A short collection of comments from our customers: send us your story!
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“I've been an amateur astronomer for 20 years, so I can tell you my opinion about the AST8300 CCD camera, having used several cameras both DSLR and classical CCD. The AST8300 CCD camera is, in my opinion, hard to beat both for quality and session management.
Speaking about technical support, it's first class. Andrea Ricciardi is always present with an A-plus competence/professionalism"
Michele Marini, Italy
"I got my AST8300A camera a few months ago to test it and I'am fully satisfied with it. After unpacking, I became familiar with the camera and fitted the filter wheel with the included 27mm H-Alpha 6nm, OIII 12nm, LRGB filters. I find great that with the enclosed vacuum pump you can create a light vacuum and you don't need to manage to remove moisture like in conventional cameras: simply use the vacuum pump again from time to time, and the vacuum stays for a long period of time.
After mounting the camera on my Newton, the monitor replacing the laptop or tablet, and connected to the power supply, it took two minutes until the apps on the touch screen were visible. I set the cooling first to -10 degrees then to -20, where the maximum is -42 degrees from ambient. Then I moved the filter wheel to luminance and focused with a batinov mask on a star. Finally I went to the first test object, M57 and made a series of 10 minutes H-alpha exposures totaling 70 minutes, already showing beautiful structures around the ring. Using a VNC Viewer for Android on my mobile phone or tablet I was able to control all the functions. It's important to note that after setting filters and durations of the recording sequence, you start it and you don't need to touch the screen anymore, thus avoiding camera shake. After every frame, the camera turns off briefly, saves the picture in the internal storage, and it can be viewed in the preview on the display or mobile phone. At the end, I used WinSCP to wifi download the recorded images from the camera to the PC.
In summary, the Astrel 8300A, which now can also be upgraded, is a lightweight compact camera with great cooling and am glad I bought it after extensive test"
Bernhard Mayr, Germany
"La camera CCD AST8300 è stata una grande sorpresa, non c'è più bisogno di usare il PC per scattare foto, nella camera hai una serie di APP che ti permettono di scattare, gestire la temperatura, focheggiare, fare autoguida e puntare il telescopio, praticamente il CCD è un mini PC sotto linux.
Una caratteristica molto interessante è la ruota portafiltri integrata, non hai più matasse di fili intorno al telescopio, ti basta il cavo di alimentazione, poi per scaricare le foto ti colleghi con la WiFi e il gioco è fatto.
Per quanto riguarda l'assistenza della Astrel seguita da Andrea Ricciardi è perfetta, ad ogni richiesta una risposta esauriente e puntuale, parlare direttamente con il progettista della camera è un plus notevole. Con l'utilizzo di questa camera le mie foto hanno fatto un salto di qualità notevole, si vede che è la AST8300 è stata progettata da un astrofilo di lunga esperienza."
"The AST8300 CCD camera was a great surprise to me, no need to use a PC to take photos, you have a number of on-camera APP to take images, manage the temperature, focus, control autoguiders, point the telescope: the CCD is actually a small Linux PC.
A very interesting feature is represented by the integrated filter wheel, you don't have blobs of cables around the telescope: just plug the power supply, then you can download the images simply connecting to the camera wifi network.
Speaking about customer care, managed in Astrel by Andrea Ricciardi, it's perfect, every request has a clear and effective answer and speaking directly with the camera designer is a big plus.
Using this camera, my photos had a big quality improvement, it's clear that the AST8300 has been designed by long time, experienced astrophotographers"
Dino Dini, Reggio Emilia Italy
"The AST8300A camera is a great all-in-one solution for shooting deep sky images in a mobile or fixed setup. Thanks to the liveview feature, focusing and framing the object is much easier than with a DSLR. Remote control with smartphone or computer is a big plus. The build-in filter wheel allows me to use 7 filters to get the most out of light-polluted urban skies. The only piece missing is a build-in off axis guider"
Peter Englmaier, Switzerland
“I am a lucky owner of an Astrel AST8300A since June 2016. My decision was based upon the features for mobile astrophotography the Astrel is supporting. Being dependent on a mobile setup I wanted to get rid of the need of my laptop in the field. I have combined my Astrel with an MGEN guiding solution which gives me full flexibility and best mobility.
The overall performance of the Astrel is astounding, especially as it is not based on the newest sensor generation, but this is more than made up for by the smart solutions that Astrel is using to reduce noise. The image quality I am receiving is absolutely great. Another great help is the autonomy of the camera, which only needs me to use my tablet or phone until the exposure series is ready to start. From there the Astrel and MGEN are taking over.
As no product is ever perfect I also want to provide some feedback on the Astrel Instruments Support quality. I need to say that the support is outstanding. They are always available to help with questions, support you via Teamviewer if the issue is a little more complex and are easy to deal with whenever something needs to get fixed. I have never been happier with a product support team.
All in all the decision to go with the Astrel AST8300A was a very good one, especially coming from DSLR imaging. I can highly recommend Astrel Instruments and their products."
Achim Armbruster, Germany
"I have chosen the AST8300-B-mono coming from a modified DSLR to get my astrophotography to the next level while keeping the flexibility of not having to work with a laptop out in the field.
After having received the AST8300, the service of the Astrel team was just outstanding: super-fast and competent answers (very good English!) to all my questions and I even got a TeamViewer session with the developer after I had screed up some things (my fault)… This is what I’d call ‘perfect customer service’!
And the camera is so handy and simple to use producing high quality pictures on my 10”f/4.5 Newtonian scope (and the others, too).
Very little differences to how I have worked with my old DSLR, too – as expected.
I can strongly recommend this camera, for both reasons – the technology of the camera and the super service of the team at Astrel Instruments! I only wish the weather here was better to get it more time at the stars!"
Rajko Eichhorn, Bargteheide Germany