ZWO ASI120MM-S USB3.0 Monochrome 1/3" CMOS Camera with Autoguider Port
Get in contact if you need advice from experienced amateur astronomers who use a wide range of CMOS and CCD cameras, including many ZWO cameras.
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The NEW USB3.0 version ZWO ASI120MM-S is an excellent choice for an affordable planetary and deep sky camera for those who has just started in astro photography, but cannot spend a fortune on a specialist astro photography camera or want to replace a modified webcam or a cheaper planetary imager.
This NEW version comes with USB3.0 connection that gives you the opportunity to use it with newer laptops at even higher frame rates, thus achieve even better results in planetary imaging.
It comes with an AUTOGUIDER PORT just as its previous USB2.0 version, so you may use it for both imaging or guiding!
With the ZWO ASI120MM camera you can achieve better results than with those beginner cameras. We are not saying that anything is wrong with those cameras like the TSSI or Scopiumcam, but this is just simply better for a still affordable price.
If you however want the ultimate camera, go for a Moravian Instruments camera that you may also find on our website, but of course for more bucks.
Basically, according to the old saying, you get what you pay for...never-the-less we believe that these ZWO cameras offer the best value for the bucks at the moment on the market...
According to customer feedback, these cameras worth every penny invested.
Mostly used for planetary imaging, it can also be used for deep sky imaging up to a certain level. This monochrome version is recommended for L-RGB or narrow band deep sky photography if you want to get out the best data from your camera and achieve sharp, contrasty deep sky images or planetary images, but if you don't want the hassle or cannot spend much time and happy to go for a compromise, simply choose the colour version, the ZWO ASI120MC-S USB3.0.
With this monochrome version, you'll also need a filter wheel and a set of L-RGB filters or H-alpha and OIII filters, and maybe even H-beta and SII filters as well for narrow band astro photography...)
Features of the ZWO ASI120MM-S USB3.0
Recommended for the Sun, Moon and some deep sky objects
(To image the Sun you'll have to use a proper front solar filter or Herschel wedge depending on your telescope. Please contact us if not sure!)
Resolution: 1280X960 at up to 60fps - 70fps
Long time exposure up to 1000s!
NEW - Autoguider Port
Built-in RAW mode and Grey mode output support. Only about 30% storage space required compared to the Color data format!
Peak Quantum Efficiency: 75% (better than ICX618)
No fixed pattern noise (FPN)!
Full aluminum housing with standard 2" interface
M42X0.75 internal thread.
Compatible with DirectShow and ASCOM
Compatible with MaxIm-DL
Image courtesy of Scott Anttia.
This camera is widely used for autoguiding. Monochrome cameras are more frequently used for guiding due to the higher sensitivity, but if you are going to use it as a guide camera as well as a planetary imager, then you might consider buying a colour version or alternatively you can use a monochrome camera with filter wheel and LRGB filters for imaging the planets. Bear in mind that due to the fast rotation of Jupiter, you will have to take very short single videos in each colour, i.e. half a minute, maybe one minute then combine the stacks into a colour image.
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 awith the USB3.0 ZWO ASI cameras...
Here you can download a pdf file that will guide you through ZWO ASI camera troubleshooting. Click here!
150 degree wide lens included! You don't even need a telescope to start imaging the stars!
Image courtesy of Scott Anttia.
Specification of ZWO ASI120MM-S USB3.0
Sensor: 1/3" CMOS MT9M034 (mono)
Resolution: 1.2Mega Pixels 1280x960
Pixel Size: 3.75µm
Exposure Rage: 64µs-1000s
Interface: USB3.0 / USB2.0
Bit rate: 12bit output（12bit ADC）
Adaptor: 2" / 1.25" / M42X0.75
Dimension: φ62mm X 28mm
Working Temperature: -5°C—45°C
Storage Temperature: -20°C—60°C
Working Relative Humidity: 20%—80%
Storage Relative Humidity: 20%—95%
Transmission chart of the Clear filter used as an optical window in the ZWO ASI120MM and ZWO 130MM CMOS cameras
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 a Yahoo Group where you can find lots of information about how other members use the ZWO cameras: Yahoo Group ZWO ASI Cameras
If you are a LINUX user, you might also check out AstroDMx Capture software for Linux. (http://www.linux-astro-imaging.uk/)
See an article in our blog about
How to deal with Newton’s rings in CMOS imaging?
Below is an example of a planetary imaging setup with a Imaging Flip Mirror, ZWO Filter Wheel and ZWO ASI120MM monochrome 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 adjastable 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.
Click on the above image to see it in full resolution.
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