Moravian Instruments G3-16200 MARK II Monochrome CCD Camera with KAF-16200 Class 2 CCD
Moravian Instruments G3-16200 MARK II Monochrome CCD Camera
with Low Noise, High Quantum Efficiency Kodak KAF-16200 Class 2 CCD Sensor
for SCIENTIFIC and Narrow-Band ASTROPHOTO Imaging with Antiblooming and Electronic Shutter
Sensor: Kodak KAF-16200 Monochrome CCD, Class 2
(Please note, Class 2 sensors are hardly distinguisable from Class 1 cameras and very popular for amateur astro imaging due to the opportunity to make a little extra saving, however Class 1 versions are recommended for scientific research or for demanding amateur astronomers.)
Resolution: 4540 x 3640 pixels
Full well capacity: appr 41,000 e-
Dark Current: 0.08 e-/s/pixel at 0 °C
Pixel Size: 6 x 6 µm
Size of imaging area: 27.2 mm x 21.8 mm
Interface: USB 2.0
Cooling: Two-stage Peltier up to -50°C
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
Due to the wide range of variants, available usually on back order.
Usual delivery time is appr. 2-3 weeks.
G3 Mark II Camera Models
G3 series contains the following camera models:
|Model||CCD chip||ABG||Color mask||Resolution||Pixel size||Image area||Preview download||Low-Noise download|
|G3-01000||KAF-1001E||no||no||1024 × 1024||24 × 24 μm||24.6 × 24.6 mm||0.48 s||0.67 s|
|G3-06300||KAF-6303E||no||no||3072 × 2048||9 × 9 μm||27.7 × 18.4 mm||2.78 s||3.84 s|
|G3-16200||KAF-16200||2800×||no||4524 × 3624||6 × 6 μm||27.2 × 21.8 mm||6.77 s||9.61 s|
|G3-16200C||KAF-16200||2800×||RGBG (Bayer)||4524 × 3624||6 × 6 μm||27.2 × 21.8 mm||6.77 s||9.61 s|
|G3-11000||KAI-11002||>1000×||no||4032 × 2688||9 × 9 μm||36.3 × 24.2 mm||3.84 s||5.67 s|
|G3-11000C||KAI-11002||>1000×||RGBG (Bayer)||4032 × 2688||9 × 9 μm||36.3 × 24.2 mm||3.84 s||5.67 s|
G3 Mark II series of CCD cameras are manufactured with two kinds of CCD detectors: OnSemi KAF Full Frame (FF) CCD architecture or OnSemi KAI Interline Transfer (IT) architecture. G3-16200 cameras feature KAF Full Frame (FF) CCD architecture, so we describe the characteristics of this type only below:
G3 cameras with OnSemi KAF Full Frame (FF) CCD architecture. Almost the whole Full Frame CCD detector area is exposed to light. This is why these detectors provide very high quantum efficiency. FF CCD detectors, intended for research applications, are not equipped with so-called Anti Blooming Gate (ABG – a gate, which prohibits blooming of the charge to neighboring pixels when image is over-exposed) to ensure linear response to light through the whole dynamic range. FF CCD detectors used for astrophotography are equipped with ABG to eliminate disrupting blooming streaks within field of view.
“Full Frame” CCD schematic diagram:
Cameras with Full Frame, non-ABG detectors are suitable for scientific applications, where linear response is necessary for photometric applications in astronomy, microscopy etc. High quantum efficiency could be used also for narrow-band imaging, where overexposure is a rare exception, and for imaging of small objects without a bright star in the field of view.
- Also, G3 cameras with IT CCDs are equipped with mechanical shutter, because electronic shutter does not allow dark-frame exposures, necessary for proper image calibration etc.
- The price for electronic shutter if lower quantum efficiency (sensitivity) of IT detectors compared to FF ones. Also, all IT detectors are equipped with ABG, so they can acquire images of very bright objects without charge blooming to neighboring pixels.
G3-16200 uses 16 MPx OnSemi KAF-16200 Class 1 or 2 CCD with APS-H format.
|Resolution||4540 (H) × 3640 (V) pixels|
|Pixel size||6 μm (H) × 6 μm (V)|
|Image area||27.2 mm (H) × 21.8 mm (V)|
|Full well capacity||~41,000 e-|
|Dark current||0.08 e-/s/pixel at 0 °C|
|Dark signal doubling temperature||5.7 °C|
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|
|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.
G3-16200 electronics specification:
|Gain||0.6 e-/ADU (1 × 1 binning)|
|1.0 e-/ADU (other binnings)|
|System read noise||10 e- RMS (Low noise)|
|11 e- RMS (Preview)|
|Full frame download||9.61 s (Low noise)|
|6.77 s (Preview)|
Binning can be combined independently on both axes.
Stated read noise is measured on particular CCD sensor, evaluated during camera design. Actual read noise of different sensors varies among various manufacturing batches, but also within single manufacturing batch. The camera read noise is determined by the sensor itself and the camera manufacturer cannot affect it.
Regulated thermoelectric cooling is capable to cool the CCD chip from 45 to 50 °C below ambient temperature, depending on the camera type. The Peltier hot side is cooled by a fans. 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.
G3 cameras are available in two variants, differing in the cooling performance:
Standard cooling cameras achieve regulated temperature difference up to 45 °C under environment temperature.
Enhanced cooling cameras can regulate temperature up to 50 °C under environment temperature. Compared to standard variant, enhanced cooling cameras are somewhat bulkier due to bigger heat sink, slightly heavier and somewhat noisier because of more powerful fans.
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)|
|Standard cooling ΔT||48 °C below ambient maximum|
|45 °C below ambient typical|
|Enhanced cooling ΔT||53 °C below ambient maximum|
|50 °C below ambient typical|
|Regulation precision||0.1 °C|
|Hot side cooling||Air cooling (two fans)|
|Optional liquid coolant heat exchanger|
- 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.
- Camera construction does not allow usage of both air and liquid cooling. Combined cooling (air with the liquid cooling option) is not available, because such cooling does not work effectively enough with air only nor with water only.
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 specifications
|Camera power supply||12 V DC|
|Camera power consumption||15 W without cooling|
|52 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.
- G3 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.
Compact and robust camera head measures only 154 × 154 × 65 mm (approx. 6 × 6 × 2.6 inches) for the model with standard cooling. Enhanced cooling increases camera depth by 11 mm.
G3 camera without filters and standard cooling (far left) and with enhanced cooling (left), camera with internal filter wheel and standard cooling (right) and with enhanced cooling (far right)
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. Another connector allows control of optional external filter wheel. Integrated mechanical shutter allows streak-free image readout, as well as automatic dark frame exposures, which are necessary for unattended, robotic setups.
|Internal mechanical shutter||Yes, blade shutter|
|Shortest exposure time||0.2 s|
|Longest exposure time||Limited by chip saturation only|
|Standard cooling head dimensions||154 mm × 154 mm × 65 mm (without filters)|
|154 mm × 154 mm × 77.5 mm (internal wheel)|
|Enhanced cooling head dimensions||154 mm × 154 mm × 76 mm (without filters)|
|154 mm × 154 mm × 88.5 mm (internal wheel)|
|Back focal distance||33.5 mm (base of adjustable adapters)|
|Standard cooling head weight||1.6 kg (without filter wheel)|
|1.9 kg (with internal filter wheel)|
|2.5 kg (with “S” external filter wheel)|
|2.5 kg (with “M” external filter wheel)|
|2.8 kg (with “L” external filter wheel)|
|Enhanced cooling head weight||1.8 kg (without filter wheel)|
|2.1 kg (with internal filter wheel)|
|2.7 kg (with “S” external filter wheel)|
|2.7 kg (with “M” external filter wheel)|
|3.0 kg (with “L” external filter wheel)|
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. Canon EOS bayonet adapter back focal distance is 44 mm).
Stated back focal distance already calculates with glass permanently placed in the optical path (e.g. optical window covering the CCD cold chamber).
The “M” and “L” sized External Filter Wheels diameter is greater (see External Filter Wheel User's Guide), but the back focal distance of all external filter wheels is identical.
Various accessories are offered with G3 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.
When 5 filter positions, offered by Internal filter wheel (center), are not enough, External filter wheels with greater number of positions can be used (right)
Various telescope and lens adapters for the G3 Mark II cameras are offered. Users can choose any adapter according to their needs and other adapters can be ordered separately.
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.
G3 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.
G3 Mark II cameras are offered with two sizes of adjustable adapter base:
Small “S” adapters (also used with G2 cameras)
Large “L” adapters (also used with G4 cameras)
Adjustable adapters are mounted on adapter base when camera with internal filter wheel or camera without any filter wheel is used or directly on the external filter wheel front surface. This means both “S” and “L” adapter bases can be mounted on any camera, but external filter wheels are made for one particular adapter size only:
“S” external filter wheels are compatible with “S” adapters
“M” and “L” external filter wheels are compatible with “L” adapters
Small “S” size adapters:
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 × 0.75 with 55 mm BFD — adapter with inner thread M48 × 0.75, preserves 55 mm back focal distance.
Canon EOS bayonet — standard Canon EOS lens adapter (“S” size). Adapter preserves 44 mm back focal distance.
Nikon F bayonet — standard Nikon F lens adapter, preserves 46.5 mm back focal distance.
Large “L” size adapters:
M68 × 1 — adapter with M68 × 1 inner thread and 47.5 mm back focal distance.
Canon EOS bayonet — standard Canon EOS lens adapter (“L” size). Adapter preserves 44 mm back focal distance.
Comparison of the “S” size external filter wheel with “S” adapter (left) and “M” size external filter wheel with “L” adapter (right)
All telescope/lens adapters of the G3 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.
G3 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.
The G3-OAG offers the M68 × 1 thread on the telescope side. The back focal distance is 61.5 mm.
Note the G3-OAG is manufactured for “L” size adapter base, so it is compatible with “M” and “L” external filter wheels only.
While G2-OAG (with M48 × 0.75 or M42 × 0.75 inner thread) for “S” size adapter base can be technically mounted to “S” size external filter wheel, the mirror is so close to optical axis, that it partially shields sensors used in G3 cameras and G2-OAG cannot be used.
When used on camera with Internal filter wheel, thin adapter base is used.
If the OAG is used on camera without filter wheel, thicker adapter base must be used to keep the Back focal distance and to allow the guiding camera to reach focus.
OAG guider port is compatible with G0 and G1 cameras. It is necessary to replace the CS/1.25” adapter with short, 10 mm variant in the case of G1 cameras. Because G1 cameras follow CS-mount standard, (BFD 12.5 mm), any camera following this standard with 10 mm long 1.25” adapter should work properly with the G3-OAG.
G3 Mark II cameras are equipped with two “tripod” 0.250-20UNC threads on the top side of the camera head. This thread can be used to attach 1.75 inch “dovetail bar” (Vixen standard). It is then possible to attach the camera head, e.g. equipped with photographic lens, directly to various telescope m