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Gallery Equipment Astronomy Astrophotography

DMK 21AU04.AS   Planetary Camera

Type Monochrome CS-Mount (C-mount)
Resolution 640 x 480 pixels
CCD Size 1/4 "
Sensor Sony CCD ICX098BL
Chip dimensions 4.60 mm (Horiz.) x 4.97 mm (Vertical)
Pixels (are square) 5.6 microns x 5.6 microns
Max Exposure 60 minutes
Frame Rate 60 frames per second Progressive Scan
Interface To PC via USB 2.0 (Powered via USB)
Vendor The Imaging Source
Noise Reduction Yes
DMK21AU04asWeb320.jpg (11186 bytes)

  See first light pictures of the Moon taken 06Nov08  (click here)

Also Saturn last night [22Mar09]

This modestly priced monochrome device is the camera of choice for many planetary astrophotographers. Pixels are sensitive and low-noise - yielding good image scale - ideal for planetary imaging.   

SaturnBWThumb160.jpg (4411 bytes)

Gain, Gamma and Shutter are easily controlled from a PC in real-time via the vendor-supplied software which is intuitive and reliable. 

Uncompressed images are downloaded to the PC via the USB 2.0 cable and display on the screen immediately.  The result is real-time video - at high frame-rates (eg. 1/30s or faster) even when recording uncompressed video (.AVI file) onto disk **(this depends on your laptop's grunt).

The camera is surprisingly small and light-weight.

RGB filters are required for tri-color imaging.  The camera does not incorporate an in-built infrared filter.

Long-exposure photography is possible (of nebulae or galaxies for example) with good results.  There is no noticeable amp glow when the camera is used for long-exposures.   The vendor has told me that it is not possible to damage the CCD by setting exposures too high on bright sources.

Noise reduction can be implemented via the software.  The vendor has explained to me that this works by the user setting the software to AVERAGE the last 2, 4, 8, 16 or 32 frames (user-selectable).
I'm very pleased with this camera.  For planetary imaging it compares very well with the Mintron 13V1C.   Its main advantages for me are its USB connection and progressive scan (i.e. no more saw-tooth).

Updated  - November 2008 B.C.

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Email me:    bill *at* zodiaclight: com

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