8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2007
An excellent overview of the current state of play of practical webcam astro imaging. This book contains a wealth of useful detail borne from direct experience under the stars. Highly recommended and full of excellent images from acknowledged experts in the field. Invaluable for getting you up that steep learning curve.
on 12 February 2015
This was my entry point into astrophotography and it is a very inspiring and insightful book. As someone with a finite budget for astronomy (I have a 4 1/2 inch refractor) webcam astronomy has always had an appeal as this is a branch of astronomy within the reach and budget of all but the poorest of astronomers. The book really helps to demonstrate what is possible with this most humble of pieces of hardware, and if, like me, you follow up and visit the website of one of the main contributors (Damian Peach), you will be blown away by what is possible. Some of the images contained in this book rival those of the Hubble space telescope (though be warned this is no art book and these are depicted in black and white). What can be achieved with a telescope, a laptop, a £20 webcam and a few other basic bits of kit is quite simply stunning, and as explained by the author the ability to cut through the atmosphere allows even the smallest of telescopes to take images that rival telescopes many times their diameter using traditional techniques, and at a fraction of the budget.
My initial attempts have resulted in wobbly, tiny movies, but much to my delight I was able to easily record the rings of Saturn. The book is a great place for a beginner in this field, and also provides a lot of technical information that will also help a far more experienced astronomer.
Having said this is a budget minded branch of astronomy, to really get the full benefits of this book you will need a serious investment in equipment, not least of which is a tripod with accurate tracking.
I have knocked off a star as whilst this is a fantastic resource, it does perhaps move too swiftly into more advanced techniques and reading the text I did feel that I would have benefited from spending more time on some of the basics. That said I am perhaps not the target audience, and this may be more geared towards someone who has already a modicum of experience in the field.
As a previous reviewer has pointed out, a text like this needs to be regularly updated to keep pace with the field, and whilst some aspects of this may be a little out of date (especially if you expect to use it to get to grips with the latest version of the software needed (e.g. the Free Registax)), much of the tech (at least the entry level stuff) hasn't moved on a massive amount from when this was written.
The author is clearly passionate and knowledgeable about his subject and should be commended for creating, what as far as I could see when I first bought this,is the first book to tackle a completely new area of astronomy (prior to this the subject merely warranted a casual discussion in a single chapter of more mainstream books).
on 6 June 2012
Having acquired an Orion Starshoot IV imaging camera, I was anxious to get using it as soon as possible. The camera came with a basic instruction leaflet, which was next to useless, and although I did manage to find and download a manual, this was not the most thorough document either,
The matter was compounded when I began using Registax to process my avi clips, so when I found this book I was hopeful that I would be all set.
Well, yes and no. The book is detailed and thorough, and presents separate sections for imaging the Moon, Sun, and the various planets. There are also sections of a more technical bent, which may be a little complex for the absolute beginner, or even for someone who has got a little way past that stage, but these sections amply repay study - and practice. Mr Mobberley's enthusiasm for his subject, and his skill at it, are most evident throughout, with more than a sprinkling of slightly off-the-wall humour (cf the traumatised tortoise......).
The book was published in 2006, and at the risk of stating the obvious, things (technology and software) have moved on somewhat. This is less of an issue on the hardware side, but Mr M refers constantly to Registax 3, and the book features many screenshots from this program. Trouble is, I'm using Registax 5 or 6, which look rather different. It is therefore a little difficult to follow some of the steps.
I'm working on it though. This is a GOOD book, with huge pluses that far outweigh any real minuses. Buy it. Now
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2012
Given that this book costs more than many webcams, it's rather pricey. One of the joys of astronomy is that it's free to anyone who looks up in the night sky. Of course, if you want a telescope (or webcam!) you need to part with some money, but for information?