ZWO ASI2600MC Pro Cooled Colour Deep Sky Camera

ZWOptical

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ASI2600MC Pro uses Sony’s latest back-illuminated IMX571 APS-C format sensor with a native 16-bit ADC.

It is the colour version of the ASI2600MM Pro. It has an impressive range of features that make it a popular choice for astrophotographer. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Ultra-low 0e- readout noise – bringing out more details in your images with improved dynamic range
  • Innovative breakthrough design resulting in zero amp-glow – even during long exposures, which means one thing less to worry about in post-processing
  • 16-bit ADC sensor – giving a high dynamic range of up to 14 stops!
  • 80% peak QE – no need to worry about saturating stars

 

We have been working hard to reduce the weight of the camera while improving the performance of the camera. After years of technical accumulation and repeated weight loss experiments by ZWO engineers, ZWO finally concentrated the ASI2600 to 0.7KG.

The camera has a 26MP sensor with a small pixel size of 3.76um, yet it accommodates an impressively large well depth of 50 ke-.

The sensor length and width are 23.5mm * 15.7mm respectively. The diagonal is 28.3mm.

 

Sony’s back-illuminated CMOS image sensor improves the sensitivity and noise reduction – the key factors to enhancing image quality. It does this by radically realigning the fundamental pixel structure from front-illumination to back-illumination, while still retaining the advantages of CMOS image sensors such as low power consumption and high-speed operation.

With a conventional front-illumination structure, the metal wiring and transistors on the surface of the silicon substrate that form the sensor’s light-sensitive area (photo-diode), impede photon-gathering carried out by the on-chip lens. A back-illuminated structure minimizes the degradation of sensitivity to the optical angle response, while also increasing the amount of light that enters each pixel due to the lack of obstacles such as metal wiring and transistors. These components have been moved to the back-side of the silicon substrate.

The ASI2600MC Pro boasts excellent performance with a dynamic range of up to 14 stops. When the gain value is set to 100, the HCG high gain mode is turned on. We’re not saying it’s magic…but we’d like to think it is pretty close. With the HCG-mode turned on, the readout noise is greatly reduced, and the dynamic range is basically unchanged. To improve the data quality, it is recommended to set the gain to 0 or gain 100 during deep-sky imaging.

 

Anti Dew Heater

ASI2600MC Pro comes with the polyimide heater.

Anti Dew Heater completely fits the protective window, to avoid any dew issues.

Can be turned on or off in software, and uses about 5w.

 

2 Stage TEC Cooling

Thanks to the two stage TEC cooling, ASI2600MC Pro can lower the CMOS sensor temperature to more than 35 degrees Celsius below ambient temperature, which can greatly reduce dark current generation and sensor noise even during extended exposure times.


Camera technical details

Sensor: SONY IMX571 CMOS
Diagonal: 28.3mm
Resolution: 26Mega Pixels 6248 X 4176
Pixel Size: 3.76µm
Shutter: Rolling shutter
Exposure Range: 32µs-2000s
ROI:  Supported
Read Noise: 1.0-3.3
QE peak: over 80%
Full well: 50000
ADC: 16bit
Interface: USB3.0/USB2.0
Adaptor: M42X0.75
Protect window: D60-2 IR Cut
Dimensions: 90mm Diameter
Weight: 700g
Back Focus Distance: 17.5mm
Cooling: Regulated Two Stage TEC
Delta T:  35°  below ambient
Cooler Power consumption: 12V at 3A Max
Working Temperature: -5°C — +45°C
Storage Temperature: -10°C — +60°C
Working Relative Humidity: 0%—80%

Supported resolution

16Bit ADC
6248 × 4176 @ 3.51fps
4096 × 3072 @ 4.75fps
4096 × 2160 @ 6.71fps
3840 × 2160 @ 6.71fps
1920 × 1080 @ 13.13fps

1280 × 720 @ 19.29fps
640 × 480 @ 28.06fps
320 × 240 @ 51.44fps
3840 × 2160 @ 6.71fps

More resolutions can be seen in the software, customised resolution also supported.

 

DOWNLOADS:

On the included CD you'll find drivers and two software applications: Firecapture and SharpCap. These are both freeware and the latest versions can be downloaded from the developers' websites.
If you have any problem with installing any of the software from the CD, please download them from here:
Firecapture Beta Downloads
SharpCap Downloads

 

We'd recommend to always use the beta version of Firecapture, but reverse to the latest stable version if you experience problems.

 

For full specification, driver installation tutorial (youtube video), basic usage information and recommended third party software please visit the manufacturer's website: ZWOptical

There is also a Yahoo Group where you can find lots of information about how other members use the ZWO cameras: Yahoo Group ZWO ASI Cameras

 

 

 

TROUBLESHOOTING:

Here you can download a pdf file that will guide you through ZWO ASI camera troubleshooting. Click here!

Read more...

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