QHY183M and QHY183C portable camera for astrophotography outside of observatori
QHY183M/C - portable camera for astrophotography outside of observatories
The Carina Nebula taken by "Stinger" using QHY183M.
Frames: Hα, SII and OIII, 300s*10 each
Imaging camera: QHY183M
Telescope: Tamron 150-600mm lens @300mm
Mount: Ioptron cem25p
Additional accessory: QHY PoleMaster electric polar scope
As the name implies, the Carina Nebula is located in the constellation Corina. It is an emission nebula surrounded by several open clusters. In fact, it is brighter and four times bigger than the famous Orion Nebula (M42). However, due to its low declination of -60°, it can only be seen south of 30° north latitude, which is why it is not as well-known as M42. In China, only the southernmost provinces have the opportunity to see the Carina Nebula. This bright big nebula has a fine structure called the Homunculus Nebula which closely surrounds the star Eta Carinae which is more massive than 100 solar masses. It is believed that this structure was formed in an near-supernova explosion in 1841. In addition, the Carina Nebula is home to the binary star system WR25, whose primary star is the most luminous known star in the Milky Way Galaxy.
You can find the Carina Nebula in the region shown above. Courtesy of Stellarium.
The camera QHY183M used by the author of this Carina Nebula is a classic 1-inch cooled CMOS camera. It is equipped with SONY's 20-megapixel IMX183 sensor with a pixel size of 2.4μm. This high number of pixels and thus resolution, combined with a frame rate of 19 FPS at full resolution mean that this camera is not only good at both planetary and deep-sky imaging, but also ideal for EAA real-time deep space observation and "Lucky Imaging". This deep-sky photography strategy means shooting deep-sky objects by short exposures and massive stacking. It can take advantage of the resolution of big telescopes, reduce the effects of atmospheric turbulence, obtain detailed deep-sky images with high resolution, reduce the requirements for tracking accuracy and the impact of satellites and aircrafts.
The QHY183M/C uses a back-illuminated design that places the circuitry and electrodes above the pixels beneath them to reduce the reflection of photons on the surface of the chip, resulting in a quantum efficiency (QE) of up to 84%. The camera also has low readout noise—2.7e- at low gain and only 1 electron at high gain. High sensitivity and low readout noise make this camera capable of generating high SNRs.
QHY183M readout noise against gain.
This camera was awarded "Hot Product" in 2017 by Sky & Telescope.
In the past 2018, QHYCCD launched special offers which let you buy a QHY183C or QHYCFW3S filter wheel at half price upon the purchase of QHY183M. Although this event has now ended, the expiry date of the discount coupon has been extended to June 2019. Please contact QHYCCD's customer service to use it before it expires if you wish.
The author of this picture used QHY183M and DSLR lens, which are very suitable for shooting outside of observatories due to their portabilities. Compared to DSLRs, QHY183 has a real RAW output, retaining most amout of raw data for image processing. Although many DSLR cameras claim to have RAW output, they are still not really RAW data because the the images have more or less been processed before they are even writen onto the storage card. Examples of processing include noise reduction which results in the loss of raw data. For astrophotography and scientific imaging purposes, the RAW output of QHY183M/C guarantees a "RAW" enough data for image processing. In addition, QHY183M/C's two-stage semiconductor cooler can reduce the temperature of the chip to 40°C below ambient temperature, which greatly reduces dark current and hence thermal noise compared to DSLRs. The camera also has built-in 128M DDR2 image buffer memory, which can avoid frame losses during long exposures and reduce the requirements for shooting computers so that even low-profile computers, or USB2.0 ports will do the job.
QHYCCD provides professional adapters for users to connect it to DSLR lenses and other imaging equipment.
(To be purchased separately, adapters shown above are Canon lens and C-mount lens adapters)
Last but not least, QHY183M/C also has 4096×2160 31FPS 4K ultra-high definition 1:1 video output, built-in heating device to prevent condensation on the glass window during shooting, amp-glow suppression developed by QHYCCD and so forth.
In this shooting, the author also implemented the PoleMaster electric polar scope developed by QHYCCD. This electric polar scope greatly simplifies the steps for polar alignment, allowing you to align the polar axis easily and more precisely when you are out. When using it, you only need to connect it to the equatorial mount through an adapter, and follow the instructions of the software for the polar scope on the computer.
All in all, these excellent features of QHY183M/C make it suitable for all kinds of astronomical and scientific imaging purposes and it is as portable as DSLRs but win in other aspects for doing astrophotography outside of for your observatory.
Please visit the official website of QHYCCD for further information about QHY183M and subscribe to our media for more information on astronomy and products.