The newest member of the StarShoot camera line provides a very affordable way to get into planetary and lunar imaging with results that rival the more expensive cameras, all for a fraction of the price! The StarShoot Mini 1.2mp Color Imaging Camera is built around the Sony IMX 225 sensor, meaning it has extremely small pixels (3.75 micron), and a wide exposure range of 0.135ms all the way to 1000s.
This 12-bit camera excels at taking high resolution images of the moon and planets. Capable of 15 frames per second at full frame, and over 50 fps at a sub frame of 320x240 (which is usually ideal for framing a planet even at long focal lengths), this camera will grab thousands of frames in just a few minutes time, ready to stack and process in your favorite astro-processing program.
Most planetary cameras are made with a very short exposure range useful only for the bright solar system objects. While this camera is primarily designed for that usage, the wide exposure range means you can also try your hand at some brighter deep-sky objects, stacking multiple 10-20 second exposures together in various freely available EAA (Electronically Assisted Astronomy) programs such as SharpCap or DeepSkyStacker.
The spectral range of the IMX 225 sensor is approximately 400nm-1000nm and does not include an IR blocking window. This allows light from the near-IR and methane wavelengths to pass, which might be advantageous to planetary imaging with reflectors. If you have an achromatic refractor that does not focus well in the near-IR, an optional 1.25" IR-blocking filter might help increase the sharpness of the object you are imaging.
The camera includes our StarShootIC (Image Capture) program which allows you to record still images and video frames for later processing in the other programs listed here. In fact, the image below of Jupiter was captured by recording a 3 minute video of the planet in StarShootIC, then importing that file into Registax where it automatically picked, aligned and stacked the best individual frames from the video to produce the final result.
The camera is compatible with Win 8/10/11 as well as ASCOM compatible. This means that when using the ASCOM driver, it can be controlled from most all dedicated astro-imaging software programs on the market, which will really unlock the full potential of the StarShoot Mini camera. Includes USB cable, guide cable, and 1.25" nosepiece, and weighs just 2oz (66g).