Advice for an Astro Photography Setup [ THE CAMERA] - Choosing a CMOS or CCD FOR photometry

Sat, 07/18/2020 - 17:01

This is a branch of another post which makes an intro about my project and needs:



In this post, I will  mark the questions I WOULD like to be answered with this emoticon enlightened and italics, to make a little easier to identify my questions .. Of course, you are invited in all comments you like,but this are the questions I would made if this were a conversation.

smiley-char145.gif CHOOSING A CAMERAsmiley-char145.gif

I've read a lot about the datasheets of most of the models in a budget between 200USD and 1000USD. And my conclusions are

  • Mono camera
  • Sensitive sensor
  • Cooled if it is in budget

After many study of the Gain and electron per ADU, I think the best options are among some cameras based in the IMX178 sensor


My best bet
QHY 178M Monochrome Astronomy Camera # QHY178M

the ZWO cooled camera with the 178 is this one but is discontinued:

If the budget is a problem I can use the non-cooled and take account they will be more noisy
ZWO ASI178MM 6.4 MP CMOS Monochrome Astronomy Camera with USB 3.0 # ASI178MM

QHY 5-III 178M Monochrome Astronomy Camera with USB 3.0 # QHY5-III-178-M  



PROS: 14bits!!!!!! Low noise, Anti-amp light glow control, low readout noise, good gain, 84% QE !!!. the pixel size is fine for my focal lengths. 

CONS: No cheap the cooled (but is less expensive compared with others). IS NOT SO PROVED FOR AAVSO ASTROPHOTOMETRY and is new, so many people doen't trust in the lineriality of the sensor

Do you have more cons of the cameras based on IMX178 in the application I described in the first part of my original post?enlightened

What do you think, is a good choice or simply I am in love?enlightened


yay.gif CCD OPTIONyay.gif 


Oh, here I have two choices, I think....

If I go in budget the only option is this

Orion StarShoot G4 Monochrome Deep Space Imaging Camera - 53087  


Reliable, and very sensitive. and is a CCD. Choosen by many amateur astronomers with my same goals. PROVED for astrophotometry. 16bits!


Few pixels, BIG pixels for a 600-900mm but nice for a RC 1600mm. Old model. Old design. Old technology. Big well. Low frame rate- no lucky imaging.... is heavy.

The expensive option but good one:

The better option with a generous budget:flowerred.gif

1495 USD 
Good sensor, nice CCD low noise. One of the most sensitive in the amateur market CCD

What do you think about my CCD or CMOS dilema?enlightened


This is a branch of another post which makes an intro about my project and needs:


American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Go with the cooled version

Go with the cooled version whenever possible.  Put in an extra $300 for it if you have to.

As for CMOS vs CCD, eventually, you won't have much of a choice as no one will be around to manufacture CCD chips and that they'll all be CMOS with exception to the extremely expensive EMCCD that professional astronomers and NASA uses.


Also, take into account pixel size and sampling.  If an 8" f/4 Newtonian, the cooled QHY178M or Atik414EX would be better than the G4 unless you get a telescope with a longer focal length.