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Introduction to the Different Types of ZWO Cameras

ZWO offers a wide collection of astrophotography cameras and accessories to help you get the best out of your imaging experience. ZWO cameras are highly regarded in the astrophotography community, as they're easy to use, affordable, produce excellent images, and usually come with everything you need to get the camera attached to your telescope. For cooled color and monochrome cameras, they come with adapters and spacers to connect to standard M42 and M48 threads. Planetary and guide cameras come with attachments to slip into into 1.25" focusers or ports , and planetary cameras specifically come with the right adapters to attach to M42 threads. Learn more about what ZWO has to offer below. Check out this best planetary cameras guide or best deep space cameras guide for more astrophotography inspiration. 

Cooled Color Cameras

ZWO Cooled Color Cameras

Best for deep sky imagers who want a color image straight from the camera 

ZWO provides a color version of all of their CMOS astronomy camera designs, and they are perfect for the astronomer on the move. Easy to use and without any need for complicated processing, you can simply connect to a telescope system and capture full-color images. Though monochrome cameras still have a slight edge over color cameras in resolution and image quality, color cameras are much simpler to use, do not require extra hardware (filters & filter wheel), and are easier to process images from. Because of this, we recommend them for beginner to intermediate deep sky imagers. Overall, these cameras are fantastic for getting full color images of deep sky objects.

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Cooled Monochrome Cameras

ZWO Cooled Monochrome Cameras

Best for deep sky imagers that want the best possible quality images

ZWO offers monochrome versions for a number of their cooled color camera designs, providing the highest level of image quality and clarity possible. Monochrome astronomy cameras capture far more data than their color counterparts, but require more processing and the addition of a set of filters to produce full color images. For this reason, we usually recommend them for intermediate to advanced imagers. Overall, these cameras are great for anyone looking to capture the highest possible resolution images of the night sky. 

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Planetary Cameras

ZWO Planetary Cameras

Best for using high frame rate imaging to capture the planets, moon, and the sun

Planetary cameras are perfect for capturing the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and more! Planetary cameras are meant for short exposures, and therefore they do not need a cooling system. By stacking a small percentage of short exposures when the sky conditions are at their best, you can capture excellent images of objects within our solar system. To accommodate that, planetary cameras feature a high-speed USB 3 port and cable for rapid data transfer. Planetary cameras even come with an ultra-wide angle lens included for all sky imaging.

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Guide Cameras

ZWO Guide Cameras

Best for autoguiding with a guide scope or off-axis guider

When tracking the night sky with most mounts, the use of autoguiding can greatly improve your mount's tracking accuracy. To do that involves using a guide camera on either a guide scope or off-axis guider (OAG). Although very similar overall, these mini versions of planetary cameras only use USB 2, since USB 3 is not needed for autoguiding purposes. For that reason, if you hope to do planetary imaging as well as guiding, you should invest in a planetary camera instead. Overall, these mini guide cameras are a perfect way to get great autoguiding results without breaking the bank.

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Camera Kits

zwo camera kits

Best for having everything you need in one package. 

ZWO packages together full kits centered around some of their higher-end cameras. These kits include filters and a filter wheel to accompany high-end monochrome cameras, greatly simplifying the process of finding everything you need to capture top-quality full-color images regardless of your local conditions.

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Filters & Filter Wheels

zwo filters and filter wheels

Best for astrophotographers who need to swap filters frequently

The filter wheels and filters made by ZWO are perfectly suited for use with their monochrome cameras. They match together cleanly and easily for maximum efficiency and effectiveness, allowing your monochrome cameras to pierce light pollution barriers and take stunning high-resolution full-color images.

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zwo accessories

Best for optimizing your images and astrophotography equipment

ZWO manufactures and supplies a range of accessories meant primarily for their own cameras, but capable of interface with other similar models. These accessories range from high-efficiency telescope control units like the ASIAIR Pro, off-axis guiders (OAG), and atmospheric diffraction correctors (ADC) to simple adapters. These accessories are a great value and provide convenient benefits for working with any astronomy camera.

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