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The STC-428-P is designed for astronomical photometric measurements. With our StackPro™ in-camera stacking capability, the STC-428-P has enormous dynamic range and much greater sensitivity than comparable CCD cameras.

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STC-428-P provides extremely high sensitivity, low noise 7 megapixel imaging with support for commonly-available UBVRI filter sets.

The STC-428-P is the ideal package for photometry, featuring:

  • High sensitivity, low noise 7 megapixel IMX428 imaging sensor
  • Electronic global shutter for fast exposure times (0.001 to 3600 sec.)
  • High-speed USB 3.0 interface (USB 2.0 compatible)
  • Downloads in under 50 milliseconds (depending on computer speed)
  • Stack Pro™ automatic in-camera sub-exposure stacking
  • Regulated two-stage cooling with delta ~ -30C
  • SmartCooling™ active temperature regulation to 0.1 degrees C for high calibration stability
  • Eight position FW8-STC filter wheel, with one slot configured as a dark frame shutter
  • Compatible with SBIG StarChaser SC-2 off-axis guiding camera
  • Supports AO-8A adaptive optics unit via StarChaser SC-2
  • MaxIm LT control software
  • Multiplatform software API and sample code available

The new STC-428-P scientific CMOS camera represents a major improvement over CCD technology.  Compared with previous CCD models such as the STF-8300M, the STC-428-P features higher sensitivity (78% QE versus 56%), significantly lower read noise (2.5 e- versus 9.3 e-), and 20X faster readout.

While a single exposure on the IMX428 sensor can equal CCD dynamic range, the combination of fast readout and very low read noise allows for stacking many shorter to produce greater dynamic range than previously possible.  The built-in StackPro™ capability can automatically divide your exposure into up to 16 shorter sub-exposures, and stack them inside the camera prior to download.  This dramatically increases dynamic range without imposing greater processing requirements on the host computer – with read noise equal to or lower than comparable CCD cameras.

Our SmartCooling™ active regulation maintains the sensor temperature to within 0.1ºC, and minimizes fan speed based on heat sink temperature for longer life and quieter operation.

Sensor Specifications:

  • SONY IMX428 CMOS imaging sensor
  • 3208 x 2200 pixels / 7.1 megapixel
  • 4.5 micron pixels
  • 17.6 mm diagonal
  • Peak QE 78%
  • Typical QE:
    • Red (635-700 nm) ~ 63%
    • Green (520-560 nm) ~ 78%
    • Blue (450-490 nm) ~ 75%
  • 12-bit A/D conversion with low-gain and high-gain modes
  • Very low read noise ~ 2.5e-
  • Very low dark current 0.1 e-/pixel/sec typical @ -5C
  • 80 dB dynamic range

The STC-428-P supports several optional gain modes:

  • Low Gain
    • 12-bit data
    • Gain 5.5 e-/ADU
    • Full Well ~ 22,500 e-
    • Read Noise ~5 e-
  • Medium Gain
    • 12-bit data
    • Gain 2.45 e-/ADU
    • Full Well ~ 10,000 e-
    • Read Noise ~ 2.3 e-
  • High Gain
    • 12-bit data
    • Gain 1.2 e-/ADU
    • Full Well ~ 5,000 e-
    • Read Noise ~ 1.9 e-


The STC-428-P scientific CMOS camera features StackPro™, a revolutionary feature that performs image stacking inside the camera.

While the IMX428 sensor has dynamic range on a par with its CCD predecessor, it is limited to 12 bit data (0-4095).  At the same time it also has far lower read noise, which means you can stack many more shorter exposures without degrading signal-to-noise ratio.  As great as this sounds it does result in a lot of extra disk usage and post-processing.

StackPro™ performs the stacking automatically, inside the camera.  It automatically subdivides your exposure into up to 16 individual sub-exposures, and stacks them inside the camera prior to download.  This eliminates the excessive amounts of data cluttering up your hard drive.

As an example, by stacking 16 sub-exposures inside the camera you can get:

  • Low Gain 16X Stacking
    • 16-bit data
    • Gain 5.5 e-/ADU
    • Effective Full Well ~ 360,000 e-
    • Read Noise ~20 e-
  • Medium Gain 16X Stacking
    • 16-bit data
    • Gain 2.45 e-/ADU
    • Effective Full Well ~ 160,000 e-
    • Read Noise ~ 9.2 e-
  • High Gain 16X Stacking
    • 16-bit data
    • Gain 1.2 e-/ADU
    • Effective Full Well ~ 80,000 e-
    • Read Noise ~ 7.6 e-

For comparison, our STF-8300M CCD camera sports typical read noise of 9.3 e-, with a full well depth of 25,000 e-.  In the medium gain 16X stack mode, the STC-428-OEM has similar read noise and yet has over six times the dynamic range!

Eight Position Filter Wheel

The STC-428-P page includes an FW8-STC.  This wheel supports standard unmounted 36 mm filters.  To enable the use of less-expensive and commonly-available 1-1/4″ mounted UBVRI filters, a set of five 10105 36 mm to 1-1/4″ Mounted Filter Adapters is included with the package.

Also included is an opaque “filter”, which acts as a dark frame shutter for efficient image calibration. The camera will automatically select filter slot 8 when a dark frame is requested.  This eliminates the extra cost and complexity of a separate mechanical shutter.  If an eighth filter is needed then the dark frame feature can be disabled.

Included Software

The STC-428-P comes with MaxIm LT software, which provides complete camera control and image calibration functions.  MaxIm LT can also be upgraded to MaxIm DL Pro for full photometric analysis capability.

STC-428-P Photometry Package Includes

  • SBIG STC-428 monochrome imaging camera
  • FW8-STC eight position filter wheel
  • Five 10105 36 mm to 1-1/4″ Mounted Filter Adapters
  • Dark frame blank
  • T-Thread adapter plate
  • T-Thread to 2″ nosepiece
  • 1/4-20 tripod mount
  • Universal power supply
  • USB 3.0 cable
  • MaxIm LT software
  • USB stick for software and manuals
  • Carrying case
Weight3.5 kg
Dimensions30 × 35 × 15 cm


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A/D Converter12-bit with High Gain / Low Gain modes
Sensor Size14.4 mm X 9.9 mm
Computer InterfaceUSB 3.0 (USB 2.0 compatible)
Cooling Delta30 °C
Dark Current e-/p/stypical 0.1 e-/p/s at -5C
Exposure0.001 – 3600 seconds
Full Frame Download90 ms typical
Imaging SensorIMX428
Imaging / Pixel Array3208 x 2200 pixels
Peak QE78% typical
Pixel Size4.5 x 4.5 micron
Power12VDC, 4A max
Read Noise (typ)1.9 e- High Gain, 2.5 e- Med Gain, 5 e- Low Gain
Temperature RegulationYes
Total Pixels7.1 megapixel
ShutterGlobal Shutter (electronic), Opaque Slot on Filter Wheel for Dark Frames
Weight3 lbs
Binning Modes1×1, 2×2
OS CompatibilityWindows 7, 8, 10 x86/x64, MacOS 10.14 “Mojave” x86 binaries, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS x64, Raspbian Buster armhf, Ubuntu MATE arm64
Filter Wheel OptionFW8-STC Included
Filter Size36mm / 1.25″
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