ZWO ASI2600 Pro USB3.0 Cooled Color Astronomy Camera
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ZWO ASI2600 Pro USB3.0 Cooled Color Astronomy Camera
The ZWO ASI2600 Pro USB3.0 Cooled Color CMOS Camera is perfect for the avid astrophotographer wanting a high-grade camera with an APS-C style sensor. The Sony IMX571 sensor used in this camera is back-illuminated, allowing better light acquisition than front-illuminated sensors of the same style. This is because back-illumination by design has fewer obstructions to the sensor which provides a more efficient imaging experience overall.
Complete with extremely effective cooling technologies and USB 3.0 connection, this camera is a powerhouse to work with. The Resolution is 6248 x 4176 pixels at 3.76-micron pixel size and a Quantum Efficiency reaching over 80%!
The max frames per second at full resolution are 3.51/fps and has an exposure range of 32 microns to the 2000s, which means you have a great variety in what you will be able to image.
Features of the ZWO ASI2600 Camera
ASI2600MC Pro uses Sony’s latest back-illuminated IMX571 APS-C format native 16-bit ADC sensor. It has an ultra-high 14 stops dynamic range, ultra-low 1.0e readout noise and an innovative breakthrough resulting in zero amp-glow. It is a camera born from the appeal of astrophotography lovers.
Amazing Craftsmanship, Lightweight body, Solid image quality:
ZWO have been working hard to reduce the weight of the camera while improving the performance of the camera. After years of technical accumulation and repeated weight loss experiments by ZWO engineers, ZWO finally concentrated the ASI2600 to 0.7KG.
The ASI2600MC Pro uses APS-C format, the sensor length and width are 23.5 mm x 15.7 mm and the diagonal is 28.3 mm. This is a 26MP camera with a small pixel size of 3.76 microns that can accommodate a large well depth of 50 ke.
Native 16bit ADC:
ASI2600MC Pro is our first batch of CMOS astronomy cameras with 16-bit ADC. This 16-bit ADC is not a CCD 16-bit ADC, and it can really achieve a dynamic range output of 14 stops. This significantly improves the image sharpness and contrast, and the color changes are smoother and more natural.
IMX571 backlit sensor:
Sony’s back-illuminated CMOS image sensor improves sensitivity and noise reduction – the key factors to enhancing image quality, while radically realigning their fundamental pixel structure from front-illumination to back-illumination. It has retained the advantages of CMOS image sensors such as low power consumption and high-speed operation.
With a conventional front-illumination structure, the metal wiring and transistors on the surface of the silicon substrate that form the sensor’s light-sensitive area (photo-diode) impede photon gathering carried out by the on-chip lens. A back-illuminated structure minimizes the degradation of sensitivity to optical angle response, while also increasing the amount of light that enters each pixel due to the lack of obstacles such as metal wiring and transistors that have been moved to the reverse of the silicon substrate.
Sony has developed a unique photo-diode structure and on-chip lens optimized for back-illuminated structures, that achieve higher sensitivity and a lower random noise without light by reducing noise, dark current, and defect pixels compared to the conventional front-illuminated structure.
The ASI2600MC Pro has excellent performance with a dynamic range of up to 14stops. When the gain value is 100, the magical HCG high gain mode is turned on, the readout noise is greatly reduced, and the dynamic range is basically unchanged. It is recommended to set the gain to 0 or gain 100 in deep space.
Zero Amp Glow
Traditional CMOS sensors produce a weak infrared light source during operation quite often seen in the corner of uncalibrated images as the tell tale signs of 'amp glow'. As the ASI2600MC Pro uses zero amp glow circuitry, you won’t have to worry about amp glow even when using high gain, long exposure imaging.
With amp glow – exposure 300 second exposure
ASI2600 frame with no amp glow – Exposure 300 second
Two-stage TEC cooling, ultra-low dark current:
Like the ASI6200, the ASI2600MC Pro also uses two stage TEC cooling and can lower the CMOS sensor temperature to more that 35-degrees C below ambient, which can greatly reduce dark current generation and sensor noise even with extended exposure times.
The unique dark current suppression technology can even further reduce dark current noise.
At a cooling temperature of 0 °C, the dark current noise is only 0.003e/s/pix. Which means 300s exposure can only cause 0.9e dark current noise, which is less than the readout noise. While at a cooling temperature of -20 °C, the dark current can even reduce to 0.00021e/s/pix, which is completely negligible!
DDR3 Memory Buffer
The ASI2600MC Pro is equipped with a USB 3.0 transmission interface and a built-in 256MB DDR3 cache to ensure stable and secure data transmission. Under long exposure, it effectively avoids frame dropping and greatly reduces the glow effect caused by slow reading speed.
Options for Precise 55 mm Backfocus
- Nikon-T2 adapter
- EOS-T2 adapter
- 2-inch filter (optional)
- Nikon lens
- Canon lens
|Back Focus||17.5 mm|
|Camera Connection||2" Nosepiece|
|Camera Connection||Female M54x.75|
|Color or Mono||Color|
|Dynamic Range||13.9 Stops|
|Full Rez Frame Rate||3.51fps|
|Max Frame Rate||16fps|
|Mega Pixels||26.1 mp|
|Pixel Array||6248 x 4176|
|Pixel Size||3.76 microns|
|PS||3 Microns or Smaller|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm|
|Sensor||Sony IMX571 Back Illuminated|
I am very excited about using this new large format ZWO - CMOS color camera. The high resolution and low noise capability rivals many CCD cameras at a much lower cost. I am using this new camera with the OPT quad narrow band filter and have taken some of my best images ever with this combination.
Low noise, great resolution. No problems with dew or cooling. . .no problems at all. The weight is not an issue; it hangs off the end of my rather long and lightweight TeleVue ns101np without any problem. Cooling runs fun though it’s not a big challenge here in SoCal. Darks, flats and flat darks cleaned up the image without any artifacts. That was the problem with the ASI294: using a light pollution filter brought out all sorts of weird things in the background. No so with this camera, not even with the Triad Ultra.
Have had this camera for about 5 months, have taken many deep sky images thru my refractors and C11 Edge scopes. Camera is extremely sensitive to capture faint outer regions of galaxies possible, and nicely reveals the subtle red and blue coloration between the nucleus and outer arm regions as well as red Ha regions. No amp glow, very negligible noise in dark frames. I usually set camera temp to -5 or -10C. Is very lightweight and easy to balance on any size scope. Between the superior resolution and sensitivity I'm not sure what more you could ask for a camera anywhere near the price point, or much higher, especially if you're wanting to capture deep images of faint objects with ease.
I’ve had the camera for just a few weeks now and used it two nights. I’ve also taken a library of darks at different exposure lengths. I’m creating the master darks and biases I am STUNNED at how lovely a dark can be. If you have used other cameras that have amp glow, you will recognize star patterns, or rectangles along the sides, or blowouts in one corner. This camera’s dark is a uniform black and grey with only a few speckles of white. There is NO amp glow. As advertised. Also my flats show nearly zero tilt on the image sensor. Collimated stars look the same in all four corners. I’m super excited and the potential for this camera. Mostly I’m excited that I can take longer exposures And expect uniform and predictable noise floor that I can easily calibrate out. For me it was worth upgrading to this sensor.
This is the camera I’ve always wanted. Literally no AMP GLOW and you really don’t have to use flats,darks,bias. You’ll still produce a great image being a APS-C sensor. Don’t hesitate to grab this bad boy.
I have been using the ASI2600 with my Celestron RASA 11- has provided excellent results - a step up from the ASI071 camera. low noise, 16bit dynamic range, cooling down to -35 below ambient and no “frosting”. My only complaint is ZWO sent wrong adapters with the camera - however, would highly recommend the ASI2600.