I'm a 'pre-novice' - just started reading this wonderful site a few days ago. Kudos to those who organize and maintain it!
I've used the Binocular Program list, and the "Stellarium" program, to start finding which stars are possible targets with my light-polluted, restricted-view site (my small balcony) in the downtown core of a major city (Edmonton, Alberta). I'm encouraged to see that 28 stars from the list are at least 'in view', above 30 degrees, at some time during the warmer months. Another 21 stars could be viewed mostly during the colder months (and I do mean *cold*, & often windy).
After reading some discussions here re: visual vs other kinds of observation, I'm a bit torn. But, despite the longer learning curve, I still think DSLR photometry is likely the best route for me. I have many years experience using SLR cameras, so at least there's some familiarity; and I already have what I think is pretty much everything I need to get started:
- Canon 550D / Rebel T2i -- 14 bit Raws, 18 megapixels
- 4 lenses. My longest is the Canon 100mm f2.8 macro . It's pretty 'short' for astronomy, but very good optics at any focal range.
- Tripod, remote switch, Live View ability, etc.
- at some point I would likely get a sturdier tripod, and a right-angle viewer.
1. I understand the need for finding the camera's pixel saturation point, but am unsure whether I can properly assess the images for testing this in IRIS. ...?
2. Camera settings:
- First, I assume we always let IRIS (or another program) do all processing from scratch as in the IRIS beginner tutorial.
- "Lens Peripheral Illumination Correction". (On or Off setting). There are
apparently some people who don't think flats are necessary with short exposure times. Perhaps flats in some cases can be dispensed with, but Illum. Correction used?
- 'Picture Style': - I would think "Neutral" is best, but the manual doesn't go
into much detail. It seems to be the only one with no color processing of any kind.
- I can then set that Neutral style to its default settings for . . .
- Sharpness / Contrast / Saturation / Color tone. (Or are there better settings for photometry than the default, which is mid-range (zero) for all these?