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Camera time efficiency simulation


  1. Introduction
  2. Why I like these cameras
  3. The Excel sheet with camera simulations: Low Dynamic, example 1
  4. High Dynamic, example 2
  5. Thermal Noise, example 3
  6. High Dynamic and very weak signal, example 4
  7. Readout Noise from calibration, example 5
  8. Download of Excel sheet

2: Why I like these cameras

Here is a short information why I like these cameras.

Atik 16200 mono:

The Atik 16200 has the newly developed APS-H CCD sensor, it's size is between a full frame and a APS-C crop sensor. It has a QE of about 0.56 and 16 bit ADC. CCD sensor technique are a bit old compare to CMOS sensors, but still going strong.

It cost a lot of money.

Canon EOS 6D:

Canon's ESO 6D are an affordable camera with full frame sensor, it has together with the QHY camera the biggest sensor of these four cameras and are the cheapest. Its QE of 0.5 is high, and after modification with all filters removed it can be even higher. Very low readout noise, 1.7 e- at high ISO setting, but high ISO gives very low dynamics. Color Bayer pattern sensor.

Not a cooled camera.
It's a color camera.

ZWO ASI1600:

ZWO has lately developed a lot of interesting cameras. ASI1600 has a 4/3", a bit smaller than an APS-C. The sensor are built with CMOS technology. At high gain it has an impressive low readout noise of just 1.2 e-.

People reporting amp glow but that is something that can be handled.
It has the smallest sensor of these four cameras.


QHY has a lot of interesting cameras. Lately they have offered a full frame CMOS camera with Sony sensor. It's a color camera, but there are ways to handle the image as a normal rgb mono chrome process. See my AIJ macros I use to Canon DSLR cameras: ../tutorial-astroimagej/tutorial-aij-01-introduction.html. This camera has a cooler and then we don't get the problem with high dark current in hot environment. Readout noise 2.4 e-.

Color camera.

Perfect Camera:

To make it a bit more exiting, why not put in a almost perfect camera to compare with? Zero Noise, high resolution ADC, no dead time etc. And even a real color camera like the Foveon Foveon technology or even better, Red, Green, Blue and IR at the same pixel, a four layer construction. It's optimized for a 10" RC telescope with a 3" x1 field flattener.

It doesn't exist! -Yet.

Table of important data:

Namn Atik 16200 mono Canon EOS 6D ZWO ASI1600 QHY367C Perfect Camera

Pixel width x high

4499 x 3599

5472 x 3648

4656 x 3520

7376 x 4938

4096 x 4096

Pixel pitch

6.0 my

6.58 my

3.8 my

4.88 my

10 my

Sensor size, width x hight

27 x 21.6 mm

36 x 24 mm

17.9 x 13.4 mm

36 x 24.1 mm

41 x 41 mm



0.5 (0.55 mod)

0.65 ?

0.55 ?


ADC resolution

16 bit

14 bit

12 bit

14 bit

18 bit

Full Well capacity

40 ke--

80 ke--

20 ke--

56 ke-

100 ke-




Electronic rolling shutter

Electronic rolling shutter

Electronic shutter

Image download time, seconds

8 ?

1 or 8

0 to 2

5 sec ?


Back focus distance

19.5 mm

44 mm

6.5 mm

18 mm ?


Cooling delta T

50 o Celsius


45 o Celsius

35 o Celsius



1.3 kg

0.76 kg

0.41 kg

0.79 kg

1 kg

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