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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
- Higer data rate. One 10Gigabit Fiber can transfer maxium 10Gbps data. The actual data rate can get about 800MBytes/s. While the USB3.0 is 5Gbps and the actaully data rate is about 350MByte/sec. Use the two 10Gigabit fiber can get about 1.6GBytes/s speed. The IMX455 sensor has the high speed mode like the 10FPS 14bit full resolution mode and 30FPS 8K VIDEO mode. The data rate of these modes are much more than USB3.0. These mode can be well supported by QHY600's 2*10Gigabit filber solution
- Very long transfer distance. The fiber can hundreds times longer than USB3.0. USB3.0 can only transfer 3meter to 5meter. For more longer distance, it need the extender cable but can just get 10meter to 15meter. While the Fiber can transfer 300meter directly by default optic module comes with the QHY600. And if with the long distance optic module , it can trasfer up 40km.
- Solid stable and no affected by EMI. One major factor cause the camera hangs is the EMI issue. The USB3.0 transfer maybe get affect by the EMI in the transfer patch. Like the static and other high power device emitted. The EMI will cause the transfer data packet get CRC error and cause image lost. The USB cable more longer, it is more easy to get this problem. Light can not be affected by the EMI. So with the fiber transfer it will get everything very stable.