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—— Deep sky camera selection guide ——

Mono Cameras
Under the circumstances of economic conditions, the most popular deep-sky photography mono camera for the pursuit of the ultimate astronomy enthusiast is QHY16200A. The KAF16200 is an upgraded version of the classic KAF8300 chip (such as QHY9 camera, ST8300 camera, etc.) that has been popular in the astronomical photography circle in previous years. The number of pixels doubles to 16 million pixels, while the pixel size is slightly increased to 6 microns. The number of full-charged charges has increased significantly to 43,000 electrons. It helps to increase the dynamic range of the camera, making the star points in the image less saturated, thus effectively avoiding the star point becoming thicker due to saturation. The APS-H has a larger format than the APS-C and can effectively utilize the image field of the telescope. The QHY16200A also integrates a 5-hole 2" or 7-hole 2-inch filter wheel. It is a convenient and fast deep space camera.
 

QHY16200A-CFW5 camera. The CFW7 version is also avalible
 
 
 
Christmas Tree Nebula and Nearby captured by QHY16200A Test User

 
The QHY695A is another recommended deep sky camera. Due to the high quantum efficiency (79%), low readout noise (four electrons at any gain), and the SONY ICX695 chip with excellent thermal noise level, it is a high sensitivity and low noise cooling. CCD camera. Built-in 7-hole 36mm or 8-hole 1.25-inch filter wheel for low filter cost budget. Compared to the 16200A, the QHY695A has a smaller frame size of one inch, making it more suitable for short-focus stars. However, due to its high sensitivity, deep space details are taken for telephoto telescopes. QHY695A is also a very suitable choice.
 
QHY695A camera
 

The cocoon nebula captured by QHY695A camera
 
 
 
Both of the above cameras are cooled CCD cameras, all with 16-bit AD conversion, which is a very standard astronomical CCD camera. However, due to the use of expensive CCD chips, the price is not cheap. The QHY695A camera is less than USD3000, while the QHY16200A camera is USD3999. If you want to achieve good deep space photography at a lower cost, consider a QHYCCD cooling CMOS camera - QHY163M.
 
The QHY163M uses a 4/3-inch CMOS chip. Due to the low cost of CMOS chips, the price of QHY163M is also very close to the people, with the price only USD1269. It is ideal for enthusiasts who enter the field of deep space photography with a low investment. Of course, as a CMOS camera, advantages and disadvantages coexist with CCD. In addition to being inexpensive, low readout noise at high gains is also an important advantage. A low readout noise level of 1-3 electrons can be achieved. This feature of the QHY163M is more advantageous than the CCD when the exposure time is not long, or when the number of photons received by narrow-band filters is limited. However, due to the 12-bit AD number, when the exposure time is long, the overall performance is still not as good as a CCD camera such as the QHY695A.
 


North America Nebula capture by the user of QHY163M
 
 
If you are using a small mirror with a high sharpness and want to get enough details, consider the QHY183M 20 megapixel back-illuminated black and white camera that will be available at the end of 2017. The price of this camera is also very close to the people, Just USD1099 for monochrome version and USD949 for color version . 2.4um ultra-small pixels effectively take advantage of such small mirrors with high sharpness, fully reflecting the details of deep-sky objects, and 84% of ultra-high quantum efficiency can compensate for the lack of sensitivity caused by the small size of 2.4um.
 

QHY183M/C camera, selected to be the S&T magazine 2017 hot product
 
 
 
Monochrome Camera Selection for Spectrometer or HYPERSTAR main focus
 
Due to the limitations of the ..... spectrometer and HYPERSTAR, the size of the camera. We recommend the QHY22 camera, which has a cylindrical design with a diameter of 77mm, which is ideal for both applications. The QHY22 uses the ICX694 chip, which also has the chip performance of the QHY695A.
 
Due to the application of the spectrometer, the linearity of the response of the detector is put forward. The spectrometer usually needs to perform the intensity calibration of the line. Therefore, it is not recommended to use a CMOS camera such as QHY163M for two reasons. On the one hand, the CMOS camera is affected by the on-chip fixed stencil noise calibration, which may affect the corresponding linearity and uniformity of the detector. On the other hand, the 12-bit AD sampling bit depth is insufficient to provide a sufficiently good spectral line strength resolution. Rate, affecting the accuracy of the data.
 
 
Color Camera Recommendation
Since the color camera is mainly based on deep space photography, it is not necessary to strictly demand the linearity and uniformity of the detector. Therefore, the range that can be selected is large. Most of QHYCCD's color cameras are cylindrical in design, so the adaptability range is wide. Whether it is the main focus type imaging system, or the refraction, the cow reverse, RC and other systems are suitable.
 
At present, the main models include AQ format QHY168C, QHY247C, full frame QHY128C, QHY367C. If you love 16-bit CCD cameras, you can also choose QHY8L or QHY10.
 
 
 
 
If you want to learn the standard CCD calibration process, it is recommended to use CCD camera. For beginners, it is recommended to choose QHY8L. QHY10 has higher requirements for calibration, so it is not recommended for beginners. It is only for advanced enthusiasts.

The QHY168C and QHY247C are 14BIT cooled CMOS cameras. A significant advantage over the QHY8L is the high pixel density and readout noise of up to 3 electrons. So if your telescope has high sharpness, you want to get a high enough resolution. The rate of images, while also having good detail, can be considered with both cameras.
 
 
 
(NGC4592 taken by the user of QHY168C Camera)
 
 
 
 
If you have a telescope like RASA , then the QHY128C or QHY367C full frame camera is highly recommended. Allows you to take full advantage of the imaging circle of this device.

The QHY367C 36mp Full Frame Size Color Cooled CMOS Camera

 
Wide area deep space taken by QHY367C User


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Insufficient budget
 
If your budget is limited, you can consider using QHY178C color cooling CMOS or QHY183C color cooling CMOS, the price is only hundreds of USD dollars.The commonality of the two models is back-illuminated. Although the pixel points are small, the high quantum efficiency of the back-illumination can compensate the pixel size to a certain extent. Both cameras are suitable for short-focus small refractors with high sharpness. The 2.4 micron small pixel can give full play to the details of this type of telescope, even in the case of short-focus, it can still reflect certain deep-sky objects. Suitable for portable, low-cost deep space cameras.
 
 
 
 
 
Special Recommendations for Astronomy Education
 
Considering the seriousness and scientific nature of astronomy education, in order to make the education conform to the existing standard astronomical data processing process and meet the requirements of textbooks, it is recommended that the camera selected by astronomy education, all the teachings involving post-calibration, adopt CCD camera. And do not use CMOS cameras for the time being. The reason is that due to the special characteristics of CMOS cameras, the calibration work may not fully comply with the standard astronomical data processing flow, but will have certain discrepancies according to the characteristics of the chip. In order to avoid the deviation of education, it is recommended to use the CCD camera produced by QHYCCD.
 
Larger astronomical telescopes can consider QHY16803A, QHY09000A and other quasi-professional 36.8*36.8mm size refrigeration CCD cameras, or QHY16200A cameras. Smaller telescopes can consider QHY695A cameras. If it is a large telescope, for continuous shooting, do not want to have a mechanical shutter, you can also consider the QHY11, full-frame 11 million pixel, electronic shutter camera.
 
 
 
 
 
Of course, studying the calibration methods of CMOS cameras and the characteristics of CMOS cameras, as well as the characteristics of CMOS cameras in astrophotography and astronomical research, is also a very meaningful work, so if there are basic units, you can also use CMOS cameras produced by QHYCCD. Conduct such research work.
 
 
 
Other classic QHYCCD cameras
 
QHY90A
The integrated camera with KAF8300 chip, including 7-hole 36mm filter wheel, is lower than QHY695A. The size is 4/3 inch slightly larger than QHY695A.
 
 
 
(SH2-102 taken by QHY90A from our user)
 
 
QHY9
A camera with a KAF8300 chip without a filter wheel. QHY9 is a classic refrigeration CCD camera launched by QHYCCD in 2009, and is used in some famous survey projects, such as the supernova project of XingMing Obs, and the observatory of several LOVEJOY comets by TERRY LOVEJOY. Achieve high-intensity mass shooting for more than 8 years. Experienced the test of time.
 
 
 
 
 

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