ASI178MC (color)


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) , high sensitivity and 14bit ADC make it very suitable for astronomy and microscopy photograph

SKU: ASI178MC Category:

Product Description

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) , 1.4e @27db, high sensitivity and 14bit ADC make it very suitable for astronomy and microscopy high resolution photograph.

Come with a 2.5mm all sky lens which can provide a nearly 170° view of the sky.


Relative QE Curve


Super Low Read Noise

178 Gain RN DR FW vs gain

What`s in the box?


1–ZWO ASI178MM or ASI178MC Camera Body

2–2 m long ST4 guider cable

3–1.25″ Cover

4–M42-1.25″ T-Mount

5–2 m long USB3.0 cable

6–Driver & Extra Software CD (Mac, PC&Linux Compatible)

Mechanical Drawing




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
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%

Supported resolution

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

3096×2080 6fps
2560×2048 8fps
2048×1080 19fps
1280×960 34fps
800×600 89.5fps
640×480 139.9fps
320×240 479.7fps
More resolutions can be defined by user

Before first usage of this product read manuals and install correct drivers and software.


  • Fast Shipping(amount ≧ 299USD) for free
  • Fast Shipping(amount < 299USD) : $20.00
  • Free Shipping(amount < 299USD) (Air Mail, 3-4 weeks) (Free)


  1. Fast Shipping: we will choose DHL, UPS, TNT, EMS etc to deliver it. Usually you will get your package in one week. We provide free fast shipping for order ≧ $299 or charge extra $20 for order < $299.
  2. Free Shipping: we will ship via DGM or China Post Registered Air Mail. It usually costs 2-3 weeks to reach US or Europe and costs 3-4 weeks to reach far places.
  3. Customers from Brazil and Chile should leave a message to provide your CPF or CNPJ as your custom needs it.
  4. Customers from Russia need to provide the name of your company.

Tracking site:


China air mail:


  • The price list on our website is USD without tax.
  • Please note that buyers areliable 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

  • We provide 2-year warranty for our products, we will offer the repair service for free or replace for free if the camera doesn’t work within warranty period. After the warranty period, we will continue to provide repair support and service on a charged basis.
  • This warranty does not apply to damage that occurred as a result of abuse or misuse, or caused by a fall or any other transportation failures after purchase.
  • Customer must pay for shipping when shipping the camera back for repair or replacement
  • If you get a faulty camera, please contact us as soon as possible though email: Please describe the problem in detail and we will do our best to help you solve the problem. Most instances perceived problems are simply bad driver install or software configuration.
  • For customers who bought the camera from our dealer, dealer is responsible for the customer service for you.

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

  1. :

    excuse me, i have buy the wonderful ASI223, i know the sensitivity is 0,005 lux…and this camera how many lux ?

    • Sam Wen


      ASI178MC has the nearly same sensetivity

  2. :

    Is there an estimate of when the cooled version of this camera will be released?

    • Sam Wen


      we hope next month
      we already start sending cameras to testers

  3. :

    Which binning modes (other than 1×1) are supported by this ASI178MC (color) camera?

    • Sam Wen


      It support 2X2 binning

  4. :

    The sensitivity graph of the ASI178MC says the full-well-depth is 14.9ke- and the minimum gain is 1/(0.229e-/ADU). It follows that the full-well-depth after the digitizer is at least (65066 + black_level) ADUs. However, the camara has 14bits resolution, which means full-scale is only 16383 ADUs. Can you resolve this contradiction?

    Do you have absolute quantum efficiency numbers in (e- per photon) – not just relative?

    Does the ASI178MC have an internal frame memory? If not, how are horizontal stripes avoided that occur when rolling-shutter-sensors are not read-out at absolutely constant speed? Reason for the question: while capturing, my computer has also other tasks to perform, like controlling the mount; so the computer alone can’t guarantee exactly constant readout-speeds.

    Last but not least: you say that your USB3.0-cameras work also with a USB2.0 controller in the PC when used with a MacIntosh, i.e. they are backward-compatible. Is that also the case when the ASI178MC is used under WINDOWS XP? Also with ASCOM-driver? Also if full resolution is used? I am aware that the frame-rate will be significantly reduced in this case, but I hope that there are no other effects.

    • Sam Wen


      there is some misunderstanding as the GAIN(0.229e/ADU) is tested based on the 16bit output image
      and only the High 14bit is useful
      Sony didnot provide absolute QE, but we guess they are between 70%-80% which is the value of most SONY modern sensors
      ASI178MC don’t has very small internal frame memory, so this frame will lost if the delay in host side is too long
      the only difference between USB2.0 and USB3.0 is speed, no other problems

  5. :


    Do you have any estimate of the frame-rates speed difference when connected to a USB 2.0 port?

    Thank you


    • Sam Wen


      the speed of USB2.0 port is around 40M bytes/S
      and the speed of USB3.0 port is around 400M bytes/S

      the max speed of 178 is around 6M*60fps=360M/s
      so it definitely will drop a lot(1/9 speed of usb3.0) if you connect through USB2.0 port

  6. :

    Hi..Will this camera fit a 1.25″ focuser on a telescope?

    • Sam Wen


      yes, there is a 1.25″ nosepiece come with the camera

  7. (verified owner):

    Hello, I received today my ASI178MC which was very well protected. A very beautiful camera.
    I would like to know if I can make of the autoguide and videos at the same time?

    Best Regards


    • Sam Wen


      yes, you can autoguide and take video for planets
      FC can do this job very well

  8. :

    Hello! When I select resolution 1280*960 – I have resize image from full resolution, or crop central area of matrix in limit 1280*960?

    • Sam Wen


      it crop the area if you change the ROI

  9. :

    I recently purchased a new ASI178mc for the main purpose of solar imaging. Is this cam as suitable for solar imaging as other ZWO cams?

    • Sam Wen


      yes, it’s very suitable for solar imaging

  10. :

    Is the 178MC suitable for planetary with a 1200mm scope?

    • Sam Wen


      yes, of course

  11. :

    Does this camera need a separate IR cut filter?

  12. :

    According to specifications this color camera is already equipped with an IR-CUT window, while the monochrome version has an AR window. However, for both cameras the IR-Pass filter and UV-IR-CUT filter are listed as recommended accessories. How does the IR-Pass filter work with the color camera if it already has an integrated IR-CUT window? Or can the window be replaced with a clear AR window?

    • Sam Wen


      the related products should be a mistake
      we will fix it soon, you don’t need other IR-CUT window

  13. :

    Can the IR-Cut window be replaced with AR window instead to increase IR sensitivity as in the ZWO 185 & 224 models?

    • Sam Wen


      yes, you can order the AR protect window in our site

  14. :

    Sam Hello , I am interested in this ccd for planetary and guided with a finder opening 50mm , you think it is feasible to guide such a small opening and this ccd color or will I need more openness.

    What is the quantum efficiency for each color or in general of this ccd, because not find it anywhere

    Thanks for the answers

  15. :

    OK, which AR protect window is compatible with this camera? The “ZWO D21 AR protect window” for $16.00 or the “ZWO D25 AR protect window” for $18.00 or the “1.25 Low profile Clear filter ASI Camera Protect window” for $20.00? The ASI178MC is not listed in the descriptions of these items.

    Another question: With the AR window installed, would the IR Pass filter work with the camera or is the IR sensitivity too low compared to the Mono version (for which the IR pass filter is recommended)? Is there a big difference in the IR sensitivity of the 178MC with AR window compared to the 178MM or 224MC?

    • Sam Wen


      the D21 AR protect window can be used on ASI178MC
      the NIR range of ASI178MC is no as sensetive as 224 or the mono version
      but you can still use it

  16. :

    Sam Hello , I am interested in this ccd for planetary and guided with a finder opening 50mm , you think it is feasible to guide such a small opening and this ccd color or will I need more openness.

    What is the quantum efficiency for each color or in general of this ccd, because not find it anywhere


  17. :

    How well will this camera work in a vacuum? The things to know would be how much heat is generated and can the heat be conducted away using the threaded connection on the back? Also, is there any danger from arcing inside under vacuum conditions?

    • Sam Wen


      I am not sure, we did not do such test, but I think heat won’t be a problem as the power consumption is not very high for this camera

  18. :


    I have this amazing camera!
    Is it possible to remove the IR bloc filter in order to do IR imaging of planets?



    • Sam Wen


      yes, you can do it yourself
      you’d better exchange it with an AR one to protect the sensor

  19. :

    I want to guide through a 80×400 guides open and do some planetary imaging through a 254×1000 cf Newtonian and was wondering if this is a good choice or what you would suggest. I was thinking of colour not mono and like the high res and FOV for this camera.. Can you use 2×2 binning on a colour camera and how does this work with the Bayer filter?

    • Sam Wen


      you can also consider our ASI1600MC-Cool
      bin2 in color is done by software

  20. :

    So the ASI178MC will work well as a guide camera and a planetary camera?

    • Sam Wen



  21. :

    I am interested in this camera for both planetary and deepsky my laptop only has usb 2.0 will this still give sufficient
    frame for planetary imaging!

    • Sam Wen


      yes, you can get a very fast fps if you choose ROI through USB2.0

  22. :

    Do you have these in stock and how long would it take to ship to Queensland Australia?


    • Sam Wen


      just have one instock 😉
      it will take around 1 week to reach you

  23. :

    Sam I am new to all this can you please help me , I have a celestron NexStar 130SLT, Diameter= 130mm and FL= 650mm I like the ASI178 MC because of its high resolusion at 6.4 Mega Pixel. My main interest is lunar, planet and satellite observation/video will this camera work well with this telescope if not , which camera would you suggest for me to buy.

    Thank you.

    • Sam Wen


      yes, I think so, but you need USB3.0 host controller
      otherwise, rolling shutter would be a problem

  24. :

    I have a Celestron C8 with a Skywatcher 80/400 for guiding and I’m looking for ASI178 but I can’t make a choice between MM or MC. I want also to use it for planetary photography.
    Can you help me ? :)

    • Sam Wen


      I think color version is more suitable for beginner

  25. :

    Hi Sam,
    i have to decide between the ASI178MC and the ASI224MC. The small pixels of the 178MC will fit good to my f/10 scopes.I also like the higher resolution for dooing all-sky and the low amp-glow and read-out-noise of the 178MC. How is the sensitivity compared between the 178MC and the 224MC? There are huge differences in the full-well-capacity (15k vs 19,2k) and the g-sensitivity (425mV vs 2350mV).
    Is the ASI178MC better as an allround-camera for sun, moon, planets, all-sky and some brighter deep-sky objects or should i go for the ASI224MC?

    • Sam Wen


      224 is better but 178 has a larger sensor, I think the pixels size of 178 is too small to do DSO imaging with f10 scope
      so you’d better choose 224

  26. :

    Hi Sam,
    thank you for your reply!
    In fact the pixel size of the 178MC is too small to do Deep-Sky with f/10 scopes. I prefer to do that with fast camera lenses or with my small APO (focal length: 420mm). Is there a big difference in the sensitivity of these two sensors?

    • Sam Wen


      that should be ok, 224 is more sensitive than 178 especially in IR range

  27. :

    Hi Sam,

    Just got the 178MC – cool and I already like this camera, although not yet tested under the stars.
    I took some darks in sharpcap (FITS, still images) and came to these conclusions as far as the gain settings, with “low” meaning absolutely no pixels/noise and high meaning some noise (but acceptable):

    Sec. Gain*
    Low / Mid / Max.(= lower/upper right small amp glow and some noise)

    300 s 150/200/250
    180 s 200/250/300
    120 s 250/300/350
    60 s 300/350/400

    *tested at -15 C.

    So my question is what gain settings do you recommend? Based on my sharpcap tests, and preferring no noise whatsoever, I would say 150 gain standard…and up to 300 for images < 1 minute. Would you agree that 150 gain is OK, also in terms of dynamic range? Also, do you have any recommendations for offset settings?



    • Sam Wen


      as ASI178 has 14bit ADC the unity gain and highest dynamic range gain setting is the same
      so the gain depends on the bright area of your target, just don’t over exposure

  28. :

    Hi Sam, I have a Celestron EdgeHD 9.25 f/10 SCT with 2350 focal length. Is ASI224MC or ASI178MC better for me if I wished to do planetary imaging and DSO imaging?

    Any other considerations if I wished to use the ASI camera with a 2.5x barlow or through a 10mm EP via Afocal (eyepiece projection) for planetary imaging?

    • Sam Wen


      I think 224 maybe more flexible because of it’s 3.75um pixel size
      the pixel size of 178 is too small for SCT
      even a 2X barlow should be enough imaging with ASI224

  29. :


    You said the 178 pixel size is too small for a f/10 SCT (I have a C8). Would it be suitable if I use a Hyperstar f/2 on the C8?


  30. :


    Will I have any problems running this through a laptop with AMD A4-7210 Quad Core (1.8GHz – 2.2GHz, 1600MHz MC, 2MB L2 and 8GB DDR3 RAM. It has USB3

  31. :

    How can I use this camera for microscopy. Is an adapter included ?

    • Sam Wen


      yes, CS adapter included

  32. :


    I read the camera is compatible directshow. Can you confirm that i can use with any program on Windows that use DirectShow (like DShow Capture on VLC, use as a wecam on Skype and other third party software and with OpticTracker)

    I tell this because i have long time ago buy a Inova camera (PLB-cX) and manufacturer said “compatible DirectShow and the camera never worked with any DirectShow software.

    Best Regards.


    • Sam Wen


      yes, our cameras provide directshow driver, you can download and install
      we make sure it works with most apps such like ampcap MaxIM-Dl etc..
      but we cannot test every app

  33. :

    I already have ASI 120MC-S since past 2 years. It performed exceptionally well with Sky-watcher 6 inch Dobsonian. Currently use it with Sky-watcher 10 inch Dobsonian. Thinking about upgrading now.
    Can you recommend which camera should I go for?
    My budget is not for cooled camera. So thinking about Getting ASI 178MC.

    Since it mentions MC I assume it does not have USB 3.0 as it with ASI 120MC-S variant? Does that affect frame capture speed?

    Secondly can this ASI178MC camera used with Canon Lens using proper adapter to do Deep sky Astrophotography? Particularly dark nebula like Horse head? If not please suggest suitable camera for nebula photography under USD 500 budget.


  34. :

    What is the quantum efficiency for each color or in general of this ccd, because not find it anywhere


    • Sam Wen


      the peak value should be around 70%

  35. :

    Would this camera be a good fit for a dob with these specs?

    Mirror 16″ (406mm)
    Focal length 1829mm (72″)
    Focal ratio f/4.5

    I mostly observe planets but would like to see DSO’s.


    • Sam Wen


      I think maybe ASI224MC is very good for planets and EAA

  36. :

    After reading the Q&A on several of these cameras, I can’t decide on weather to purchase the 178MC-Color or the 290MC-Color. Either one would be used with my 9.25″ SCT mainly for planetary and maybe some auto guiding. Any suggestions? And can I shoot small target DSO’s with either one?

    • Sam Wen


      I think larger pixel size is better for SCT, so 290MC or 224MC

  37. :

    Bought the 224MC Color. Can’t wait to try it out!

  38. :

    Hi there,
    I will be using the ASI178MC mostly for DSO imaging. May I know do I have to remove the IR cut filter for DSO imaging?

    • Sam Wen


      no, you don’t need to

  39. :

    Thank you, Sam.

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