What’s Multiple Readout Modes and 2CMS Mode?

What’s Multiple Readout Modes and 2CMS Mode?

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Multiple Readout Modes are special for QHY 16-bit Cameras (QHY600/268/461/411).  Different readout modes result in different performance. These readout modes are currently supported in the QHYCCD ASCOM Camera Driver, SharpCap and N.I.N.A.

Readout Mode #0 (Photographic DSO Mode). This mode is suitable for most DSO imaging situations. Since there is a drop in the noise between Gain 25 and Gain 26 (unity gain), we recommend it as default gain setting; however, gain0 is also good enough for a 16-bit sensor.

Readout Mode #1 (High Gain Mode). This mode is something like double native iso of some new digital cameras, whose danamic range can greatly incerase at the vary high iso value, like iso800, iso3200, etc. The high gain mode provide such improvement for QHYCCD 16bit cameras. We recommend you choose this mode when you have to capture at high gain, for example, a vary dark object. Please note the switch point of HGC/LGC of QHY600/268/461 is 56. That means you must set Gain 56 to make the best of it.

Readout Mode#2 (Extended Fullwell Mode). With a pixel size of 3.76um, these sensors already have an impressive full well capacity of 51ke. Nevertheless, QHYCCD has implemented a unique approach to achieve a full well capacity higher than 51ke- through innovative user controllable read mode settings. In Extended Fullwell Mode, the QHY600 can achieve an extremely large full-well charge value of nearly 80ke- and the QHY268 can achieve nearly 75ke-. Greater full-well capacity provides greater dynamic range and large variations in magnitude of brightness are less likely to saturate. 


Based on the three basic modes above, 2CMS mode can greatly reduce readout noise by secondary sampling while keeping the same full well value and system gain. We prefer 2CMS modes than basic modes in astrophotography. By the way, the recommend gain values are the same as their basic modes.

Currently QHY600 and QHY461 Series support Extended Fullwell Mode-2CMS (Mode#3), and QHY268 Series support Photographic DSO Mode-2CMS (Mode#4) and High Gain Mode-2CMS (Mode#5). Mode#4 and Mode#5 require Allinone version 20230412 or higher.