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SBIG - STF-8050 Monochrome CCD Camera

Model#: STF-8050M

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Manufactured by: Santa Barbara Instrument Group (SBIG)


SBIG STF-8050 Monochrome CCD Camera



  • Large, High Resolution 8.1 Megapixel CCD with 5.5 micron pixels
  • 8.1 Megapixel CCD with 5.5 micron pixels Fast, Dual Channel Read Out
  • Fast, Dual Channel Read Out Full Frame, High Res, Low Noise, 16-bit download in 0.5 seconds.
  • Electronic shutter for fast exposure times (0.001 sec to 3600 sec.)
  • STX/STXL style pin-fin heat sink and 70mm fan
  • STX/STXL style pin-fin heat sink and 70mm fan Exceptional cooling delta greater than -50C with air only
  • Exceptional cooling delta greater than -50C with air only Sapphire Chamber Window
  • Sapphire Chamber Window Very Low Read noise ~ 9e-
  • Very Low Read noise ~ 9e- Very Low Dark Current ~ 0.01e- at -20C
  • Very Low Dark Current ~ 0.01e- at -20C Antiblooming Protection
  • Antiblooming Protection Uses STF 8-Position Filter Wheels and OAG
  • Uses STF 8-Position Filter Wheels and OAG Accepts Nikon and Canon EOS lens adapters



The STF-8050 camera comes in monochrome (STF-8050M) and two color models.  The color models are available with either the standard Bayer Color FIlter Pattern (STF-8050C) or the higher sensitivity TRUESENSE Sparse Color Filter Pattern (STF-8050SC).  The KAI-08050 Image Sensor is an 8-megapixel CCD in a 4/3" (22 mm diagonal) optical format.  Based on the TRUESENSE 5.5 micron Interline Transfer CCD Platform, the sensor features broad dynamic range, excellent imaging performance, and a flexible readout architecture.  The TRUESENSE Sparse Color Filter Pattern provides a 2x improvement in light sensitivity compared to a standard color Bayer part.


KAI-08050 CCD Key Features:

  • Available in Monochrome, Bayer Color Pattern or TRUESENSE Sparse Color Filter Pattern
  • Progressive scan readout
  • Flexible readout architecture
  • High frame rate
  • High sensitivity
  • Low noise architecture
  • Excellent smear performance
  • Package pin reserved for device identification



Description of the TRUESENSE Sparse Color Filter Pattern.

The TRUESENSE Color Filter Pattern represents a new paradigm for obtaining full-color images from a single image sensor.  By adding panchromatic (or "clear") pixels to the standard red, green, and blue pixels traditionally used for color capture, image sensors can realize a significant increase in light sensitivity – between two and four times compared to standard designs – while retaining overall image quality and color fidelity.  Image sensors using this design allow end users to capture better pictures and video under low-light conditions.

In addition to the new color technology, the STF-8050 has been optimized for fast full frame download and maximum cooling in an STF sized package.  A high resolution 8.3 megapixel 16-bit frame will download in about 1/2 second using the dual channel readout mode.  Even at this rapid download rate, the read noise remains exceptionally low, about 9e-. The tables below show download times and frame rates for the STF-8050 camera measured using our high speed drivers:

The astronomy customer will notice from the specifications that the STF-8050 is very similar to the STF-8300M in size and performance with the exception of the shutter and download rate.  The STF-8050 was developed primarily for the OEM market, particularly for microscopy applications where short exposures and high frame rates made possible by an electronic shutter are more desireable than having a mechanical shutter for automatic dark frames.  Because of this, the STF-8050 cooling design is very robust and the camera is capable of a cooling delta greater than -50 degrees C.  This means that the camera at room temperature can cool enough to reduce the dark current to 1/100th of an electron per pixel per second, or less.

So in comparing the STF-8050 with our 8300 models, the STF-8050 is faster and can take shorter exposures (0.001 sec.) whereas the STF-8300 or STT-8300 have higher QE, mechanical shutters and are more suitable for long exposures typical of deep space imaging.   For these same reasons however the STF-8050 is an excellent choice for solar/lunar/planetary imaging and deep space with a filter wheel using one blocked slot for taking dark frames if desired.  To see a comparison of 8300 models and the 8050, click here.


The combination of a large 8.1 megapixel CCD, high resolution 5.5 micron pixels, low noise 16-bit images and fast exposure times make the STF-8050 camera ideal for solar and lunar imaging.  The image below is a portion of a single frame of the entire solar disk taken with the STF-8050M camera using a Lunt 80mm Solar Scope.







Product Series

The STF camera series from SBIG is a step up from the previous ST camera series.


Additional Information

Name SBIG - STF-8050 Monochrome CCD Camera
Manufacturer Santa Barbara Instrument Group (SBIG)
Model STF-8050M
A/D Converter 16 bits
A/D Gain 0.31e-/ADU
Antiblooming Yes
Array 3320 x 2496
Backfocus Distance 0.69 inches
Binning Modes 1x1, 2x2, 3x3, 9x9, 1xn
CCD Type KAI-08050
Computer Interface USB 2.0
Dark Current e-/p/s at 0°C < 0.02e-/pixel/sec @ -15C
Digitization Speed 10MHz / 20MHz
Dimensions 5 x 4 x 3 (+ 1 inch for fan)
Exposure 0.001 to 3600 sec.
Full Frame Download 0.5 sec
Full Well Capacity 20,000e-
Mount T-thread
Peak QE 46%
Pixel Size 5.5 x 5.5 microns
Power 12V, 3.8A
Read Noise 9e-
Shutter Electronic