The ZWO ASI290MM comes with a back-illuminated, 6.46mm diagonal size (type 1/2.8") Square Pixel Array Colour CMOS Image Sensor with improved visible light and near infrared sensitivity that supports 1080p.
Sony has developed the approx. 2.13M effective pixel back-illuminated CMOS image sensors IMX290LQR and IMX291LQR with improved sensitivity in the visible-light and near infrared light regions for industrial applications.
A new 2.9 µm-square unit pixel has been developed that combines a back-illuminated structure with technology for improving near infrared sensitivity to further enhance picture quality at low illumination while at the same time realizing Full HD cameras for industrial applications. This realizes two or more times the sensitivity in the visible-light region and three or more times the sensitivity in the near infrared light region than that of the existing Sony product (IMX236LQJ).
The result is extremely low read noise, an amazing 1e at 30dB gain and high sensitivity especially in the near IR range.
The characteristics of this camera suggest that with its very high sensitivity, low noise, small pixel sizes, comparatively high resolution and very high framerate this camera might become our lead planetary imager.
It is not meant to compete with an ASI174, ASI178 or ASI185 as those are more suited for a more versatile task when imaging larger objects, however the ASI290 will work very well with smaller telescopes when imaging really tiny objects like Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus, etc or maybe even small DSOs.
The ASI290MM camera comes with USB3.0 connection that gives you the opportunity to use it with newer laptops and is backward compatible with USB2.0. High framerates are not a guarantee for excellent images, but certainly helpful if other circumstances are given and especially helpful for the weather conditions of the average UK sky. There is no USB 2.0 version of this camera as that simply won't be enough to use the camera's possible high framerate, plus, for the same reason, we would really recommend to use it with USB3.0 compatible hardware as that's the only way to achieve very high framerates...Never-the-less it is backward compatible with USB2.0 computers where a lower framerate can be achieved.
Due to the high IR sensitivity and the various ways that this camera can be used, IR cut-off fiter is not built in so we would also recommend to buy it separately as well.
It comes with an AUTOGUIDER PORT just as many other ZWO cameras, so when you don't use it for imaging, you may use it for guiding in combination with another deep sky imaging camera!
With this monochrome version, you'll also need a filter wheel and a set of L-RGB filters or H-alpha and OIII filters, and maybe even H-beta and SII filters as well for narrow band astro photography...)
Features of the ZWO ASI290MM Camera
Recommended for the planets and some small deep sky objects
Resolution: 1936×1096 at up 82fps (at 12bit ADC) or 170fps (at 10 bit ADC)
Long time exposure up to 2000s!
Very low read noise (1e)
High Sensitivity, especially in IR range
Full aluminum housing with standard 2" interface
M42X0.75 internal thread.
T-thread to C-mount adapter included
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
We'd recommend to use the latest version of Firecapture with the USB3.0 ZWO ASI cameras...
Sensor: 1/2.8″ CMOS IMX290/IMX291
Resolution: 2.1Mega Pixels 1936×1096
Pixel Size: 2.9µm
Exposure Range: 32µs-2000s
ST4 Guider Port: Yes
Focus Distance to Sensor: 12.5mm
Shutter Type: Rolling Shutter
Protect window: AR coated window
Operating System Compatibility: Mac, Windows, Linux
Bit rate: 12bit output(12bit ADC)
Adaptor: 2″ / 1.25″ / M42X0.75
Dimension: φ62mm X 36mm
Weight: 120g or 4.2 ounces (without lens)
Working Temperature: -5°C—45°C
Storage Temperature: -20°C—60°C
Working Relative Humidity: 20%—80%
Storage Relative Humidity: 20%—95%
USB2.0 MAX FPS
2X2Bin :968×548: 20.4
USB3.0 MAX FPS(12bit/10bit)
2X2Bin :968×548: 82.2/170
More resolutions can be user defined
SOFTWARE and DRIVERS
Up-to-date drivers can be found on the manufacturer's website. Click here!
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 a Yahoo Group where you can find lots of information about how other members use the ZWO cameras: Yahoo Group ZWO ASI Cameras