Opticstar PX-35C Coolair CCD Camera
The PX-35C is the ideal entry level colour planetary CCD camera with high sensitivity. The PX-75C is also well suited for Lunar and Solar imaging. Please note that for Solar imaging, the camera should be used only with an appropriate solar telescope or solar filter.
The PX-35C is well suited for imaging planets due to its very low noise characteristics and high Gain while retaining the necessary high signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios.
The camera can also be used for industrial inspection and microscopy applications. Noise reduction and Gain are features implemented in the hardware to deliver exceptional performance.
Noise Reduction and Cooling
Thermal noise is kept to a minimum via a heat-sink that is directly attached to the back of the Sony CCD sensor and a fan that that draws the heat out of the camera fast. Enclosed camera cases will typically show temperatures of around 10ºC above ambient temperature, these can rise dramatically during extended exposures. Air-cooled cameras such as the PX-35C will show internal temperatures of around 3ºC above ambient temperature under normal use, thermal noise halves for every 6 degrees of drop in temperature which means that a similar non air-cooled camera with have over twice the noise of the PX-35C during shorter exposures.
The PX-35C requires a fully featured, full speed USB2.0 port to take advantage of all the camera’s advanced features.
The PX-35C CoolAir fan-cooled CCD camera offers exceptional performance and versatility easily outperforming cameras costing considerably more. The PX-35C electronics ensure high signal-to-noise ratio even at very short exposure times. The camera can achieve 30 frames per second at the full 640x480 resolution.
Opticstar View - Camera Control Software
The camera is recommended for lunar and solar (with a solar filter) imaging. It includes Opticstar View software for image capture and camera control with a point and click interface. It can capture single frames, a series of single frames in BMP format or in AVI video format. The captured video data can optionally be compressed if required in MPEG-4 format.
A brief outline of View’s image processing functions is listed below:
- Basic operations including Crop, Mirror, Flip, Invert, Rotate, Bright, etc.
- Copy and paste user defined regions.
- Distances can be measured between user defined points, circles, etc.
- Angles can be calculated by defining three points on the image.
- Operations can be performed on any user defined region.
- Colour operations can be performed on individual R, G, B channels.
- Data combine of two images.
- Data calibration.
- Image-zoom as a per cent of the original image.
- Linear filters to soften, sharpen, emboss, blur and Gaussian.
- Non-linear filters for median, erode, dilate, contour, edge and jitter.
- Transform filters for pinch, punch, twirl and cylinder.
- Fluorescence filters for gamma, colorize, mix and combine.
EtAMCAP - Camera Control Software
EtAMCAP is the second program bundled with the camera. It can be used to control the camera and capture video in AVI format. This program does not include any image processing functionality but the captured video files can be processed in other software such as Deep Sky Stacker, Registax, Paintshop, Photoshop, etc.
The PX-35C camera can stream and store video to disk at up to 30 frames per second at 640x480 resolution, it can also grab single frames at 640x480. All video and single frames are captured without compression, ensuring high image quality. Higher frame rates can be achieved by reducing the resolution via the camera control software.
The ability of the camera to capture and store high quality video to disk in real-time provides the data required for stacking any number of frames to create a single greatly enhanced quality image using image stacking software, these include the excellent AstroArt V4.0 and freely available Deep Sky Stacker or Registax. AstroArt is more relevant when you want to manipulate the image but without altering the underlying data, AstroArt is therefore highly suitable for photometry.
Optionally, the PX-35C incorporates a removable x0.5 focal reducer nosepiece that can double the field of view if required. An extension 5 metre USB lead with a USB repeater (amplifier) is also available in cases where the camera will be used further away from the computer.
Opticstar CCD Video Cameras
Finding a good camera for planetary capture is always confusing and often times you settle for something less. Camera manufacturers boast about how good their products function, but after a few nights hoping to capture your first image the camera falls short of advertised hope-la and so does your enthusiasm for planetary imaging! Our 1/3" CCD Planetary, Lunar & Solar Video Cameras are designed as advanced digital video cameras using a USB 2.0 computer interface based together using a quality CCD sensor. Opticstar cameras feature high-speed capture or standard modes together with full hardware Gain and easy to access regions of interest so your focus is on the area you want to bring into view! Our cameras are easy to use, easy to understand & produce awesome results!
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|Name||Opticstar - PX-35C Coolair CCD Camera|
|ADC (analog to digital converter)||8-bit|
|Bundled Software||Opticstar View, etAMCAP|
|Colour Bayer RGB Mosaic||24-bit (3 x 8-bit) Uncompressed output|
|Computer Interface||USB 2.0 with 1.8 metre cable|
|Cooling||Heat sink and fan|
|Data Format||AVI video with or wihthout MPEG compression; BMP|
|Exposure time||Automatic or Manual; 1 millisecond to 6.4 minutes|
|Frame Rate||30fps @ 640x480; 30fps @ 320x240 ROI|
|Gain||In hardware, user selectable from 0% to >100% boost|
|Mounting to lens||C to T-thread, M42 x 0.75|
|Mounting to microscope||C to 23mm, C to 30mm, C to 30.5mm|
|Mounting to telescope||C/CS to 1.25" (included)|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows (64-bit & 32-bit) XP/Vista/7/8|
|Optical Format||1/4" CCD colour sensor|
|Pixel Size||5.6µm x 5.6µm|
|Power Requirements||USB 2.0 Bus Power|
|Resolution||640(W) x 480(H)|
|Sensor Type||Sony ICX098BQ|
|Window glass||Clear, no Infra Red cut-off|