ZWO ASI224MC USB3.0 Colour CMOS Camera with SONY Exmor and NIR Technology and Autoguider Port
The ZWO ASI224MC comes with an exciting 1/3″ 1.2M pixels IMX224 sensor that features SONY Exmor and NIR Technology.
The result is extremely low read noise (1.5 e) and high sensitivity especially in the near IR range.
The comparatively small sensor, extremely low read noise, high sensitivity and achievable high framerates make this new camera a very good choice for a quality-conscious planetary imager.
We hope it will prove to be the best colour planetary imager on the market.
The ASI224MC camera comes with a USB3.0 connection that gives you the opportunity to use it with newer laptops and is backward compatible with USB2.0. High framerates are not a guarantee for excellent images, but certainly helpful if other circumstances are favourable. There is no USB 2.0 version of this camera, as that wouldn’t be enough to achieve the camera’s potential, for the same reason we recommend use with USB3.0 compatible hardware, as that’s the only way to achieve very high framerates…
Due to the high IR sensitivity and the various options this gives, an IR cut-off fiter is not built in, so we recommend you buy one separately.
It comes with an AUTOGUIDER PORT, so you can use it for both imaging or guiding!
This camera will mostly be used for imaging planets, but it can also be used for deep sky imaging up to a certain level as it supports up to 1000 seconds exposure time. This colour camera provides you with a simple imaging process, no need to worry about filters and filter wheel, so if you cannot spend much time and are happy accept a slight compromise, this is probably the best colour planetary imager today that you can buy in this price range (and it would beat many much more expensive cameras as well…)
Features of the ZWO ASI224MC Camera
Recommended for the planets and some deep sky objects
Resolution: 1304X976 at up 64fps (at 12bit ADC) or 150fps (at 10 bit ADC)
Long time exposure up to 1000s!
Very low read noise (1.5e)
High Sensitivity, especially in IR range
Full aluminum housing with standard 2″ interface
M42X0.75 internal thread.
T-thread to C-mount adapter included
On the included CD you’ll find drivers and two software applications: Firecapture and SharpCap. These are both freeware and the latest versions can be downloaded from the developers’ websites.
If you have any problem with installing any of the software from the CD, please download them from here:
We’d recommend to use the latest version of Firecapture with the USB3.0 ZWO ASI cameras…
Specification of ZWO ASI224MC USB3.0
Sensor: 1/3” CMOS IMX224/IMX225
Resolution: 1.2Mega Pixels 1304X976
Pixel Size: 3.75µm
Sensor Size: 4.8mm*3.6mm
Exposure Rage: 32µs-1000s
ST4 Guider Port: Yes
Focus Distance to Sensor: 12.5mm
Shutter Type: Rolling Shutter
Protect window: AR coated window
Operating System Compatibility: Mac, Windows, Linux
Bit rate: 12bit output(12bit ADC)
Adaptor: 2″ / 1.25″ / M42X0.75
Dimension: φ62mm X 36mm
Weight: 120g or 4.2 ounces (without lens)
Working Temperature: -5°C—45°C
Storage Temperature: -20°C—60°C
Working Relative Humidity: 20%—80%
Storage Relative Humidity: 20%—95%
10bit ADC / 12bit ADC
1304×976 150fps / 64fps
1280×960 152.4fps / 65fps
800×600 241.2fps / 102.9fps
640×480 299.4fps / 127.6fps
320×240 577.9fps / 256.4fps
More resolutions can be user defined
SOFTWARE and DRIVERS
Up-to-date drivers can be found on the manufacturer’s website. Click here!
For full specification, driver installation tutorial (youtube video), basic usage information and recommended third party software please visit the manufacturer’s website: ZWOptical
There is also a ZWO Forum here for ZWO camera users: ZWO USER GROUP
and also a Yahoo Group where you can find lots of information about how other members use the ZWO cameras: Yahoo Group ZWO ASI Cameras
Below is an example of a planetary imaging setup with a Imaging Flip Mirror, ZWO Filter Wheel and ZWO ASI120MM monochrome camera (obviously, you won’t need a filter wheel for a colour camera…) With the help of a Variable Locking T2 Extension we could achieve parfocality. The eyepiece holder (that is part of the Imaging Flip Mirror) is also adjustable, so with these two adjustable items we can achieve various positions of the eyepiece thus parfocality can be achieved with eyepieces of various focal lengths. To see approximately the same field, you’d have to use an eyepiece with approximately 6mm focal length. Please note that this setup might not work for a Newtonian telescope due to the long back focus requirement.