Author: Michael Wong
Review on QHY5III678M and QHY5III715C
Review: A Second Look on QHY5III678M
I had the wonderful opportunity to revisit and test the QHY5III678M during the few days surrounding Jupiter’s opposition. Over the course of three consecutive nights with bice seeing conditions, I thoroughly explored its capabilities, and now I am delighted to share my experience and impressions.
My telescope of choice is a 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope (SCT), a reliable instrument for planetary imaging. Traditionally, achieving optimal sampling in planetary imaging necessitates the use of a 2x Barlow lens. However, thanks to the QHY5III678M’s small pixel size, I could forgo the Barlow lens entirely, granting it a significant advantage over other models like the QHY5III462M and QHY5III200M. The camera’s ability to capture fine details and achieve high-resolution imaging without the need for a Barlow lens is truly commendable.
The QHY5III678M truly excels in delivering exceptionally low levels of noise and high sensitivity. Equipped with a Starvis 2 chip, this camera effectively suppresses noise even at high-gain settings, resulting in clean and crisp images. During my imaging of Jupiter, I achieved optimal results with a gain of only 20% and a 10ms exposure time using an F/10 imaging configuration. The low noise levels exhibited by the QHY5III678M are comparable to other cameras featuring Starvis 2 chips, solidifying its performance.
Furthermore, the QHY5III678M impressively demonstrates good infrared (IR) sensitivity, further enhancing its capabilities for planetary imaging. I conducted tests using an IR685 filter, and the camera effectively captured infrared light, yielding pleasing results.
Of particular note is the QHY5III678M’s exceptional sensitivity to methane band (CH4) imaging. Utilizing bin 1, a 25ms exposure, and 80% gain, the camera produced excellent results that were comparable, and in some instances slightly superior, to those achieved with the QHY5III200M. This capability significantly reduces the total exposure time required for CH4 imaging, making the QHY5III678M an invaluable tool for planetary imagers.
In conclusion, the QHY5III678M is an outstanding imaging camera, specifically tailored for planetary astrophotography. Its ability to reach the resolution limit without the need for a Barlow lens, coupled with its low noise levels and high sensitivity, ensures the capture of intricate details within planetary objects. The camera’s impressive IR sensitivity and its outstanding performance in methane band imaging further elevate its value for planetary imaging enthusiasts. If you are a dedicated planetary astrophotographer in search of a top-notch camera, the QHY5III678M undoubtedly represents a worthwhile investment.