The chip makes all the difference
Webcams offer interesting options for planet photography. Unfortunately, not every webcam is suited to astro-imaging. 99.9% of all Webcams on the market have the unsuitable CMOS type chip. A proper CCD chip is indispensible for astrophotography. A CCD chip is more sensitive and has considerably less noise than a CMOS chip from a comparable webcam. Philips webcams set the standard for many years, but these webcams are not longer produced. Nightsky has reacted to this by putting its own planetary camera on the market, in which once again the proven CCD chip is built in.
Things have changed...
The Nightsky CCD Solar System Imager is certainly one of the most inexpensive ways of taking high-quality photographs of the moon and planets. There are even some improvements on the old Philips webcams. These include a new built-in video controller that makes possible download rates of up to 30fps via USB 2.0. The camera can deliver up to 30 images if a sufficiently fast computer is attached. You can then produce really excellent photographs of the planets by using the Giotto or Registax freeware programs. Nearly all committed planet and moon photographers have such a webcam in their arsenal.
And so it goes…
Setting up the webcam is very simple. It is connected by means of a USB interface. The low weight of the camera is no problem for even for the most basic of telescope mounts. Delivery includes a 1.25” telescope adapter so that you can connect the camera directly to the telescope in place of an eyepiece.
Do I need anything else?
The planets will still appear too small when you attach the camera to the telescope. We would therefore recommend using a Barlow lens with every webcam. This increases the focal length and displays the planet as a larger image. We would additionally recommend using an Nightsky infrared filter, which you can purchase along with the camera.
You can now use your new Nightsky CCD Solar System Imager optimally with the Nightsky software CD included. Simply put the CD into your CD drive and the user-friendly interface will start up automatically. You can select the language required from German, English, French or Polish. You are also provided with a selection of different drivers and software for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 (64 bit).