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.
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).
▶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 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 (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.
Full 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.
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.
The IMX294 sensor is a BSI (backside illuminated type) sensor, which has very high QE (quantum efficiency, which we estimate is over 75% peak).
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
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.
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.
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
What is in the box?
ASI294 Pro box includes all necessary cables, adapters, and manuals.
Spacer thickness: 0.1mm *1+0.2mm *2+0.5mm *1
The best solution of 55mm back focus length
Read more: https://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/tutorials/best-back-focus-length-solutions-55mm.html
Q & A:
1. I noticed amp glow present on the corners of my dark frames, how should I remove it?
Please don’t worry about that. The amp glow is pretty normal actually. You may learn “What is Amp glow and how do I manage it?” here: https://astronomy-imaging-camera.com/faq
2. I’ve heard there might be strange patterns on some ASI294MC Pro stretched images, does this mean the camera is defective?
NO, it is not a defect, and it is just a characteristic of the sensor. The pattern calibrates out of the light image with proper flat frames. A proper flat frame is a capture using an evenly illuminated light source, dimmed down to achieve an average ADU value of 24,000 (this is up to the user and their setup – recommended the histogram peak at 1/3 to 1/2 from the left, as shown in the figure below), a 5-second exposure, captured with the same gain and focus point as the light frames.
Please notice that the camera needs to be connected to an external DC 12V @3A~5A power supply adapter for use (connector 5.5*2.1mm, center pole positive). If you don’t have one, click here to buy a 12V power adapter. There are 4 different standards for different countries, make sure you selected the correct adapter when placing the order.
Or you can also use lithium battery with 11-15V to power the camera.
Just be aware that power supplies out of this range might cause irreversible damages to your camera.
Camera technical details
Sensor: 4/3″ SONY IMX294 CMOS
Resolution: 11.7Mega Pixels 4144X2822
Pixel Size: 4.63µm
Bayer Pattern: RGGB
Exposure Range: 32µs-2000s
Read Noise: 1.2-7.3e
QE peak: TBD
Full well: 63.7ke
DDRIII Buffer: 256MB
Non-volatile memory/On camera storage: Build-in total 192K byte user-accessible space(image size up to 480X320)
Protect window: AR
Dimensions: 78mm Diameter
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:
Resolution USB 3.0 Raw16
Resolution USB 3.0 Raw8& HighSpeed
more resolutions are in software, support customize resolution.
Fast Shipping: we will choose DHL, UPS, FedEx etc to deliver it. Usually you will get your package within 15-20 days.
- Fast Shipping(amount ≧ 199USD) for free
- Fast Shipping(amount < 199USD) : $30.00 (We do not provide free shipping from now on.)
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Customers from Brazil and Chile should leave a message to provide your CPF or CNPJ as your custom needs it.
- Customers from Russia need to provide the complete English name with three words as well as the English shipping address.
China air mail: http://www.17track.net/en
- 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.