The ZWO ASI2400MC Pro is a CMOS camera which utilizes the Sony IMX410 sensor.
The ZWO ASI2400MC Pro incorporates the IMX410 full-frame format, a width of 36mm * 24mm and a diagonal of 43.3mm. Currently it is available in a one-shot color (OSC) version. As the ZWO team notes, “OSC is very suitable for those just beginning with astrophotography, but considering the fantastic specifications of this camera, we are sure that many seasoned astrophotographers will take a liking to it as well. If you don’t have the time to take a lot of sub-exposures with different filters, or money to spend on accessories like filters and filter wheels, this camera will deliver amazing images!”
Sony’s IMX410back-illuminated CMOS image sensor improves the sensitivity and noise reduction which are key factors to enhancing image quality. It does this by realigning the fundamental pixel structure from front-illumination to back-illumination, while still retaining the advantages of CMOS image sensors such as low power consumption and high-speed operation.
With a conventional front-illumination structure, the metal wiring and transistors on the surface of the silicon substrate that form the sensor’s light-sensitive area (photo-diode), which can impede photon-gathering carried out by the on-chip lens. With the IMX410 sensor these components have been moved to the back-side of the silicon substrate. A back-illuminated structure minimizes the degradation of sensitivity to the optical angle response, while also increasing the amount of light that enters each pixel due to the lack of obstacles such as metal wiring and transistors.
As the ZWO team comments, “As an example of the improvements made in the ASI2400MC Pro, a comparison with the full frame ASI-camera ASI128MC shows that the full well capacity of the ASI2400MC Pro is a whopping 132% that of the ASI128MC (even though they have a very similar pixel size of 5.94um vs 5.96um). The ASI2400MC Pro comes with ultra-high a dynamic range of up to 14 stops that will greatly reduce the issue of overexposed images and also help to collect richer color information.”
They continued, “When the gain value is set to 140, the HCG high gain mode is turned on. We’re not saying it’s magic…but we’d like to think it is pretty close. With the HCG-mode turned on, the readout noise is greatly reduced (as low as 1.1e), and the dynamic range is basically unchanged.”
Some CMOS sensors produce a weak infrared light source during operation quite often seen in the corner of uncalibrated images as the tell-tale signs of ‘amp glow’. As the ASI2400MC Pro uses zero amp glow circuitry, users won’t have to worry about amp glow even when using high gain, long exposure imaging.
The ZWO ASI2400MC Pro includes a polyimide heater that can avoid any dew problems. The anti-dew heater sits on top of the protective window and will heat it to avoid any dew problems. The heat anti-dew heater power is around 5W and can be turn off using software in order to save power.
With the two stage TEC cooling, the ZWO ASI2400MC Pro can lower the CMOS sensor temperature to more than 35 degrees Celsius below ambient temperature, which can greatly reduce dark current generation and sensor noise even during extended exposure times. The Delta T 35°C is tested C at 30°C ambient temperature however it might go down when the cooling system is working for a long time. Also, as the ambient temperature falls, the Delta T would also decrease.
The unique dark current suppression technology can further reduce dark current noise. When it’s cooled to -20°C, the current noise can be as low as 0.00035e/s/pix, which is virtually negligible.
The ASI2400MC Pro is equipped with a USB 3.0 transmission interface and a built-in 256MB (2Gb) DDR3 cache to ensure stable and secure data transmission. During long exposures, it effectively avoids frame dropping and greatly reduces the glow effect caused by slow reading speed.
The ZWO ASI2400MC Pro specifications include:
– Sensor Diagonal: 43.4 mm
– Sensor Type: CMOS
– Sensor: Sony IMX410
– Back Focus: 17.5 mm
– Color or Mono: One-shot color (OSC)
– ADC: 14 bit
– Cooling: Two stage TEC cooling
– Camera Connection: Female M48x0.75
– Cooling Below Ambient: 35C
– Dynamic Range: 14 Stops
– Full Rez Frame Rate: 8fps
– Full Well: 100ke
– Max Frame Rate: 19.2fps
– Mega Pixels: 24.6 MP
– Peak QE: 80%
– Pixel Array: 6072 x 4056
– Pixel Size: 5.94 microns
– Read Noise: 1.1e
– Weight: 3 lb.
You can learn more about the ZWO ASI2400MC Pro here.
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