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QHY600 Back-Illuminated, 60 Megapixel, 
Full Frame Format, 16-bit, Cooled CMOS Camera
 
With the advantage of low readout noise and high-speed readout, CMOS technology has revolutionized astronomical imaging.  A monochrome, back-illuminated, high-sensitivity, astronomical imaging camera is the ideal choice for astro-imagers.  However, for years we have only seen the 4/3-inch, front-illuminated, monochrome cameras (QHY163M) with QE of about 60%, and one-inch, back-illuminated, monochrome cameras (QHY183M) with higher QE.  Although these sensors are quite good and very suitable for beginners, they are still smaller than the full frame (35mm format) sensors desired for more serious deep sky astrophotography.  Also, both of these sensors have 12-bit A/D.  To achieve 1e- of read noise you must increase the gain and lose some dynamic range in the process, or you use low gain and lose some precision in sampling and greyscale levels.    

The new QHY600 is about to change all of this. 

The QHY600 uses the latest SONY back-illuminated sensor, the IMX455, a full frame (35mm format) sensor with 3.76um pixels and native 16-bit A/D.  This sensor is available in both monochrome and color versions.  The QHY600 ends the days of non-16bit CMOS cameras and it ends the days non-full frame (and larger) monochrome CMOS cameras.

The QHY600 camera will be available in two versions:  a scientific, or Professional version (QHY600U3G20) and a Photograph version (QHY600U3). The differences between these two versions include:

1.  The Professional version has a high-speed fiber interface and USB3.0 interface.  The Photographic version has only a USB3.0 interface.
2.  The Professional version may have more on-camera DDR3 memory than photograph version.
3.  The professional version has rich, external, expandable I/O signals as well as a rich resource that allow the user to customize the FPGA inside the camera.
4.  The Professional version is more expensive than Photographic version. 
5.  The Professional version has a longer body to accommodate the length of the optical fiber interface.

QHYCCD is offering an Early Bird price for the QHY600.  A limited quantity of special QHY600 cameras are available for USD5000.  The Early Bird version of the camera has the hardware design of the Professional model, but the functions of the Photographic version.  For example, the Early Bird version will have sockets for both Ethernet and USB3.0 but only the USB socket is active.  User who buy the Early Bird version can upgrade it to the full Professional version QHY600U3G20 by paying the difference in price. (The amateur photography version have no chance to upgrade into profesional version) The Early Bird version also includes a free set of the QHYCCD 0.5mm-27.5mm spacers for precise and solid back-focus adjustment in a variety of optical train configurations.  Early Bird purchasers can also order a QHYCFW3L (7-position, 2-inch, 50mm) or QHYCFW3XL (9- position,  2-inch, 50mm) motor-driven filter wheel with the QHY600 camera at 10% off the list price of the filter wheel.



Comparing the IMX455 and KAI11002 35mm Format Monochrome Sensors

Recently, Sony released several new CMOS sensors, including the 60 Megapixel, full frame, IMX455.  QHYCCD uses this sensor in its new QHY600 cameras.  The question then is how does this sensor compare with the ubiquitous KAI11002?  We know that the KAI-11000/11002 is an interline CCD sensor and the IMX455 is a CMOS sensor.  But what are the advantages of the new IMX455 compared to the KAI11002?   See the comparison at https://www.qhyccd.com/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=23&id=262





FAQs
1. Does QHY600 support hardware binning?
The CMOS sensor itself has some binning function but it should not be the hardware binning (FD binning). And also the binning in the sensor is based on the location of the bayer color . it means it will binning with the same position of the same color.And for monochrom QHY600 sensor, it is still use such a position to do binning. So we think it is not a good solution for the monochrom binning. 
And since the very low readout noise of the QHY600, so the digital binning may bring more advantage. First , it can increase the fullwell.  Binning at 2*2 will gives four times of the fullwell. Second, it will increase the AD sample depth. Binning at 2*2 will give 18bit data range.  For readout noise, the N*N digital binning will cause the readout noise become  SQR(N*N)= N times. For example, if the readout noise is 1.9e at 1*1 binning. The 2*2 digital binning readout noise will become  1.9*SQR(2*2)=3.8e. 

2.What is the benefit of the Fiber Interface
Normally speaking the fiber interface is for the requestment of the professional obs.  It will give the following advantages than USB3.0

3. What's the absolutely QE of QHY600?
SONY does not release the official absolutely QE curve of the sensor. There is only a relativity QE graph. (Can be found on QHY600 specification page). But we did a some experiment of testing the absolutely QE of QHY600 by comparing with a known QE sensor. . The article can be found at https://www.qhyccd.com/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=23&id=261 The current test results shows a very high QE, it  looks too high. We will find more sensor to do this work again.


4. How to set the gain, offset and readmode at the first using
For first using, we recommand this value:   readout mode = #0   gain=26   offset=10.  Here is an article for gain/offset setting at https://www.qhyccd.com/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=23&id=22



5. Meet "Out of Memory" 
Please make sure the QHYCCD SDK had been update to the last version.   2019.10.8 (V6.0.3) or later. The previous two version has a memory leak bug and it will cause more memory lost .  And if it is still out of memory, it maybe the memory not enough in 32bit memory space. Since the 61mega pixels, the QHY600 require big memory. The SDK will use about more than twice of the size of the image data (in mono version it is 120MB per frame. so SDK need about 300MB, for color version it is 360MB per frame , so the SDK need about 800MB) And the image acquire software need one or more . For x86 system ,  the totally memory space is 4GB, many other X86 software will take this space so it maybe not enough memory there. We recommend to use the x64 software, like the X64 SharpCAP,  X64 N.I.N.A software. If you are using the X86 software. it is best to close other software to reduce the 4GB space usage 
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