- ZWO ASI178MC-COOL advanced color astronomy camera with back illuminated 6.4 megapixel CMOS sensor with 3096x2080 resolution, 2.4 μm pixels, and 8.92 mm diagonal size
- Integrated TEC cooling reduces sensor temperature to 35C to 40C below ambient to keep noise low to enable imaging of faint deep-sky objects
- Ideal for capturing high-resolution color astronomical images with excellent contrast as a result of superior resolution of 14-bit ADC
- Advanced Sony IMX178 sensor with Exmor R technology for high-speed processing, low noise, and low power dissipation with back illuminated sensors
- Fast USB 3.0 transfer at up to 60 fps at maximum 3096x2080 resolution and 253 fps at 640x480; interface is backward compatible to USB 2.0
- Attractive red anodized CNC aluminum body stands up to heavy field use
- Ready to go out of the box with software, cables, adapters, and manual
- Compact body with 78mm diameter and weight of only 410 g (14.6 oz)
The ZWO ASI178MC-COOL is a sensitive and state-of-the-art color astronomy camera with 6.4 megapixel resolution and USB 3.0 download speed. Built around the Sony IMX178 back-illuminated sensor, this advanced camera has a resolution of 3096x2080 with 2.4 μm pixel size. With 14-bit ADC and low read noise, this high-sensitivity camera is ideal for high-resolution astronomical imaging and works well for microscopy imaging as well. And with regulated two-stage TEC cooling, this camera can cool the sensor to 35C to 40C below ambient to keep noise low.
The heart of this color camera is a Type 1/1.8 CMOS sensor with 8.92 mm diagonal. This advanced sensor incorporates Sony's Exmor R technology that enables high-speed processing, low noise, and low power dissipation using column parallel A/D conversion with the back-illuminated sensor. The sensor also incorporates Sony's STARVIS technology features a sensitivity of 2000 mV or more per 1 µm2 and allows high image quality in the visible-light and near infrared light regions.
The 14-bit ADC enables high dynamic range and reduced quantization noise and dark random noise. This makes for clearer image quality in light and dark areas when imaging objects with high contrast.
The rolling shutter and fast USB 3.0 interface on the camera allow transfer rates of up to 60 frames per second at full 3096x2080 resolution. At reduced resolution of 640x480, download rates up to 253 fps become possible. The camera enables exposure times of 32 μs to 1000 s (16.7 minutes).
On the camera body, next to the USB3.0 and guide ports, a 2.1mm center-positive connector provides an input for the cooler power supply (not included). From the supply, the camera requires 12VDC @ 2A maximum. A Cooler Power LED shows when the cooler has sufficient power. There's also a large built-in heat sink which accounts for nearly 2/3 of the camera's size. At the top of the camera, an advanced and efficient MagLev fan removes heat from the TEC and control electronics while keeping acoustic noise low.
The ASI178MC-COOL has a robust and attractive CNC machined red-anodized aluminum body that stands up to heavy field use. An AR/IR-CUT glass window protects the sensor and helps keep images sharp. The camera body includes a standard 2" M42x0.75 internal thread interface on top for adapters, and a 1/4-20 thread in the bottom to make it easy to attach the device to a camera tripod or mount.
The ZWO ASI178MC-COOL color astronomy camera can be used with just about any telescope. It comes with everything you need to get started including a CD with user manual, Windows camera driver, ASCOM driver, SharpCap Image Capturing software, FireCapture Image Capturing software, and Stakkert 2 Stacking software. You also get a 2-meter USB 3.0 cable and a 2-meter ST4 guider cable for use in autoguiding. A M42-threaded 1.25" nosepiece, and a 1.25" cover also come with the camera. When used for autoguiding, the camera can also work with Maxim DL or PHD when guiding with long exposures.
ZWO's brand new cooled version of ASI178MC Color CMOS Imaging Camera allows the sensor to be cooled to 35C to 40C degrees below ambient! Back-illuminated CMOS Image Sensor with 14bit ADC. ASI178MC has a 1/1.8″ and 6.4M pixels sensor IMX178 with SONY STARVIS and Exmor R technology. Extremely low read noise (2.2 e – 1.4e ), high sensitivity and 14bit ADC make it very suitable for astronomy and microscopy high resolution photography. This camera can run without external power supply in normal mode, although ZWO recommends 12V 2.5A or 3A minimum DC adapter for cooler power supply.
Camera technical details
- Sensor: 1/1.8” CMOS IMX178
- Resolution: 6.4 Mega Pixels 3096*2080
- Pixel Size: 2.4µm
- Sensor Size: 7.4mm*5mm
- Diagonal: 8.92mm
- Exposure Range: 32µs-1000s
- ROI: Supported
- ST4 Guider Port: Yes
- Focus Distance to Sensor: 12.5mm
- Shutter Type: Rolling Shutter
- Protect window: IR-CUT window
- Operating System Compatibility: Mac, Windows, Linux
- Interface: USB3.0/USB2.0
- Bit rate: 14bit output(14bit ADC)
- Adaptor: 2″ / 1.25″ / M42X0.75
- Dimensions: 78 mm Diameter
- Weight: 410g
- Back Focus Distance: 17.5mm
- Cooling: Regulated Two Stage TEC
- Delta T: 35-40 degrees C
- Cooler Power Supply Required: 12V at 2A Max
- 10bit ADC/14bit ADC
- 3096×2080 60fps / 30fps
- 2560×2048 62fps / 31fps
- 2048×1080 116fps / 58fps
- 1280×960 130fps / 65fps
- 800×600 204.7fps / 102.3fps
- 640×480 253.1fps / 126.5fps
- 320×240 479.7fps / 239.8fps
- More resolutions can be defined by user