3 new ASI cameras has come: ASI224MC ASI185MC ASI178MC. This cameras have Low Noise, High Sensitivity and Fast Speed.


These cameras are the best planetary imaging camera in the world and the cooled version won’t be far away 😉

For more info and orders please visit products pages.

68 Responses to ZWO 3 new USB3.0 color cameras have come!
  1. Sam,
    Is it possible to have the best of two worlds, planetary and deepsky camera with the cooled monochrome 174 ?
    Does the cooled one can keep a fast frames/sec. ?

  2. Hello Sam,

    I’m a very keen astro-photographer and I take pictures of DSOs as well as the Moon and planets. I already have a very good ATIK camera for deep sky stuff and I would like a newer camera for the Moon and planets. I’m thinking of buying the ZWO ASI224MC-Cool. Will it run on my HP Pavilion g series laptop running Windows 7. If I stick with the USB2 links what effect will this have on download speeds and video rates?

    • Sam Wen

      I think maybe ASI174MC-Cool or ASI178MC-Cool is better if you need an all in one camera
      the sensor of 224 is still a little small for DSO and solar or lunar imaging

      USB2.0 will limit the download speed, maybe you are right to choose 224 if you stick to usb2.0
      the speed of 224 only drop to half if connect to 2.0 port, but 174 and 178 is far faster than 224

  3. I currently have a 120MC-S , and an 8SE celestron. I have a USB 3 port on my computer. I want to know which of these cameras is the best for planetary images? The ASI224MC ASI185MC or ASI178MC.

    I do not really understand a lot of the specifications. I currently use a 2X barlow when I take images with the 224mc

    Thank you,

    • Sam Wen

      Hi Greg
      I think 224 is the best planetary imaging color camera
      but 185 and 178 is better for lunar and solar imaging because they have a larger sensor

  4. Hi Sam

    I would liKe to Know if the 178MC-cool can be used for high resolution pictures instead of just videos. One vendor informed me that the camera is more for video, and that I can get stills by screen capture. I am interested in imaging DSOs using 80 mm F/6 scope. My current DSLR is a bit noisy, and I would liKe to try a cooled camera.


  5. Hello Sam

    I odered 178Mc just few minutes ago.
    I’m very expecting fot this product to take photos for moon & planets.

    Thank you.

    Eugene from S. Korea

  6. Hello Sam,

    I am new to astrophotography am looking for a all in on color camera that will mostly be used for dso photography. I’ve read and compared the specs on multiple cameras and I’m leaning towards the 185MC but I have not been able to find many photos taken with the 185MC or any reviews on it. What is your recommendation?

    • Sam Wen

      the amp-glow of 185 is larger than others, so not very suitable for dso imaging
      you’d better pick up our newest ASI1600

  7. Dear Sam,

    Though I am a proud owner of an AS120MC, I would like to upgrade to your best solution for Sun, Moon, planetary and DSO. I have a Tak TSA102 and a Mewlon 250.
    What would you recommend?

    • Sam Wen

      I think you can consider ASI290MC, higher resolution, lower read noise, faster fps
      you can also consider ASI1600 if you need a more DSO imaging camera

  8. I am very very new to astrophotography….my computer is a MAC…which camera do you recommend..which one is a good one to learn and is very easy to use. thank you!

    • Sam Wen

      all our USB3.0 cameras are suggested
      maybe you can start from ASI224MC which is the best color planetary cam

  9. Hey Stan,

    I am looking for a low noise DSO camera for under 500 bucks..I am having trouble deciding which of your ZWO’S will fit the bill.After reading through the above I have ruled out the 85,the 1600 is out of my price range and I am looking at the 178 non cooled..Is the best for me or would you reccomend another? also will no cooling have a major effect? Also looked at some in the 120 series.My fate is in your hands..lol..

  10. Hello Sam
    Could you please tell me which camera would best suit my set of a Skywatcher ED100 f9 refractor. I would like to get into planetary, lunar and solar imaging.

    Thank you



  11. Hello Sam,

    Is there a liquid cooled version in the works?
    Think of prime focus imaging and those jets of warm air from the heat sink.



  12. Can a usb3 camera still be used with a laptop that only has Usb 2 ports ?

  13. I have an 8″ Edge HD SCT. Would the 1600 be the best all around camera for DSO and Planetary? Thanks.

  14. I’m looking at buying a new” STRICTLY” DSO camera to use in my 8 inch Newtonian astrograph with TV Paracoor type 2, I’e got a new i5 with usb3 ports and an older hp 2000 w usb2 that I use for my planetary cams. Which would better suit my needs ? My DSI lll color just bit the dust and I’ve spent weeks trying to decide which would be the better fit for my newt.

  15. Hi Sam,

    I already have an ASI 224MC and I’ve just ordered an ASI 178MC for DSO Imaging. Could you please confirm that the 178MC comes with an IR block window ?

    If yes, is it easy to replace by an AR one ? Which diameter (D21 or D25)?

    Thanks a lot.


  16. Sam,

    I am looking to do DSO and also some planetary imagery. I will be using an F/6 80mm APO refractor with a .8 fr/ff. I am considering getting an ASI224 for guiding when doing DSO and an ASI478 for the DSO itself. I was considering having the ASI224 double as a planetary camera without guiding. I am thinking I should get the cooled version of the ASI478 but the ASI224 probably doesn’t need to be cooled. Am I thinking correctly and have I chosen the best cameras for my application? Also, can I get equally as good results with a OSC or should I plan to get the MC cameras for one or both?

    Thank you for considering my questions!

    Best Regards and Merry Christmas,


  17. I want to match a camera to a telescope. I want your suggestion for an imaging scope and an opinion on my scope selection method. I am starting by matching the resolution of the camera to the resolution of the scope. Thinking, why have a camera with lower resolution than the telescope. Example, the scope resolution having an 89 mm aperture, using Dawes law is 1.3 arc-sec and a focal length of 600 mm would make the camera resolution of 1.31 arc-sec/pixel using a pixel size of 3.8 um. If seeing equals 4 arc-sec, then the FWHM would be 3 pixels. Do most astronomy photographers operate in the FWHM range of 2-3 pixels? Now, the field of view (FOV) for the ASI1600 is 101 and 76 arc-minutes. This FOV is good for some of the messier objects M8 and smaller. But, what about the smaller objects like M57. Do I use a reducer or can I change resolution on the camera from 4656 x 3520 to 320 x 240 (FOV 6 x 5 arc-minutes). Lastly, how do I know that the image size of the scope is bigger than the camera sensor size when adding a reducer/flatterer or barlow? Thanks for your help in advance. Mathew Maskas

    • Sam Wen

      your calculation is correct, most user have 2-3 arc-set/pixel seeing
      but you can shorter the exposure time to freezing seeing
      so for M57, you can exposure 1s and use a barlow lens

  18. Hey Sam,
    Point blank….
    I have both a 8″ Meade LX200GPS and a Meade ETX 125 and want to start shooting some images of solar system and deep sky objects.
    I know there is no perfect cam for either of these scopes, but could you possibly point me in the right direction for choosing one of your excellent cameras to help me persue this new hobby?
    The new ASI290MC was recommended by a friend.
    Your recommndations would be greatly appreciated.

  19. Hello Sam,
    I have more questions about using a color camera ( ASI071). To obtain good color one needs to bloat over 4 pixels. I did some math to determine what focal length and aperture size is needed when the image size is 4 pixels. Example: If the FWHM is 4 pixels or 4 * 4.78 = 19.12 um and the seeing is 2” then the required focal length is ( star size * 206.265 ) / seeing = (19.12 * 206.265)/2 = 1971 mm. That would give me a pixel scale of ( 206.265 * 4.78 )/1971 = 0.5 arc-sec / pixel. Then the resolution requirement of the telescope would be the same. Then the aperture size would be 116/0.5 = 232 mm. The size limit of my objects in the sky would be 27 arc-minutes keeping a bloat over 4 pixels. What do I do to image larger objects and bloat enough pixel to get good color? Is this a limitation of a color camera? Thanks, Mathew Maskas

  20. I have the Celestron 8″ SCT with Advanced VX mount and don’t have a camera yet. I’m planning on purchasing a Coronado Solarmax 60 to prepare for the Total Eclipse in August. I know I’ll be with friends for the Total Eclipse in Sourth Carolina and would like to possibly video the output of the solar scope to my laptop and I’m assuming capture too. (It has USB 3.0, so ok there). I’d like to be able to image the whole Sun and also be able to use it for imaging planets and maybe some DSO (but not a priority). What would you suggest? I’d like to keep it under $500, but might go higher. thanks!

  21. Dear Sam,
    so far I have used with great satisfaction the ASI120MC, but the moment to go beyond has come…
    In the last year I am become fool for astrophotography of DSO, while remaining still a “fan” of planetary (not so much for the moon and the sun …)
    Never change a winning team! And then I would buy a new camera for this: DSO and planetary. I use a good reflector 200/1000.
    I am evaluating ASI185 ASI178 cooled! The budget is $700 but I can possibly push this budget to $ 900-1000 for ASI174 cool.
    Which is the best camera for my purposes?
    Color or Mono?

    • Sam Wen

      mono camera have more fun to play with, but color camera is easier to use
      I think you can consider ASI1600MC-Cool

  22. I’m looking at purchasing a Lunt 50Tha telescope, and would like to know which camera would be best for high resolution solar imaging: the 174 or 178 sensor.

  23. What is the best camera for live video astronomy? I have a 6″ celestron evolution and I observe DSO most of the time.

  24. Thinking about upgrading to a MacBook Pro and buying a camera for planetary imaging to use with an Orion Starmax 127mm F12 Maksutov and a Astro-Physics Star155ED (f9) refractor. It sounds like the 224 may be the best choice for this purpose.

  25. Getting back into imaging after a long break, at present i own a Atik 383L, and a canon d60a
    I’m looking for a camera for Lunar and planetary to sit on my Celestron 11HD, can you please advise

  26. Hello

    I have a celestron C11 xlt and Mac computer.
    I would like to have a guide cam and a photo cam
    What are your suggestions?
    Thank you

  27. I have a similar question to many… I have a C11 Edge HD and want the absolute best planetary camera. Saturn, Jupiter and Mars are the primary targets… (also some lunar work as well.)

    Along with my scope I have both a 2X & 4X Power Mate lens for magnification.

    1.) Is the ASI290 the best camera for me?
    2.) Mono or OSC?
    3.) Cooled or not?

    Thank you!

    • Sean Wang

      Yes, 290 is best for you. 290mm is mono camera and 290mc is color. we have both cooled version and uncooled version. I think if you using it in planetary imaging, uncooled version is suitable.

  28. I’m looking for a camera to use with both an 80mm refractor and Celestron 8″ Edge HD. I am interested in both planetary and some DSO work, but at this time I am really only getting started. I am looking at the 174, 178 and 1600 versions, both cooled and uncooled.
    I live in Canada, so when imaging in the winter(-20C is my lower limit) , temperature would most likely not be an issue. If the exposures are kept low (a couple minutes or less) is cooling really needed. If I go without cooling I can go for a larger sensor, which could probably provide better images. I know there is no perfect solution for every situation, and an 80 mm is very different than an 8″SCT, but I only want 1 camera. I am willing to accept that it will be somewhat of a compromise for both applications. As well, I am ok to spend the money to get a good camera, but would prefer to not spend more than I need to.

    • Sean Wang

      eviroment temperature is not like the cooling temperature, it is not stay in a same level, so the image can not have same noise level.
      I suggest using cooled camera even you have a very cold winter.

  29. Hi Sam,

    I have had in the past early cameras from Meade. I recently bought a Solarmax II 60MM double stack telescope, I also have a Meade 8″ SCT.

    I have been looking at the ASI185MC and it seems to be a good (in terms of number of stars reviewed below) as an all rounder for both Solar, Lunar, Planetary and Deep Space…

    I saw this table on http://agenaastro.com/zwo-astronomy-cameras-buyers-guide.html I am not sure if this is accurate?

    I am mainly watching Solar, Lunar and Planets, however want to get into deep space.

    Based upon my two telescopes, which camera would you recommend, and is there a huge difference for solar and planetart between then ASI185MC and cooled?

    Many thanks Marc

    • Sean Wang

      In solar and planetary imaging, there is no different bewteen ASI185MC and cooled version.
      I think if you already have 185mc, it will not necessary to purchase another camera for now.

      • Sean,

        I am not sure why you think I have the 185mc, however I think you answered the question.

        However you didnt answer whether the Table is accurate and you didnt say whether the 185mc is a good alround Camera?

        Also at what point is cooled more useful?


    • Sam Wen

      maybe you should consider ASI224 or ASI290
      185 has heavy amp-glow compare with 224 OR 290
      so it’s not very suitable for very long time exposure

  30. Thanks Sam,

    I notice that what ever questions I ask I am only getting a partial answer, So I will ask the full questions again.

    1. Which camera is best for the following uses in this order:

    Solar primary use
    Planetary secondary use
    DSO third

    2. The link to the ZWO table how accurate is it?

    3. If my main use is Solar and Planetary do I need cooled?

  31. Hi Sam,

    I just purchased the Celestron 1100 Edge HD and the CGX-L mount. Since I am an avid terrestrial photographer, I’m sure I will eventually want to try AP. I was thinking in the future (near future) I might purchase the ASI224MC to start practicing planetary and lunar photography. However, in a comment up above, you suggested to someone in a similar situation that the ASI290 would be the one to buy. Why is that?

    • Sean Wang

      290 have mono version, mono camera have better performance than color cameras. And 290 have higher resolution than 224, that’s another reason. But it is not means 224 is not good at planetary imaging. We only say that 290 is better.


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