Anyone used AstroScope with HVX-200 or XL-H1? at

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Old July 27th, 2009, 08:32 PM   #1
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Anyone used AstroScope with HVX-200 or XL-H1?

I'm super interested in this technology for a project. Does anyone have any test video or experience with these devices? Please let me know.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 06:41 PM   #2
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Not one person?
Has anyone shot night vision (for any kind for production)?
Any pit falls?
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Old July 29th, 2009, 12:46 AM   #3
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I've only used an Astroscope with an XL2 (and briefly at that). However, the members of the 55th Combat Camera Company at Fort Meade, Maryland have used them frequently; you could try asking them.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 05:45 AM   #4
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I had a project that required night vision, but we could not find a rental at the time, and purchasing an Astro was way out of the budget. So we picked up a few Sony hi 8 or digital 8 cameras, I can't remember which, but they had night vision. We then fed them into portable broadcast record decks. Worked like a champ!
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 10:57 AM   #5
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I replied comprehensively to this but lost it on posting and time is now short.


Intensified night vision can be a challenge for long GOP camera codecs like HDV when the tube image is noisy in low light, so for best performance some IR illumination is necessary.

The HVX with its intraframe codec should be less vulnerable to a noisy tube display.

If you are doing IR illumination, then it may be more effective to use consumer night-shot cams as suggested above or security cameras which are near IR enabled.

Kampro, an OEM in Asia was building B/W security cams with 700 TV lines of resolution and these have been used in a few wildlife documentaries. The best tube based intensifiers you can afford or can legally obtain can give you only about 450 TV lines.

The newer Photonis tubes in Pyser PNP-HG intensifiers are apparently good for 70 line pairs per millemetre which I think comes in at about 840 TV lines at best by the time you crop a 16.9 frame out of an 18mm tube display.

I have used one but a custom relay had to be made to use it like I did for the Sony PD150.

The Astroscope is about the only game in town for videocamera work as it is modular and can be tailormade to different camera types. I is available with tubes up to Gen IV but I think these are restricted.

You will only get best with good glass. Use primes and wide aperture ones like f1.8 at least. Zooms produce more flare, poor contrast and focus performance through the zoom will shift because of the longer wavelength of IR light. Don't mix IR and visible light sources as sharp focus will be near impossible.

Use 0db camera gain or +3db at most. The tube display should be bright enough. Any more camera gain and you'll only lose contrast and detail.

Good information can be found at the Military and Law Enforcement Technologies website.

These things are export restricted and you might find yourself being a person of interest if you fly around with one in these troiubled times.

Try your local forest firefighters. I think they are using handheld FLIR type infrared video aquisition these days for detecting hotspots in extinguished or burned over areas.

Last edited by Bob Hart; August 3rd, 2009 at 09:08 PM.
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