Moravian instruments, Inc., source: https://www.gxccd.com/cat?id=2&lang=409, printed: 15.12.2019 3:30:51

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CMOS and CCD cameras for astronomy, microscopy and other low-light applications.

Moravian Instruments Cx CMOS line and Gx CCD line of astronomical cameras are designed with maximum image quality on mind. Camera bodies are compact and robust, CNC manufactured from solid aluminum.

Small C1 and G0/G1 cameras are intended as autoguiders as well as Moon, Sun and planetary imagers. They are powered from USB line. Especially the CMOS sensor based C1 line offers very high FPS when connected through fast USB 3.0 interface.

Cooled CMOS C2/C3/C4 and CCD G2/G3/G4 cameras are powered from external 12 V DC power supply. These models are equipped with mechanical shutter and precise regulated cooling. All these models can be connected to external filter wheels, Off-Axis Guiders, various telescope and lens adapters and other accessories. C2/C3 and G2/G3 cameras can be also equipped with internal filter wheel, which makes them very compact, all-containing devices.

Cx cameras are equipped with 5 Gbps USB 3.0 interface, Gx series use 480 Mbps USB 2.0 interface. Up to four cameras of all types can be connected to the Moravian Camera Ethernet Adapter to access them through 1 Gbps Ethernet and TCP/IP protocol from virtually unlimited distance.

C2 CMOS cameras

The cooled C2 series global shutter CMOS cameras were developed for imaging under extremely low-light conditions in astronomy, microscopy and similar areas. Mechanical design of this series inherits from earlier CCD-based G2 Mark II cameras, which makes the C2 series fully compatible with vast range of telescope adapters, off-axis guider adapters, internal or external filter wheels, Camera Ethernet adapters, guiding cameras etc.

Model CMOS sensor Resolution Pixel size Image area
C2-3000 IMX252 2064 × 1544 pixels 3.45 × 3.45 μm 7.12 × 5.33 mm
C2-5000 IMX250 2464 × 2056 pixels 3.45 × 3.45 μm 8.50 × 7.09 mm
C2-12000 IMX253 4112 × 3008 pixels 3.45 × 3.45 μm 14.19 × 10.38 mm

C2 cameras with both 8- and 12-bit digitization

Model CMOS sensor Resolution Pixel size Image area
C2-3000A IMX265 2064 × 1544 pixels 3.45 × 3.45 μm 7.12 × 5.33 mm
C2-5000A IMX264 2464 × 2056 pixels 3.45 × 3.45 μm 8.50 × 7.09 mm
C2-12000A IMX304 4112 × 3008 pixels 3.45 × 3.45 μm 14.19 × 10.38 mm

C2 cameras with 12-bit digitization only

C1 CMOS cameras

The C1 series global shutter CMOS cameras were designed to be small, lightweight imagers for Moon and planets and for automatic telescope guiding. With proper image calibration, C1 cameras provide surprisingly good results also in entry-level deep-sky imaging. The used CMOS sensors response to light is linear up to very close to saturation point, so, C1 cameras can be used for scientific applications like variable star research, too.

Model CMOS sensor Resolution Pixel size Image area
C1-1500 IMX273 1456 × 1088 pixels 3.45 × 3.45 μm 5.02 × 3.75 mm
C1-3000 IMX252 2064 × 1544 pixels 3.45 × 3.45 μm 7.12 × 5.33 mm
C1-5000 IMX250 2464 × 2056 pixels 3.45 × 3.45 μm 8.50 × 7.09 mm
C1-12000 IMX253 4112 × 3008 pixels 3.45 × 3.45 μm 14.19 × 10.38 mm

C1 cameras with both 8- and 12-bit digitization

Model CMOS sensor Resolution Pixel size Image area
C1-3000A IMX265 2064 × 1544 pixels 3.45 × 3.45 μm 7.12 × 5.33 mm
C1-5000A IMX264 2464 × 2056 pixels 3.45 × 3.45 μm 8.50 × 7.09 mm
C1-12000A IMX304 4112 × 3008 pixels 3.45 × 3.45 μm 14.19 × 10.38 mm

C1 cameras with 12-bit digitization only

G4 Mark II cameras

G4 Mark II cameras contain Full-Frame CCD chips OnSemi KAF with 37 × 37 mm detector area. These detectors are equipped with so-called “anti-blooming gate” (ABG), which drains the over-abundant charge from saturated pixels. ABG ensures the round images of bright stars, without disruptive blooming spikes. On the other side, compromising of the CCD linearity by ABG is only negligible. G4 cameras can be used for astrometric and photometric applications as well as ultimate camera for astrophotography.

No matter if your target is reliable scientific data or beautiful images of deep-sky objects, G4 cameras are able to provide both.

Model CCD chip ABG Color mask Resolution Pixel size Image area
G4-9000 KAF-09000 >100× no 3056 × 3056 12 × 12 μm 36.7 × 36.7 mm
G4-16000 KAF-16803 >100× no 4096 × 4096 9 × 9 μm 36.9 × 36.9 mm

G3 Mark II cameras

The cooled G3 series Mark II CCD cameras were developed for imaging under extremely low-light conditions in astronomy, microscopy and similar areas. Design of this series inherits from earlier G3 Mark I cameras but brings some significant enhancements. G3 cameras employ precise electronics providing uniform frames and extremely low read noise limited only by CCD detector itself.

Modular mechanical construction allows various camera variants to be combined with rich set of accessories, including telescope adapters, off-axis guider adapters, internal or external filter wheels, Ethernet adapters, guiding cameras etc.

Model CCD chip ABG Color mask Resolution Pixel size Image area
G3-01000 KAF-1001E no no 1024 × 1024 24 × 24 μm 24.6 × 24.6 mm
G3-06300 KAF-6303E no no 3072 × 2048 9 × 9 μm 27.7 × 18.4 mm
G3-16200 KAF-16200 2800× no 4524 × 3624 6 × 6 μm 27.2 × 21.8 mm
G3-16200C KAF-16200 2800× RGBG (Bayer) 4524 × 3624 6 × 6 μm 27.2 × 21.8 mm
G3-11000 KAI-11002 >1000× no 4032 × 2688 9 × 9 μm 36.3 × 24.2 mm
G3-11000C KAI-11002 >1000× RGBG (Bayer) 4032 × 2688 9 × 9 μm 36.3 × 24.2 mm

G2 Mark II cameras

The cooled G2 series Mark II cameras were developed for imaging under extremely low-light conditions in astronomy, microscopy and similar areas. Design of this series inherits from earlier G2 Mark I cameras but brings some significant enhancements, especially much faster download and adjustable telescope adapters. G2 cameras employ precise electronics providing uniform frames and extremely low read noise limited only by CCD detector itself. Modular mechanical construction allows various camera variants to be combined with rich set of accessories, including telescope adapters, off-axis guider adapters, internal or external filter wheels, Ethernet adapters, guiding cameras etc.

G2-0400, G2-1600 and G2-3200 cameras with non-ABG Kodak KAF CCD chips are suitable for scientific applications, requiring both high quantum efficiency and linear response to light.

G2-2000 and G2-4000 cameras with Kodak KAI CCD chips with ABG are suitable for astrophotography — anti-blooming of KAI CCDs eliminates charge blooming when bright stars appear in the field of view.

G2-8300 camera with Kodak KAF CCD with ABG, also suitable for astrophotography, especially in combination with telescopes with smaller focal length due to small pixels and large resolution.

Model CCD Chip ABG Color mask Resolution Pixel size Imaging area
G2-0400 Mk.II KAF-0402ME No None 768 × 512 9 × 9 μm 6.9 × 4.6 mm
G2-1600 Mk.II KAF-1603ME No None 1536 × 1024 9 × 9 μm 13.8 × 9.2 mm
G2-3200 Mk.II KAF-3200ME No None 2184 × 1472 6.8 × 6.8 μm 14.9 × 10 mm
G2-8300 Mk.II KAF8300 Monochrome >1000× None 3358 × 2536 5.4 × 5.4 μm 18.1 × 13.7 mm
G2-8300C Mk.II KAF8300 Color >1000× Bayer RGBG 3358 × 2536 5.4 × 5.4 μm 18.1 × 13.7 mm
G2-2000 Mk.II KAI-2020 Monochrome >300× None 1604 × 1204 7.4 × 7.4 μm 11.9 × 8.9 mm
G2-2000C Mk.II KAI-2020 Color >300× Bayer RGBG 1602 × 1202 7.4 × 7.4 μm 11.9 × 8.9 mm
G2-4000 Mk.II KAI-4022 Monochrome >300× None 2056 × 2062 7.4 × 7.4 μm 15.2 × 15.3 mm
G2-4000C Mk.II KAI-4022 Color >300× Bayer RGBG 2054 × 2060 7.4 × 7.4 μm 15.2 × 15.3 mm

G4 CCD cameras

G4 cameras are capable to use large CCD detectors with 36 × 36 mm area, which is 50% more than the area of classical film frame. Precisely regulated cooling keeps the CCD on constant temperature, which allows quality image calibration. Cameras can be equipped also with liquid-coolant heat exchanger to cool down the hot side of Peltier TEC modules, beside the two magnetic levitating fans used in air cooled cameras.

There is a mechanical shutter inside the camera head, filter wheel for 50 × 50 mm square filters (round filters of 50 mm diameter cause vignetting on such large CCD chips) cannot be placed inside the camera head due to limited space. But it is possible to connect external filter wheel for 5 large filters to the G4 camera, the camera head already contains connector for external filter wheel control.

Used CCD detectors are equipped with so-called “anti-blooming gate” (ABG), which drains the over-abundant charge from saturated pixels. ABG ensures the round images of bright stars, without disruptive blooming spikes. On the other side, compromising of the CCD linearity by ABG is only negligible. G4 cameras can be used for astrometric and photometric applications as well as for astrophotography.

Model Color mask ABG CCD chip Resolution Pixel size Image area
G4-9000 no >100× KAF-09000 3056 × 3056 12 × 12 μm 36.7 × 36.7 mm
G4-16000 no >100× KAF-16803 4096 × 4096 9 × 9 μm 36.9 × 36.9 mm

G3 CCD cameras

G3 cameras can be equipped with CCD detectors up to 24 × 36 mm. Precisely regulated and efficient cooling of the CCD more than 50°C below ambient temperature allows quality image calibration. There are mechanical shutter and filter wheel with 5 positions for 2 inch filters inside the camera head, so these cameras can be used in unattended, robotic setups.

CCD chips Kodak KAF with linear response to light are suitable for scientific applications. Large area of these detectors fits long focal length of big telescopes. Large pixels ensure high image dynamic range.

Astrophotographers appreciate Kodak KAI detectors with ABG and electronic shutters. Anti-blooming ensures round images of bright stars, which cannot be avoided especially on wide-field images. Electronic shutter then allows short exposure times, necessary e.g. for capturing of fast moving objects.

Model Color mask ABG CCD chip Resolution Pixel size Image area
G3-01000 no no KAF-1001E 1024 × 1024 24 × 24 μm 24.6 × 24.6 mm
G3-16200 no 2800× KAF-16200 4524 × 3624 6 × 6 μm 27.2 × 21.8 mm
G3-16200C RGBG (Bayer) 2800× KAF-16200 4524 × 3624 6 × 6 μm 27.2 × 21.8 mm
G3-11000 no >1000× KAI-11002 4032 × 2688 9 × 9 μm 36.3 × 24.2 mm
G3-11000C RGBG (Bayer) >1000× KAI-11002 4032 × 2688 9 × 9 μm 36.3 × 24.2 mm

G2 CCD cameras

G2 cameras were designed for demanding scientific applications and for high-end astrophotography. Very high quantum efficiency (more than 85% in the case of G2-3200 camera) allows capturing of very faint objects. High quality electronics provides uniform images without artifacts and the read noise is limited by the CCD detectors themselves. Regulated cooling of CCD up to 50ºC below ambient temperature significantly reduces detector dark current. Cameras have integrated filter wheel with 5 positions for 1.25" filters in threated cells or with 6 positions for glass-only filters and mechanical shutter.

G2-0400, G2-1600 and G2-3200 cameras with non-ABG Kodak KAF CCD chips are suitable for scientific applications, requiring both high quantum efficiency and linear response to light.

G2-2000 and G2-4000 cameras with Kodak KAI CCD chips with ABG are suitable for astrophotography — anti-blooming of KAI CCDs eliminates charge blooming when bright stars appear in the field of view.

G2-8300 camera with Kodak KAF CCD with ABG, also suitable for astrophotography, especially in combination with telescopes with smaller focal length due to small pixels and large resolution.

Model CCD Chip ABG Color mask Resolution Pixel size Imaging area
G2-0402 KAF-0402ME No None 768 × 512 9 × 9 μm 6.9 × 4.6 mm
G2-1600 KAF-1603ME No None 1536 × 1024 9 × 9 μm 13.8 × 9.2 mm
G2-3200 KAF-3200ME No None 2184 × 1472 6.8 × 6.8 μm 14.9 × 10 mm
G2-8300 KAF8300 Monochrome >1000× None 3358 × 2536 5.4 × 5.4 μm 18.1 × 13.7 mm
G2-8300C KAF8300 Color >1000× Bayer RGBG 3358 × 2536 5.4 × 5.4 μm 18.1 × 13.7 mm
G2-2000 KAI-2020 Monochrome >300× None 1604 × 1204 7.4 × 7.4 μm 11.9 × 8.9 mm
G2-2000C KAI-2020 Color >300× Bayer RGBG 1602 × 1202 7.4 × 7.4 μm 11.9 × 8.9 mm
G2-4000 KAI-4022 Monochrome >300× None 2056 × 2062 7.4 × 7.4 μm 15.2 × 15.3 mm
G2-4000C KAI-4022 Color >300× Bayer RGBG 2054 × 2060 7.4 × 7.4 μm 15.2 × 15.3 mm

External Filter Wheels for G2, G3 and G4 CCD cameras

External Filter Wheels for G2, G3 and G4 CCD cameras offer more positions compared to internal filter wheels, embedded into camera head. External filter wheel is not connected to the host PC (with separate USB or serial cable) as well as to separate power supply. Only single short 8-wire cable connects the external filter wheel with the camera head. External and internal filter wheels are indistinguishable from the software point of view, same drivers are used to control them.

External filter wheels cannot be used together with internal ones. G2 and G3 cameras with internal filter wheel cannot be attached to external filter wheel — the camera is manufactured either with internal filter wheel or with connectors and thinner front case for attaching of the external filter wheel. Because of the filter size there is no internal filter wheel for G4 series of CCD cameras, these cameras can be used only with external filter wheels.

Model Camera model Number of positions Filter dimensions
EFW-2XS-8 G2 8 D31 mm, 1.25"
EFW-2XS-7 G2 7 D36 mm
EFW-2S-12 G2 12 D31 mm, 1.25"
EFW-2S-10 G2 10 D36 mm
EFW-2S-7 G2 7 D50 mm, 2"
EFW-3S-7 G3 7 D50 mm, 2"
EFW-3L-9 G3 9 D50 mm, 2"
EFW-3L-7 G3 7 50 × 50 mm
EFW-4M-7 G4 7 D50 mm, 2"
EFW-4M-5 G4 5 50 × 50 mm
EFW-4L-9 G4 9 D50 mm, 2"
EFW-4L-7 G4 7 50 × 50 mm

Guiding and imaging G0 and G1 CCD cameras

G0 and G1 CCD cameras are ideally suited for imaging of Moon, planets and bright deep-sky objects. High sensitivity, low noise, fast image download, electronic shutter and integrated “autoguider” port also allow G1 cameras to guide astronomical telescope mounts. Thank to their capability to integrate light can G0 and G1 cameras guide the mount also using dim stars, invisible for common TV and web cameras. Robust construction, small dimensions, easy manipulation and powerful software make G1 cameras ideally suited for beginning astrophotographers.

G0 and G1 cameras use Sony ICX CCD detectors with progressive read. All models are available in both monochrome and color versions.

Model CCD ABG Color mask Resolution Pixel size Chip area
G0-0300 ICX424AL yes none 656 × 494 7.4 × 7.4 μm 4.9 × 3.7 mm
G0-0300C ICX424AQ yes RGBG (Bayer) 656 × 494 7.4 × 7.4 μm 4.9 × 3.7 mm
G0-0800 ICX204AL yes none 1032 × 778 4.65 × 4.65 μm 4.8 × 3.6 mm
G0-0800C ICX204AK yes RGBG (Bayer) 1032 × 778 4.65 × 4.65 μm 4.8 × 3.6 mm
G0-2000 ICX274AL yes none 1628 × 1236 4.4 × 4.4 μm 7.2 × 5.4 mm
G0-2000C ICX274AQ yes RGBG (Bayer) 1628 × 1236 4.4 × 4.4 μm 7.2 × 5.4 mm

Model CCD ABG Color mask Resolution Pixel size Chip area
G1-0300 ICX424AL yes none 656 × 494 7.4 × 7.4 μm 4.9 × 3.7 mm
G1-0300C ICX424AQ yes RGBG (Bayer) 656 × 494 7.4 × 7.4 μm 4.9 × 3.7 mm
G1-0301 ICX414AL yes none 656 × 494 9.9 × 9.9 μm 6.5 × 4.9 mm
G1-0301C ICX414AQ yes RGBG (Bayer) 656 × 494 9.9 × 9.9 μm 6.5 × 4.9 mm
G1-0800 ICX204AL yes none 1032 × 778 4.65 × 4.65 μm 4.8 × 3.6 mm
G1-0800C ICX204AK yes RGBG (Bayer) 1032 × 778 4.65 × 4.65 μm 4.8 × 3.6 mm
G1-1200 ICX445ALA yes none 1296 × 966 3.75 × 3.75 μm 4.9 × 3.6 mm
G1-1200C ICX445AQA yes RGBG (Bayer) 1296 × 966 3.75 × 3.75 μm 4.9 × 3.6 mm
G1-1400 ICX285AL yes none 1392 × 1040 6.45 × 6.45 μm 9.0 × 6.7 mm
G1-1400C ICX285AQ yes RGBG (Bayer) 1392 × 1040 6.45 × 6.45 μm 9.0 × 6.7 mm
G1-2000 ICX274AL yes none 1628 × 1236 4.4 × 4.4 μm 7.2 × 5.4 mm
G1-2000C ICX274AQ yes RGBG (Bayer) 1628 × 1236 4.4 × 4.4 μm 7.2 × 5.4 mm

Moravian Camera Ethernet Adapter

Moravian Camera Ethernet Adapter allows connection of Cx and Gx series cameras to the control computer using Ethernet interface and TCP/IP protocol stack (this means over Local or Wide Area Networks). Single Moravian Camera Ethernet Adapter contains up to four USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 ports and allows connection of up to four Cx and Gx cameras at the same time (regardless of the specific series, cameras can be freely combined).

Model Supported cameras Ethernet interface USB 2.0 ports USB 3.0 ports Power supply Dimensions
GxETHA C1 to C4, G0 to G4 1 Gbps, 10/100 Mbps 0 4 12 V DC 188 × 184 × 40 mm
GxETHA Micro C1 to C4, G0 to G4 1 Gbps, 10/100 Mbps 4 0 12 V DC 95 × 83 × 39 mm

Off-Axis Guider

Off-axis Guider (OAG) adapters are designed to allow attachment of any guiding camera with 1.25" eyepiece nose, although the nose must be somewhat shorter to achieve focus. G0 cameras are designed to achieve focus with Gx OAG and a special shorter version of 1.25" nose with C-mount thread is available for all G1 cameras. Any camera with CS-mount (short version of C-mount standard) can use this adapter to be attached to all variants of OAG adapters.

Off-axis guider adapters for G2 cameras are equipped with standard M42 × 0.75 (T-thread) or M48 × 0.75 thread on the telescope side in a proper 55 mm back focal distance. This means G2 camera with OAG can be used on numerous optical systems, including Newtonian coma-correctors, refractor field flatteners etc.

Model Supported cameras Filter wheels Back focal distance Front thread Guider camera port
OAG-2-TT G2 Internal, EFW-2S 55 mm M42 × 0.75 (T-thread) 1.25 "
OAG-2-M48 G2 Internal, EFW-2S 55 mm M48 × 0.75 1.25 "

Off-axis guider adapters for G3 and G4 cameras are equipped with M68 × 1 thread on the telescope side in the distance 61.5 mm from the detector. Two variants (for G3 cameras and for G4 cameras) differ in the mounting holes placement and also in the distance of the reflecting mirror from the optical axis.

Model Supported cameras Filter wheels Back focal distance Front thread Guider camera port
OAG-3-M68 G3 Internal, EFW-3S 61.5 mm M68 × 1 1.25 "
OAG-4-M68 G4 EFW-4M, EFW-4L 61.5 mm M68 × 1 1.25 "

Camera control and image processing software SIPS

Powerful SIPS (Scientific Image Processing System) software, supplied with the camera, allows complete camera control (exposures, cooling, filter selection etc.). Also automatic sequences of images with different filters, different binning etc. are supported. With full ASCOM standard support, SIPS can be also used to control other observatory equipment. Specifically the telescope mounts, but also other devices (focusers, dome or roof controllers, GPS receivers etc.).

SIPS also supports automatic guiding, including image dithering. Both “autoguider” port hardware interface (6-wire cable) and mount “Pulse-Guide API” guiding methods are supported. For hi-quality mounts, capable to track without the necessity to guide at last during one exposure, inter-image guiding using the main camera only is available.

SIPS controlling whole observatory (shown in optional dark skin)

SIPS controlling whole observatory (shown in optional dark skin)

But SIPS is capable to do much more than just camera and observatory control. Many tools for image calibration, 16 and 32 bit FITS file handling, image set processing (e.g. median combine), image transformation, image export etc. are available.

SIPS handles FITS files, supports image calibration and processing

As the first “S” in the abbreviation SIPS means Scientific, the software supports astrometric image reduction as well as photometric processing of image series.

SIPS focuses to advanced astrometric and photometric image reduction, but also provides some very basic astro-photography processing

SIPS software package is freely available for download from this www site. All functions are thoroughly described in the SIPS User's Manual, installed with every copy of the software.

Drivers for other software packages

Drivers for ASCOM standard as well as native drivers for third-party software are also available (e.g. TheSkyX, MaxIm DL, AstroArt, etc.). Visit the download page of this web site for current list of available drivers, please.

Also INDI drivers for 32 bit and 64 bit Linux running on x86 and ARM are available. Also drivers for TheSkyX package running on macOS are supplied with the camera.

CCD & CMOS cameras
Low-light CCD & CMOS cameras for astronomy and microscopy
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Software supporting Gx CCD and Cx CMOS cameras
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