Celestron Astrophotography Cameras
Celestron offer an extensive range of cameras suitatble for astrophotography. The NexImage range offer a user friendly introduction into the world of planetary imaging. They fit into the eyepiece tube of your telescope in place of the eyepiece and connect to a laptop via the supplied usb cable. The supplied (Windows) software allows you to adjust the camera settings and see the target image on your screen. To turn this moving image into a photograph you use the software to record a video clip onto your hardrive. Once recording has finished, the video can be imported into a second software program called registax. This also included program, can look at each individual frame from your video clip and 'stack' the best ones on top of each other. Your stacked image now contains more data than a single photograph so you can use the 'wavelets' feature to sharpen and reduce the noise levels to dramatically improve the final quality of your picture. We have of course made this sound very simple! but we can demostrate this process to you in our showroom and are always on hand to offer help, advice and back up support to our customers.
The Celestron Skyris cameras are also used for planetary imaging and benefit from the addition of a USB3.0 connection for faster data transfer. This faster data transfer also allows you to use a faster frame rate which is an advantage when it comes to advanced planetary imaging. The Skyris range also feature a larger choice of imaging sensors, each of which have their own specific advantages. Mono versions are more sensitive and will ultimately give the best results, but to produce a colour image requires extra work and equipment. You need take separate videos through three different coloured filters using a filterwheel for speed and then combine the final images in a suitable program such as photoshop to produce your colour image.
The Celestron Nightscape Cameras are very different to the NexImage and Skyris, and are designed to capture deep sky images. Unlike planets typical deep sky objects are very faint so need much longer exposures to capture them. Longer exposures have a tendancy to cause a build up of heat on imaging sensors which in turn cause noise to appear on the image. To counter this the Celestron Nightscape CCD cameras use a sensitive CCD sensor combined with a cooling fan. Because of the longer exposures involved these cameras should be used with a good quality equatorial mount.