The QHYCCD small size COLDMOS camera series includes the QHY178M/C, QHY290M/C and QHY224C. They are all share some basic characteristics: high frame rates, ultra low read noise and high sensitivity. Also these cooled versions of our smaller sensors offer excellent dark current performance and are ideal for serious planetary imaging and the entry-level DSO imaging.
The QHY178M/C is available in both monochrome and color versions, each with 6 megapixels at 2.4um, low 0.9-2.4e- read noise, and up to 50FPS output at full resolution. The back-illuminated sensor has excellent sensitivity even with the small, high resolution pixel size. The QHY178M/C also uses QHYCCD's unique amplifier glow reduction circuit.
The IMX290 sensor is well known as the best sensor for planetary imaging. Back illuminated, 135FPS@1920 x 1080, 2.9um pixel size, 0.7-3.2e- ultra low readout noise. The uncooled QHY5III290M is very popular among amateur planetary photographers. Professional imagers prefer the cooling capability of the COLDMOS series for the most demanding work.
The QHY224C uses a SONY IMX224 CMOS sensor. The QHY224C is a low cost cooled color camera. It produces a high frame rate of 150FPS @ 1280 x 960. The pixel size is 3.75um and the ultra-low read noise is 0.5e- to 3e-. This camera also uses QHYCCD's unique hardware amplifier glow control circuit to significantly reduce amplifier glow.
The “lucky imaging" method used in planetary imaging uses many short exposure to freeze the effects of atmospheric scintillation. Many short exposure rather than one long exposure provides better ability to freeze this motion. Stacking software will filter out the images taken during poor moments of seeing and keep those taken during the good moments of seeing. So one needs to capture as many images as possible in a short time period before the planet's rotation becomes a factor. For this reason, high frame rates are very important to planetary imagers.
By using dual stage TEC cooling, QHY small size COLDMOS cameras achieve -45C to -50C below ambient. This significantly reduces dark current for long exposures, and can improve even short exposures where high gain and large numbers of stacked images are the norm.
QHY174M/C，QHY178M/C，QHY224C and QHY290M/C employ QHYCCD's unique amplifier glow control technology that significantly reduces amplifier glow in short and long exposures.
Based on more than 10 years of experience in cooled camera development, QHYCCD COLDMOS cameras enjoy full anti-dew designs that include an optical window heater and sealed sensor chamber that prevents dew on the window and frost on the sensor itself.