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 GPCAM V2 IMX224

The Altair GPCAMV2 IMX224 Colour camera has the sought after Sony Exmor IMX224 CMOS sensor, with high sensitivity, and extremely low read noise. *

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.

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, 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.

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 IMX224 sensor is extremely sensitive in the IR region (for all pixels not just red!) and can be used very effectively with IR Pass filters such as the Altair Planet Killer series for solar and lunar imaging in mono mode.

What’s different about the GPCAMV2 platform compared to the GPCAM? You’ll notice the GPCAMV2 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 GPCAMV2 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 GPCAMV2 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.

Some interesting features of the IMX224 sensor, aside from very low read noise, are a very high response in the red region of the spectrum making the camera very sensitive to red light for solar imaging, also a peak in all channels in the IR region which enables the camera to be used in mono mode, with a consistent response in all channels with an Altair Planet Killer IR Pass filter

A note of typical frame rates

GPCAM V2 IMX224 Colour (with new buffering):

Approx. Max frame rates (assuming computer Bus and Hard Drive operating at full bandwidth)*:

8 bit mode:
1280x960 - 25-32fps
640x480 - 70-80fps (ROI)
320x240 - 112-125fps (ROI)

12 bit mode - approx 60% of above.

Technical Specs:

Included in the box:

BASIC Package:
Camera body.
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:
Camera body.
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".
2.1mm F1.6 150 degree FOV wide angle Meteor lens and dust caps.
C-Mount 5mm extension adapter for C-Mount lenses requiring 17.5mm back-focus.
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 (launches new window)

Sensor & performance specifications:
ALTAIRGP224C: SONY Exmor IMX224 Color CMOS sensor
Sensor Size: 1/3" diagonal 6.09mm
Exposure duration shortest/longest:
Video mode: 0.105ms (0.000105 secs) / 5000ms (5 seconds)
Trigger mode: 0.105 ms (0.000105 secs) / 1000 secs (1 second)
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 operating at full bandwidth):

8 bit mode:
1280x960 - 27fps
640x480 - 72fps
320x240 - 112fps

12 bit mode:
1280x960 - 13.5fps
640x480 - 29fps
320x240 - 39fps

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
Driver support: PHD2, AltairCapture, SharpCap, (Windows DirectShow)
AltairCapture OS support: Win XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10 (32 & 64 bit)
SharpCap is also fully supported and tested with native drivers.
USB Port & Cable: 2.0 USB, 2m cable
ST4 Port & Cable: Standard ST4 Opto-Isolated, 1.5m cable, iOptron, Celestron, Skywatcher SynScan GOTO.

Camera Format:
Cooling: Air-Cooled large surface area camera body.
Camera body length: 70 mm total length including CS-Mount and 5mm extension ring;
Weight grams: 70 g (camera net weight)
Colour Camera: AR-coated UV/IR blocking filter 380-650nm wavelength transmission

Back-focus & Adapter compatibility:
Optical Window is removable to reveal female C-Mount thread
Camera body thread: C/CS-Mount female allows direct attachment of CS-Mount lens or C-Mount lens with 5mm extension.
C-Mount lens adapter: Included, terminates in female thread connecting to camera body.
C-Mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 17.526 mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
C-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 12.526 mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
Astro filter thread adapter: Included, 1.25" OD, Female thread
Pushfit Barrel OD: Standard Astro format 1.25” OD eyepiece-barrel
Sensor surface distance from flat end of C-Mount adapter: 17.58 mm
Sensor surface distance from flat end of 20mm 1.25” Astro adapter: 37.58 mm

Operating environment conditions:
Power consumption:
Standby 0.315w
Running 0.875w
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
Monitor Display: 17" or Larger

Software delivery: Downloaded online at cameras.altairastro.com and saved to hard drive.

Warranty: 2 years manufacturer warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

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

£129.99

Altair GPCAM Colour BASIC

This is a "basic" version of the GPCAM for autoguiding or planetary imaging.

It does not include the Meteor lens or 5mm CS-to-C-mount extension in the "fully-loaded" GPCAM package.

This package is ideal if you want a colour camera for planetary imaging, video astronomy and autoguiding.

This camera also has extended exposure boards, with onboard analog gain control, onboard noise control, onboard ROI, and trigger mode.
It also takes advantage of the latest Altair drivers available here: cameras.altairastro.com (opens new window).

GPCAM BASIC - what's in the box:
1) GPCAM Camera
2) CS Adapter with built-in UV/IR blocking AR Coated Optical Window
3) 1.25" Nosepiece with 1.25" Astro Filter thread (connects to the CS adapter)
4) 1.5m ST4 Guide Cable
5) USB2.0 Cable
6) Plastic dust cap

What's not included in this package:
1) 5mm CS to C extension adapter
2) Meteor Lens (available separately code: GPCAM-METEORLENS)

About the GPCAM:

The GPCAMAR0130C is an all-in-one General Purpose astronomy camera with a 1.2mpx COLOUR CMOS AR0130 sensor. It's the size of a small eyepiece, and weighs about 70 grams.

You can image the Moon, Sun and Planets in full HD high speed video mode, or take long exposure deep-sky images.

The GPCAM is great for Video Astronomy or "EAA" (Electronically Assisted Astronomy), for real-time viewing of deep-sky objects. Replace your eyepiece with a GPCAM and prepare to be amazed by the detail and colour you can see in for example, the Messier objects.

An ST4 auto-guiding port is included along with all the cables and adapters you need for imaging with almost any telescope.

Special voltage regulation hardware and on-board noise reduction circuitry creating less noise in long exposure mode. Non-essential circuitry is shut down during long exposures resulting in even less noise and a stronger signal. Japanese SMD boards with US made components give better reliability than older style cameras on the market.

GPCAM is perfect for autoguiding with the Altair Miniguider 60 and Starwave 50 finder/guider optical tube ranges. GPCAM fits direct to your Miniguider 60 optical tube just like a 1.25" eyepiece, and no additional adapters are required to achieve focus.

Full ROI (Region Of Interest) support is included, allowing you to increase the frame rate to very high speeds by isolating planets or solar features/

The free downloadable AltairCapture software, enables recording of high speed video, timelapse video, or single frame long exposure images.

High tech CMOS colour sensor: Selected 1/3" Aptina AR0130C HD CMOS sensor with 3.75 micron pixels, high sensitivity and fast frame rate, as well as long time exposure capability. Quantum efficiency (QE) peaks at about 68% in green, which is very high for a colour sensor. Special DR-Pix™ Dynamic Response technology provides high colour performance in a very low light environment, required for planetary imaging, video astronomy and deepsky exposures.

Quality electronics: Altair Astro GPCAM PCB boards feature ESD protection (Electro-Static Discharge). All the electronic components on the PCB board are of high quality and are imported from the USA and Japan. These quality components give Altair cameras more stable performance and a longer lifespan than most other cameras, hence the two year warranty.

Quality CNC machined casing: The camera casing is CNC machined accurate to thousands of an inch, therefore component fit and alignment are very accurate. An internal heat transfer structure conducts heat away from the sensor, to be radiated quickly and efficiently, resulting in a cooler sensor and lower noise. The compact slim casing is attractive for auto guiding because of the limited space when using an Off Axis Guider, Filter wheel or Guidescope. The ST4 & USB cables protrude from the back of the camera for less cable tangles. GPCAM cameras use higher quality USB connectors which will not disconnect or pull out easily. Neat cable management, strong connectors and clearance are more reasons to choose the GPCAM.

The optical window: The sensor is protected by a double-side Anti Reflection (AR) coated optical window, The colour camera optical window blocks UV & IR light enabling direct use with telescopes, barlow and reducer lenses.

Connecting your GPCAM to your PC and mount: A built-in ST4 auto guider port is included on the GPCAM with a 2m ST4 cable. Simply plug your GPCAM into the ST4 guide port on your mount and plug the camera into your PC. This reduces cable-clutter and there is no need for an expensive USB to autoguider converter box.

Connecting your GPCAM to telescopes with filters, and C or CS-Mount lenses: The CNC machined aluminum housing has a standard 1.25 inch OD barrel to fit to almost any telescope focuser including the Altair Miniguider 60, 80, and Starwave 50mm guide scopes. A standard 1.25 inch eyepiece filter can be installed on the end of the 1.25" barrel, such as a light pollution or other special filter. The 1.25" barrel can be removed to reveal a standard CS/C-mount thread compatible with most industrial and surveillance lenses, or microscope eyepiece adapters. The GPCAM is a very flexible system compared other cameras. It allows you to swap the optical window instantly and easily, whilst avoiding touching the filter itself. A 5mm CS to C mount converter ring is also included. This allows you to attach CS-mount lenses with 12.5mm back-focus, or C-mount lenses with 17.5mm backfocus. Therefore you can experiment with a huge range of lenses, unlike other cameras which only allow the use of CS lenses. See the GPCAM system chart for more info.

The Meteor lens: You can use the 150 degree FOV F1.6 Meteor lens for wide angle imaging of the sky to capture meteorites and aurora displays - or just create a video of the night sky as the earth rotates. You can even make timelapse daytime videos to capture cloud formations or capture any activity with standard high speed video mode. This little lens is sharp too, and perfectly capable of macro photography and video. Your imagination is the limit!

Software & compatibility:
Note: This camera does not come with software in the box. You will need to download GP-CAM drivers and software to make it work. DO NOT PLUG IN CAMERA UNTIL YOU HAVE INSTALLED THE DRIVERS.
Fully supported by the latest version of Sharpcap for still and video capture, and full control of your camera. Sharpcap supports darkframe subtraction, and live image stacking for viewing deepsky objects in real-time!
AltairCapture astrophotography software supports on-the-fly darkframe subtraction, video preview, video recording, snapshot image capture, timelapse, and real 8 or 12 bit data output in .SER and .AVI video, stills or frame-stacks in .PNG, TIFF .BMP formats and more. You can control the camera frame rate, exposure time from milliseconds to minutes, colour balance, gain, gamma, live histogram manipulation (in RGB or Mono), switching between mono or colour modes, camera resolution, ROI (Region Of Interest) and a lot more.
A special version of PHD2 Guiding can also be downloaded here. GPCAM is also supported in the official release of PHD2.6
ASCOM drivers available at cameras.altairastro.com.
Beta drivers are available on the Altair Astro Google Group.
Included in the box:
Camera body.
2m High-speed USB2.0 A male to B male cable.
1.5m ST4 guide cable.
1.25 inch x 20mm nosepiece with 1.25" filter thread.
C-Mount 5mm extension adapter for C-Mount lenses requiring 17.5mm backfocus.
Extra CS-Mount adapter with built-in clear AR coated optical window (for UV or IR imaging of planets with UV or IR pass filters).
CS-Mount adapter with built-in UV-IR Blocking Filter AR coated (for imaging with lenses or refractors).
2.1mm F1.6 150 degree FOV wide angle Meteor lens and dust cap.
Plastic dust cap 1.25".
Note: This camera does not come with software in the box. You will need to download the latest GP-CAM drivers.

A Note on typical Frame Rates

GPCAM V1 Mono and Colour cameras:

Approx. Max frame rates (assuming computer Bus and Hard Drive operating at full bandwidth)*:

8 bit mode:
1280x960 17-26fps
640x480 56-62fps (ROI)
320x240 80-93fps (ROI)

12 bit mode - approx 50% of above.

Technical Specs:

Sensor & performance specifications:

GPCAMAR0130C: Aptina AR0130 Colour CMOS sensor
Sensor Size: 1/3" diagonal (4.8x3.6mm)
Exposure duration shortest/longest: 0.4 ms (0.0004 secs) / 800 secs
Bit depth: 8bit & 12bit mode switchable
Pixel size microns: 3.75x3.75 um
Resolution in pixels: 1280x960
Recording System: Still Picture and Video
Region Of Interest (ROI) support: Yes, user selectable via driver
Approx. Max frame rates (assuming computer Bus operating at full bandwidth):
1280x960 30FPS, 1024x768 40FPS, 800x600 70FPS, 640x480 100FPS, 20x240 200FPS
Sensor QE / Quantum Efficiency:
GPCAMAR0130C: Approx. 68% peak in green light
Gain Sensitivity:
GPCAMAR0130C: 5.5v/lux-sec
Dynamic Range:
GPCAMAR0130C: >85.3dB
SNR Maximum:
GPCAMAR0130C: 44dB
Readout: Progressive Scan
Shutter: Electronic Rolling Shutter

Spectral Range & Colour Management - GPCAMAR0130C colour camera:
350-1050nm with double sided AR Coated window (removable)
White balance: ROI White Balance/ Manual Temp-Tint Adjustment
Colour Rendering Technique: Ultra Fine Colour Engine

Software & OS support:
Drivers & software download (Windows only): cameras.altairastro.com
Driver support: PHD2, AltairCapture, SharpCap, (Windows DirectShow)
AltairCapture OS support: Win XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10 (32 & 64 bit)
USB Port & Cable: 2.0 USB, 2m cable
ST4 Port & Cable: Standard ST4 Opto-Isolated, 1.5m cable, iOptron, Celestron, Skywatcher SynScan GOTO.

Physical characteristics:
Cooling: High Performance Cooling Chassis uses telescope focuser as heat-sink
Camera body length: 63mm total length including C-Mount and 1.25" Astro barrel
Weight grams: 70 g (camera net weight)
Optical window built into CS Mount Adapter before 1.25" front barrel - can be removed:
Colour Camera: AR-coated UV/IR blocking filter 380-650nm wavelength transmission

Back-focus & Adapter compatibility:
Optical Window is removable to reveal female C-Mount thread.
Camera body: OD 1.25" stepped barrel
Camera body thread: C/CS-Mount female allows direct attachment of CS-Mount lens or C-Mount lens with 5mm extension.
C-mount lens adapter: Included, terminates in female thread.
C-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 17.526 mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
C-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 12.526 mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
Astro filter thread adapter: Included, 1.25" OD, Female thread
Pushfit Barrel OD: Standard Astro format 1.25" OD eyepiece-barrel
Sensor surface distance from flat end of C-mount adapter: 17.58 mm
Sensor surface distance from flat end of 20mm 1.25” Astro adapter: 37.58 mm

Operating environment conditions:
Power consumption: 0.8 W (Ave. Camera running)
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
Monitor Display: 17" or Larger
Software delivery: Downloaded online and saved to hard drive.

Packaging:
Protective rubber end-cap
Padded cardboard storage box with durable foam inserts

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 enivonments.

£135.00

Altair GPCAM BASIC Mono Guide/Imaging Camera

This is a "basic" version of the GPCAM for autoguiding or planetary imaging with LRGB filters.

It does not include the Meteor lens, 5mm CS-to-C-mount extension, or the extra UV/IR cut filter in the "fully-loaded" GPCAM package.

Instead of the usual UV/IR cut filter, a clear AR-Coated optical window is included which transmits UV and IR light.
This is ideal for autoguiding (approx. 35% sensitivity gain over UV/IR filtered sensor) and for LRGB planetary imaging (planetary filters have UV/IR cut built-in).
This camera also has extended exposure boards, with onboard analog gain control, onboard noise control, and trigger mode.
It also takes advantage of the debugged Altair drivers available here: cameras.altairastro.com (opens new window).

GPCAM BASIC - what's in the box:
1) GPCAM Camera
2) CS Adapter with Clear AR Coated Optical Window
3) 1.25" Nosepiece with 1.25" Astro Filter thread
4) 1.5m ST4 Guide Cable
5) USB2.0 Cable
6) Plastic dust cap

What's not included in this package:
1) 5mm CS to C extension adapter
2) CS-Mounted UV/IR Cut filter (available separately code: GPCAM-METEORLENS)
3) Meteor Lens (available separately code: GPCAM-METEORLENS)

About the GPCAM:

About the size of a small eyepiece, and weighing about 70 grams, the GP-CAM packs many features into a very small form factor.
For autoguiding with the Altair Miniguider and Starwave optical tube range, the GPCAMMT9M034 Mono camera is ideal!
You get all the sensitivity and light weight direct fitment - just like a 1.25" eyepiece. No hassle, no fuss, no adapters required.
The GP-CAM let's you image the Moon, Sun and Planets, and even deep-sky imaging. What's more - an ST4 auto-guiding port is included!

Special voltage regulation hardware and on-board noise reduction circuitry allow the GPCAM to outperform CMOS cameras using older electronics boards, so the GPCAM can even be used for longer deepsky exposures. Japanese SMD boards and US made components give better reliability than older style cameras on the market.

If you ever wanted to experiment with imaging the planets with colour RGB filters, or in UV or IR, the GPCAM GPCAMMT9M034M Mono is also ideally suited.

What's more, you can attach a standard C or CS-mount lens for wide angle imaging of the sky to capture meteorites and aurora displays - or just create a video of the night sky as the earth rotates.

Full ROI (Region Of Interest) support is included, allowing you to increase the frame rate to very high speeds by focusing on planets or solar features, and with the free downloadable AltairCapture software, you can even take darkframes in seconds.

The sensor: Specially selected 1/3" Aptina MT9M034 HD CMOS sensor with 3.75 micron pixels, high sensitivity and fast frame rate, as well as long time exposure capability. The mono CMOS sensor has a Peak QE rating of 74% outperforming many more expensive CCD sensors, and is optimised for performance in a very low light environment, making it perfect for solar, planetary imaging, video astronomy, and deepsky imaging. The peak Quantum Efficiency (QE) of the Aptina MT9M034 Mono sensor is appox. 75% in green light, making it one of the most sensitive 1/3" CMOS sensors available at this price.

The electronics: Altair Astro GPCAM PCB boards feature ESD protection (Electro-Static Discharge). All the electronic components on the PCB board are of high quality and are imported from the USA and Japan. These quality components give Altair cameras more stable performance and a longer lifespan than most other cameras, hence the two year warranty. Non-essential circuitry is shut down during long exposures resulting in even less noise and a stronger signal. Special voltage regulation hardware and on-board noise reduction circuitry allow the GPCAM to outperform CMOS cameras using older electronics boards, so the GPCAM can even be used for longer deepsky exposures. Japanese SMD boards and US made components give better reliability than older style cameras on the market.

The casing: The camera casing is CNC machined on a CNC lathe will multi axis milling capabilities, accurate to thousands of an inch, therefore component fit and alignment are very accurate. The case features an internal heat transfer structure designed to conduct heat away from the electronics, and directly from the sensor to be dissipated through the outer housing quickly and efficiently resulting in a cooler sensor and lower noise in long exposure mode. The GPCAM is attractive for auto guiding because it has a slim casing which fits between OAG and Filter wheel or Guidescope and main optical tube. The ST4 & USB cables protrude from the back of the camera for more clearance. Some cameras do not have this slim casing, and some even have a large wide body with cables protruding from the sides at 90 degrees to the optical axis, or USB/ST4 cables which cannot be combined in a sheath because they are too far apart. This means they are difficult or impossible to use with an OAG and most finder/guiders with cable pull and clearance issues. Neat cable management and clearance are more reasons to choose the GPCAM.

The optical window: The sensor is protected by a double-side Anti Reflection (AR) coated optical window, The colour camera optical window blocks UV & IR light enabling direct use with telescopes, barlow and reducer lenses. The mono camera optical window is clear to allow the user full control over what type of light they wish to pass for example narrowband imaging, Ha solar imaging, RGB planetary imaging or even UV and IR planetary imaging (reveals extreme detail).

Connecting your GPCAM to your PC and mount: A built-in ST4 auto guider port is included on the rear face with 2m ST4 cable for easy connection between auto guider directly to your GOTO mount. The camera is powered through the included 2m USB 2.0 cable, which is aligned with the USB cable so you can combine them in a sheath or tie them together with cable ties to reduce cable-clutter.

Connecting your GPCAM to telescopes with filters, and C or CS-Mount lenses: The CNC machined aluminum housing has a standard 1.25 inch OD barrel to fit to almost any telescope focuser including the Altair Miniguider 60, 80, and Starwave 50mm guide scopes. A standard 1.25 inch eyepiece filter can be installed on the end of the 1.25" barrel, such as a light pollution or other special filter. The 1.25" barrel can be removed to reveal a standard CS/C-mount thread compatible with most industrial and surveillance lenses, or microscope eyepiece adapters. If you want to image in exotic wavelengths like UV or IR you can use the clear optical window which comes with the MONO camera. For use with a Barlow lens for imaging, you need a UV/IR Blocking filter. For guiding only the clear optical window is all you need (increased sensitivity of around 35%). The GPCAM is a very flexible system compared other cameras. It allows you to swap the optical window instantly and easily whilst avoiding touching the filter, a feature not possible with some other cameras. A 5mm CS to C mount converter ring is also included. This allows you to attach CS-mount as well as C-mount lenses, so you have a huge range of lenses available to experiment with, unlike other cameras which only allow the use of CS lenses. See the GPCAM system chart for more info.

The Meteor lens: You can use the 150 degree FOV F1.6 Meteor lens for wide angle imaging of the sky to capture meteorites and aurora displays - or just create a video of the night sky as the earth rotates. You can even make timelapse daytime videos to capture cloud formations or capture any activity with standard high speed video mode. This little lens is sharp too, and perfectly capable of macro photography and video. Your imagination is the limit!

Software & compatibility:
Note: This camera does not come with software in the box. You will need to download GP-CAM drivers and software to make it work. DO NOT PLUG IN CAMERA UNTIL YOU HAVE INSTALLED THE DRIVERS.
Fully supported by the latest version of Sharpcap for still and video capture, and full control of your camera. Sharpcap supports darkframe subtraction, and live image stacking for viewing deepsky objects in real-time!
AltairCapture astrophotography software supports on-the-fly darkframe subtraction, video preview, video recording, snapshot image capture, timelapse, and real 8 or 12 bit data output in .SER and .AVI video, stills or frame-stacks in .PNG, TIFF .BMP formats and more. You can control the camera frame rate, exposure time from milliseconds to minutes, colour balance, gain, gamma, live histogram manipulation (in RGB or Mono), switching between mono or colour modes, camera resolution, ROI (Region Of Interest) and a lot more.
A special version of PHD2 Guiding can also be downloaded here. GPCAM is also supported in the official release of PHD2.6
ASCOM drivers available at cameras.altairastro.com.
Beta drivers are available on the Altair Astro Google Group.

A Note on typical Frame Rates

GPCAM V1 Mono and Colour cameras:

Approx. Max frame rates (assuming computer Bus and Hard Drive operating at full bandwidth)*:

8 bit mode:
1280x960 17-26fps
640x480 56-62fps (ROI)
320x240 80-93fps (ROI)

12 bit mode - approx 50% of above.

Technical Specs:

The message could not be sent because there are no recipients.

Subject ''
Server: 'smtp.gmail.com'
Windows Live Mail Error ID: 0x800CCC7B
Protocol: SMTP
Port: 465
Secure(SSL): Yes

1 2 >