Imaging Source IS-618MU USB Monochrome CCD Camera
The Imaging Source IS-618MU CCD Camera Highlights...
- 1/4" Sony CCD ICX618ALA Interline Sensor
- Progressive scan
- Resolution 640 x 480
- Maximum 60 fps
- Maximum exposure time 60 min
- C/CS-mount (WITHOUT lens)
- Adapter attaches C-mount camera to telescope with1.25" tube
- USB 2.0 cable
- Bus powered
- Included driver (for Windows XP and Vista)
- Included IC Capture.AS (software to control the camera under Windows XP and Vista)
Up to 60 Frames Per Second...
At 60 frames per second (fps), the monochrome CCD camera, manufactured by The Imaging Source, is the fastest in its category. The IS-1M is ideally suited for black and white astrophotography, where very fast image sequences are ideal. Using the included software - IC Capture.AS - you can capture lossless and uncompressed image sequences as AVI files.
Monochrome Sony CCD...
The Imaging Source camera uses the monochrome progressive scan CCD ICX618 from Sony. With its 1/4" format, the CCD produces a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. Even at long exposure times, its noise is minimal. Thanks to its unsurpassed quality, the ICX618 is often used in industrial image processing applications.
No compression, No filter...
The CCD Camera does not use compression, nor does it have an IR cut filter, a color filter or an electronic filter. Thus, the camera produces very true-to-life captures of the night sky.
Fast Data Transfer via USB 2.0...
The astro CCD camera outputs a fast stream of uncompressed monochrome images. In order to transfer these to the host PC, a very fast bus is required. Hence, the camera is fitted with a USB 2.0 connector (cable sold separately).
Included Device Driver for USB 2.0 CCD Cameras...
The driver IC WDM DCAM TIS embeds all USB 2.0 CCD cameras, manufactured by The Imaging Source, into Windows Vista and Windows XP. By deploying this driver, all CCD cameras are compatible to DirectX. Consequently, all The Imaging Source CCD cameras can be used with all astrophotography software that is compatible to DirectX.
Software Requirements for Driver...
- PIII/800 MHz, 128 MB
- Graphics card with 24 or 32 bit
- Windows Vista or Windows XP
- DirectX 9.0c or higher
IC Capture.AS is authored by The Imaging Source and has been specifically designed for use with CCD cameras. Using IC Capture.AS, you can do the following: Set all camera parameters... See the live image data stream from the camera... Retrieve singular images from the camera and save them as BMP or JPG files... Capture image sequences and save the single images as enumerated BMP or JPG files... Capture image sequences and save them as lossless, uncompressed AVI files. These files can be post-processed in other astronomy applications, such as RegiStax.
AVI File Generation...
With IC Capture.AS you can save the images outputted from the camera as an AVI file. There are two approaches to achieve this: If you would like to save a compressed AVI file, simply select the appropriate codec in IC Capture.AS (DivX, for example). If you prefer uncompressed AVIs, simply select the shipped codec (uncompressed Y800, uncompressed RGB24, uncompressed RGB32, uncompressed UYVY).
RegiStax (Windows): RegiStax can read the uncompressed AVI files that are created by IC Capture.AS. Astro IIDC (Mac OS): Using Astro IIDC you can control all The Imaging Source CCD cameras on Mac OS.
About the Sony ICX618 Monochrome Sensor
Sony ICX618 Monochrome Sensor Features
- High sensitivity (+3.5dB compared with the ICX614ALA)
- High saturation signal (+2.0dB compared with the ICX614ALA)
- Low smear (ƒ????????8.0dB compared with the ICX614ALA)
- Progressive scan enables individual readout of the image signals from all pixels.
- Square pixel
- Supports VGA format
- Horizontal drive frequency: Supports 24.54MHz
- No voltage adjustments (Reset gate and substrate bias need no adjustment.)
- High resolution, high sensitivity, low dark current
- Continuous variable-speed shutter
- Excellent anti-blooming characteristics
- Horizontal register: 3.3V drive
- 14-pin high accuracy plastic package (dual-surface reference available)
|Camera Series||Imaging Source USB|
|Sensor Design||Interline Transfer|
|Single or Dual Sensor||Single|
|Warranty||1 Year Warranty|
I replaced my DMK21098 for this camera because my main target is the Sun and the ICX-618 sensor is best suited for our star. The camera begins to work and stops working without any reason. I must have to unplug and replug for work again. TIS Technical support said it was a problem with the fps and asked me to slow down the camera to 30fps. Well, now it didn't stop working but I must sacrifice fps.
Seeing in the dark
This is an excellent CCD for the money. It offers the same package size and weight as the previous generation ccd with the sony ICX098BL ccd. The difference is the range of sensitivity. The added sensitivity will be instantly seen in the images taken. For Solar images the view looks more rich and contrasty. For planetary you get the ability to shoot in near IR, which is great for Mars and Jupiter. The only thing that could make this better is if they added the ability to power the camera externally instead of via USB to eliminate the load on the laptop or computer. When imaging planetary views one critical detail is the amount of light you have to work with. If you have an 8 to 14 inch SCT telescope the other Imaging Source CCD with the ICX098bl ccd would be more than good enough but if you have a limited aperture like me from 80mm to 130mm the added boost of this camera makes it possible to shoot at 30fps for planetary at around F40 with some room to spare on gain. Performance wise, the camera is a solid performer over the other model for smaller aperture telescopes.