Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Jovian's Avatar
    Jovian is offline Bright Giants
    Points: 8,920, Level: 65
    Level completed: 57%, Points required for next Level: 130
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    10 Days registered365 Days+ Registered Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points750 Days+ Registered Achievement!
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    328
    Points
    8,920
    Level
    65
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 60x 36 Posts

    Default Modifying a digital camera to fit a scope?



    I'm wondering how hard it would be to take an ordinary digital camera, similar to this:



    and modify it to fit on the scope. I can see just making a simple adapter, but how about messing with the camera's software to enable long exposure times? Has anyone done something like this before or have any advise?

  2. #2
    AustinPSD's Avatar
    AustinPSD is offline Super Moderator
    Points: 56,828, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 2.0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!First 1000 Experience PointsGot three Friends20+ Friends Achievement!5+ Referrals Achievement!
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    McDonald Observatory, Mt. Locke
    Posts
    6,923
    Points
    56,828
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    743
    Thanked 5,865x 3,115 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jovian View Post
    I'm wondering how hard it would be to take an ordinary digital camera, similar to this:



    and modify it to fit on the scope. I can see just making a simple adapter, but how about messing with the camera's software to enable long exposure times? Has anyone done something like this before or have any advise?
    Other than for the technical challenge, there's no good reason to use a point-and-shoot for this.

    DSLR's already easily adapt to telescopes via T-ring/bayonet adapters. They have higher quality sensors, don't require software modification for exposure control or duration, and can be had relatively inexpensively.

    Similarly, there are web-cam and video-based imagers with existing software bases, both open-source and commercial, and well-devised adaptions.

    In many regards, modifying a point-and-shoot would be an unnecessary reinvention of the wheel.

    For those with point and shoot cameras, there are bracket-mount adapters for afocal use, and there are eyepiece projection adapters.

    Imagers who need long exposure cameras typically have mounts, along with the remaining infrastructure to utilize higher quality, better suited cameras than digital point-and-shoot, so there isn't much demand for doing something like this.
    CGEM 800 HD, NexGuide,
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    XT8 Limited Edition, Oberwerk BT-100, Canon 20D/20Da/T3i/60D/5D Mk III, various eyepieces, adapters, geegaws, widgets, and tiddlybits

  3. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to AustinPSD For This Useful Post:

    Jovian (04-13-2010),Tombstone17 (04-12-2010),WWPierre (04-11-2010)

  4. #3
    Jovian's Avatar
    Jovian is offline Bright Giants
    Points: 8,920, Level: 65
    Level completed: 57%, Points required for next Level: 130
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    10 Days registered365 Days+ Registered Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!First 1000 Experience Points750 Days+ Registered Achievement!
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    ny
    Posts
    328
    Points
    8,920
    Level
    65
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 60x 36 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AustinPSD View Post
    Other than for the technical challenge, there's no good reason to use a point-and-shoot for this.

    DSLR's already easily adapt to telescopes via T-ring/bayonet adapters. They have higher quality sensors, don't require software modification for exposure control or duration, and can be had relatively inexpensively.

    Similarly, there are web-cam and video-based imagers with existing software bases, both open-source and commercial, and well-devised adaptions.

    In many regards, modifying a point-and-shoot would be an unnecessary reinvention of the wheel.

    For those with point and shoot cameras, there are bracket-mount adapters for afocal use, and there are eyepiece projection adapters.

    Imagers who need long exposure cameras typically have mounts, along with the remaining infrastructure to utilize higher quality, better suited cameras than digital point-and-shoot, so there isn't much demand for doing something like this.
    Well the purpose of doing it is not because i think a point and shoot is well suited, but simply because that's what I have to work with and I don't really want to spend much money.

    basically i just want to take advantage of the ccd if i can... I read something about people used to take ccd's from copier machines and use them to do astrophotography, so i thought maybe I could use a higher quality one to do the same sort of thing. I don't expect great pictures it would just be fun to make something myself rather then buying it.

  5. #4
    AustinPSD's Avatar
    AustinPSD is offline Super Moderator
    Points: 56,828, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 2.0%
    Achievements:
    200+ Posts Achievement!First 1000 Experience PointsGot three Friends20+ Friends Achievement!5+ Referrals Achievement!
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    McDonald Observatory, Mt. Locke
    Posts
    6,923
    Points
    56,828
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    743
    Thanked 5,865x 3,115 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    There are several challenges with using a point-and-shoot for imaging:

    - the electronically driven lens system is integrated into the camera body. In most cases, the lens system is not removable. In order to use the camera in prime-focus (aka. direct objective) mode, one would need to remove the lens from the camera body.

    If this were done mechanically, the camera firmware would unlikely allow the camera to operate, unless the circuits involved were bypassed and/or the firmware modified to override the checks in the lens system.

    - in most cases (Canon is a good example), the software interfaces to the camera are mostly closed. There are API and developer interfaces documented and available that allow one to develop applications that can communicate with, transfer data, and to a lesser extent control the camera. However, Canon (and most other manufacturers) don't provide the camera firmware in anything other than binary format, stripped of identifiers and other artifacts necessary for reverse-engineering the camera operating system/executive. It would be difficult, very much so to hack the camera firmware to the degree necessary to bypass the lens integration, focusing control, etc.

    - you would need to have the mechanical/machining and opto-mechanical expertise to develop the necessary adapter assembly, making sure it was the correct length to allow the telescope to form and focus an image on the camera sensor.

    An alternative would be an attempt to remove the sensor from the camera body entirely, and develop your own opto-mechanical and electronic/interface components around the sensor. This would be likely more challenging for most people.

    Given the existence of vendor sources like Telescope Adapters (DIGITAL CAMERA ADAPTERS FOR TELESCOPES - Largest Selection!), there are existing eyepiece projection and afocal components available that allow the use of digital point-and-shoot cameras in these imaging modes on many telescopes.

    Additionally, depending upon the precision of your telescope mount, the quality of the telescope, and the light pollution/seeing conditions in your observing area, it may be a moot point anyway. For example, if light pollution levels are high, you don't have a need for long exposure durations. Similarly, if your mount is low precision, has high periodic error, or is alt-az without a wedge or some combination of these things, your exposure times are limited anyway.

    There are many more factors involved than just the camera type...
    CGEM 800 HD, NexGuide,
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    XT8 Limited Edition, Oberwerk BT-100, Canon 20D/20Da/T3i/60D/5D Mk III, various eyepieces, adapters, geegaws, widgets, and tiddlybits

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to AustinPSD For This Useful Post:

    Jovian (04-13-2010),Tombstone17 (04-12-2010)

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. $650 digital camera
    By Dennis Allen in forum Amateur Astronomy Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 06-22-2007, 05:16 AM
  2. Less then $250 digital camera?
    By Dennis Allen in forum Amateur Astronomy Forum
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-14-2007, 12:18 AM
  3. CCD of Digital Camera
    By Ian Piper in forum General Astronomy Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-20-2003, 12:54 PM
  4. Digital camera vs. digital SLR
    By Michael A. Covington in forum Amateur Astronomy Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-27-2003, 01:45 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0
Powered by vBulletin®
All times are GMT. The time now is 02:04 AM.