New model G2-8300 was added to the G2 series of cooled CCD
cameras for low-light imaging applications. The KAF8300 CCD detector,
used in the new camera, corresponds to the so-called 4/3
standard and its imaging area 18.1 × 13.7 mm is the largest of all
detectors used in the G2 series. High resolution (more than 8 MPx) and
relatively small pixels (5,4 × 5,4 μm) makes this camera ideal for use with short focal length
telescopes (or with ordinary photographic lenses). This camera is also
ideal for high-resolution imaging of microscopic samples.
All key features of G2 series of CCD cameras are preserved
also in G2-8300 model:
Lowest possible system read noise, limited by CCD chip
High dynamic range, 16-bits digitization.
Efficient and precisely regulated cooling up to 50 °C below ambient temperature.
Ability of unattended operation enabled by integrated
mechanical shutter and filter wheel supporting LRGB, BVRI or
Compact camera head, small and lightweight enough to be
attached even to small telescopes.
Single-voltage power supply enabling operation from
12V battery or brick adapter.
Plug and play installation and rich software
Robust construction to sustain every-day usage.
But there are some features unique for G2-8300
Although the KAF8300 CCD detector has Full-Frame
architecture, it is equipped with so-called anti-blooming gate
(ABG), which protects electron leaks from saturated pixels to
neighboring pixels when a bright star appears in the field of view.
This makes G2-8300 camera suitable also for astro-imaging
The CCD imaging area is somewhat larger that the clear
aperture of standard filters in 1.25 inch filter
cells. Such filter cells cause vignetting in the image corners. This
is why the filter wheel with 6 positions is not offered with G2-8300
and filters for 5 positions filter wheel are not standard
1.25, but larger filters with 31 mm
31 mm filters do not cause vignetting on vast
majority of optical systems, but they are significantly cheaper and
more compact compared to 2 inch filters or filters in M48 threaded
G2-8300 camera head
G2-8300 camera is manufactured with monochrome CCD detector as well
as with color detector, which allows capturing of color images with
3358 × 2536
5.4 × 5.4 μm
18.1 × 13.7 mm
3358 × 2536
5.4 × 5.4 μm
18.1 × 13.7 mm
Although KAF8300 CCD detector is not square like in the case of
G2-4000 camera (square detectors always optimally utilize optics
capabilities and filter area, so they best suit to astronomy
applications), KAF8300 aspect ratio is 4:3, which is closer to square
than 3:2 aspect ratio of other detectors like KAF3200, KAI11000
G2-8300 camera with Canon EOS photographic lens
G2CCD Cameras Technical Specifications
G2-8300 camera uses high sensitive and low noise Kodak
KAF8300 Full Frame CCD detectors with 4/3 format. Advanced
manufacturing techniques like transparent electrodes and
microlensing ensure up to 55 %
peak quantum efficiency. The inherent dark current of these
detectors is very low, so the resulting image S/N ratio is
3358 (H) × 2536 (V)
(H) × 5.4 μm (V)
18.1 mm (H) × 13.7 mm (V)
Full well capacity
0.2 e-/s/pixel at
Dark signal doubling temperature
KAF-0402ME CCD chip specifications
KAF8300 CCD chip and its Quantum
16-bit A/D converter with correlated double sampling
ensures high dynamic range and CCD chip-limited readout noise.
Fast USB interface ensures image download time within
Maximum length of single USB cable is 5 m. This length can be extended for instance
to 10 m by using single USB hub
or USB active extender cable. Up to 100 m extension can be achieved with
Correlated double sampling
1 to 4 pixels
1 to 4 pixels
Yes, 2 ms
USB 2.0 High Speed
USB 1.1 Full Speed compatible
Camera electronics specifications
Image download time depends on the CCD chip used in
particular camera model. Also the read noise depends on the
chip as well as on the read mode.
Standard read mode provides system read noise approx.
1 e- above low-noise read
LN (Low-noise) read mode is somewhat slower (approx.
ensures system read noise equal or smaller than the
manufacturer-specified chip read noise.
0.4 e-/ADU (1 × 1 binning)
0.8 e-/ADU (other
System read noise
8 e- RMS (LN read)
9 e- RMS (standard
Full frame download
14.4 s (LN read)
12.2 s (standard read)
G2-8300 electronics specifications
Binning can be combined independently on both
ULN read noise depends on the CCD chip itself. If the
read noise of the particular chip is 7
e- RMS, the system read noise is also
7 e- RMS.
Download times are valid for USB 2.0 host and may vary depending on host
PC. Times stated here were measured on
Pentium M based laptop computer.
Download times can be
somewhat longer when connected to USB 1.1 host.
Power and USB connectors on the bottom of the
Regulated two-stage thermo-electric chip cooling up to
50 °C below ambient temperature
with forced air cooling and 0.1 °C temperature precision ensure very low
dark current for long exposures.
CCD chip cooling
Thermoelectric (Peltier modules)
Max. delta T
50 °C below ambient
45 °C below ambient
Hot side cooling
Air cooling (50 mm
Chip cooling specifications
Fans and air output vents on the back side of the
It is not recommended to cool the chip to the maximum
temperature difference, else the camera cannot guarantee
temperature stability when the ambient air temperature
rises. It is usually practical to set the temperature so the
cooling utilization varies around 90%. This provides enough
reserve in cooling power to keep the CCD temperature even if
the ambient temperature rises several degrees
Water-assisted cooling is available for all G2CCD
cameras. Contact the manufacturer for details.
The cooling performance depends on the environmental
conditions and also on the power supply. If the power supply
voltage drops below 12 V, the
maximum temperature difference is lower.
Maximum temperature drop -50°C provides little room
The 12 V DC power supply adapter enables camera
operation from arbitrary power source including batteries,
wall adapters etc. Universal 100–240 V AC/50–60 Hz,
60 W brick adapter is
supplied with the camera. Although the camera power
consumption does not exceed 30 W,
the 60 W power supply ensures
Camera head supply
12 V DC
Camera power consumption
15 W without
40 W with 100%
Adapter input voltage
100-240 V AC/50-60 Hz
Adapter output voltage
12 V DC/5 A
Adapter maximum power
Power supply specifications
Camera power consumption is measured on the AC outlet
of the 12 V power
The camera contains its own power supplies inside, so
it can be powered by unregulated 12 V DC power source—the input voltage can be anywhere between 10
and 14 V. However, some
parameters (like cooling efficiency) can degrade if the
supply drops below 11 V.
G2 CCD camera measures its input voltage and provides
it to the control software. Input voltage is displayed in
the Cooling tab of the CCD Camera
control tool in the SIPS. This feature is important
especially if you power the camera from batteries.
12 V DC/5 A power
supply adapter for G2CCD Camera
The power connector on the camera head uses
center-plus pin. Although all modern power supplies use this
configuration, always make sure the polarity is correct if you
use own power source.
Compact and robust camera head measures only 114 × 114 × 77 mm
(approx. 4.5 × 4.5 × 3 inches).
The head is CNC-machined from high-quality aluminum and black
anodized. The head itself contains USB-B (device) connector
and 12 V DC power plug, no other parts (CPU box, USB
interface, etc.), except a brick power supply, are
necessary. Integrated mechanical shutter allows streak-free
image readout, as well as automatic dark frame exposures,
which are necessary for unattended, robotic setups. Integrated
filter wheel contains 5 positions for D31 mm filters. It is also possible to screw
the standard 1.25" filters in threaded cells
into the filter wheel, but such filters can cause vignetting,
especially when used with fast optics.
5-positions filter wheel and blade shutter inside
the G2-8300 camera head
Internal mechanical shutter
Yes, blade shutter
Shortest exposure time
Longest exposure time
Limited by chip saturation only
Internal filter wheel
5 positions for D31 mm
114 mm × 114 mm × 77 mm
Back focal distance
Camera head weight
Slightly slimmer variant of the camera head without
internal filter wheel is available. The head dimensions are
114 × 114 × 65 mm
(approx. 4.5 × 4.5 × 2.5 inches).
This variant allows attaching of external filter wheel with 10
or 12 positions for D36 mm or
D31 mm filters.
G2 CCD camera with external filter wheel
External filter wheels for 10 filters D36 mm (left) and for 12 filters
D31 mm or with M28.5 × 0.6 threaded cells
114 mm × 114 mm × 65 mm
Back focal distance
Back focal distance
Back focal distance from external filter wheel
Weight of camera head
Weight of camera head + external filter wheel
Shortest exposure time 100 ms is available on G2
cameras revision 3 and higher. Shortest exposure time of
older revisions was 175 ms.
Powerful SIPS (Scientific Image Processing System) software
supplied with the camera allows complete camera control
(exposures, cooling, filters) with automatic sequences and
complete image calibration. SIPS also supports advanced tools like
Image Add tool with automatic sub-pixel image alignment, (L)RGB
Add tool, Image Blink tool, image filters and many more
Simple Image Manipulation System
Drivers for third-party software are also available (e.g. MaxIm
DL, AstroArt, etc.). Visit the download portion of the
manufacturer web site for current list of available drivers,
SIPS software package allows automatic guiding of the
astronomical telescope mounts using separate guiding camera.
Proper and reliable automatic guiding utilizing the
computational power of Personal Computer (e.g. calculation of
star centroid allows guiding with sub-pixel precision) is not
simple task. Guiding complexity corresponds to number of
parameters, which must be entered (or automatically measured).
And the number of necessary parameters lead to splitting of
the Guiding tab in the SIPS into two separate tabs.
The first one is called Guiding setup and it
summarizes all parameters necessary for proper autoguiding
Guider setup tab of the SIPS CCD Camera control
The second tab called Guiding thereafter allows
switching of autoguiding on and off, starting of the automatic
calibration procedure and recalculation of autoguiding
parameters when the telescope changes declination without the
necessity of new calibration. Also swapping of the German
Equatorial mount no longer requires new autoguider
This tab also graphically displays time history of guide
star offsets from reference position in both axes. The length
of graph history as well as the graph range can be freely
defined, so the graph can be adjusted according to particular
mount errors and periodic error period length.
SIPS automatic guiding
Complete log of calibration procedure, detected offsets,
correction pulses etc. is also shown in this tab. The log can
by anytime saved to log file.
G2 cooled imaging camera with G0 high-performance
Shipping and Packaging
G2 CCD cameras are supplied in the foam-filled, hard
carrying case containing:
Camera body with a user-chosen telescope adapter. The
standard 2" barrel adapter is included by default. If ordered,
the filter wheel is already mounted inside the camera head and
filters are threaded into place (if ordered).
A 100-240 V AC input, 12 V DC output
brick adapter with 1.8 m
long power cable.
5 m long USB A-B cable for
connecting camera to host PC.
A CD-ROM or USB Flash Drive with camera drivers, SIPS
software package with electronic documentation and PDF version
of User's Manual.
A printed copy of User's Manual.
G2 CCD cameras are shipped in the foam-filled carrying
case (left), larger case is used if camera is ordered with
external filter wheel (right)
Example images captured with G2-8300 camera.
M42 Great Orion Nebula
LRGB, H-alpha, OIII and SII
more than 10 hours
Elephant Trunk nebula, part of
nebulosity complex IC1396 in Cepheus
H-alpha, OIII and SII
Flame and Horse Head nebulae in
Astrodon Ha, Baader LRGB
IC1805 nebula complex
Astrodon Ha+OIII (bi-color)
M33 Triangulum galaxy
Astrodon Ha+OIII, Baader LRGB, IDAS LPS2
NGC2244 Rosette nebula
Astrodon Ha 5nm, OIII 3nm (bi-color)
NGC5128 Centaurus A galaxy
NGC6914 nebula complex
WR134, nebulosity around a Wolf Rayet star in