ASI294MC Pro (color)

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Product Description

ASI294MC Pro

asi294Sensor5294pro logo

The ASI294MC Pro is the first camera in the world equipped with the latest Sony sensor IMX294CJK. This is one of the top-selling cameras from ZWO. Looking at the specifications and comparing it to the relatively low price, it is easy to see why. Some of the highlights include:

  • back-illuminated sensor – improving sensitivity and reducing noise
  • 4/3” format with 4.63 um pixel size – ideal for many types of telescopes
  • 14-bit ADC– giving high dynamic range of 13 stops
  • An impressive 7ke- full well capacity- helping to reduce the issue of, for example, saturated stars.

On top of this, it also has a very high QE-value with a peak of over 75%. If you are looking for a small-format OSC camera for astrophotography, you can’t go wrong with the ASI294MC Pro.

294MC Pro3

Sony 10.71M-Effective Pixel Color CMOS Image Sensor (official description from Sony site), with a diagonal of 21.63mm (4/3 format). ZWO has refined the sensor and remolded it to increase the diagonal to 23.2mm with approximately 11.71M-Effective pixels (4/3 format).

i_imx294

▶High-Sensitivity Type 4/3 CMOS Image Sensor that Supports 4K for Astronomic Cameras and Industrial Applications

The IMX294CJK sensor is the first in-house image sensor for astronomic cameras to adopt the 4/3 format and provides the necessary number of pixels for true 4k output at 120 frames per second (w/ ADC 10-bit output mode, the ASI294MC can run up to 25fps at 4k format when used with USB 3.0). In addition, the use of larger-sized pixels achieves SNR1s of 0.14 lx* which is very close to the value of the ASI224 (0.13 lx*).

▶Exceptional low-illumination performance

Exceptional low-illumination performance of SNR1s: 0.14 lx is realized by use of a large-size optical system and by expanding the area per pixel to 4.63 µm. This makes the IMX294CJK ideal for astronomic camera market applications that require low-illumination performance.

DDR Memory Buffer

The ASI294MC Pro camera includes a 256MB DDR3 memory buffer to help improve data transfer reliability. Additionally, the use of a memory buffer minimizes amp-glow, which is caused by the slow transfer speeds when the camera is used with a USB 2.0 port.

DDR

DDR memory buffer is the main difference between ASI “Cool” and “Pro” cameras.

14bit ADC w/ 13 stops DR

The ASI294MC Pro has a 14bit ADC unit, allowing it to achieve 13 stops of dynamic range. This is an excellent characteristic for deep sky imaging, which inherently needs high dynamic range. At 13 stops, the ASI294MC has even more dynamic range than the ASI1600.

HCG Mode

HCG (high conversion gain) mode, which reduces read noise to even lower levels at higher gain without loss to dynamic range, is automatically enabled when the gain setting is 120 or higher. Read noise will drop under 2e-, while dynamic range will remain at 13 stops.

294 Gain RN DR FW vs gainFull well Capacity

The ASI294MC provides a great full well capacity of 63700e-, which is 3 times higher than the capacity of the highly regarded ASI1600. Even bright stars won’t saturate under long exposures. This also means that this camera can achieve higher SNR (signal to noise ratio) with just one single exposure.

Reliable Mechanics

ASI294MC Pro has the same mechanics as ASI1600 Pro. There are four screws that seal the sensor chamber. Our camera design has been extensively tested and is very stable. Even when used in higher humidity environments, ASI294MC Pro will still work well without dew problems.

ASI294_600X600NEW

High QE

The IMX294 sensor is a BSI (backside illuminated type) sensor, which has very high QE (quantum efficiency, which we estimate is over 75% peak). 294QE

Dark Current

The dark current of the ASI294 is a bit lower than the ASI1600 at same temperature, based on our test results. Dark frame sample @ Highest dynamic range settings, 300s, -10°C, bin1. Please check the dark frame to make sure you fully know the performance. ASI294MC Pro Dark Frame

294 DarkCurrent VS T

Notice: For the possible amp glow that shows on your images, please refer to this tutorial: “What is Amp-glow and how do I manage it? “

https://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/faq

 

USB 3.0 Port & USB2.0 HUB

USB 3.0 Port: Provide 5Gb bandwidth to make it possible for ASI294 Pro to run at 16 fps (14bit, normal mode) or 19 fps (12bit, high speed mode)  at full resolution(11.7Mega).

USB 2.0 HUB: can connect with various accessories, such as filter wheel, guide camera and electronic focuser, so you can better manage your cables. The ASI294 Pro includes two short 0.5m USB 2.0 cables. The integrated USB 2.0 hub is powered by the external power source if you connect one.

Cooling System

Thanks to the two-stage TEC cooling, ASI294MC Pro can lower the CMOS sensor temperature to 35-40 degrees Celsius below ambient temperature, which can greatly reduce dark current generation and sensor noise even during extended exposure times.

*The Delta T 35-40℃ is tested at 30℃ ambient temperature. It might get down when the cooling system is working for a long time. Also, as the ambient temperature falls, the Delta T would also decrease. 
Please notice that the camera needs to be connected to an external 11-15v power supply to implement the cooling function. We recommend you use 12V@3A DC adapter (5.5*2.1mm, center pole positive) or lithium battery with 11-15V to power the camera. If you don’t have one, please click here to buy a 12V power adapter. There are 4 different standards  for different countries, please make sure you selected the correct adapter when placing the order.

Connecting Diagram

20180131_101314_144

1. M43-T2 adapter (optional)

2. EOS-T2 adapter (optional) 3. 2” Filter (optional) 4. 1.25” T-Mount 5. 1.25” Filter (optional) 6. M42-1.25” adapter 7. T2 extender 11mm

Mechanical Diagram

asi294-Mechanical-Drawing

What is in the box?

ASI294 Pro box includes all necessary cables, adapters, and manuals.

深空相机1-英

Spacer thickness: 0.1mm *1+0.2mm *2+0.5mm *1

The best solution of 55mm back focus length

Cooled Color Camera solution Cooled Color Camera with OAG solution Read more: https://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/tutorials/best-back-focus-length-solutions-55mm.html

Product review:

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/591441-asi-new-camera-294-pro-beta-testing/page-11#entry8165708

Camera technical details

Sensor: 4/3″ SONY IMX294 CMOS
Diagonal: 23.2mm
Resolution: 11.7Mega Pixels 4144X2822
Pixel Size: 4.63µm
Bayer Pattern: RGGB
Shutter:Rolling shutter
Exposure Range: 32µs-2000s
ROI: Supported
Read Noise: 1.2-7.3e
QE peak: TBD
Full well: 63.7ke
ADC:14bit
DDRIII Buffer: 256MB
Non-volatile memory/On camera storage: Build-in total 192K byte user-accessible space(image size up to 480X320)
Interface: USB3.0/USB2.0
Adaptor: M42X0.75
Protect window: AR
Dimensions: 78mm Diameter
Weight: 410g
Back Focus Distance: 6.5mm
Cooling: Regulated Two Stage TEC
Delta T: 35°C-40°C below ambient
Camera Power consumption: 650mA at 5V
Cooler Power consumption: 12V at 3A Max
Working Temperature: -5°C—45°C
Storage Temperature: -20°C—60°C
Working Relative Humidity: 20%—80%
Storage Relative Humidity: 20%—95%
Max FPS at full resolution:
10Bit ADC
4144×2822 19fps
14bit ADC
4144×2822 16fps

Resolution USB 3.0 Raw16
4144×2822 16.3fps
4096×2160 21.1fps
3840×2160 21.1fps
1920×1080 40.9fps
1280×720 59.7fps
640×480 85.9fps
320×240 153.4fps

Resolution USB 3.0 Raw8& HighSpeed
4144×2822 19.0fps
4096×2160 24.7fps
3840×2160 24.7fps
1920×1080 47.9fps
1280×720 69.8fps
640×480 100.5fps
320×240 179.3fps

more resolutions are in software, support customize resolution.

Shipping

Fast Shipping: we will choose DHL, UPS, FedEx etc to deliver it. Usually you will get your package within 7-14 days.

  • Fast Shipping(amount ≧ 199USD) for free
  • Fast Shipping(amount < 199USD) : $20.00 (We do not provide free shipping from now on.)

Introduction

  1. It will take around 60-90 days for shipment via ePacket/China Post Registered Air Mail/EMS, which can’t be guaranteed due to force majeure. If you can’t get the air mail package after 2months, please let us know ASAP: info@zwoptical.com
  2. Customers from Brazil and Chile should leave a message to provide your CPF or CNPJ as your custom needs it.
  3. Customers from Russia need to provide the complete English name with three words as well as the English shipping address.

Tracking site

DGM: http://webtrack.dhlglobalmail.com/?locale=en-US

China air mail: http://www.17track.net/en

 

Tax

  • The price list on our website is USD without tax.
  • Please note that buyers are liable to pay tax involved, such as Import tax, VAT , customs handling fee, etc. The additional fees may be collected at time of delivery by courier.
  • For best local service we advise customers buy our cameras form local dealers.

Warranty and Return Policy

1. ZWO will provide a 2-year free warranty service (Warranty Period) for ZWO products purchased by Users from ZWO (“Products”) in accordance with this Policy, commencing on the day following receipt of the Products by Users. For ASIAIR Plus users, commencing on the day of device activation.

2. If a User encounters the following Dead on Arrival (DOA) and contacts ZWO within the corresponding time limit to issue the Product purchase invoice and relevant evidence, ZWO will provide door-to-door pick-up service and, as appropriate, after-sale replacement (or partial replacement), repair or return (or partial return) service for the following Products:
1) Product quality problem
Provided that a User detects a quality problem and contacts ZWO within 30 days after receipt of the Products, and ZWO support team confirms that the Products indeed have a quality problem or defect after their inspection, ZWO will provide free replacement service towards such Products;
2) Product transportation problem
Provided that a User finds obvious signs of bubbling, serious overstocking, or deformation on the outer package of the Products upon receipt of the Products, and provides ZWO with pictures of the outer package and proof of receipt within 3 days after receipt of such Products, ZWO support team will verify the actual shipper and determine the responsible party for such transportation problem. In the event that ZWO is the actual shipper, ZWO will be responsible for providing the relevant return or replacement service, however, if the Products are directly sold or transported to the User by an agent of ZWO, the agent will be responsible for providing the relevant return or replacement service.

3. If the Products are under the following circumstances, they are not within the scope of warranty service, ZWO may provide maintenance services to the Users:
1) The Warranty Period of the Products has expired; or
2) The Products are injected into liquid or affected by moisture or corrosion; or
3) The Products are damaged by an external force (such as the broken of the camera protection window glass, the deformation of the product shell, the broken of the USB port, etc.); or
4) Disassembling, repairing by a third party, refurbishment of the Products (such as downloading erroneous firmware) without the written authorization of ZWO; or
5) The product system is modified, or the maintenance notice is lost or changed; or
6) Product quality problem caused by installation not following the requirements or instructions for the Products; or
7) Physical damage or failure of the Products caused by the force majeure (such as strong vibration or extrusion such as flood, fire, earthquake, or thunder stroke); or
8)Damage caused by the improper User operation during the period of shooting or use, such as using without the equipment protection or direct shooting of the sun; or
9) No valid purchase invoice or warranty certificate; or
10) The Products are second-hand products.
Any quality problem with the accessories or other parts of the Products is not a condition for the return or change of the Products, and the User may solely request to replace the accessories with new ones, which shall be handled after verification by ZWO support team.
If the issue with your ZWO product was caused by certain damage (such as severe damage not covered by the 2-year warranty), you might have to pay the replacement value.

4. For the normal repair or replacement of the Products during the Warranty Period, the User will bear the return cost. When returning the Products, Users shall specify the actual reasons for the damage to the Products, and shall provide the corresponding valid certificates, such as pictures or videos, etc.
For the Products that need to be replaced after being confirmed by ZWO in writing, the User shall return the Products with the complete package, together with all accessories, manuals, etc., to the address designated by ZWO.
By sending back the product to ZWO, the User agrees to pay out-of-warranty fees that may arise during the repair process of the product. ZWO will send back the product after charging.

5. If a User encounters any problem during the use of ZWO Products, you may at any time contact ZWO for technical support via ZWO Support.

For the Products that need to be returned for after-sales service, ZWO will provide the corresponding RMA code for reference.
ZWO will not accept any products having no RMA code that have been returned privately without ZWO written confirmation.

6. If a User purchases the ZWO Products from a ZWO agent, the User may contact the ZWO agent directly for the relevant after-sales service.

Our website is always updated with the most recent camera drivers as well as software for DSO and planetary imaging. Please make sure the most recent driver and software has been installed before you start shooting:

It is also recommended to read the Manuals first before shooting.

Do you have question, answer or comment? Post here!

  1. Avatar

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    Hello,
    Planning to install this on a RASA8 requiring 25mm back focus so I guess I just need to inser a 7.5mm wide ring, correst? Many thanks




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      Yes, it is correct.




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    Hi, I’m looking to by the AS294 MC Pro on AliExpress because the different payment methods available. Are those cameras on Ali the updated one where you have improved the Dark current? For now I will mainly use it on my EF lenses 200 f2.8 and 400 f5.6 also with TC 1.5x EF ver.II as s replacement for my old EOS40D (normaly ISO 800 and 1600) which in winter is not so bad but during warm months it has a lot of noise. Can I expect superior results in terms of noise also without calibration compared to calibrated EOS 40D files?




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      Yes they have been improved in the Dark current.
      It is hard to compare the uncalibrated image form our camera with the DSLR, since the image comes out from the DSLR has been processed.




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  3. Avatar

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    Sean, Just bought the 294 Pro… Just a little concern…. There is a dust on the glass… that I cannot remove with compresssed air… very carefully done… any secure tip on how to remove it… I know flats can make the work…but… Many thanks. AC




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    Hi Sam
    Just wondering, if you have found a way to overcome the uneven cooling with this camera? I heard QHY has corrected the problem with their version

    Thank you




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    • Avatar

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      It in not the uneven cooling problem but a sensor problem, it is the same for all manufactures.




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  5. Avatar

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    Hi Sam/Sean.

    I have just got an ASI294MC Pro to go with my ASI120MC, ASI290MC and ASI174MM. Just need clear skies to try the new camera now!

    I want to try a radical focal reducer that has very short back focus (reducer must be quite close to sensor), so I need to know the distance in mm from outside of AR cover glass to camera sensor, to see if reducer will fit without removing camera AR cover glass. Can you tell me that distance please (Outside of AR glass to sensor).

    Thank You




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      Hi,
      It is 8.5mm.




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  6. Avatar

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    Hi Sean,

    To your opinion, what would be the best compatible DSO software to match with this camera ?
    I’m very familiar with Deep Sky Stacker software, but do you have any other suggestion ?

    Many thanks.




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      You could use DSS, it is a great software. :)




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  7. Avatar

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    I already have a asi 1600mmc that I use on an 8″ EDGE but I’m considering adding a color cmos to my explore scientific 127mm triplet for deep sky work. Have been looking at the 294 and a 128 (not sure how well the full frame 128 would suit the small refractor). Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions as to what would work best with the 127mm? I will likely be using a 0.7x reducer most of the time.

    Thanks
    Randy




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      We recommend you 294 because we do not have 183 in stock.
      If you want bigger frame you could choose 071, with APS-C frame.




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  8. Avatar

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    Hi Sam,
    I saw that you upgraded the dark current graphic, now the ASI294MC has lower levels than the ASI1600MM-Pro, is that correct? This implies that you made an improvement in the camera or in the drivers and now I can take expositions of more than 3 minutes for example?




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      Yes, please give a try.




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    What is the difference between ASI294MC cooled “Pro” v ASI294MC cooled?

    thanks!




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      ASI294MC Pro only have one version, Pro version.




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  10. Avatar

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    Hi Friends!
    I’m consider to purchase this camera for combinate RGB images with my ASI1600MMC luminance.
    My possibles setups with ASI294:
    Takahashi FSQ106 f3,6 and f5
    TS80APO f4,47
    Vixen Visac f6,4
    I’m very interested an a OSC Camera with IDAS LPS D1 Filter.
    And my question is…
    For take 180s no problem?
    I can take darks and bias in the same day with lights, or it’s not necessary?
    I think that this sensor is incredible. In my opinion it’s possible than the same sensor of Panasonic GH5s. It’s Great!
    And…in the future..a A7S sensor i mono..jajaja
    Thanks!




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      Yes, 180s is great. dark and bias can take in another day, in same day with light will be better.
      If A7s will have mono sensor, that will be a great news!




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  11. Avatar

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    Probably had too many questions in one message… With the instruments described in the first message, would you consider 5 minutes exposures of DSO to be short exposures or would it be too long….




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      5 MIN is OK, I suggest to try different expoture, 5min, 10min, longer or less, there is no rule about it.




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    Hi! I consider this camera to combine color with my ASI1600MMC to Luminance or narrowband. But…
    I have a doubt because if I don’t take a large exposition with ASI294 I can’t take color to dark LBN VdB Nebula, because is necessary large exposition with RGB channels.
    It’s possible large exposition with this great camera? Or change camera and selected ASI071 pro?
    Thanks Sam!




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      For long exposure, ASI071 is a better option. amp-glow is very low.




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  13. Avatar

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    Hello Sean,
    I am also considering the 294 since the 1600color is discontinued. You often refer to short exposure… I am using a 80mm refractor at f/6, another of 120mm at f/7.5, and a 8in SCT at f/6.3… for DSO objects, will it be too much if I make subs of 5 minutes… if I use shorter exposures, will I be able to get deep details of DSO… finally which camera would be the best replacement for the 1600, al around… many thanks for reading, AC




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      Depand on the aperature of telescope. adjust exposure time, it’s hard to say, need to do some real shooting to find out.




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  14. Avatar

    (verified owner):

    With SharpCap i got no RGGB!!!
    This is written in the FITS-Header:
    BAYERPAT = ‘RGGB ‘ / NOTE: Use GBRG on some software (eg PixInsight)
    COLORTYP = ‘RGGB ‘ / NOTE: Use GBRG on some software (eg PixInsight)

    So i have to change it in Pixinsight vom RGGB to GBRG…. is this a driver issue?




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      Sharpcap is good for planetary, not for DSO. The written method is designed by Sharpcap team. We can’t do anything about it.




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    Hi
    Can we use filters like HA, Olll, etc with a color camera like this? Thanks for a reply.




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      Hi Ryan
      Well, color can use narrowband filters, but very low efficiency, because of its bayer color micro filters.




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  16. Avatar

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    Hi Sean,

    Sorry, I had two typos. I’ll rephrase my question:
    I am considering in acquiring the ASI294. However, I live in the Caribean where ambient temperature stays an average of 30 degrees C the whole year. Humidity is about 73%, and dew point is about 24 degrees C on average. Are there any issues with condensation with does parameters?

    Also, what would be the optimum temperature to use the ASI224 on does temperature parameters? Would I have elevated amp glow based on the ambient temperature at my location? If so, what other color/ mono camera would be recommended?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestion.
    Jairo




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      Hi Jairo
      amp glow is not sensitive with ambient temperature, so there won’t be a problem. Delta-t of 294 will be 35-40degrees, that’s OK. if for better result choose 1600mmp and EFW, 1600mmp’s Delta-t will be 40-45degrees.




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  17. Avatar

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    Hello,
    I am considering in acquiring the ASI224. However, I live in the Caribean where ambient temperature stays an average of 23 degrees C the whole year. Humidity is about 73%, and dew point is about 23 degrees C on average. Are there any issues with condensation with does parameters?

    Also, what would be the optimum temperature to use the ASI224 on does temperature parameters? Would I have elevated amp glow based on the ambient temperature at my location? If so, what other color/ mono camera would be recommended?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestion.
    Jairo




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    • Avatar

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      Hi Jairo, you want to buy a 224? but your message is under 294mc pro. Which camera do you want?




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  18. Avatar

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    Does this work with a Newtonian 8″ and If so what are the requirements to achieve prime focus?




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      Yes, it can work with 8″ newtonian. There is a lot of accessories in camera box, can help you achieve prime focus point.




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  19. Avatar

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    hello,

    i want to start in astrography.

    i am a proud owner of a MEADE LX90GPS 8″ 2000mm f/10 with a super old CCD MEADE DSI 3 Pro color astrocam. i want to use this cam via PHD as a guider. i live in a light polluted area. i also have an off-axis guider and camera-extender from MEADE.

    i want to buy an ASI294MC Pro (color) cam, is it a good choice? Do i need for focussing a Bahtinov mask? Do i really need a focus reducer??

    Many questions 😉 best regards




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    • Sam Wen

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      Yes,294 would be very good for your setup
      one reducer will be good to add




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  20. Avatar

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    Hi Sam and Sean,

    I have the ASI294MC pro and want to use a USB 2.0 for image capture of DSOs (60s and above). Is there any issued with more amp glow or other visual defects or is it just slower?

    Kevin




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      Hi Kevin
      294mc pro have DDR buffer, even under USB2.0 noise still at the same level.




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