ASI2600MC Pro uses Sony’s latest back-illuminated IMX571 APS-C format sensor with a native 16-bit ADC. It is the colour version of the ASI2600MM Pro. It has an impressive range of features that make it a popular choice for astrophotographer. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Ultra-low 0e- readout noise – bringing out more details in your images with improved dynamic range
- Innovative breakthrough design resulting in zero amp-glow – even during long exposures, which means one thing less to worry about in post-processing
- 16-bit ADC sensor – giving a high dynamic range of up to 14 stops!
- 80% peak QE – no need to worry about saturating stars
Amazing Craftsmanship, Lightweight body, Solid image quality:
We have been working hard to reduce the weight of the camera while improving the performance of the camera. After years of technical accumulation and repeated weight loss experiments by ZWO engineers, ZWO finally concentrated the ASI2600 to 0.7KG.
The camera has a 26MP sensor with a small pixel size of 3.76um, yet it accommodates an impressively large well depth of 50 ke-.
The sensor length and width are 23.5mm * 15.7mm respectively. The diagonal is 28.3mm.
Native 16bit ADC:
As one of the few CMOS astronomy cameras with 16-bit ADC on the market, ASI2600MC Pro was conceived having in mind the optimal characteristics for astrophotography. This 16bit ADC is not a CCD 16bit ADC. It can really achieve a dynamic range output of 14 stop, which will significantly improve the image sharpness and contrast, and also create smoother and more natural colour transitions.
IMX571 backlit sensor:
Sony’s back-illuminated CMOS image sensor improves the sensitivity and noise reduction – the key factors to enhancing image quality. It does this by radically realigning the fundamental pixel structure from front-illumination to back-illumination, while still retaining the advantages of CMOS image sensors such as low power consumption and high-speed operation.
With a conventional front-illumination structure, the metal wiring and transistors on the surface of the silicon substrate that form the sensor’s light-sensitive area (photo-diode), impede photon-gathering carried out by the on-chip lens. A back-illuminated structure minimizes the degradation of sensitivity to the optical angle response, while also increasing the amount of light that enters each pixel due to the lack of obstacles such as metal wiring and transistors. These components have been moved to the back-side of the silicon substrate.
The ASI2600MC Pro boasts excellent performance with a dynamic range of up to 14 stops. When the gain value is set to 100, the HCG high gain mode is turned on. We’re not saying it’s magic…but we’d like to think it is pretty close. With the HCG-mode turned on, the readout noise is greatly reduced, and the dynamic range is basically unchanged. To improve the data quality, it is recommended to set the gain to 0 or gain 100 during deep-sky imaging.
Zero Amp Glow
Traditional CMOS sensors produce a weak infrared light source during operation quite often seen in the corner of uncalibrated images as the tell tale signs of ‘amp glow’. As the ASI2600MC Pro uses zero amp glow circuitry, you won’t have to worry about amp glow even when using high gain, long exposure imaging.
ASI2600MC Pro comes with the polyimide heater.
The anti-dew heater which completely fit the protective window will heat it to avoid any dew problems.
The heat anti-dew heater power is around 5W and can be turn off in software to save power.
We suppose that the QE peak value of the ASI2600MC Pro is above 80%.
Two-stage TEC cooling, ultra-low dark current:
Thanks to the two stage TEC cooling, ASI2600MC Pro can lower the CMOS sensor temperature to more than 35 degrees Celsius below ambient temperature, which can greatly reduce dark current generation and sensor noise even during extended exposure times.
*The Delta T 35℃ is tested at 30℃ ambient temperature. It might get down when the cooling system is working for a long time. Also, as the ambient temperature falls, the Delta T would also decrease.
The unique dark current suppression technology can further reduce dark current noise. At a cooling temperature of 0 °C, the dark current noise is only 0.0024e/s/pixel. This means a 300s exposure will only cause 0.7e dark current noise, which is less than the readout noise. While at a cooling temperature of -20 °, the dark current can even reduce to 0.00012e/s/pixel, which is completely negligible!
Please notice that the camera needs to be connected to an external 11-15v power supply to implement the cooling function. We recommend you use 12V@3A DC adapter (5.5*2.1mm, center pole positive) or lithium battery with 11-15V to power the camera. If you don’t have one, please click here to buy a 12V power adapter. There are 4 different standard for different countries, please make sure you selected the correct adapter when placing the order.
DDR3 Memory Buffer
The ASI2600MC Pro is equipped with a USB 3.0 transmission interface and a built-in 256MB DDR3 cache to ensure stable and secure data transmission. Under long exposure, it effectively avoids frame dropping and greatly reduces the glow effect caused by slow reading speed.