QHY – Cooled Medium Size CMOS Cameras
The QHYCCD medium size COLDMOS camera series includes all of the cooled cameras with CMOS sensor sizes from less than 1 inch to Full Frame 35mm Format (QHY128C und QHY367C and QHY410C)and includes BSI (back-illuminated) as well as FSI (front-illuminated) CMOS sensors in both monochrome and color cameras.
- USB 3.0
- Front-illuminated and Back-illuminated Sensors
- Lightweight Compact Design
- Regulated TE Cooling Delta -35C to -40C
- 128 MB DDR Frame Buffer
- ST-4 Compatible Guide Port
- Filter Wheel Port
- Anti-Noise Technology
- Anti-Amp Glow Technology
- Anti-Dew Technology
All models include a heated optical window to prevent external dew, a desiccant plug socket to help maintain a frost-free CMOS chamber, a 128MB frame buffer, a filter wheel port, and 2-stage TE cooling to reduce the sensor temperature to -35C or -40C below ambient along with temperature regulation to maintain a constant temperature set point. Due to the efficient TE cooling, single exposures many minutes in duration are possible, making them ideally suited for deep space imaging of dim objects as well as brighter objects and planets.
The QHY camera has a built-in 128MB DDRII image buffer. The benefit of the image buffer is that the memory will cache the image and transfer it to the computer when the USB interface is not busy or being interrupted, and the frame will not be lost or corrupted. This buffer also allows a slower computer with USB 2.0 socket to capture every frame without loss even if the USB socket is occasionally busy with other peripherals. This buffer also helps multiple camera applications and avoids USB transfer problems. For example, it is possible to operate four QHY163M cameras on the same computer to create an LRGB imaging array.
Six of these medium sized COLDMOS cameras (QHY 168/247/128/367/294/268/410) use Sony Exmor CMOS sensors, including the two largest with 24 and 36 Megapixels, respectively, in 35mm format sensors(more information about the QHY128 and QHY367 35mm Format cameras). Even these large sensors deliver multiple frames per second at full resolution. These front illuminated sensors also exhibit very high sensitivity.
One model in this group (QHY163M/C) uses a Panasonic sensor in the format 17.7mm x 13.4mm (diagonal 21.9mm) and two models (QHY183M/C, QHY294C) use a Sony STARVIS Exmore R back-illuminated sensor. STARVIS is Sony’s designation for sensors capable of recording under starlight. These back-illuminated sensors have even greater sensitivity as well as noise reduction - the key factors to enhancing image quality, while radically realigning their fundamental pixel structure from front-illumination to back-illumination. They retain the advantages of CMOS image sensors such as low power consumption and high-speed operation while dramatically improving sensitivity.
The QHY183M is 20 Megapixel back-illuminated monochrome CMOS camera with a peak QE of 84%. The sensor size is 13.3mm x 8.87mm (diagonal 15.8 mm) and the pixel size is 2.4um, yielding high-resolution with modest size telescopes. The camera is capable of producing 15FPS@20 Megapixels. It has a two-stage TEC that cools the sensor to -40C to -45C below ambient. The ADC is 12-bit / 16-bit with 1e- read noise! The computer interface is USB 3.0 and exposure times can be set from 50us to 3600sec.The camera is also available in color version.
The QHY163M uses a relatively large sensor in the format 17.7mm x 13.4mm (diagonal 21.9mm), 16 Megapixel CMOS sensor, available in both monochrome and color. The QHY163M/C has exceptionally low readout noise (as low as 1 electron!), low dark current and two-stage cooling capable of reducing the sensor temperature to -40C below ambient. The sensor chamber is sealed and the optical window is heated to prevent dew. The camera's interface is USB 3.0 and delivers 23FPS@16 megapixel full resolution output, 30FPS@4K HD video output. The low read noise capability of the QHY163M and mono sensor is ideal for use with narrowband filters
The QHY168C is a popular APS-C format cooled color camera. The SONY Exmor IMX071 sensor has 4.8um pixels and 2.3e- to 3.2e- read noise. This sensor was used in the Nikon D5100 DSLR camera. With low read noise, it is easier to detect a dim target against of the background noise.
While the QHY168C has the same CMOS sensor as the D5100, unlike the consumer camera the QHY168C offers True RAW Image output. In the DSLR implementation there is a RAW image output, but typically it is not completely RAW. Some evidence of noise reduction and hot pixel removal is still visible on close inspection. However, the QHY168C offers TRUE RAW IMAGE OUTPUT and produces an image comprised of the original signal only, thereby maintaining the maximum flexibility for post-acquisition astronomical image processing programs.
In order to avoid halos around bright stars the QHY168C has a AR+AR coated optical window rather than the common IR cut window for Single-Shot Color cameras. This permits full access to the red wavelength of H-alpha and SII without attenuation by the window coating. For RGB color balance, without passing the near IR wavelengths above 700nm, a separate removable 2-inch UV/IR filter with the desirable passband characteristics is placed in a custom filter holder in front of the camera.
The QHY247C uses a 24 Megapixel sensor with 3.91um pixels and has TE cooling to -35C below ambient. The Sony IMX193 sensor is the same sensor used in Nikon’s D5300 and D5500 cameras. The IMX193 has the lowest read noise and lowest thermal (dark) noise of any sensor in the QHY medium size camera product line.
Additionally, the already low thermal noise is reduced even more by QHYCCD’s proprietary thermal noise reduction technology that does not affect the accuracy of the raw image. Amplifier glow can also be an issue with some CMOS cameras, but this QHY model boasts the rare capability of zero amplifier glow, no matter how long the exposure. The image output is a true raw image, without any internal processing for maximum flexibility with image processing software. In addition to AR coating on the optical window, the sensor cover glass and micro lenses are also AR coated for maximum halo suppression. The optical window is AR+AR coated, reducing halos around bright stars. IR blocking is not used so that the cameras can be used with maximum sensitivity to H-alpha and near IR light when desired, or a simple IR blocking filter can be attached for typical RGB imaging with IR cut.
BSI Cooled Medium Size APS-C Camera – Ultra High Resolution, 26 Megapixels, APS-C format
QHY268 is a 26 Megapixel back-illuminated cooled color CMOS camera with 16-bit A/D and 3.76um pixels. The QHY268C is available in both a monochrome and a color version. The sensor size is 23.5mm x 15.7mm (28.3mm Diagonal). Choose between three models: The Photographic Model QHY268 M/C PH (PHOTO) or the Professional Model QHY268C PRO. Image quality is identical between the two models. Here you can find more details about the product.
The new QHY 294 Pro Series is a 4/3-inch camera equipped with the Sony IMX 294 (color) and IMX 492 (mono) sensor. The 294 Pro has 11.7 megapixels at 4.63 µm and 14 bit data depth. Both sensors are Back Side Illuminated. Sony supplies these two sensors with a fixed pixel binning of a 2x2 matrix.
The IMX 294 and IMX 492 chips have 46.8 million 2.315µm pixels, which Sony 2x2 bins on-chip to create the sensor's advertised 11.7 million 4.63 µm pixel array. The QHY 294 Pro series camera is capable of locking and unlocking the on-chip binning to provide two readout modes. The first mode reads the sensor in "locked" mode to produce 11.7 MP images with 4.63µm pixel size and 14 bits per pixel. The second mode unlocks the binning to produce 46.8 MP images with 2.315 µm pixel size at 12 bits per pixel. More details about the product .
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