The PX-75C is the ideal colour planetary CCD camera that combines high frame rates with high sensitivity. The PX-75C is also well suited for Lunar and Solar imaging. Please note that for solar imaging, the camera should be used only with an appropriate solar telescope or solar filter.
The PX-75C is particularly well suited for capturing critical type targets including the International Space Station due to its very low noise characteristics and unusually high Gain while retaining the necessary high S/N ratios.
The camera is also ideal for industrial inspection and microscopy applications. Noise reduction, Gain and Region of Interest (ROI) are all features implemented in the hardware to deliver exceptional performance.
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 10ºC above ambient temperature, these can rise dramatically during extended exposures. Air-cooled cameras such as the PX-75C will show internal temperatures of around 3ºC 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-75C during shorter exposures.
The PX-75C requires a fully featured, full speed USB2.0 port to take advantage of all the camera’s advanced features.
The PX-75C CoolAir fan-cooled CCD camera offers exceptional performance and versatility easily outperforming cameras costing considerably more. The PX-75C electronics ensure high signal-to-noise ratio even at very short exposure times. The camera can achieve 20 frames per second at the full 1024x768 resolution. The maximum frame rate depends on the ROI mode set and it can be as high as 60 frames per second.
Opticstar 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 brief outline of View’s image processing functions is listed below:
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.
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.
The PX-75C camera can stream and store video to disk at up to 20 frames per second at 1024x768 resolution, it can also grab single frames at 1024x768. 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.
Optionally, the PX-75C incorporates 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) is also available in cases where the camera will be used further away from the computer.