QHY600 Mono BSI Cooled Cameras

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QHY600 Mono BSI Cooled Cameras

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€ 5,273.61 Price excl. German VAT tax (16%): € 4,546.22

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  • High-sensitive cooled CMOS Camera uses a 60 Megapixel Sony IMX455 B&W Sensor - a full frame (35mm format) sensor with 3.76μm square pixels
  • Native 16-bit ADC
  • 2GB DDR3 image buffer
  • Back-Illuminated, >87% QE, with extremely low dark current (0.003e/p/s@-20C) 
  • Full well capacity of more than 51ke- at 3.76μm pixels 
  • Breakthrough Low Read Noise 1e- to 3.7e-
  • Maximum frame rate is more than 40fps with 12bit ADC
  • Best Match for RASA System
  • Use SONY's Exmor BSI CMOS technology and Electronic Rolling Shutter
  • Two-stage Thermoelectric Cooling (TE) and USB3.0 interface
  • Ideal camera for Astronomy Photographic, All sky meteor monitor, microscope imaging, fluorescence imaging, high throughout DNA sequencer, aerial photogrammetry
  • Available in three versions:
    • Photographic Model QHY600 PHOTO (is also available in color)
    • Professional Model QHY600 PRO (is available in color) The professional version also has two 10 Gigabit Fiber port to support the fiber connection and has a longer body to accommodate the length of the optical fiber interface.
    • Early Bird version (future QHY600 PRO-L) of the camera has the hardware design of the Professional model, but the functions of the Photographic version. The Professional features can be enabled with a upgrade for the difference in price. The amateur photography version have no chance to upgrade into profesional version)
  • Please select the appropriate QHY600 camera for further technical details from the Drop-Down menu below

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€ 5,273.61 Price excl. German VAT tax (16%): € 4,546.22

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QHY600M BSI Cooled Cameras

High Resolution, 61 Megapixels, Full Frame

The QHY600 uses the new Sony Full Frame (35mm format) IMX455 Back-Illuminated CMOS Sensor. It is available in both a monochrome version and a color version. The IMX455 is a 61 Megapixel, scientific CMOS sensor with 3.76um square pixels and 16-bit ADC. The sensor size is 36mm x 24mm.

Full Well Capacity, >51ke- at 3.76um, >400ke- Binned and up to >720ke- in Extended Mode

One benefit of the back-illuminated CMOS structure is improved full well capacity. This is particularly helpful for sensors with small pixels. Even with unbinned 3.76um pixels the QHY600 has a full well capacity >51ke-. When binned 2x2 to 7.5um the full well is >204ke- and when binned 3x3 to 11um the full well is >408ke-. In extended mode the full well is >80ke- unbinned, >320ke- binned 2x2 and >720ke- binned 3x3.

Native 16-bit ADC

With native 16-bit A/D on-chip, the output is real 16-bits with 65536 levels. A 16-bit ADC has a higher sample resolution than 12-bit or 14-bit ADC and the system gain will be less than 1e-/ADU. The QHY600 uses software digital binning. With digital summing, 2x2 binning will be four 16-bit summed = 18-bits.

Breakthrough Low Read Noise 1e- to 3.7e-

The QHY600 is capable of only one electron of read noise at high gain and 2 FPS high readout speed. One electron of read noise means the camera can achieve a SNR>3 at only 3 to 4 photons. This is perfect performance when conditions are photon limited, i.e., short exposures, narrow band imaging, etc., making this large area sensor ideal for sky surveys and time domain astronomy.

Back-Illuminated, >87% QE, Low Dark Current

Sony's Exmor R back-illuminated technology produces sensors that Sony estimates are twice as sensitive as similar front illuminated sensors. QHYCCD tests have borne out this claim and based on our tests the peak QE is greater than 87%. Additionally, Sony sensors are well known for their low dark current. QHYCCD's proprietary thermal noise reduction technology and the QHY600's dual-stage regulated thermoelectric cooling further reduce dark current to extremely low levels, 0.0032e-/p/s at -20C for clean, long duration exposures.

Best Match for RASA System

The round camera case design of QHY600 and the high resolution, large area, small pixel array is an ideal match for RASA optical systems.

Photographic, Professional Models and Early Bird Version (future QHY600 PRO-L)

Choose between three models:

  • The Photographic Model QHY600 PHOTO or the Professional Model QHY600 PRO. Each model is available in monochrome or color. Image quality is identical between the two models, however the Professional Model with the longer body has additional features.
  • Early Bird version (future QHY600 PRO-L) of the camera has the hardware design of the Professional model, but the functions of the Photographic version. The Professional features can be enabled with a upgrade for the difference in price. The amateur photography version have no chance to upgrade into profesional version.
Photographic Model QHY600 PHOTO: Professional Model QHY600 PRO:
  • USB3.0
  • 2.5 FPS, full frame, 16-bit images
  • 4.0 FPS, full frame, 8-bit image
  • Support for ROI at higher frame rates
  • USB3.0 
  • 2×10Gigabit optical fiber interface*
  • Programmable trigger in/out
  • Advanced timing interface for GPS
  • 4.0 FPS, full frame, 16-bit images
  • 10 FPS, full frame, 14-bit images 
  • 30 FPS 8K video
  • Support for ROI at higher frame rates
  • Customizable FPGA

* Requires optional PCIe card from QHYCCD.

Two 5m double optical fiber cables and two optical fiber modules are included with the camera.

The Professional version is more expensive than Photographic version and has a longer body to accommodate the length of the optical fiber interface.

The QHY 600 Early Bird (EB) converts to the QHY 600 PRO-L

 Basically the QHY 600 - EB-model is only adjusted by name.

From end of August it will be renamed to QHY 600 PRO-L with identical functions, specification and price as the 600 EB, but with two additional optional features:

  1. The PRO-L will be compatible with the new QHY GPS Box. This means that the accessory port on the back of the camera will be 6-pin instead of 5-pin and it will be pre-programmed to be compatible with the new QHY GPS. The GPS box will provide extremely precise time information about start and end of exposure time worldwide.

    Note for the 600 EB version: QHYCCD offers a special price for upgrading the accessory socket for existing EB owners if they want to upgrade to the PRO-L model first before upgrading to the full PRO version.

  2. The PRO-L is available at no additional cost with an option for water cooling instead of air cooling if this option is selected when ordering. Water cooling improves cooling by approximately 10 degrees C to a Delta T to 45 degrees. This also is valid for the 600 Photo and PRO version.

The Early Bird version (future QHY600 PRO-L) 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 QHY600 PRO 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.

An extremely inexpensive possibility to upgrade to a fiber optic camera at any time. This allows SCIENTIFICALLY correct operation and participation in observation programs that require 10 times the data speed and exact millisecond timing of many data streams from around the world.


The features in the threee QHY600 models:

QHY600 PHOTO, Amateur Version: QHY 600 Early Bird (future QHY600 PRO-L):

QHY600 PRO, Professional Version:

USB3.0 Interface
Yes Yes Yes
DDR3  Memory 1GB 2GB 2GB
Dual 10Gbps Filber Interface No Yes in hardware. Can be upgrade to function Yes
Readout Mode 4 4 4
Low readout in big fullwell mode TBD Support Support
Multi-Propose IO Port No Can be upgrade to be avalible Yes
GPS Hardware Timing BOX Connection No Can be upgrade to be avalible Support
Multiple Camera High Precise Sync Capture No Can be upgrade to be avalible Support (by request)
16bit Max Frame Rate 2.5 FPS 2.5FPS  (can upgrade to get 4FPS with fiber) 4 FPS
8K 30FPS video Does not support Can be upgrade to be avalible 10 FPS
Customized FPGA code 7 FPS Can be upgrade to be avalible Yes
High Precise Shutter Signal Output No Can be upgrade to be avalible Yes
Accept Trig-In Function Can be upgrade to be avalible Yes

Readout Mode Selection is a new function for the QHY600 and other newer QHYCCD cameras. Different readout modes have different driver timing, etc., that cause the sensor to yield different performance results, allowing you to tailor the sensor response to your particular imaging needs. Each readout mode has its advantages and disadvantages. The QHY600 currently has three readout modes. In the future QHYCCD may add more modes.

Readout Mode #0 (Photographic Mode). In this mode, the read noise of the QHY600 drops between a gain setting of 25 and 26. We therefore recommend setting the gain to 26 as a starting point. At gain=26, the full well is 27ke- and read noise is 2.7e-. For long exposures where read noise performance is not as critical, lowering the gain results in higher full well.

QHY600 Full Well (Photographic mode)

QHY600 Dynamic Range (Photographic Mode)

Readout Mode #1 (High Gain Mode). In this mode, the QHY600 switches from Low Gain to High Gain between gain settings of 55 and 56. Gain 0-55 uses LGC and Gain 55-100 used HGC.

QHY600 System (16bit) VS. Gain (High GAin Mode) QHY600 Readout noise VS. Gain (High Mode Mode)

QHY600 Full Well VS. Gain (High Gain Mode) QHY600 Dynamic Range VS. Gain (High Gain Mode)

Readout Mode #2 (Extended Full Well Mode). In this Ultra-High Full Well Mode, the QHY600 exhibits an unbinned full well capacity of greater than 80,000e-. Binned 2x2 the full well is greater than 320,000e- and binned 3x3 the full well is greater than 720,000e-.

QHY600 System Gain (High Full Well Mode) QHY600 Read Noise (High Full Well Mode)

QHY600 Full Well (High Full Well Mode) QHY600 Dynamic Range VS. Gain (High Full Well Mode)

New readout mode # 03:

QHYCCD extends the readout modes of the QHY 600 models by the new # 03 Extend Fullwell 2CMSIT mode. The advantage of mode # 03 is that it has the same fullwell value and system gain as mode #02 Extend Fullwell, but the readout noise is reduced by about 1.3 times.

This readout mode requires an upgrade of the control software to version SDK (Software Development Kit) 2020.6.26 or later. If your software does not show mode # 03, please download the QHY AllInOne installation package to upgrade the SDK in the software. The mode is available for all models of the QHY 600 series.


Quantum Efficiency.
Sony provides a relative QE curve for the IMX455 sensor. in order to determine the absolute QE of this curve QHYCCD ran tests comparing the response of the IMX455 sensor against a camera of known absolute QE at two wavelengths along this curve (489nm and 656nm). From these test results we can plot a good estimate of the QHY600 QE curve in absolute terms with a peak QE >87%:


Dark Current.
Dark current results for the QHY600 are based on measurements of the dark current of the IMX455 sensor installed in the QHY600 camera. At 0C the dark current is 0.014e-/p/s and at -20C it is 0.003e-/p/s:

QHY600 Dark Current VS. Temperature

 If you have any further questions, please send us an email to kontakt (at) baader-planetarium.de.

Please note the additional details on the Tab "Downloads"

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Hans Schäffler 39/02/2020 09/02/202014:32
  • Rating:
Super Kamera mit extrem hoher Empfindlichkeit
Wie jeder Hobby-Astronom habe auch ich mal klein angefangen. Nach langjähriger reiner Beobachtung war mir eines Tages klar, dass ich das Ganze auch auf Foto festhalten möchte, so kam ich von der analogen Fotografie (Minolta Spiegelreflexkamera) zu einer digitalen DSLR-Kamera (Canon 400D).

Im Laufe der Zeit habe ich von verschiedenen DSLRs auf eine CCD-Kamera umgeschwenkt; diese CCD-Kamera von der Marke FLI mit dem berühmten KAF8300-Chip begleitete mich einige Jahre und machte hervorragende Bilder. Da CCD-Kameras im Laufe der Zeit zum sog. alten Eisen gehörten, musste eine neue Technik her:
Die CMOS-Kameras versprachen eine unglaubliche Empfindlichkeit und gutes Preis-Leistungsverhältnis. Ich kaufte für damalige Zeiten sehr gute Kameras von diversen Herstellern; eine monochrome und eine Farbkamera. Die monochrome Kamera hatte das Verstärkerglühen und die Farbkamera wurde nur einmal benützt und dann zum Hersteller zurückgeschickt. Leider habe ich diese Kamera bis jetzt noch nicht zurückbekommen, weil der "Fehler" nicht gefunden werden kann.

Nach ca. 2,5 Jahren Verstärkerglühen und "defekten Farb-Chip" hatte ich die Nase voll. Jetzt musste was richtiges gutes her, also rief ich Christoph Kaltseis an und erklärte ihm mein Problem. Da er mir von einer "richtig" guten, empfindlichen Kamera erzählte, musste ich zuerst mal einige Tage darüber schlafen, da es doch eine große Investition darstellte.

Dann schlug ich zu und bestellte über Christoph Kaltseis diese sagenumwobene Kamera Namens QHYCCD 600M EB. Nach 14 Tagen kam das gute Stück bei mir an. Am Wochenende baute ich die QHY600M EB-Version zusammen und war tierisch gespannt, welche Ergebnisse die Empfindlichkeit der Kamera liefert.

Wie es immer so ist, wenn man sich was neues zulegt, spielte das Wetter natürlich nicht mit, es regnete einige Tage. 14 Tage danach wurde das Wetter besser und ich konnte die Kamera endlich ausprobieren. Vorher habe ich die ganze Software und Treiber geladen. Ich freute mich wie ein kleines Kind an Weihnachten.

Es ist ca. 21:30 Uhr und es ist fast dunkel. Gespannt schloss ich die Kamera an und ..... puuhhh. Kamera wurde nicht gefunden! Was habe ich falsch gemacht. Ich kontaktierte sofort Christoph Kaltseis - der mir prompt half. Alles wieder deinstallieren. Zuerst den einen Treiber (Kamera), dann ASCOM- und Filterrad-Treiber installieren. Leider funktionierte es trotzdem nicht. Fehlersuche!. Am nächsten Tag war das Wetter noch super gut. Da ich Urlaub hatte, suchte ich den Fehler. Als ich nach ca. 5 Stunden Fehlersuche endlich auf einen Laptop installierte, funktionierte es tadellos.

Am Abend endlich super Bedingungen. Ich schaltete die Kamera ein und .... siehe da, es funktionierte. Gleich mal auf den Stern HIP 102707 nähe NGC6960 gegangen und mal 30 Sekunden laufen lassen (siehe Bild).

Wowww, bin begeistert. Mit dieser Empfindlichkeit hätte ich nicht gerechnet. Diese Kamera ist zwar nicht günstig, aber empfindlich ohne Ende. Nach dieser Test-Aufnahme ging ich zu M27. Die Aufnahme von M27 wurde nur mit 30 Sekunden belichtet, je 20 Bilder davon (LRGB). Mit PixInsight bearbeitet und mit Photoshop vollendet.

Dank an Christoph Kaltseis und dem Baader-Team, mit denen ich immer noch in engem Kontakt stehe: Ihr habt mir wirklich nicht zu viel versprochen.

Zusammenfassend ist zu sagen, dass die QHYCCD 600M EB eine super Kamera mit extrem hoher Empfindlichkeit ist, die diese Investition durchaus wert war und ihren Preis rechtfertigte.

Viele Grüße,
Hans Schäffler
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