any non-DSLR camera a "CCD" camera. The correct term for this type of camera is "dedicated astronomy camera", as the model mentioned in this post includes a CMOS sensor. Since then, I have had the pleasure of experience a true CCD camera, the Starlight Xpress Trius 694 (Mono). With that out of the way, enjoy the raw emotions I share during my first experiences using a dedicated astronomy camera in place of a DSLR (or mirrorless camera) for astrophotography. Like many of you, I love shooting astrophotography with my DSLR. I control my C…

Bahtinov mask

Better Focus using a Bahtinov Mask

|Tutorials|10 Comments

A Bahtinov mask can help you achieve a sharp focus for your astrophotography images. This process is an essential step of any deep-sky astrophotography session. With so much time and effort put into your polar alignment and autoguiding accuracy, it would be a shame to spoil a photo due to poor focus. Over the years, I've had my fair share of deep-sky astrophotography focus mishaps. In many cases, I did not realize how bad the focus of my image was until I attempted to process the final image. You can avoid this unfortunate circumstance by using a simple tool that effectively confirms…