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QHY QHY5III462 Planetary Color and NIR CMOS Imaging Camera - QHY5III462C

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What We Love About The QHY5III462C Planetary Camera!

  • The QHY5III462C has a Back-illuminated sensor - twice as sensitive as the similar sized front illuminated color sensors like the 290.
  • This planetary camera uses the Newest (6th Generation) Sony sensor technology with extended near Infrared sensitivity.  Very high QE in near IR near methane emission line. 
  • Check this out!  The on-chip color filters used in the QHY5III462 become transparent at NIR wavelengths, so the camera behaves like a high QE color camera in visual range and like a high QE mono camera in near IR range.
  •  sHCG mode = "Super High Conversion Gain" mode. Means it has extremely low (1 electron) read noise at high gain.
  • Fast frame rates @ 135 fps
  • The 462C includes two filters: UV/IR for visual color imaging and IR850 for NIR imaging.
  • This feature-packed camera has a nice, low price, and we love that!
  • All of the above features combine to make this an ideal planetary camera for anyone.

More About the QHY5III462 USB 3.0 CMOS Color Camera

For planetary photography, QHY’s latest 5III series color imaging camera, the QHY5III462C, offers substantial improvements over their previous QHY5III290C and QHY5III224C models. Counted among the QHY5III462C camera's features are fast frame rates (135 FPS), High Gain with Low Noise (0.7e-), and High QE in the Red and Near IR.

Two 1.25" screw-in filters are included with the QHY5III462C camera. The first is a UV/IR cut filter that separates wavelengths of visible light for traditional RGB astrophotography, while the second is an IR850 filter that allows wavelengths above 850 nm to pass through as it simultaneously blocks visible light. These two filters combine to produce a camera that is capable of imaging in visible light only, NIR light only, or visible and NIR light together. Passing both visible and NIR light provides a very sensitive luminance frame for generating LRGB color images when using a reflector or any other telescope with the ability to collectively focus visible and NIR light.

Sony IMX462 STARVIS CMOS Color Imaging Sensor

The QHY5III462 employs the Sony sixth generation 2.1 megapixel IMX462 STARVIS CMOS color sensor with a 1920x1080 effective pixel array consisting of 2.9 µm x 2.9 µm pixels. This pixel size and resolution is identical to that of the sensor incorporated into the QHY5III290 model, a camera with an outstanding track record for planetary imaging used by some of the leading planetary imagers in the field. 

Two distinct benefits the back-illuminated IMX462 sensor is capable of offering that other planetary camera sensors are not due to newly added features include sHGC (super high convert gain) for exceptionally low readout noise at high gain (0.7e), as well as extreme sensitivity in the near infrared, especially when compared to the 290 version. Super High Convert Gain allows the QHY5III462 to use a lower capacitance so that even a modest charge is able to be converted to a high voltage, enhancing sensitivity in low light. Cameras with low read noise are optimally suited for stacking hundreds or even thousands of short planetary images. Meanwhile, the IMX462’s notable NIR sensitivity comes from how this particular generation of sensor has been designed. Compared to previous sensors, the photodiode portion of the pixel well is deeper in the IMX462. This "thick silicon technology" enables deeper penetration into the substrate for longer wavelength photons, resulting in significantly enhanced sensor sensitivity to both red and near infrared (NIR) light. The RGB filters over the pixels become transparent at NIR wavelengths, so the sensor displays almost equal peak sensitivity to NIR light as it does to light in the visible spectrum.

At approximately 800 nm, peak QE in the NIR is as high or higher than the peak QE in the visual spectrum. Astrophotographers imaging planets by using a methane filter that allows light to pass through at 880 nm will surely appreciate this news.

QHY5III462 USB 3.0 CMOS Color Camera Specifications

  • Imaging Sensor: Sony IMX462 CMOS color
  • Sensor Size: Typical 1/2.8"
  • Effective Pixel Area: 1920x1080
  • Effective Pixels: 2.1 MP
  • Pixel Size: 2.9 µm x 2.9 µm
  • Readout Noise: 0.7e
  • AD Sample Depth: 12bit (output as 16bit and 8bit)
  • Max Full and ROI Frame Rates: 135 FPS @ 8bit and more resolutions (supports any region ROI)
  • Minimum Exposure: 20 µs
  • Maximum Exposure: 900 sec
  • Shutter Type: Electric Rolling
  • Computer Interface: USB 3.0
  • Includes Guide Port: Yes
  • Telescope Interface: 1.25"
  • Optic Window: Changeable 1.25" filter (comes with 1.25" IR cut and 1.25" IR850 filters)
  • Weight: 3.1 oz. (88 g)