Logitech C270 astrophotography : Planetary imaging with Webcam

Taking pictures of planets is different from taking pictures of deep sky objects. While in deep sky we try to expose longer to catch the light of the very far distant objects, with planets we search to take the maximum of pictures (or frames) in second. The planets are bright and visibles to the naked eyes, so even an esposure of some milliseconds are sufficient to obtain a picture.

What camera for planetary imaging?

To do that we should use a specific equipement : A camera for planetary imaging such as the ASI, ATIK, Qhy5l, … These camera are very sensitive and can capture up to hunders of frames per seconds (specially those working in USB3). But these camera are generaly expensive, and for a beginner who is searching to try and do astrophotography with a small budget this is not a easy.

The Webcam Logitech C270 for astrophotography

The alternative is to begin with just a simple webcam. There are many models available in the marke like the Philips Spc900nc of the Toucam pro. But i personally started with the Logitech C270 and i don’t regret it. This camera is really cheap compared to specialised astrophotography cameras, its price is under 20$ on Amazon !

This webcam is very sensitive, it works in USB 2 and can catch up to 30 frames / second. It has a resolution of 1280×720 (HD) and that’s great for Moon photography !

The camera is also compatible with the famous capture free sofwares like SharpCap (Download SharpCap for free). So you can use it without problem in Windows.

READ  2 weeks with a telescope Skywatcher 150/750 on Neq3-2 mount

logitech-c270-astrophotography

Buy the Best webcam for Astrophotography on Amazon

 

To use it with your telescope you have to modify it so it be placed in the eyepiece holder. The modification is very easy, you just have to remove the lens of the webcam and then place a simple adapter in it’s place.

webcam-adapter-astrophotographyBuy the webcam adapter for telescope on Amazon

Images taken with the webcam Logitech C270

This is a selection of my images taken of the planets using my modified webcam Logitech C270 and mounted in my Newtonian telscope Skywatcher 150/750. Most of the planetary images were obtained using a Barlow x3 for more magnification.

 

For more pictures of planets captured with the Logitech C270 camera you check my gallery here : Planetary Images with Skywatcher 150/750

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23 Responses

  1. John says:

    Can you explain more about the webcam mod?

    • hdryx says:

      The mod is very simple, all you have to do is to remove the lense of the webcam and put the adapter. That’s it 🙂

      • Black Pete says:

        It doesn’t seem that simple. When I remove both covers, I end up with the lens in that gear shaped housing. It turns about half a millimeter left and right but doesn’t give at all. Now I am not too anxious to apply brute force. Neither would I like to cut away the lens. And I am not sure the thread of the linked adapter fits.

  2. Matt Baker says:

    Can you link me to the adapter that you used because there are people saying that some of them don’t fit. Thanks.

  3. Graham Wilkes says:

    I have a problem focusing with my webcam, If i focus with an eyepiece and replace that with the cam the image is so blurred it can’t be made out, am I doing something wrong?

  4. Dave says:

    Are there any suggestions for a current production webcam 2017?

  5. Tyson Tetroe says:

    Just purchased the c270 and the adapter it’s not as simple as you make it sound holes are not even close to the same size I had to do some cutting glue work it’s not that simple…..grrr

    • Astrophotography Telescope says:

      Hi,
      I’m sorry to hear that. Which adapter did you purshase? Do you have a picture ?

      • Anders Kvist says:

        I have recently bought the C270 and adapter and they fit fine together – a bit of glue to make sure the adapter stays in place is nice though 🙂

        • Astrophotography Telescope says:

          Glad to here that, you can share your pictures with us, it will be pleasure to publish them here.
          Clear skies 🙂

  6. M. Wohlers says:

    Hello, I purchased a c270 one week ago. The camera was mounted with a M8 lens, but I was able to print this adapter https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:789015

  7. Nihat Günas says:

    What software do we need use for webcam astrophotography?

  8. nic adams says:

    think they must have changed the design of the webcam, the adaptor doesnt go through the from plate and the lens inside doesnt want to come off as it is one piece of plastic, i bought the adaptor from the link and have checked it is the correct one, i plan to drill out the hole in the front plate to be the same size as the adaptor and hopefully the thread of the adaptor will cut a thread in the plastic to keep it in place. love a project 🙂

  9. Kamil Güleryüz says:

    Hi
    For this pictures which program do you use to capture. Registax or else? And do you capture video or phots to process? The last question is it better than dslr?

    • Astrophotography Telescope says:

      Hi,
      For Planetary images i use Sharpcap or Firecapture for capturing. Registax is used for processing and not for capturing images / videos. Also for planetary i capture Videos at about 25 frames / second. Video will then be processed in Autostakkert to align its images and only keep the best of them and it will give you a final stacked image. This image will be then processed in Registax (wavelett processing) in order to reveal details.
      Webcams or specific planetary cameras are better than DSLR because they can capture more frames per second (FPS) and also because of their sensor size (smaller than DSLR, and so it gives you bigger image) and sensibility.

      • Kamil Güleryüz. says:

        Thanks a lot for your share. I have a logitech 270 and I will try as soon as I can. I just use registax to stack the images I have shot with dslr. But didn’t try video.I just see sharpcap a few mimutes ago. I wil download, thanks a lot again I’m really thankfull.

  10. Jeff Mabilde says:

    did u have issues with the light of the webcam that turns on when the webcam is plugged in?

  11. James McPherson says:

    I have just modified the webcam. When testing in the day time to make sure it works, the picture is just black. Moving it around I sometimes get the odd bit of light when pointing at a bulb, but I’m assuming this is not normal? When on the telescope diagonal its just black? Any ideas buddy?

    • Astrophotography Telescope says:

      If the webcam is not put in the telescope did it capture light ? What software are you using ?

      • James McPherson says:

        Hi, thanks for the reply. I was using sharpcap. However I figured out shortly after the question that the camera was massively more zoomed in than I imagined. Hence why I was looking at the odd bit of light. Due to how intense it is I can imagine its going to be hard to focus to get images, but when I get some proper time to mess with it, il try my best. So far I got lunar images so I’m in the right track.

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