REVOLUTION IMAGER
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DEEP SKY OBJECTS

The sensitivity and on-board processing features of the Revolution Imager make it great for viewing faint deep sky objects even from light polluted neighborhoods with even modest telescopes. 

These are the settings we recommend:

Revolution Imager R1 Revolution Imager R2
  • SENSE-UP settings - for most objects.
  • Filter settings - settings to use when using narrow-band filters.
  • Large and faint object settings - for the trickiest objects.
  • MANUAL settings - for most objects.

    FIX settings - for more control and tricky objects.

     


    R2: USING MANUAL

    The settings we recommend for most deep-sky-objects on the Revolution Imager R2 is the "MANUAL" exposure mode. The MANUAL mode allows the camera to automatically adjust the gain level to give a good exposure.

    If you need help finding these items in the menu please see our menus help page.

    When using the MANUAL settings the amount of AGC controls the maximum gain the camera will use and sets a fixed exposure time (or shutter speed.) We recommend using a low shutter speed such as x16 or x32 with a high AGC and once centered moving shutter speed to a higher value like x128 or x256. The limiting factor as to how high you can go with the shutter speed and AGC is usually dictated by how bright your skies are.

    If you're using any narrow-band filters, then we recommend placing the camera in NIGHT mode which sets the camera to black & white operation and increasing the gain or shutter speed

    SHUTTER/AGC MANUAL
    SHUTTER x8-x16 to find objects and as high as possible when centered, up to x256 for most suburban neighborhoods.
    AGC MAX 24DB for most usage, or as high as as required.
    Stacking/3D-DNR Between 3 to 6

     Click on any of the settings above to see how to apply them to your camera.

    Image from Michael M, Los Angeles, Celestron Nexstar 4SE


    R2: USING FIXED MODE

    For trickier objects or to simply have more control over the camera we recommend FIX mode.

    If you need help finding these items in the menu please see our menus help page.

    When using the FIX setting the amount of AGC selected is the actual gain the camera will use along with the exposure time (or shutter speed.) We recommend using a low shutter speed such as x16 or x32 with a high AGC and once centered moving shutter speed to a higher value like x128 or x256. The limiting factor as to how high you can go with the shutter speed and AGC is usually dictated by how bright your skies are.

    If you're using any narrow-band filters, then we recommend placing the camera in NIGHT mode which sets the camera to black & white operation and increasing the gain or shutter speed

    SHUTTER/AGC FIX
    SHUTTER x8-x16 to find objects and as high as possible when centered, up to x256 for most suburban neighborhoods.
    AGC 12DB for most usage, or as high as as required.
    Stacking/3D-DNR Between 3 to 6

     Click on any of the settings above to see how to apply them to your camera.


    Image from Curtis M. 


    R1: using SENSE-UP

    The settings that we recommend for most deep sky objects uses the camera's "SENSE-UP" and "3D-DNR" stacking features. The SENSE-UP combined with AUTO allows the camera to figure out which gain setting to use to bring out the objects you want to see and the 3D-DNR will stack images that help bring out detail and reduce noise.

    These are the SENSE-UP settings we recommend for DSOs If you need help finding these items in the menu please see our menus help page. Don't forget: when changing settings, use the save/exit function to lock them in.

    When using the SENSE-UP settings the amount of SENSE-UP controls the maximum exposure time the camera will use. We recommend using a low setting to help center the object, like SENSE-UP x8 or x16 and once centered moving SENSE-UP to a higher value like x128 or x256. The limiting factor as to how high you can go with SENSE-UP is usually dictated by how bright your skies are. In the image to the right SENSE-UP x8 was used to find the bright stars in M16 and center them, and then the setting was increased to x128. If you would the image brighter than you can use the GAMMA control to increase brightness by reducing the value. 

    If, when using SENSE-UP, you notice the image getting "blown-out" (turning completely white) or cycling from bright-to-dark, then your SENSE-UP setting is too high for the camera to find a good balance. The solution here is to reduce the SENSE-UP setting. For most suburban light-polluted skies SENSE-UP X128 is the highest you should use. If you find the sky background is too bright you can also try reducing the BRIGHTNESS setting.

    Exposure Mode NORMAL
    Sense-up x8-x16 to find objects and as high as possible when centered, up to X128 for most suburban neighborhoods.
    Gain OFF or HIGH (depending on camera version)
    Exposure Time AUTO
    Brightness 99 or lower if the sky background is too bright
    Gamma 1.0, use lower value for a brighter image
    Stacking 5 or HIGH

     Click on any of the settings above to see how to apply them to your camera.


    taken using SENSE-UP x128 from a heavily light polluted neighborhood using a 8" Celestron SCT on an ALT/AZ tracking mount.



    taken using a Hα filter from a small 80mm/3" refractor from the same light polluted skies on an ALT/AZ tracking mount.

    R1: using filters

    The Revolution Imager when combined with a narrow-band filter, such as a Hα filter can really bring out detail in deep sky objects.

    When using a narrow-band filter it's recommend to place the camera in a black & white mode and to increase the SENSE-UP or exposure time to compensate for the light that's being filtered out.

     Don't forget: when changing settings, use the save/exit function to lock them in.

    Exposure Mode NORMAL
    Sense Up x8-x16 to find objects and as high as possible when centered and up to x256 when using a narrow-band filter
    Gain OFF or HIGH depending on camera version
    Exposure Time AUTO
    Brightness 99 or lower if the sky background is too bright
    Gamma 1.0
    Stacking 5 or HIGH
    Color Mode NIGHT

     Click on any of the settings above to see how to apply them to your camera.


    R1: shifting into manual - for large or dim objects

    For large objects like large open clusters or large galaxies it can sometimes help to set the camera settings manually instead of using the SENSE-UP feature.

    Using the camera outside of the SENSE-UP mode gives you more control over the gain (or the amount of amplification the camera will apply to the signal). For large, dim objects it can help to use a longer exposure time while reducing the gain. The 3D-DNR setting can help reduce the image noise and bring some extra detail, but this setting can only be used when AGC is enabled. Using the 3D-DNR feature will also multiply the amount of time it takes to for the image to appear by the setting used plus one, for example, if using exposure x1024 (20 seconds) and 3D-DNR set to 1, it will take 40 seconds for the image to appear: 20 X (1 + 1) = 40.

    These settings can help with large galaxies like the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), or faint galaxy groups. We recommend starting off with SENSE-UP settings above to find and center the object and then switching to these settings if you need to.

    About BRIGHTNESS: the camera will use the BRIGHTNESS setting as guide on how much gain it will apply to the image when you're using AGC or SENSE-UP. If you see the image flush out (completely turn white) or losing color, reducing the BRIGHTNESS value can also help bring the image back.

    Don't forget: when changing settings, use the save/exit function to lock them in.

    Exposure Mode NORMAL
    Sense-Up OFF.
    Gain OFF or LOW. In suburban skies setting AGC above LOW may result in a washed-out image when using the higher exposure time
    Exposure Time For fainter objects go as high as X1024 (20 seconds exposure time) this will require steady tracking for your mount, otherwise X128 - X512
    Brightness Vary this setting to get the image you prefer, start at 40 and raise if the image is too dim, or lower if the image gets flushed out or color is lost 
    Gamma 1.0, use lower value for a brighter image
    Stacking 0 or higher if using AGC

     Click on any of the settings above to see how to apply them to your camera.


    The double cluster, in a suburban neighborhood, exposure X512 from a 80mm/3" refractor.