The Samsung SDC-435, a new Deep Sky Video camera

The Samsung SDC-435 is a frame accumulating camera that is about 35% the price of a Mintron video camera.

I am experimenting with the SDC-435 to determine whether it is a credible alternative to the Mintron.

The Camera:

dscf0105

I attached the camera to a 10″ f/4.8 Newtonian reflector telescope and used Astrovideo to capture 100 frame AVIs with a 5s delay between the capture of individual frames. The sens was set to auto and max accumulation of 512. AGC was set to high and the camera was set to colour. A 100 frame dark-frame AVI was captured with fixed align with the cap on the front of the scope.

The camera adjusted automatically so that the dark-frame was far too light as discussed for Mintron Dark Frames in our article in ‘Popular Astronomy’ April-June 2010. Astrovideo also simultaneously tracked and summed the captured frames and produced an image that was saved as a .BMP file. This image was then used along with the dark-frame in Dark-Frame-Scaler to produce a corrected dark-frame for use with the AVI in Registax.

The first results are presented here rescaled from 640 x 480 to 500 x 375:

M13

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M3:

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M51

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M64:

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M57:

The Gimp was used to change the colour balance from the original result:

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Clearly the colour information was there. I shall investigate camera settings to see whether this can be improved. The blueish tinted filter that filters out IR in front of the 1/3″ chip will also cut down H-alpha to levels that could be below 20% of their actual values. I shall look into the possibility of modifying the camera by removing this filter in the future.

My intitial reaction is that this camera can be used for Deep Sky observing and imaging although the live views have a fair bit of colour noise.

I shall also evaluate the camera as a lunar and planetary imager.

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