Moravian Instruments G2-8300 Monochrome CCD Camera

The enhanced series of G2-CCD cameras feature highly sensitive, low noise Kodak Full-Frame CCD detectors. High-speed USB 2.0 interface minimizes download time and advanced analogue electronics ensure very low read noise. Efficient two-stage Peltier cooling keeps detectors cold to minimize dark current. Compact and robust camera head integrates all electronics, shutter and optional 5 or 6-positions filter wheel.

The G3 is available as a camera only, with or without an internal 1.25" 5 position filter wheel or internal 6 position filter wheel for unmounted filters.

Alternatively it can be purchased with an external but integrated 8 position 31mm or 1.25" filter wheel, 7 position 36mm filter wheel or 12 position 31mm/1.25"filter wheel and 10 position 36mm filter wheel. There is also an Off Axis Guider Option that delivers total back focus of 55mm with camera and filter wheel.

Number of features of cooled, slow-scan G2CCD cameras with USB 2.0 interface support demanding scientific applications:

Very high sensitivity.
Lowest possible system read noise, limited by CCD chip itself.
High dynamic range (16-bits digitization) and linear response.
Efficient and precisely regulated cooling.
Optional heat exchanger for liquid coolant.
Ability of unattended operation enabled by integrated shutter and filter wheel supporting UBVRI or narrow-band filters.

But G2CCD cameras are also designed with the needs of amateur astronomers in mind:

Compact camera head, small and lightweight enough to be attached even to small telescopes.
Integrated all-in-one design with USB and power connectors directly on the camera head.
Integrated shutter avoiding the need not to cover the telescope when taking dark frames.

Single-voltage power supply enabling operation from 12V battery or “brick” adapter.
Plug and play installation.
Robust construction to sustain every-day usage.
Rich software support.
But there are some features unique for the G2-8300 model:

Although the KAF8300 CCD detector has Full-Frame architecture, it is equipped with so-called anti-blooming gate (ABG), which protects electron leaks from saturated pixels to neighboring pixels when a bright star appears in the field of view. This makes the G2-8300 camera highly suitable for astro-imaging applications.

The CCD imaging area is somewhat larger that the clear aperture of standard filters in 1.25 inch filter cells. Such filter cells cause vignetting in the image corners. This is why the filter wheel with 6 positions is not offered with G2-8300 and filters for 5 positions filter wheel are not standard 1.25, but larger filters with 31 mm diameter.
31 mm filters do not cause vignetting on the vast majority of optical systems, but they are significantly cheaper and more compact compared to 2 inch filters or filters in M48 threaded cells.

G2 CCD cameras are supplied in a foam-filled, hard carrying case containing:

Camera body with an optional telescope adapter. The standard 2" barrel adapter is included by default. If ordered, the filter wheel is already mounted inside the camera head and filters are threaded into place (if ordered).
A 100-240 V AC input, 12 V DC output “brick” adapter with 1.8 m long power cable.
5 m long USB A-B cable for connecting camera to host PC.
A CD-ROM or USB Flash Drive with camera drivers, SIPS software package with electronic documentation and PDF version of User's Manual.
A printed copy of camera User's Manual

Technical Specs:

Sensor: Kodak KAF8300 Monochrome CCD
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Resolution: 3358 x 2536 pixels
Quantum Efficiency: 55% max
Pixel Size: 5.4 x 5.4 µm
Interface: USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 compatible)
Cooling: Two-stage Peltier up to -50°C

Moravian G3-16200 CCD Camera

The large format CCD cameras of the G3 series are designed for up to 24x36 mm (photographic “full-frame” format) CCD detectors. G3 series inherits features from the G2 range of cameras — camera handling, software control, power supply and connection to the host PC using fast USB interface is the same. Design of both series is very similar and although the G3 camera head is naturally bigger, it contains all mechanics and electronics and offers only power and USB connectors.

As in the case of G2 cameras the G3 head contains the mechanical shutter and integrated filter wheel for five 2-inch filters. Read noise is also limited only by the CCD itself so the G3 series surpasses competing products. Precisely regulated cooling achieves detector temperatures 45°C below ambient temperature even if the G3 CCDs are bigger and thermal leakage is naturally higher.

The G3-16200 camera is available in both monochrome and colour versions and with class 1 and 2 sensors.

Like the G2 range the G3 is available with an internal 5 position filter wheel (2" or 50mm unmounted filters) or an external but integrated filter wheel for 7 x 2" or 50mm unmounted filters.

Again like the G2 range there is an integrated Off Axis Guider option. Total back focus distance with OAG is 61.5mm

G3 CCD cameras are supplied in a foam-filled, hard carrying case containing:

Camera body with a user chosen optional telescope adapter. The standard 2" barrel adapter is included by default. If ordered, the filter wheel is already mounted inside the camera head and filters are threaded into place (if ordered).
A 100-240 V AC input, 12 V DC output “brick” adapter with 1.8 m long power cable.
5 m long USB A-B cable for connecting camera to host PC.
A CD-ROM or USB Flash Drive with camera drivers, SIPS software package with electronic documentation and PDF version of User's Manual.
A printed copy of camera User's Manual

Technical Specs:

Moravian Instruments G3-16200 Monochrome CCD Camera with Low Noise, High Quantum Efficiency Kodak KAF-16200 Class 2 CCD Sensor

for SCIENTIFIC and Narrow-Band ASTROPHOTO Imaging with Antiblooming and Electronic Shutter

Sensor: Kodak KAF-16200 Monochrome CCD, Class 2
(Please note, Class 2 sensors are hardly distinguisable from Class 1 cameras and very popular for amateur astro imaging due to the opportunity make a little extra saving...Class 1 versions are recommended for scientific research)
Resolution: 4540 x 3640 pixels
Full well capacity: appr 41,000 e-
Dark Current: 0.08 e-/s/pixel at 0 °C
Pixel Size: 6 x 6 µm
ABG: 2800x
Size of imaging area: 27.2 mm x 21.8 mm
Interface: USB 2.0
Cooling: Two-stage Peltier up to -50°C

Moravian Instruments G3-11000 Full Format CCD Camera

The large format CCD cameras of the G3 series are designed for up to 24x36 mm (photographic “full-frame” format) CCD detectors. G3 series inherits features from the G2 range of cameras — camera handling, software control, power supply and connection to the host PC using fast USB interface is the same. Design of both series is very similar and although the G3 camera head is naturally bigger, it contains all mechanics and electronics and offers only power and USB connectors.

As in the case of G2 cameras the G3 head contains the mechanical shutter and integrated filter wheel for five 2-inch filters. Read noise is also limited only by the CCD itself so the G3 series surpasses competing products. Precisely regulated cooling achieves detector temperatures 45°C below ambient temperature even if the G3 CCDs are bigger and thermal leakage is naturally higher.

The G3-11000 camera is available in both monochrome and colour versions and with class 1 and 2 sensors.

Like the G2 range the G3 is available with an internal 5 position filter wheel (2" or 50mm unmounted filters) or an external but integrated filter wheel for 7 x 2" or 50mm unmounted filters.

Again like the G2 range there is an integrated Off Axis Guider option. Total back focus distance with OAG is 61.5mm

G3 CCD cameras are supplied in a foam-filled, hard carrying case containing:

Camera body with a user chosen optional telescope adapter. The standard 2" barrel adapter is included by default. If ordered, the filter wheel is already mounted inside the camera head and filters are threaded into place (if ordered).
A 100-240 V AC input, 12 V DC output “brick” adapter with 1.8 m long power cable.
5 m long USB A-B cable for connecting camera to host PC.
A CD-ROM or USB Flash Drive with camera drivers, SIPS software package with electronic documentation and PDF version of User's Manual.
A printed copy of camera User's Manual

Technical Specs:

Sensor: Kodak KAI-11002 Monochrome CCD, Class 2
(Please note, Class 2 sensors are hardly distinguisable from Class 1 cameras and very popular for amateur astro imaging due to the opportunity make a little extra saving...Class 1 versions are recommended for scientific research)
Resolution: 4032 x 2688 pixels
Full well capacity: appr 60,000 e-
Output node capacity: appr 140,000 e-
Pixel Size: 9 x 9 µm
Size of imaging area: 36.3 mm (H) x 24.2 mm (V)
Interface: USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 compatible)
Cooling: Two-stage Peltier up to -50°C

Moravian G4 CCD Camera

The Moravian large format G4 CCD Camera offers two sensors.

The KAF 16803 Large format sensor - 36x36mm and 9u pixels

The KAF 0900 Large format sensor - 36.9mmx36.9mm and 12u pixels

The obvious choice for most amateur astronomers will be the KAF 16803

There is no internal filter wheel ption but a bolt on integrated 7 position 50mm x 50mm Filter Wheel and Off Axis Guider is offered.

The G4 camera dimensions are the same as the G3 series, with the exception of the camera head thickness — G4 cameras are somewhat slimmer, because they do not contain an internal filter wheel. Also camera handling, software control, power supply and connection to the host PC using fast USB 2.0 interface is the same as the G3 cameras.

The filter wheel takes 50 × 50 mm square filters (round filters of 50 mm diameter cause vignetting on such a large CCD chip) and cannot be placed inside the camera head due to limited space. But it is possible to connect external filter wheel for 7 large filters to the G4 camera, the camera head already contains connector for external filter wheel control.

Shipping and Packaging
G4 CCD cameras are supplied in a foam-filled, hard carrying case containing:

Camera body with a user chosen optional telescope adapter. A M68x1 adapter is included by default, a Canon EOS adapter is available separately for extra cost.
A 100-240 V AC input, 12 V DC output “brick” adapter with 1.8 m long power cable.
A CD-ROM or USB Flash Drive with camera drivers, SIPS software package with electronic documentation and PDF version of User's Manual.
5 m long USB A-B cable for connecting camera to host PC.
A printed copy of camera User's Manual

Technical Specs:

Sensor: Kodak KAF-16803 Monochrome CCD
Resolution: 4096 x 4096 pixels
Full well capacity: appr 100,000 e-
Pixel Size: 9 x 9 µm
Size of imaging area: 36.9 mm (H) x 36.9 mm (V)
Interface: USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 compatible)
Cooling: Two-stage Peltier up to -50°C (plus optional enhanced cooling package

Sensor: Kodak KAF-09000 Monochrome CCD
Resolution: 3072 x 3072 pixels
Full well capacity: appr 110,000 e-
Pixel Size: 12 x 12 µm
Size of imaging area: 36.9 mm (H) x 36.9 mm (V)
Interface: USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 compatible)
Cooling: Two-stage Peltier up to -50°C (plus optional enhanced coolng package

£349.00

Altair Hypercam IMX224 USB3.0 Colour Guide / Imaging Camera

The Altair Hypercam IMX224 camera has the sought-after Sony IMX224 CMOS sensor, with extremely low read noise and 2mp resolution.

The IMX224 sensor is particularily desirable for planetary imaging and microscopy where high frame rates, low light colour fidelity and small pixel sizes are required.

The Altair Hypercam IMX224 can be used for solar, planetary and lunar “lucky” imaging, long exposure deepsky imaging, and of course video astronomy with the live stacking features in AltairCapture and Sharpcap. (Firecapture is also supported - now in Beta release). Time-lapse all-sky imaging is fully supported in the free Altair Capture Software

and the camera can be used with an optional CS-Mount lens to hunt for meteors or aurora.

Speed and reliability in one camera: USB3.0 and on-board memory buffering give much faster transfer speeds than the GPCAM USB2.0 series, pushing the USB3.0 format to the limit, yet within a stable envelope. Memory buffering almost completely eliminates dropped frames and corrupted video files, a common problem with USB cameras, and enables faster more consistent frame rates, even with less powerful notebook computers. Consistency and stability is improved for video capture sequences - especially desirable for scientific applications.

QUALITY software and drivers included: Unlike cheaper cameras, Altair Astro has spent considerable time developing the extensively featured and intuitive AltairCapture software, which can be downloaded from Cameras.Altair.com

AltairCapture is a stable 64 bit Windows application which allows full control of the camera in high speed video or still mode. It includes extensive automation features and supports all the major file formats useful for astro imaging and professional scientific imaging. Furthermore, the popular PHD Guiding, SharpCap and Firecapture are also natively supported. ASCOM drivers are also available for download at cameras.altairastro.com where you can also get regular driver updates. The installation process is very simple, and unlike with cheaper cameras, there is no need to waste time tweaking .DLL files to make your camera perform as expected.

Wide compatibility: Although the Hypercam is a USB3.0 camera, it is also fully compatible with USB2.0 ports when a longer cable and less speed are required, for example in deepsky or video astronomy using the live stacking features in AltairCapture or Sharpcap. Windows 7 to Windows 10 software is widely supported by AltairCapture in 64bit mode (see technical info for details).

Autoguiding: The camera has an ST4 auto-guiding port, and can be used to auto-guide with mounts from all the major manufacturers supporting ST4 format, including iOptron, Celestron and Skywatcher. The IMX224 is more than sensitive enough for autoguiding.

Fan cooling: The Hypercam is cooled with and internal low vibration fan. The fan can be switched on or off and the speed controlled in AltairCapture and SharpCap. Cool air is drawn in through the vents at the side of the casing, over a large internal heat-sink. The heat-sink is connected directly with the sensor board just like a computer CPU. The free flow of air through the casing cools not only the sensor, but all the internal electronics boards. Cooling is especially desirable for long exposure imaging to reduce thermal noise. Some camera casings get uncomfortably hot during a solar imaging session, and the sensor can reach around 60 or even 70 degrees. This can cause the electronics to become glitchy and unreliable. The Hypercam is designed for consistent, reliable solar imaging with a solar filter and diagonal or Hershel Wedge. With the fan running, the Hypercam casing will always remain cool.

Support & warranty: Altair delivers proper on-shore English-speaking UK/EU support with a 2 year manufacturer warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

New users should visit Altair Camera User Google Group
where you can get answers to technical questions. The group is also a great place to share tips and techniques, to get the best out of your camera. The AltairCapture software interface supports most European languages including English, German, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish.

File formats: The camera can be fully controlled in AltairCapture and SharpCap to output uncompressed .AVI and .SER video files for solar system imaging, as well as all common still image formats such as .JPEG .PNG .TIFF .BMP, and .FITS (for deepsky imaging) to mention just a few. The Hypercam supports 8bit or 12bit output. The 12 bit output mode can be used for deep sky imaging with less frames needing to be stacked and a wider pixel intensity range. The IMX224 sensor is extremely sensitive and a good candidate for video astronomy, especially with small refractors.

Technical Specs:

What’s different about the Hypercam platform compared to the GPCAM platform? You’ll notice the Hypercam has a larger casing than the GPCAM and GPCAM2. This is to house larger electronics boards which support trigger mode and frame buffering, the additional electronics for USb3.0 support, and to house the fan-cooled large heat-sink.

The Hypercam platform: The Hypercam platform supports “Trigger Mode” to make long exposures of over 5 seconds easier to control. With most cameras, in normal video mode, you have to wait for an exposure to complete before the camera will accept, say a command to abort the frame, for say clouds, aircraft, or an alignment issue, like kicking the tripod and so-on, or for routine changes in gain, exposure time, , re-aligning or refocusing on the object. For long exposures, normal video mode is inconvenient, especially for video astronomy and deep-sky imaging, however in Trigger mode, you can stop the camera instantly (even if you are half way through a long 30 second exposure) change the settings, and re-start the camera looping again. The Hypercam also has an improved on-board frame buffer to improve data transfer stability at high frame rates (to reduce dropped frames) and to increase compatibility with a wider range of PCs. The improved buffers give a more consistent data transfer rate over USB2.0 and USB3.0 buses on laptops and desktop PCs.

Included in the box:
Camera body with internal cooling fan, heat-sink, and front female M42x0.75mm T-Thread interface.
1.8m High-speed USB3.0 cable.
1.5m ST4 guide cable.
1.25 inch x nosepiece with female 1.25" filter thread on the front. (an optional 2" OD Nosepiece is available)
CS-Mount insert (12.5mm back-focus) is pre-installed on camera. (Optional 5mm extension adapter available for C-Mount lenses requiring 17.5mm back-focus.)
Camera casing with M42 thread (12.5mm backfocus).
Built-in UV-IR Blocking Filter, AR coatings. (Removable for sensor cleaning).
Plastic dust cap 1.25".
Silicon dust cap for sensor.
Allen key for removing the C-Thread insert.
Note: This camera does not come with software in the box. To operate the camera you will need to download the latest camera drivers at cameras.altairastro.com

Sensor & performance specifications:
ALTAIRGP224C: SONY Exmor IMX224 Colour CMOS sensor
Sensor Size: 1/3" diagonal 6.09mm
Exposure duration shortest/longest:
Video mode: 0.105ms (0.000105 secs) / 5000ms (5 seconds) (Video Mode)
Trigger mode: 0.105 ms (0.000105 secs) / 1000 secs (16.66mins) (Trigger Mode)
Bit depth: 8bit & 12bit modes switchable
Pixel size microns: 3.75x3.75 um
Resolution in pixels: 1280x960
Recording System: Still Image & Video
Region Of Interest (ROI): Supported
Approx. Max frame rates (assuming computer Bus and Hard Drive operating at full bandwidth)*:
8 bit mode:
1280x960 - 120fps
640x480 - 232fps (ROI mode)
320x240 - 432fps (ROI mode)
12 bit mode - approx 50% of above.
* Based on average user reports. May be revised as we get more data. The shorter the exposure duration, the faster the frame rate. An expensive PC does not guarantee a fast frame rate because bus and motherboard architecture vary.
Gain Sensitivity: 2350mv
Readout: Progressive Scan
Shutter: Electronic Rolling Shutter
Read noise: TBC, not provided by sensor manufacturer.

Software & OS support:
Drivers & AltairCapture software download (Windows only): cameras.altairastro.com (opens new window).
Driver support: PHD2, AltairCapture, SharpCap, (Windows DirectShow)
AltairCapture OS support: Win XP 32bit / Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10 (32 & 64 bit)
SharpCap (a 3rd party application) is also fully supported and tested with native drivers.
Firecapture (a 3rd party application) is being tested with native drivers, see latest release.
USB Port & Cable: 3.0 USB Cable, 1.8m cable
ST4 Port & Cable: Standard ST4 Opto-Isolated, 1.5m cable, iOptron, Celestron, Skywatcher SynScan GOTO.

Camera Format:
Cooling: High Performance Electronic Fan-cooling System with Heat-sink
Camera body length: 80 mm
Weight grams: 320 g (camera net weight)
Optical window can be removed:
Mono Camera: AR-coated clear protect window 350-1050nm wavelength transmission
Colour Camera: AR-coated UV/IR blocking filter 400-700nm wavelength Transmission

Back-focus & Adapter compatibility:
Optical Window is removable for cleaning.
Camera body: OD 65mm
Camera body thread: M42x0.75 T2 Thread to CS -Mount insert allows direct attachment of CS-Mount lens (or C-Mount lens with optional 5mm extension).
C-mount lens adapter 5mm extension: Optional
C-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 17.5mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
CS-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 12.5mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
Astro filter thread adapter: Included, 1.25" OD and 2” OD (optional), Female thread
Sensor surface distance from flat end of CS-mount adapter: 12.5 mm
Sensor surface distance from flat end of 1.25" / M42 Astro adapter: 37 mm

Operating environment conditions:
Power consumption: 0.905 W (standby);
1.68 W (running with Fan off);
2.525 (running with Fan on);
Max operating temp: 50 °C
Lowest operating temp: -10 °C
Max operating humidity: 80 % RH
Power source in Volts: 5V DC (via USB cable)

Windows PC Hardware Requirements:
Minimum CPU: Equal to Intel Core2 2.8GHz or Higher
Minimum Memory: 2GB or More
USB port: USB2.0 High-speed Port or USB3.0 High-speed Port
Monitor Display: 17" or Larger
Software delivery: Downloaded online and saved to hard drive.

Packaging:
Protective silicon rubber end-cap for camera CS-thread.
Plastic end cap for 1.25" nosepiece.
Padded cardboard storage box with durable foam inserts

Optional Accessories:
2 inch x 22mm nosepiece with 2” filter thread.
C-Mount 5mm extension adapter for C-Mount lenses requiring 17.5mm back-focus.
Clear AR coated optical window;

Software delivery: Downloaded online at cameras.altairastro.com and saved to hard drive.
Quick Start & AltairCapture instructions: Downloaded online at cameras.altairastro.com and saved to hard drive.

Warranty: 2 years manufacturer warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. Return to point of purchase.

* Read noise is rumoured to be 1.5e- or even less, but unconfirmed at time of writing.

Optional Accessories:
Altair Astro Premium 1.25" CLS-CCD Filter with UV/IR Block & AR Coating (Code: F125CLSCCD) for imaging emission nebulae in light polluted urban environments.
Optional 2" nosepiece with filter thread and straight sides to maintain collimation.

£649.00

Altair Hypercam IMX174 USB3.0 Mono Guide / Imaging Camera

The Altair Hypercam IMX174 camera has the sought-after Sony Pregius Global Shutter IMX174 CMOS sensor, with extremely low read noise and 2.3mp resolution.

The IMX174 sensor is particularily desirable for solar and high resolution planetary imaging at long focal lengths, where high frame rates, and high dynamic range are required to get the most detail in post processing.

Hypercam IMX174 imaging applications: The IMX174 sensor is a very good match for the Daystar Quark and Altair Astro refractor combinations because the large pixel size, global shutter, low read noise and wide dynamic range allow prominences and surface detail to be captured in the same frame, without having to over-expose the image and lose detail. Images sharpen up very well because there is no fixed pattern noise with this sensor. The Hypercam IMX174 camera has been developed with solar imaging in mind, and works best with 100mm plus refractors and the Daystar Quark operating at around 3000mm focal length or more. It really comes into it's own with larger refractors.

o sum it up, the most desirable features of the IMX174 sensor are:

- Large format 1/2" sensor
- Peak quantum efficiency of 78%
- Global shutter eliminates motion distortion inherent in rolling shutter sensors, as well as CCD-smearing.
- Fixed pattern noise (common with global shutter CMOS cameras) is eliminated
- Low read noise 6 electrons (e-)
- Saturation (full well) capacity 32,000 electrons (e-)
- Dynamic range 73 dB

Video astronomy and long exposure deepsky imaging: Although the Hypercam IMX174 is considered the best tool for long focal length solar system imaging, it is also quite capable of long exposures, and will deliver very good results for deepsky imaging and video astronomy (or EAA) using the Live Stacking features in the
free Altair Capture Software

or SharpCap. (Firecapture is also supported - now in Beta release). Time-lapse all-sky imaging and video is fully supported, and the camera can be used with a CS-Mount lens to hunt for meteors or aurora.

Speed and reliability in one camera: USB3.0 and on-board memory buffering give much faster transfer speeds than the GPCAM USB2.0 series, pushing the USB3.0 format to the limit, yet within a stable envelope. Memory buffering almost completely eliminates dropped frames and corrupted video files, a common problem with USB cameras, and enables faster more consistent frame rates, even with less powerful notebook computers. Consistency and stability is improved for video capture sequences - especially desirable for scientific applications.

QUALITY software and drivers included: Unlike cheaper cameras, Altair Astro has spent considerable time developing the extensively featured and intuitive AltairCapture software, which can be downloaded from Cameras.Altair.Com

AltairCapture is a stable 64 bit Windows application, which allows full control of the camera in high speed video or still mode. It includes extensive automation features, and supports all the major file formats useful for astro imaging and professional scientific imaging in 16bit, 12bit or 8bit mode. Furthermore, the popular PHD Guiding, SharpCap and Firecapture are also natively supported. ASCOM drivers are also available for download at cameras.altairastro.com where you can also get regular driver updates. The installation process is very simple, and unlike with cheaper cameras, there is no need to waste time tweaking .DLL files to make your camera perform as expected.

Wide compatibility: Although the Hypercam is a USB3.0 camera, it is also fully compatible with USB2.0 ports when a longer cable and less speed are required, for example in deepsky or video astronomy using the live stacking features in AltairCapture or Sharpcap. Windows 7 to Windows 10 software is widely supported by AltairCapture in 64bit mode (see technical info for details).

Autoguiding: The camera has an ST4 auto-guiding port, and can be used to auto-guide with mounts from all the major manufacturers supporting ST4 format, including iOptron, Celestron and Skywatcher. The IMX224 is more than sensitive enough for autoguiding.

Fan cooling: The Hypercam is cooled with and internal low vibration fan. The fan can be switched on or off and the speed controlled in AltairCapture and SharpCap. Cool air is drawn in through the vents at the side of the casing, over a large internal heat-sink. The heat-sink is connected directly with the sensor board just like a computer CPU. The free flow of air through the casing cools not only the sensor, but all the internal electronics boards. Cooling is especially desirable for long exposure imaging to reduce thermal noise. Some camera casings get uncomfortably hot during a solar imaging session, and the sensor can reach around 60 or even 70 degrees. This can cause the electronics to become glitchy and unreliable. The Hypercam is designed for consistent, reliable solar imaging with a solar filter and diagonal or Hershel Wedge. With the fan running, the Hypercam casing will always remain cool.

Support & warranty: Altair delivers proper on-shore English-speaking UK/EU support with a 2 year manufacturer warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. New users should visit Altair Camera Google User Group acturer warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. New users should visit Altair Camera Google User Group where you can get answers to technical questions. The group is also a great place to share tips and techniques, to get the best out of your camera. The AltairCapture software interface supports most European languages including English, German, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish.

File formats: The camera can be fully controlled in AltairCapture and SharpCap to output uncompressed .AVI and .SER video files for solar system imaging, as well as all common still image formats such as .JPEG .PNG .TIFF .BMP, and .FITS (for deepsky imaging) to mention just a few. The Hypercam supports 8bit or 12bit output. The 12 bit output mode can be used for deep sky imaging with less frames needing to be stacked and a wider pixel intensity range. The IMX224 sensor is extremely sensitive and a good candidate for video astronomy, especially with small refractors.

hat’s different about the Hypercam platform compared to the GPCAM platform? You’ll notice the Hypercam has a larger casing than the GPCAM and GPCAM2. This is to house larger electronics boards which support trigger mode and frame buffering, the additional electronics for USb3.0 support, and to house the fan-cooled large heat-sink.

The Hypercam platform: The Hypercam platform supports “Trigger Mode” to make long exposures of over 5 seconds easier to control. With most cameras, in normal video mode, you have to wait for an exposure to complete before the camera will accept, say a command to abort the frame, for say clouds, aircraft, or an alignment issue, like kicking the tripod and so-on, or for routine changes in gain, exposure time, , re-aligning or refocusing on the object. For long exposures, normal video mode is inconvenient, especially for video astronomy and deep-sky imaging, however in Trigger mode, you can stop the camera instantly (even if you are half way through a long 30 second exposure) change the settings, and re-start the camera looping again. The Hypercam also has an improved on-board frame buffer to improve data transfer stability at high frame rates (to reduce dropped frames) and to increase compatibility with a wider range of PCs. The improved buffers give a more consistent data transfer rate over USB2.0 and USB3.0 buses on laptops and desktop PCs.

Included in the box:
Camera body with internal cooling fan, heat-sink, and front female M42x0.75mm T-Thread interface.
1.8m High-speed USB3.0 cable.
1.5m ST4 guide cable.
1.25 inch x nosepiece with female 1.25" filter thread on the front. (an optional 2" OD Nosepiece is available)
CS-Mount insert (12.5mm back-focus) is pre-installed on camera. (Optional 5mm extension adapter available for C-Mount lenses requiring 17.5mm back-focus.)
Camera casing with M42 thread (12.5mm backfocus).
Built-in UV-IR Blocking Filter, AR coatings. (Removable for sensor cleaning).
Plastic dust cap 1.25".
Silicon dust cap for sensor.
Allen key for removing the C-Thread insert.
Note: This camera does not come with software in the box. To operate the camera you will need to download the latest camera drivers at cameras.altairastro.com

Technical Specs:

Sensor & performance specifications:
ALTAIRH174M: SONY Exmor IMX174 Mono CMOS sensor
Sensor Size: 1/1.2" diagonal (13.4mm)
Exposure duration shortest/longest: 0.025 ms (0.000025 secs) / 5 secs (Video Mode)
0.025 ms (0.000025 secs) / 1000 secs (16.66mins) (Trigger Mode)
Bit depth: 8bit & 12bit mode switchable
Pixel size microns: 5.86x5.86 um
Resolution in pixels: 1920x1200
Recording System: Still Picture and Video
Region of Interest (ROI) support: Available
Approx. Max frame rates* (assuming computer Bus operating at full bandwidth):
8bit mode:
1920x1200 128FPS
640x480 286-300+ FPS ROI
320x240 514FPS ROI
12bit mode:
Approx. 50% of above
* Based on average user reports. May be revised as we get more data. The shorter the exposure duration, the faster the frame rate. An expensive PC does not guarantee a fast frame rate because bus and motherboard architecture vary.

Sensor QE / Quantum Efficiency: 78% Peak
Gain Sensitivity: 1016mv;
Dynamic Range: 73db;
Read Noise: 6e-
Readout: Electronic Global Shutter

Software & OS support:
Drivers & AltairCapture software download (Windows only): cameras.altairastro.com (opens new window).
Driver support: PHD2, AltairCapture, SharpCap, (Windows DirectShow)
AltairCapture OS support: Win XP 32bit / Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10 (32 & 64 bit)
SharpCap (a 3rd party application) is also fully supported and tested with native drivers.
Firecapture (a 3rd party application) is being tested with native drivers, see latest release.
USB Port & Cable: 3.0 USB Cable, 1.8m cable
ST4 Port & Cable: Standard ST4 Opto-Isolated, 1.5m cable, iOptron, Celestron, Skywatcher SynScan GOTO.

Camera Format:
Cooling: High Performance Electronic Fan-cooling System with Heat-sink
Camera body length: 80 mm
Weight grams: 320 g (camera net weight)
Optical window can be removed:
Mono Camera: AR-coated clear protect window 350-1050nm wavelength transmission
Colour Camera: AR-coated UV/IR blocking filter 400-700nm wavelength Transmission

Back-focus & Adapter compatibility:
Optical Window is removable for cleaning.
Camera body: OD 65mm
Camera body thread: M42x0.75 T2 Thread to CS -Mount insert allows direct attachment of CS-Mount lens (or C-Mount lens with optional 5mm extension).
C-mount lens adapter 5mm extension: Optional
C-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 17.5mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
CS-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 12.5mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
Astro filter thread adapter: Included, 1.25" OD and 2” OD (optional), Female thread
Sensor surface distance from flat end of CS-mount adapter: 12.5 mm
Sensor surface distance from flat end of 1.25" / M42 Astro adapter: 37 mm

Operating environment conditions:
Power consumption: 0.905 W (standby);
1.68 W (running with Fan off);
2.525 (running with Fan on);
Max operating temp: 50 °C
Lowest operating temp: -10 °C
Max operating humidity: 80 % RH
Power source in Volts: 5V DC (via USB cable)

Windows PC Hardware Requirements:
Minimum CPU: Equal to Intel Core2 2.8GHz or Higher
Minimum Memory: 2GB or More
USB port: USB2.0 High-speed Port or USB3.0 High-speed Port
Monitor Display: 17" or Larger
Software delivery: Downloaded online and saved to hard drive.

Packaging:
Protective silicon rubber end-cap for camera CS-thread.
Plastic end cap for 1.25" nosepiece.
Padded cardboard storage box with durable foam inserts

Optional Accessories:
2 inch x 22mm nosepiece with 2” filter thread.
C-Mount 5mm extension adapter for C-Mount lenses requiring 17.5mm back-focus.
Clear AR coated optical window;

Software delivery: Downloaded online at cameras.altairastro.com and saved to hard drive.
Quick Start & AltairCapture instructions: Downloaded online at cameras.altairastro.com and saved to hard drive.

Warranty: 2 years manufacturer warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. Return to point of purchase.

£395.00

Altair Hypercam IMX178 USB3.0 Colour EAA Imaging & Guide Camera

The Altair Hypercam IMX178 Colour camera has the sought-after Sony IMX178 Colour CMOS sensor, with extremely low read noise, wide dynamic range, and 6.3mp resolution.

The Hypercam IMX178 sensor is particularily attractive for Electronically Assisted Astronomy / Video Astronomy because of it's high 6.3 Megapixel resolution and high sensitivity thanks to Sony STARVIS back-illumination technology.

Deepsky astro-photography is also possible with the IMX178 sensor because it has very low amp glow, in fact, the lowest of any CMOS sensor in this price range we have developed so far. Amp glow is further suppressed by switching off all non-essential circuitry during longer exposures in "Trigger Mode".

The Hypercam IMX178 is also capable of solar. lunar, or planetary imaging (video capture) and is especially useful with refractors of less than 3 metre focal length, where small pixels (only 2.4x2.4um), high frame rates (up to 51fps at full resolution), and high dynamic range are required to get the most detail in post processing. The ROI (Region of Interest) feature can be used for high frame rates when imaging the planets at high mangification.

To sum it up, the most desirable features of the IMX178 sensor are:

- Large format 1/1.8" sensor 7.37 x 4.92mm
- SONY STARVIS and Exmor R Technology with a sensitivity of 2000 mV or more per 1µm²
- Low read noise, approx. 2.2e electrons (e-).
- Saturation (full well) capacity approx. 19,200 electrons (e-)
- High Dynamic Range with 14 bit ADC for high image quality in both light and dark (high contrast) areas.

Video astronomy and long exposure deepsky imaging: Hypercam IMX178 deliveres great results for for both deepsky imaging and video astronomy (or EAA) using the Live Stacking features in the
free Altair Capture Software or SharpCap. (Firecapture is also supported - now in Beta release). Time-lapse all-sky imaging and video is fully supported, and the camera can be used with a DSLR lens to image large areas of sky.

Speed and reliability in one camera: USB3.0 and on-board memory buffering give much faster transfer speeds than the GPCAM USB2.0 series, pushing the USB3.0 format to the limit, yet within a stable envelope. Memory buffering almost completely eliminates dropped frames and corrupted video files, a common problem with USB cameras, and enables faster more consistent frame rates, even with less powerful notebook computers. Consistency and stability is improved for video capture sequences - especially desirable for scientific applications.

QUALITY software and drivers included: Unlike cheaper cameras, Altair Astro has spent considerable time developing the extensively featured and intuitive AltairCapture software, which can be downloaded from THIS LINK AltairCapture is a stable 64 bit Windows application, which allows full control of the camera in high speed video or still mode. It includes extensive automation features, and supports all the major file formats useful for astro imaging and professional scientific imaging in 16bit, 12bit or 8bit mode. Furthermore, the popular PHD Guiding, SharpCap and Firecapture are also natively supported. ASCOM drivers are also available for download at the above Link.

where you can also get regular driver updates. The installation process is very simple, and unlike with cheaper cameras, there is no need to waste time tweaking .DLL files to make your camera perform as expected.

Wide compatibility: Although the Hypercam is a USB3.0 camera, it is also fully compatible with USB2.0 ports when a longer cable and less speed are required, for example in deepsky or video astronomy using the live stacking features in AltairCapture or Sharpcap. Windows 7 to Windows 10 software is widely supported by AltairCapture in 64bit mode (see technical info for details).

Autoguiding: The camera has an ST4 auto-guiding port, and can be used to auto-guide with mounts from all the major manufacturers supporting ST4 format, including iOptron, Celestron and Skywatcher. The IMX224 is more than sensitive enough for autoguiding.

Fan cooling: The Hypercam is cooled with and internal low vibration fan. The fan can be switched on or off and the speed controlled in AltairCapture and SharpCap. Cool air is drawn in through the vents at the side of the casing, over a large internal heat-sink. The heat-sink is connected directly with the sensor board just like a computer CPU. The free flow of air through the casing cools not only the sensor, but all the internal electronics boards. Cooling is especially desirable for long exposure imaging to reduce thermal noise. Some camera casings get uncomfortably hot during a solar imaging session, and the sensor can reach around 60 or even 70 degrees. This can cause the electronics to become glitchy and unreliable. The Hypercam is designed for consistent, reliable solar imaging with a solar filter and diagonal or Hershel Wedge. With the fan running, the Hypercam casing will always remain cool.

Support & warranty: Altair delivers proper on-shore English-speaking UK/EU support with a 2 year manufacturer warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

New users should visit Altair Camera Google Users Group

where you can get answers to technical questions. The group is also a great place to share tips and techniques, to get the best out of your camera. The AltairCapture software interface supports most European languages including English, German, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish.

File formats: The camera can be fully controlled in AltairCapture and SharpCap to output uncompressed .AVI and .SER video files for solar system imaging, as well as all common still image formats such as .JPEG .PNG .TIFF .BMP, and .FITS (for deepsky imaging) to mention just a few. The Hypercam supports 8bit or 12bit output. The 12 bit output mode can be used for deep sky imaging with less frames needing to be stacked and a wider pixel intensity range. The IMX224 sensor is extremely sensitive and a good candidate for video astronomy, especially with small refractors.

What’s different about the Hypercam platform compared to the GPCAM platform? You’ll notice the Hypercam has a larger casing than the GPCAM and GPCAM2. This is to house larger electronics boards which support trigger mode and frame buffering, the additional electronics for USb3.0 support, and to house the fan-cooled large heat-sink.

The Hypercam platform: The Hypercam platform supports “Trigger Mode” to make long exposures of over 5 seconds easier to control. With most cameras, in normal video mode, you have to wait for an exposure to complete before the camera will accept, say a command to abort the frame, for say clouds, aircraft, or an alignment issue, like kicking the tripod and so-on, or for routine changes in gain, exposure time, , re-aligning or refocusing on the object. For long exposures, normal video mode is inconvenient, especially for video astronomy and deep-sky imaging, however in Trigger mode, you can stop the camera instantly (even if you are half way through a long 30 second exposure) change the settings, and re-start the camera looping again. The Hypercam also has an improved on-board frame buffer to improve data transfer stability at high frame rates (to reduce dropped frames) and to increase compatibility with a wider range of PCs. The improved buffers give a more consistent data transfer rate over USB2.0 and USB3.0 buses on laptops and desktop PCs.

Included in the box:
Camera body with internal cooling fan, heat-sink, and front female M42x0.75mm T-Thread interface.
1.8m High-speed USB3.0 cable.
1.5m ST4 guide cable.
1.25 inch x nosepiece with female 1.25" filter thread on the front. (an optional 2" OD Nosepiece is available)
CS-Mount insert (12.5mm back-focus) is pre-installed on camera. (Optional 5mm extension adapter available for C-Mount lenses requiring 17.5mm back-focus.)
Camera casing with M42 thread (12.5mm backfocus).
Built-in UV-IR Blocking Filter, AR coatings. (Removable for sensor cleaning).
Plastic dust cap 1.25".
Silicon dust cap for sensor.
Allen key for removing the C-Thread insert.
Note: This camera does not come with software in the box. To operate the camera you will need to download the latest camera drivers at cameras.altairastro.com (see Link above)

Technical Specs:

Sensor & performance specifications:
ALTAIRH178C: SONY Exmor R BSI IMX178 Color CMOS sensor
Sensor Size: 1/1.8" diagonal (8.92mm)
Exposure duration shortest/longest: 0.244 ms (0.000244 secs) / 5 secs (Video Mode)
0.244 ms (0.000244 secs) / 1000 secs (16.66mins) (Trigger Mode)
Bit depth: 8bit & 14bit mode switchable
Pixel size microns: 2.4x2.4 um
Resolution in pixels: 3040x2048
Recording System: Still Picture and Video
Region of Interest (ROI) support: Available
Approx. Max frame rates* (assuming computer Bus operating at full bandwidth):
8bit mode:
3040x2048 51FPS
640x480 191FPS ROI
320x240 264FPS ROI
14bit mode:
Approx 50% of above
* Based on average user reports. May be revised as we get more data. The shorter the exposure duration, the faster the frame rate. An expensive PC does not guarantee a fast frame rate because PC bus and main board architecture vary.

Sensor QE / Quantum Efficiency:
ALTAIRH178C: N/A
Gain Sensitivity:
ALTAIRH178C: 425mv;
Dynamic Range:
ALTAIRH178C: N/A
SNR Maximum:
ALTAIRH178C: N/A
Readout: Progressive Scan
Shutter: Electronic Rolling Shutter

Software & OS support:
Drivers & AltairCapture software download (Windows only): cameras.altairastro.com (opens new window).
Driver support: PHD2, AltairCapture, SharpCap, (Windows DirectShow)
AltairCapture OS support: Win XP 32bit / Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10 (32 & 64 bit)
SharpCap (a 3rd party application) is also fully supported and tested with native drivers.
Firecapture (a 3rd party application) is being tested with native drivers, see latest release.
USB Port & Cable: 3.0 USB Cable, 1.8m cable
ST4 Port & Cable: Standard ST4 Opto-Isolated, 1.5m cable, iOptron, Celestron, Skywatcher SynScan GOTO.

Camera Format:
Cooling: High Performance Electronic Fan-cooling System with Heat-sink
Camera body length: 80 mm
Weight grams: 320 g (camera net weight)
Optical window can be removed:
Mono Camera: AR-coated clear protect window 350-1050nm wavelength transmission
Colour Camera: AR-coated UV/IR blocking filter 400-700nm wavelength Transmission

Back-focus & Adapter compatibility:
Optical Window is removable for cleaning.
Camera body: OD 65mm
Camera body thread: M42x0.75 T2 Thread to CS -Mount insert allows direct attachment of CS-Mount lens (or C-Mount lens with optional 5mm extension).
C-mount lens adapter 5mm extension: Optional
C-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 17.5mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
CS-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 12.5mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
Astro filter thread adapter: Included, 1.25" OD and 2” OD (optional), Female thread
Sensor surface distance from flat end of CS-mount adapter: 12.5 mm
Sensor surface distance from flat end of 1.25" / M42 Astro adapter: 37 mm

Altair Hypercam 183C V2 USB3.0 Colour Deepsky Imaging / EAA Camera

The Altair Hypercam 183C is a 20mp astronomy camera, featuring amp glow reduction, and low read noise, producing extremely smooth, detailed images. The Sony IMX183 sensor is one of the most sensitive backside illuminated (BSI) sensors available at the moment with such a high megapixel rating, and it has incredibly low read noise.

The new Version 2 camera for release mid November has the following new features:
Temperature sensor, with data available in realtime.
ROI (Region of Interest) for cropped higher speed solar, lunar and planetary imaging.
4K Mode (cropped).
SPECIAL OFFER! FREE 1 YEAR SharpCap PRO License! Includes ultra-accurate polar alignment assist, deepsky CMOS exposure time optimisation assist, live stacking for EAA/Video astronomy, live darkframe and flat frame subtration.

Easier than a DSLR and no "astro modding" required: Hypercam is much easier to use and focus than a DSLR, thanks to the live preview mode in AltairCapture and SharpCap software. You can see a tiny star clearly in real-time, because there is no video compression. Unlike a DSLR, there's no need to modify your camera to capture detail in red hydrogen wavelengths, because it has no red blocking filter in the way. There are no clumsy power connectors, no mirror to lock up, and a "true" RAW mode output. You get what this Sony sensor sees.

Low read noise. The Sony IMX183 CMOS sensor has very low read noise, wide dynamic range, and high sensitivity. The IMX183 ExmorR rated Back Illuminated Sensor has high-sensitivty, low dark current, no smear, and excellent anti-blooming charateristics. BSI technology moves the sensor circuitry behind the pixel, so unlike conventional sensors the light path is not blocked, resulting in higher quantum efficiency than a CCD sensor.

Try deep-sky "lucky" imaging. Short exposures stacked take advantage of high resolution sensors with low read noise, reducing atmospheric aberrations and tracking errors or wind vibration. The more frames you stack, the smoother the image becomes, and the higher the dymanic range. Long cumulative exposure times of many hours can be achieved with modest equipment. The result is a smoother, sharper image, while suppressing any residual amp glow.

Great for refractors. With a pixel size of 2.4um, and a sensor size of 13.0 x 9.00 mm, the Hypercam IMX183C is best suited for imaging at F7 or faster speeds, and performs extremely well an Altair refractor, and say an 0.8sx focal reducer.

Video Astronomy/EAA Friendly. The Hypercam IMX183 sensor is not only desirable for Deepsky Imaging - it's also great for Video Astronomy or "EAA" Electronically Assisted Astronomy. All thanks to the 20mp resolution, high sensitivity, and amp glow reduction technology. What's more you can use the Live Stacking features in the AltairCapture software or SharpCap PRO. Time-lapse all-sky imaging or video is easy with a DSLR lens and optional Hypercam Lens Adapters (product code: CLA-EOS or CLA-NIKON).

To sum it up, the most desirable features of the Hypercam IMX183 camera are:

- 1" diagonal (15.86mm) SONY Exmor R Back Side Illuminated IMX183 Color CMOS sensor
- 20mp resolution with 5440 x 3648 active pixels in a 13.00 mm x 9.00 mm array
- Extremely low read noise enabling deepsky lucky imaging and very smooth image quality.
- Amp glow reduction technology onboard reduces amp glow, reduces noise, and increases contrast.
- High Dynamic Range with 12 bit ADC to 16bit output .FITS files in RAW mode, for beautiful deepsky images.
- Up to 17.5 Frames per second video in full 20mp resolution. (You will need a computer with high USB bandwidth to achieve these speeds, preferably with Intel or Via hardware USB controller on the motherboard).

Technical Specs:

More technical stuff:

Pure RAW mode and "digital" RGB output modes for better post processing: The Hypercam sensor ADC can 12bit RAW files, which are stretched to 16 bit. In RAW mode analog (on-sensor) gain is used for ultra low read-noise images. Because the output is completely "RAW" in analog mode, there is no partial "downstream digitial" processing like with a DSLR or other cheaper Chinese cameras of similar design, resulting in true RAW mode for the best deepsky performance. True RAW mode allows greater flexibility and consistency in processing large stacks of frames for deepsky "lucky" imaging, where the camera's low read noise can be taken advantage of. Either .FITS image or .SER video files are captured in their purest form for later processing in your software of choice. Of course for Video Astronomy / EAA use, you can select RGB Mode and capture .AVI files, or just view the screen with full access to white balance, gamma, contrast and histogram controls, just like any other camera.

USB3.0 speed and USB2.0 reliability: USB3.0 and on-board memory buffering give much faster transfer speeds than USB2.0 cameras, however, if like most imagers, you prefer to use longer and more flexible USB2.0 cables for better tracking and reliability with a USB2.0 hub, no problem! The Hypercam is completely compatible with USB2.0 protocol. Just install the software, and off you go!

QUALITY software and drivers included:
AltairCapture: Unlike cheaper cameras, Altair Astro has spent considerable time improving the extensively featured and intuitive AltairCapture software, which can be downloaded from cameras.altairastro.com. AltairCapture is a stable 64 bit Windows application, which allows full control of the camera in high speed video or still mode. It includes extensive automation features, and supports all the major file formats useful for astro imaging and professional scientific imaging in 16bit, 12bit or 8bit mode. Furthermore, the popular PHD Guiding, SharpCap and Firecapture are also natively supported. ASCOM drivers are also available for download at cameras.altairastro.com where you can also get regular driver updates. The installation process is very simple, and unlike with cheaper cameras, there is no need to waste time tweaking .DLL files to make your camera perform as expected.
SharpCap PRO: Altair Astro have worked closely with SharpCap developer Robin Glover since 2015, to fully integrate Altair cameras with SharpCap at a basic level. Now, Sharpcap PRO enables even more features with this camera, such as software driven polar alignment (more accurate than any other method), live flat frame subtraction and live darkframe subtraction. The fast, accurate polar alignment feature in SharpCap PRO is a life-saver for imaging, minimising setup time.

Wide operating system and USB compatibility: Although the Hypercam is a USB3.0 camera, it is also fully compatible with USB2.0 ports when a longer cable and less speed are required, for example in deepsky or video astronomy using the live stacking features in AltairCapture or Sharpcap. Windows 7 to Windows 10 software is widely supported by AltairCapture in 64bit mode (see technical info for details).

Autoguiding: The camera has an ST4 auto-guiding port, and can be used to auto-guide with mounts from all the major manufacturers supporting ST4 format, including iOptron, Celestron and Skywatcher. The IMX183 is more than sensitive enough for autoguiding.

Fan cooling: The Hypercam is cooled with and internal low vibration fan. The fan can be switched on or off and the speed controlled in AltairCapture and SharpCap. Cool air is drawn in through the vents at the side of the casing, over a large internal heat-sink. The heat-sink is connected directly with the sensor board just like a computer CPU. The free flow of air through the casing cools not only the sensor, but all the internal electronics boards. Cooling is especially desirable for long exposure imaging to reduce thermal noise. Some camera casings get uncomfortably hot during a solar imaging session, and the sensor can reach around 60 or even 70 degrees. This can cause the electronics to become glitchy and unreliable. The Hypercam is designed for consistent, reliable solar imaging with a solar filter and diagonal or Altair Solar Wedge. With the fan running, the Hypercam casing will always remain cool.

Support & warranty: Altair delivers proper on-shore English-speaking UK/EU support with a 2 year manufacturer warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. New users should visit Altair Camera Google User Group where you can get answers to technical questions. The group is also a great place to share tips and techniques, to get the best out of your camera. The AltairCapture software interface supports most European languages including English, German, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish.

File formats: The camera can be fully controlled in AltairCapture and SharpCap to output uncompressed .AVI and .SER video files for solar system imaging, as well as all common still image formats such as .JPEG .PNG .TIFF .BMP, and .FITS (for deepsky imaging) to mention just a few. The Hypercam supports 8bit or 12bit output. The 12 bit output mode can be used for deep sky imaging with less frames needing to be stacked and a wider pixel intensity range. The sensor is extremely sensitive and a good candidate for video astronomy, especially with small refractors.

Altair GPCAM2 290C Colour Guide / Imaging / EAA Camera

The Altair GPCAM2 290C Colour camera has the sought after Sony Exmor IMX290 CMOS sensor, with high sensitivity, and extremely low read noise, which alongside the IMX224 is possibly the lowest of any similar sized sensor. *

It can be used for solar, planetary, lunar “lucky” imaging as well as long exposure deepsky imaging, and of course video astronomy. Time-lapse all-sky imaging (with optional meteor lens) is fully supported in the software. Amp glow is very well suppressed making this sensor a particularly good choice for deepsky imaging or video astronomy.

The SONY Exmor IMX290 Color CMOS sensor has very low read noise, with 2.9 micron pixels and a large 1920x1080 array giving 2.07 megapixels. It is also BSI, or backside illuminated and carries the STARVIS rating.

Onboard buffering gives USB data transfer speeds significantly higher than the GPCAM1 series, pushing the USB2.0 format to the limit, yet within a stable envelope. This almost completely eliminates dropped frames, corrupted video, and enables faster more consistent frame rates, even with less powerful notebook computers.

The casing has an external heatsink surface, which dissipates heat generated by the electronics, reducing thermal noise.

The USB2.0 connector is the high strength type - the highest quality component of it's type on the market. This is much more reliable than the micro-USB connectors found on smartphones (we all know how those loosen up over a short time!).

SPECIAL OFFER! FREE 6 Month SharCap PRO License with all Altair cameras made in 2017!

Sharpcap PRO has the amazingly accurate guidescope polar alignment routine, focus assistance, live flat field subtraction and many more great features to make deepsky, EAA or solar system imaging that much easier. Download SharpCap now to take advantage of this special offer - offer only valid in 2017.

The camera has an ST4 auto-guiding port, and can be used to auto-guide with mounts from all the major mount manufacturers supporting ST4 format, such as iOptron, Celestron and Skywatcher.

You would be hard-pressed to find a more versatile small-format colour astronomy imaging camera with this price and features.

And what's more, you get UK/EU based warranty support, plus the Altair Camera Google User Group for all your technical questions - a great place to share tips and techniques to get the best out of your camera.

The camera can be fully controlled in AltairCapture and SharpCap to output uncompressed .AVI and .SER video files for solar system imaging, as well as all common still image formats such as .JPEG .PNG .TIF .BMP, to mention just a few. The GPCAM supports 8bit or 12bit output. The 12 bit output mode can be used for deep sky imaging with less frames needing to be stacked and a wider pixel intensity range. The IMX290 sensor is extremely sensitive in the IR region (for all pixels not just red!) and can be used effectively with IR Pass filters for solar and lunar imaging in mono mode.

What’s different about the GPCAM2 platform compared to the GPCAM1 platform? You’ll notice the GPCAM2 casing is larger than the GPCAM. This is to house larger electronics boards which support trigger mode and frame buffering as well as to increase the surface area for cooling. The GPCAM2 platform supports “Trigger Mode” to make long exposures of over 5 seconds easier to control. With most cameras, in normal video mode, you have to wait for an exposure to complete before the camera will accept, say a command to abort the frame, for say clouds, aircraft, or an alignment issue, like kicking the tripod and so-on, or for routine changes in gain, exposure time, , re-aligning or refocusing on the object. For long exposures, normal video mode is inconvenient, especially for video astronomy and deep-sky imaging, however in Trigger mode, you can stop the camera instantly (even if you are half way through a long 30 second exposure) change the settings, and re-start the camera looping again. The GPCAM2 also has an improved onboard frame buffer to improve data transfer stability at high frame rates (to reduce dropped frames) and to increase compatibility with a wider range of PCs. The improved buffers give a more consistent data transfer rate over USB2.0 and USB3.0 buses on laptops and desktop PCs.

Technical Specs:

Included in the box:

BASIC Package:
Camera body with high-strength USB2.0 connector.
2m High-speed USB2.0 A male to B male cable.
1.5m ST4 guide cable.
1.25 inch x 20mm nosepiece with female 1.25" filter thread on the front.
CS-Mount adapter with built-in UV-IR Blocking Filter, AR coatings. (Removable for sensor cleaning).
Plastic dust cap 1.25".

FULL Package:
CS-Mount adapter with built-in UV-IR Blocking Filter, AR coatings. (Removable for sensor cleaning).
Camera body with high-strength USB2.0 connector.
2m High-speed USB2.0 A male to B male cable.
1.5m ST4 guide cable.
1.25 inch x 20mm nosepiece with female 1.25" filter thread on the front.
Plastic dust cap 1.25".
PLUS 2.1mm F1.6 150 degree FOV wide angle Meteor lens and dust caps.
PLUS C-Mount 5mm extension adapter for C-Mount lenses requiring 17.5mm back-focus.

Altair GPCAM2 290M Mono Guide / Imaging / EAA Camera

The Altair GPCAMv2 290 Mono camera has the sought after Sony Exmor IMX290 CMOS sensor, with high sensitivity, and extremely low read noise, which alongside the IMX224 is possibly the lowest of any similar sized sensor. *

It can be used for solar, planetary, lunar “lucky” imaging as well as long exposure deepsky imaging, and of course video astronomy. Time-lapse all-sky imaging (with optional meteor lens) is fully supported in the software. Amp glow is very well suppressed making this sensor a particularly good choice for deepsky imaging or video astronomy.

The SONY Exmor IMX290 CMOS sensor has very low read noise, with 2.9 micron pixels and a large 1920x1080 array giving 2.07 megapixels. It is also BSI, or backside illuminated and carries the STARVIS rating.

Onboard buffering gives USB data transfer speeds significantly higher than the GPCAM1 series, pushing the USB2.0 format to the limit, yet within a stable envelope. This almost completely eliminates dropped frames, corrupted video, and enables faster more consistent frame rates, even with less powerful notebook computers.

The USB2.0 connector is the high strength type - the highest quality component of it's type on the market. This is much more reliable than the micro-USB connectors found on smartphones (we all know how those loosen up over a short time!).

SPECIAL OFFER! FREE 6 Month SharCap PRO License with all Altair cameras made in 2017!

Sharpcap PRO has the amazingly accurate guidescope polar alignment routine, focus assistance, live flat field subtraction and many more great features to make deepsky, EAA or solar system imaging that much easier. Download SharpCap now to take advantage of this special offer - offer only valid in 2017.

The camera has an ST4 auto-guiding port, and can be used to auto-guide with mounts from all the major mount manufacturers supporting ST4 format, such as iOptron, Celestron and Skywatcher.

You would be hard-pressed to find a more versatile small-format Mono astronomy imaging camera with this price and features.

And what's more, you get UK/EU based warranty support, plus the Altair Camera Google User Group for all your technical questions - a great place to share tips and techniques to get the best out of your camera.

The camera can be fully controlled in AltairCapture and SharpCap to output uncompressed .AVI and .SER video files for solar system imaging, as well as all common still image formats such as .JPEG .PNG .TIF .BMP, to mention just a few. The GPCAM supports 8bit or 12bit output. The 12 bit output mode can be used for deep sky imaging with less frames needing to be stacked and a wider pixel intensity range. The IMX290 sensor is extremely sensitive in the IR region (for all pixels not just red!) and can be used effectively with IR Pass filters for solar and lunar imaging in mono mode.

What’s different about the GPCAM2 platform compared to the GPCAM1 platform? You’ll notice the GPCAM2 casing is larger than the GPCAM. This is to house larger electronics boards which support trigger mode and frame buffering as well as to increase the surface area for cooling. The GPCAM2 platform supports “Trigger Mode” to make long exposures of over 5 seconds easier to control. With most cameras, in normal video mode, you have to wait for an exposure to complete before the camera will accept, say a command to abort the frame, for say clouds, aircraft, or an alignment issue, like kicking the tripod and so-on, or for routine changes in gain, exposure time, re-aligning, or re-focusing on the object. For long exposures, normal video mode is inconvenient, especially for video astronomy and deep-sky imaging, however in Trigger mode, you can stop the camera instantly (even if you are half way through a long 30 second exposure) change the settings, and re-start the camera looping again. The GPCAM2 also has an improved onboard frame buffer to improve data transfer stability at high frame rates (to reduce dropped frames) and to increase compatibility with a wider range of PCs. The improved buffers give a more consistent data transfer rate over USB2.0 and USB3.0 buses on laptops and desktop PCs.

Technical Specs:

BASIC Package:
Camera body with high strength USB2.0 connector.
2m High-speed USB2.0 A male to B male cable.
1.5m ST4 auto guide cable.
1.25 inch x 20mm nosepiece with female 1.25" filter thread on the front.
CS-Mount adapter with built-in UV-IR Blocking Filter, AR coatings. (Removable for sensor cleaning).
Plastic dust cap 1.25".

FULL Package:
Camera body with high strength USB2.0 connector.
2m High-speed USB2.0 A male to B male cable.
1.5m ST4 auto guide cable.
1.25 inch x 20mm nosepiece with female 1.25" filter thread on the front.
CS-Mount adapter with built-in Clear Filter, with AR coatings. (Removable for sensor cleaning).
Plastic dust cap 1.25".
PLUS 2.1mm F1.6 150 degree FOV wide angle Meteor lens and dust caps.
PLUS Extra CS-Mount adapter with built-in UV-IR Blocking Filter, AR coatings to use with lens. (Removable for sensor cleaning).
PLUS C-Mount 5mm extension adapter for C-Mount lenses requiring 17.5mm back-focus.