Opticstar PX-35C CoolAir Colour Camera

Computer controlled planetary camera.

  • Planetary video camera
  • 1/4" Sony ICX098BQ Colour CCD
  • Sensor Resolution: 640(H) x 480(V)
  • Frame Rate: 30 FPS @ 640x480
  • USB 2.0/USB 3.0 port (USB powered)
  • No Infra Red filter
  • Software for image capture
  • For Microsoft Windows 7/8/10
  • UK warranty
Opticstar PX-35C CoolAir Colour Camera
  • Product code: PX35CCA
  • Availability: In stock
  • Despatch: 2 business days
  • Retail Price: £ 119.00
Shipping rates
England & Wales
£ 6.00
Scotland Central & South
£ 6.00
Scotland North
£ 6.00
UK islands (from)
£ 6.00
Worldwide (from)
£ 15.00

Description

Caution: When using any camera to image the Sun, always use appropriate solar filters with your telescope.

The PX-35C is the ideal entry level colour planetary CCD camera with high sensitivity. It is well suited for imaging planets due to its very low noise characteristics and high Gain while retaining the necessary high signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios. The camera can also be used for industrial inspection and microscopy applications. Noise reduction and Gain are features implemented in the hardware to deliver exceptional performance.

Performance

The PX-35C requires a fully featured, full speed USB2.0 port to take advantage of all the camera’s advanced features. The PX-35C CoolAir fan-cooled CCD camera offers exceptional performance and versatility easily outperforming cameras costing considerably more. The PX-35C electronics ensure high signal-to-noise ratio even at very short exposure times. The camera can achieve 30 frames per second at the full 640x480 resolution.


U.K. WARRANTY

BEGINNER

COMPUTERISED

ASTRONOMY

PHOTOGRAPHY
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Noise reduction and cooling

Thermal noise is kept to a minimum via a heat-sink that is directly attached to the back of the Sony CCD sensor and a fan that that draws the heat out of the camera fast. Enclosed camera cases will typically show temperatures of around 10°C above ambient temperature, these can rise dramatically during extended exposures. Air-cooled cameras such as the PX-35C will show internal temperatures of around 3°C above ambient temperature under normal use, thermal noise halves for every 6 degrees of drop in temperature which means that a similar non-air-cooled camera with have over twice the noise of the PX-35C during shorter exposures.

PX-35C cooling mechanism.
PX-35C cooling mechanism.

View camera control software

The camera is recommended for lunar and solar (with a solar filter) imaging. It includes Opticstar View software for image capture and camera control with a point and click interface.

It can capture single frames, a series of single frames in BMP format or in AVI video format. The captured video data can optionally be compressed if required in MPEG-4 format.

A computer running Microsoft Windows and a spare USB port are required to operate the camera.



A brief outline of View’s image processing functions is listed below:
Opticstar View software for image and video capture.

  • Basic operations including Crop, Mirror, Flip, Invert, Rotate, Bright, etc.
  • Copy and paste user defined regions.
  • Distances can be measured between user defined points, circles, etc.
  • Angles can be calculated by defining three points on the image.
  • Operations can be performed on any user defined region.
  • Colour operations can be performed on individual R, G, B channels.
  • Data combine of two images.
  • Data calibration.
  • Image-zoom as a per cent of the original image.
  • Linear filters to soften, sharpen, emboss, blur and Gaussian.
  • Non-linear filters for median, erode, dilate, contour, edge and jitter.
  • Transform filters for pinch, punch, twirl and cylinder.
  • Fluorescence filters for gamma, colorize, mix and combine.


EtAMCAP camera control software

EtAMCAP is the second program bundled with the camera. It can be used to control the camera and capture video in AVI format. This program does not include any image processing functionality but the captured video files can be processed in other software such as Deep Sky Stacker, Registax, Paintshop, Photoshop, etc.

EtAMCAP software for image and video capture.


Image quality

The PX-35C camera can stream and store video to disk at up to 30 frames per second at 640x480 resolution, it can also grab single frames at 640x480. All video and single frames are captured without compression, ensuring high image quality. Higher frame rates can be achieved by reducing the resolution via the camera control software.

The ability of the camera to capture and store high quality video to disk in real-time provides the data required for stacking any number of frames to create a single greatly enhanced quality image using image stacking software, these include the excellent AstroArt and freely available Deep Sky Stacker or Registax. AstroArt is more relevant when you want to manipulate the image but without altering the underlying data, AstroArt is therefore highly suitable for photometry.

Options

Optionally, the PX-35C can be used with a removable x0.5 focal reducer nosepiece that can double the field of view if required. An extension 5 metre USB lead with a USB repeater (amplifier) may be necessary if the camera is used further away from the computer.

Package contents

  • PX-35C CoolAir colour camera.
  • USB cable.
  • Nosepiece (for 1.25-inch telescope drawtubes).
  • CD with software and drivers.
  • Printed setup guide.

Carries full one year UK warranty.

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Opticstar PX-35C CoolAir Colour Camera
Attribute Specification
Opticstar Product Code (SKU) PX35CCA
Universal Product Code (UPC) n/a
Warranty 1 year UK warranty
Experience Level Beginner
Sensor Sony ICX098BQ
Optical Format 1/4-inch CCD colour sensor
Resolution 640(W) x 480(H)
Pixel Size 5.6µm x 5.6µm
Sensitivity 530mV (Green) typical (Gain off)
Colour Bayer RGB Mosaic 24-bit (3 x 8-bit) Uncompressed output
Frame Rate   • 30fps @ 640x480
  • 30fps @ 320x240 ROI (region of interest)
Shutter Electronic Rolling
Window Glass Clear, no Infra Red cut-off
Exposure Time Automatic or Manual; 1 milliseconds to 6.4 minutes
ADC 8-bit
Cooling Heat sink and fan
Gain In hardware, user selectable from 0% to >100% boost
Computer Interface USB 2.0 (USB 3.0 compatible) with 1.8 metre cable
Power Requirement USB Bus Power
Mounting to Telescope C/CS to 1.25-inch (included)
Mounting to Lens C to T-thread, M42 x 0.75
Mounting to Microscope C to 23mm, C to 30mm, C to 30.5mm
Bundled Software   • Opticstar View
  • etAMCAP
Data Format AVI video with or wihthout MPEG compression; BMP
Computer Requirement   • Microsoft Windows (64-bit & 32-bit) 7/8/10
  • USB 2.0 port (or higher)
Weight 250 grams
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