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Altair GPCam2 IMX224 read noise


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I took delivery of my GPCam2 IMX224 colour camera yesterday, for planetary imaging.  It's cloudy of course but I can still do a read noise analysis :)

My original GPCam AR0130C colour camera gave me a read noise measurement of 4 electrons RMS

My GPCam2 IMX224 colour camera gives a read noise of 0.7 electrons RMS.  This is an extraordinarily low figure but it is in line with figures I've seen quoted elsewhere for the more expensive ZWO ASI224 camera (which uses the same sensor).   These read noise figures are comparable to the (incomparable) Sony A7S camera which is my main imaging camera.

Admittedly the GPCam2 IMX224 doesn't have USB 3.0 and doesn't have a cooling fan (the Altair Hypercam and ZWO versions have both).  But for less than £200 it gives you a state of the art colour sensor with state of the art read noise.  With the meteor lens package, this thing sees in the dark - I can't wait to point it at a real planet!


Edited by sharkmelley
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Ive been looking at these cameras myself. Nearly brought the zwo version but it will be watchingthis thread to see if the zwo is really worth the extra £80


Edited by valefor
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The GPCam2 sales blurb give the following frame rates:

8 bit mode:
1280x960 - 25-32fps
640x480 - 70-80fps ROI
320x240 - 112-125fps ROI

In practice I am seeing 27fps at 1280x960  and 72fps at 640x480.  Since I will be mainly using 640x480 I think 72fps is more than adequate for my purposes.
The ZWO quotes the following much faster frame rates:

10bit ADC / 12bit ADC
1280×960   152.4fps / 65fps
640×480     299.4fps / 127.6fps
320×240     577.9fps / 256.4fps

So if you can take advantage of those higher frame rates then the extra £80 might be justified.  You'll probably also want to budget for the extra IR cut-off filter (which is included in the GPCam2).


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  • 2 weeks later...

I was just about to buy the GPCAM2 then plumped for the Canon 600D at the last minute because of the FOV, as I wanted to start with lunar imaging. A planetary camera is next on my list and at the moment it is very much looking like the GPCAM2 will win the day! 

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