Moravian Instruments G2-8300 MARK II Monochrome CCD Camera with KAF-8300 CCD and 5-pos Filter Wheel
Moravian Instruments G2-8300 Mark II Monochrome CCD Camera with Low Noise, High Quantum Efficiency Kodak KAF-8300 CCD Sensor
with 5-POSITION FILTER WHEEL for 31mm filters
for Narrow-Band ASTROPHOTO Imaging, this is our bestseller CCD camera in this price range; most of the published images were made with these cameras!
Designed and manufactured in Europe!
Sensor: Kodak KAF8300 Monochrome CCD
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Resolution: 3358 x 2536 pixels
Imaging area: 18.1 mm (H) × 13.7 mm (V)
Quantum Efficiency: 55% max
Full well capacity: ~25,000 e--
Pixel Size: 5.4 x 5.4 µm
Anti-blooming gate 1000×
Dark current: 0.2 e-/s/pixel at 0 °C
Interface: USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 compatible)
Cooling: Two-stage Peltier up to -50°C
Available on back order. Usual delivery time: appr. 2-4 weeks
MARK II version of this great and very popular camera is now available!
Choose your colour! Now with a touch-of-colour!
Main features of the MARK II range:
- faster download (up to about 2.5x the original)
- built-in tilting mechanism
- new, modern design with precise mechanical construction
- top quality electronics
G2 Mark II Camera Models
The cooled G2 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 G2 Mark I cameras but brings some significant enhancements. 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.
Available models of G2 Mark II cameras:
|Model||CCD Chip||ABG||Color mask||Resolution||Pixel size||Imaging area||Preview download||Low-Noise download|
|G2-0400||KAF-0402ME||No||None||768 × 512||9 × 9 μm||6.9 × 4.6 mm||0.19 s||0.25 s|
|G2-1600||KAF-1603ME||No||None||1536 × 1024||9 × 9 μm||13.8 × 9.2 mm||0.67 s||0.95 s|
|G2-3200||KAF-3200ME||No||None||2184 × 1472||6.8 × 6.8 μm||14.9 × 10 mm||1.39 s||1.95 s|
|G2-8300||KAF8300 Monochrome||>1000×||None||3358 × 2536||5.4 × 5.4 μm||18.1 × 13.7 mm||3.48 s||4.95 s|
|G2-8300C||KAF8300 Color||>1000×||Bayer RGBG||3358 × 2536||5.4 × 5.4 μm||18.1 × 13.7 mm||3.48 s||4.95 s|
|G2-2000||KAI-2020 Monochrome||>300×||None||1604 × 1204||7.4 × 7.4 μm||11.9 × 8.9 mm||0.73 s||1.06 s|
|G2-2000C||KAI-2020 Color||>300×||Bayer RGBG||1602 × 1202||7.4 × 7.4 μm||11.9 × 8.9 mm||0.73 s||1.06 s|
|G2-4000||KAI-4022 Monochrome||>300×||None||2056 × 2062||7.4 × 7.4 μm||15.2 × 15.3 mm||1.56 s||2.30 s|
|G2-4000C||KAI-4022 Color||>300×||Bayer RGBG||2054 × 2060||7.4 × 7.4 μm||15.2 × 15.3 mm||1.56 s||2.30 s|
G2 Mark II Camera General Features
All members of the G2 Mark II series share the same design, making them powerful research and imaging tools:
Top quality electronics:
Lowest possible read noise, limited by CCD detector itself.
Uniform frames without artifacts.
High dynamic range, 16-bits digitization.
Fast image download.
Precise mechanical construction:
Compact camera head, small and lightweight enough to be attached even to small telescopes.
Integrated all-in-one design with USB and power connectors directly on the camera head.
Integrated mechanical shutter not to bother with covering the telescope when taking dark frames.
Optional integrated filter wheel.
Telescope/lens adapters with adjustable tilt.
Efficient and regulated sensor cooling:
CCD cooling up to 50 °C below ambient temperature.
Air cooling of the Peltier hot side with high quality magnetic levitating fan.
Cooling regulation +/-0.1 °C
Single-voltage power supply enabling operation from 12V battery or “brick” adapter.
Wide set of optional accessories:
External filter wheels supporting various number of filter positions and filter sizes.
Off-Axis Guider adapter.
Various telescope/lens adapters (T-thread, M48, Canon/Nikon bayonets etc.)
Gigabit Ethernet adapter.
Telescope mount dovetail adapter.
Rich software support:
Drivers for 32bit and 64bit Windows
Drivers for 32bit and 64bit Linux
Drivers for macOS (only certain applications are supported on macOS)
Complete camera/observatory control and scientific image processing system SIPS free with camera
Drivers for 3rd party software packages, including universal ASCOM drivers
No matter if your target is reliable scientific data or beautiful images of deep-sky objects, G2 Mark II cameras are able to provide both.
LIMITING FOCAL RATIO
According to our calculations, the limiting focal ratio of the G2-8300 camera with an external filter wheel is f/5.83 or with a built-in filter wheel it is f/5.
So, for example, if you have an f/5 telescope, you could either go for the version with the built-in 5-position filter wheel if you don't need more than 5 filters, or you could go for the 7 or 10 position external filter wheel that accepts 36mm filters.
If you will use it with a SCT at f/10 or even f/6.3 then you can go for the 8 or 10-position external filter wheel and use them with 31mm filters with this camera without vignetting. (The version with the internal filter wheel would also serve an SCT user well when used with 31mm filters.)
The G2-8300 is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by the famous UK based astrophotographer, Nik Szymanek.
Read his review of the Moravian G2-8300 CCD camera here: CLICK HERE to open or download a Pdf file.
Courtesy of Astronomy Now Magazine.
Shipping and Packaging
G2 CCD cameras are supplied in a foam-filled, hard carrying case containing:
- Camera body with an optional 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 camera User's Manual
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 seconds.
Maximum length of single USB cable is approx. 5 m. This length can be extended to 10 m or 15 m by using single USB hub or active USB extender cable. Up to 5 hubs or active extenders can be used in one connection.
Gx Camera Ethernet Adapter device allows connection of up to four Gx cameras of any type through Ethernet interface and TCP/IP network. Because TCP/IP protocol can be routed, the distance between camera and host PC can be virtually unlimited.
Camera electronics specifications:
|ADC resolution||16 bits|
|Sampling method||Correlated double sampling|
|Read modes||Preview mode|
|Low Noise mode|
|Horizontal binning||1 to 4 pixels|
|Vertical binning||1 to 4 pixels|
|Sub-frame readout||Arbitrary sub-frame|
|Computer interface||USB 2.0 High Speed|
|USB 1.1 Full Speed compatible|
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.
Preview read mode provides system read noise approx. 1 or 2 e- above CCD chip read noise.
Low Noise read mode is somewhat slower, but ensures system read noise roughly equal to the manufacturer-specified chip read noise.
G2-8300 camera uses 8 MPx OnSemi KAF8300 ABG Full Frame CCD detectors with 4/3 format.
KAF-0402ME CCD chip specifications:
|Resolution||3358 (H) × 2536 (V) pixels|
|Pixel size||5.4 μm (H) × 5.4 μm (V)|
|Imaging area||18.1 mm (H) × 13.7 mm (V)|
|Full well capacity||~25,000 e--|
|Dark current||0.2 e-/s/pixel at 0 °C|
|Dark signal doubling temperature||5.8 °C|
KAF8300 CCD chip and its Quantum Efficiency:
G2-8300 electronics specifications:
|Gain||0.4 e-/ADU (1 × 1 binning)|
|0.8 e-/ADU (other binnings)|
|System read noise||8 e- RMS (Low Noise mode)|
|9 e- RMS (Preview mode)|
|Full frame download||4.95 s (Low Noise mode)|
|3.48 s (Preview mode)|
Cooling and power supply
Regulated thermoelectric cooling is capable to cool the CCD chip up to 50 °C below ambient temperature. The Peltier hot side is cooled by fan. The CCD chip temperature is regulated with +/-0.1 °C precision. High temperature drop and precision regulation ensure very low dark current for long exposures and allow proper image calibration.
The camera head contains two temperature sensors — the first sensor measures directly the temperature of the CCD chip package. The second one measures the temperature inside the camera shell.
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 drop is lower.
Chip cooling specifications:
|CCD chip cooling||Thermoelectric (Peltier modules)|
|Maximal cooling Δ T||>50 °C below ambient|
|Regulated cooling Δ T||45 °C below ambient (85% cooling)|
|Regulation precision||0.1 °C|
|Hot side cooling||Forced air cooling (fan)|
- Maximum temperature difference between CCD and ambient air may be reached when the cooling runs at 100% power. However, temperature cannot be regulated in such case, camera has no room for keeping the CCD temperature when the ambient temperature rises. Typical temperature drop can be achieved with cooling running at approx. 85% power, which provides enough room for regulation.
The 12 V DC power supply 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 40 W, the 60 W power supply ensures noise-free operation.
Power supply specification:
|Camera power supply||12 V DC|
|Camera power consumption||15 W without cooling|
|40 W maximum cooling|
|Power plug||5.5/2.5 mm, center +|
|Adapter input voltage||100-240 V AC/50-60 Hz|
|Adapter output voltage||12 V DC/5 A|
|Adapter maximum power||60 W|
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 other than the supplied power source is used.
- Power consumption is measured on the input (AC side) of the supplied power adapter. Camera consumes less energy from 12 V power supply than state here.
- 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 12 V.
- G2 camera measures its input voltage and provides it to the control software. Input voltage is displayed in the Cooling tab of the Imaging Camera control tool in the SIPS program. This feature is important especially if you power the camera from batteries.
12 V DC/5 A power supply adapter for G2 camera:
Compact and robust camera head measures only 114 × 114 × 65 mm (approx. 4.5 × 4.5 × 2.6 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. Integrated mechanical shutter allows streak-free image readout, as well as automatic dark frame exposures, which are necessary for unattended, robotic setups.
Camera head with integrated Internal filter wheel is 77.5 mm thick. Filter wheel offers 5 positions for standard 1.25-inch threaded filter cells. A variant of filter wheel with 6 positions for unmounted D26 mm filters is also available.
|Internal mechanical shutter||Yes, blade shutter|
|Shortest exposure time||0.1 s|
|Longest exposure time||Limited by chip saturation only|
|Internal filter wheel||5 positions for 1.25" threaded filter cells or for D31 mm unmounted filters|
|6 positions for 1" or D26.5 mm unmounted filters|
|Head dimensions||114 mm × 114 mm × 77.5 mm (with internal filter wheel)|
|114 mm × 114 mm × 65 mm (without filter wheel)|
|Back focal distance||33.5 mm (base of adjustable adapters)|
|Camera head weight||1.00 kg (without filter wheel)|
|1.15 kg (with internal filter wheel)|
|1.70 kg (with “XS” external filter wheel)|
|1.95 kg (with “S” external filter wheel)|
- Filter wheel with 6 positions can cause vignetting (shielding of the detector corners) if large CCD detector is used.
- Back focus distance is measured from the sensor to the base on which adjustable adapters are mounted. Various adapters then provide back focal distance specific for the particular adapter type (e.g. M48 threaded adapter back focal distance is 55 mm).
- Stated back focal distance already calculates with glass permanently placed in the optical path (e.g. optical window covering the CCD cold chamber).
- When the adjustable adapter base, intended for camera with Internal filter wheel, is mounted on camera without filter wheel, the resulting back focal distance is only 21 mm.
The “S” sized External filter wheel diameter is greater (viz. External Filter Wheels), but the back focal distance of all external filter wheels is identical.
If the camera model, intended for usage with External filter wheel, is used without filter wheel at all, two types of adjustable adapter bases can be used.
When a “thin” adapter base, intended for camera with Internal filter wheel, is used, the back focal distance is only 21 mm.
“Thick” adapter base has the same thickness like the External filter wheel. This means all adapters, attached to this thick base, keep the same back focal distance like if attached directly to External filter wheel shell or to a camera with Internal filter wheel and “thin” adapter base.
Various accessories are offered with G2 Mark II cameras to enhance functionality and help camera integration into imaging setups.
When there is no filter wheel inside the camera head, all electronics and firmware, intended to control it, stays idle. These components can be utilized to control external filter wheel with only little changes. Also the camera front shell can be manufactured thinner, the space for filter wheel is superfluous.
Various telescope and lens adapters for the G2 Mark II cameras are offered. Users can choose any adapter according to their needs and other adapters can be ordered separately.
2-inch barrel — adapter for standard 2" focusers.
T-thread short — M42 × 0.75 inner thread adapter.
T-thread with 55 mm BFD — M42 × 0.75 inner thread adapter, preserves 55 mm back focal distance.
M48 × 0.75 short — adapter with inner thread M48 × 0.75.
M48 × 0.75with 55 mm BFD — adapter with inner thread M48 × 0.75, preserves 55 mm back focal distance.
Canon EOS bayonet — standard Canon EOS lens adapter, preserves 44 mm back focal distance.
Nikon F bayonet — standard Nikon F lens adapter, preserves 46.5 mm back focal distance.
All telescope/lens adapters of the G2 Mark II series of cameras can be slightly tilted. This feature is introduced to compensate for possible misalignments in perpendicularity of the telescope optical axis and sensor plane.
The Mark II camera telescope adapters are attached using three “pulling” screws. As the adapter tilt is adjustable, another three “pushing” screws are intended to fix the adapter after some pulling screw is released to adjust the tilt.
Adjustable telescope/lens adapters are attached slightly differently depending if the adapter is attached directly to the camera head (e.g. when camera is equipped with internal filter wheel) or to the External filter wheel case.
G2 Mark II adapters are not mounted directly on the camera head. Instead a tilting adapter base, holding the circular spring, is always used.
If the External filter wheel is used, the adapted base is not necessary, as the Mark II External filter wheel front plate is already designed to hold the spring and it also contains threads to fix respective adapters.
G2 camera can be optionally equipped with Off-Axis Guider Adapter. This adapter contains flat mirror, tilted by 45° to the optical axis. This mirror reflects part of the incoming light into guider camera port. The mirror is located far enough from the optical axis not to block light coming to the main camera sensor, so the optics must be capable to create large enough field of view to illuminate the tilted mirror.
G2-OAG is manufactured in two variants, one with M42 × 0.75 thread (T-thread) and another with M48 × 0.75 thread. Both variants are designed to be compatible with external filter wheels and to preserve 55 mm distance from the sensor.