American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Tue, 06/01/2021 - 16:52

Hello All: I'm a beginner and this is my first post to an AASVO forum. I have searched for answers to the following questions and have found some. It would be a great help if you were to supply even just Y/N answers to any. I'll abide by the first answer to any question, but if you answer otherwise then I'll go scratch my head for a while. Anyway, thanks for reading this far!


I have a Takahashi CN212 on a Losmandy GM8 mount. The CN212 is  212mm f/12 true Cassegrain  convertible to a  212mm f/4 Newtonian.


1. Is there image processing software for macOS Big Sur? I gather the answer is Y, but if it's N then that's Kismet for me.

2. Is a full frame camera distinctly preferred over a small frame camera? The former is of course heavier and costlier.

3. Is a mirrorless camera distinctly preferred over a DSLR? The latter are fast being discontinued.

4. Is there a brand distinctly preferred over  NIKON ? I do own a NIKON T-ring adapter for an F mount. 

5. Must I use a computer  at the time of observing? As with 1. above, if the answer is Y then that's also Kismet for me.

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
They're getting rid of DSLRs…

1). Not a mac user, so I can't help you there.

2). If you have one of the rare, costly scopes that can illuminate the entire 43mm diagonal chip, then full frame is the way to go.  Otherwise, I wouldn't bother with it.  My ES Comet Hunter always had a problem with full frame cameras, which is why I won't go any larger than 1.5x crop sensor.

3). They're getting rid of DSLRs?!?  This is the first time I've heard of this.

4). Nikon cameras tend to have higher dynamic range at low ISO speeds than Canon, which is preferable for photometry.  Check it out and see for yourself:

5). Which ever one is simpler for you.  I've used both: a computer when my mount was an EQ6-R and that I controlled everything from inside my house *and* using an intervalometer out in the field with my much smaller, non-GOTO camera tracker (Star Adventurer).

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Not a mac user, so I can't help

1. I have a license for MATLAB, which runs on my iMAC. After some tinkering, it turns out that just a few of its commands can do most of what I would want to do. For example, a single command will "stack" a single drift spectrum. It is surely possible to stack images in a loop. GIMP also runs on my iMAC, and can turn jpg images into png etc. 

2. Cropped sensor it is.

3. Nikon has discontinued the D3500 and D5600. The upgrade announce over a year ago for the D7500 is not yet with us. It is all but impossible to find a D500, and so on. Yes, there are supply chain problems. Several F-mount lenses are have been discontinued. Sales of Z's have topped sales of D's or will do shortly. New Z lenses and Z bodies are being released. The FTZ adapter is being promoted.

4 Nikon it is. That means: D3500, D5600, D7500, Z50.

5. I can trip over fishing line, and in daylight.


To CrossoverManiac: Thanks for your input!