- guide camera
I started astrophotography as a hobby in January 2021 with a DSLR. I had no background in photography and didn't even own a telescope until this winter. I planned to start with just a DSLR that I bought in January, but I quickly got addicted. I received my ZWO ASI6200MM and kit with the 7 position filter wheel and ZWO LRGB and Ha, SII, OIII filters a couple weeks ago. I had never used a dedicated astrophotography camera prior, let alone a monochrome camera with a filter wheel. When I received the camera, filter wheel, and filters I loaded the filters into the wheel and sorted through the spacers that came with the camera and wheel. I was able to get the backfocus I needed using the pieces that came with the EFW and camera. I had to do some cable management, and I did need to buy a large losmandy style dovetail (thanks OPT!) to get it balanced. I already had the ASCOM platform and drivers for ZWO cameras for my guide camera, so everything was essentially plug and play right out of the box and connected with no additional software to my current capture software. This camera is amazing. I live 5 feet above sea level, have poor transparency, high winds, high humidity, and Bortle 6 skies with Bortle 7 light domes a couple miles almost all around me. My scope is f/4.7 with its reducer, but it is only 382mm. I never would have thought I would be able to get images like I am now on smaller targets especially from my backyard, but the sensor in this camera picks up amazing details even in poor conditions and the resolution is huge. I would also like to thank OPT and Ron specifically for working with me to split out the camera, EFW, and filter wheel from the kit so that I could begin using the camera. I had asked about splitting the order on the online chat and closed my browser right away without waiting for a response. The next day I had an email stating the order would be split, and a few days later I had everything on my scope. The Hubble shot of the Pillars of Creation is one of the first images of space I remember ever seeing and is to this day one of if not my favorite image. Four months into the hobby, only 2.9 hours of integration (6x300s Ha, 17x600s OIII, and 12x300s SII) with poor seeing, and I was able to take my own picture of M16 and the Pillars of Creation. I still have plenty of learning on how to process images, but it's a journey I am excited to take. Space is amazing.
Make sure your telescope is long and heavy enough to balance this filter wheel.
The quality of this camea is very good. Like other ZWO products, its solidly built and has a huge sensor with 62 Mega Pixels. I tried it out on a couple of scopes and the camea performed fine, with 2" adapters, you get the full frame view. This is one of the top-of-the-line cameras from ZWO, and is sure to provide excellent performance, ideal for use in astrophotography or astronomical research.
Pretty easy to install. I used it with a filter drawer on a harmonica drive mount. It reduced the guiding error down to 1/3 of a guidescope. With it I was able to guide consistently under 1" error using a RST-135, and achieve round stars for 5 min exposure. Recommended for harmonica drive mounts.
Unit is well built, very solid. The manufacturers ad says no driver necessary although none of my software would run it until I found a driver on the ZWO site.Have not gotten my filters yet but expect it to perform well as it operates properly with Astro Photography Tools.