Starlight Xpress CCD Camera
The Starlight Xpress CCD Camera is the perfect choice for both amateur and professional imaging.
The company Starlight Xpress, is a leading supplier of cost-effective cooled CCD cameras and accessories, and they offer a cost-effective, low noise CCD camera for astronomy or fluorescence imaging.
There are a range of different cameras to suit a variety of applications, and you should consider not just the camera but also the quality of telescope and mount you intend to use with it.
There's no point in spending a whole lot of money on a camera only to find that the scope and mount are not upto scratch.
Colour or Monochrome
The majority of newcomers naturally want a color camera, and the appeal of color images is very apparent. Regrettably, color imaging does come at a price in CCD performance, therefore you need to bear this in mind this before you make a firm decision.
There are a couple of everyday methods employed to create true-colour images. The first one is the classic 'Tri-Colour' technique of using 3 images, through red, green and blue filters, and then combining the results into a single colour frame, using imaging editing software.
This process is used with a mono camera which means you can swap in between colour and mono imaging when needed, however , you require a set of high quality color filters along with a filter wheel or holder
Additionally you must use a minimum of 3 sequential exposures to capture the information and for that reason it might be challenging to create a superior image of moving objects, like planets and comets.
On the positive side, this method is not going to reduce the image resolution and you have optimal flexibility to utilize any filters that you choose.
The 2nd option is to use a 'One-shot' color camera, like the Starlight Xpress ccd SXVF-H9C or SXVF-M25C.
This really is quite a bit less complicated than 'tri-colour', as you capture all 3 colors in a single exposure and there's no need to register the RGB images together to create the final image.
A filter wheel is not required, though an 'infrared blocking filter' could possibly be found to further improve the color rendering of the results.
On the downside your CCD is permanently filtered so there's some loss of sensitivity (longer exposure times will be needed, in comparison to an unfiltered mono CCD) and there's a small loss of image resolution.
Despite the filter matrix, it's still possible to take narrow-band (H-alpha, OIII etc.) images with a one-shot camera, therefore the constraints aren't as problematic as a number of experts might tell you.
Starlight Xpress SXVF-H9
It is a second generation version of the very popular HX916 and incorporates many substantial improvements and extra features.
Starlight Xpress SXV-H16
As Sony do not manufacture a large mono chip, SX researched the available devices and decided that the Kodak KAI4021M was the best option for a new mono camera.
Starlight Xpress SXVR H18
The fast 4.5 second download time minimises the visibility of bias frame artefacts
Starlight Xpress SXVR M26C
The built-in autoguider control and serial outputs allow control of many telescopes and accessories, all through one USB cable
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