While digital photography has revolutionized the way we capture images these days, some photographic concepts have never changed. When it comes to producing the very best astrophotos, most imaging hobbyists will readily acknowledge that you must compose shots taken with a monochrome camera, through separate LRGB filters. This yields greater flexibility in the digital darkroom. The Orion StarShoot Deep Space Monochrome Imager III will put you on the cutting edge of imaging technology, using the same "tri-color" photo processing technique employed by professional astronomers the world over. The composites you take will combine to reveal previously unnoticed details in deep-sky objects and other celestial phenomena!
What's more, the Orion Deep Space Monochrome Imaging Camera III, designed for intermediate and avid astronomers, utilizes the highly acclaimed 2/3" format Sony ICX285AL CCD with an impressive 1360x1024 pixel array. This impressive imaging chip provides high sensitivity and resolution, and yields superior color rendition when used with LRGB filters. The monochrome camera also excels for narrowband tri-color imaging with specialized filters such as Hydrogen-alpha, Sulfur-II, and Oxygen-III.
Like all of our StarShoot deep space imaging cameras, the DSMI III utilizes Thermoelectric Cooling (TEC) - a feature not always offered by the competition - which dramatically reduces electronic noise for better-quality images. The TEC efficiency is further enhanced by an integrated cooling fan and aluminum heat sink camera body. Fan speed is adjustable and there's an optional TEC shutoff for severe outdoor conditions.
All power for the camera, TEC and fan is supplied by a single 12-volt DC connection. A 10' power cable with cigarette lighter plug and a 10' USB cable are included. The Deep Space Monochrome Imaging Camera III also comes with a custom hard carrying case for safe transport.
MaxIm DL Essentials software is included with everything you need to capture and process astrophotos with the Orion StarShoot Deep Space Monochrome Imaging Camera III. MaxIm DL Essentials provides an easy interface for focusing, capturing, dual camera control for imaging and autoguiding, batch processing, dark frame and flat field calibration, image stacking, and more.
As an added bonus, Orion StarShoot Deep Space Monochrome CCD Imaging Camera III owners will receive a $100 discount off the purchase of MaximDL Basic, DL Pro or DL Pro Suite software! Just register your camera with the unique serial number it ships with and you will be eligible for a $100 discount off select versions of MaxImDL software.
ASCOM drivers are available for the Orion StarShoot Deep Space Monochrome Imaging Camera III for use with a number of other popular image processing programs, such as Nebulosity, ImagesPlus, and more.
Get the Orion StarShoot Deep Space Monochrome Imaging Camera today and take your own shot! It's a "low-cost" solution to "high-end" monochrome CCD astrophotography!
Astronomy Now Magazine, July 2010
"It was immediately obvious how a chip of this size places the galaxy into the context of a dark sky - more akin to what you see through the eyepiece."
Astronomy Technology Today, May-June 2010
"It takes advantage of the strengths of the sensor and comes in a package that is both light weight and rugged enough for use with virtually any astrophotography setup."
Limited Warranty against defects in materials or workmanship for one year from date of purchase. This warranty is for the benefit of the original retail purchaser only. For complete warranty details contact us at 800-676-1343.
Please note this product was not designed or intended by the manufacturer for use by a child 12 years of age or younger.
Visit our product support section for instruction manuals and more
Best for imaging
Sony ICX285AL CCD
Imaging sensor size
10.2mm x 8.3mm
1392 x 1040 (1,447,680 total)
0.002 sec to 100 min
2" nozzle or t-thread
-30C from ambient
Backfocus distance (from T-threads)
In The Box
Orion StarShoot Deep Space Monochrome Imager III
10' power cable w/ cigarette lighter plug
10' USB cable
Custom hard carry case
MaxIm DL Essentials software
Orders received by noon Pacific Time for in-stock item the same business day. Order received after noon will ship the next business day. When an item is not in-stock we will ship it as soon as it becomes available. Typically in-stock items will ship first and backordered items will follow as soon as they are available. You have the option in check out to request that your order ship complete, if you'd prefer.
Does the atmosphere play a role in how good the quality of the image will be?
Atmospheric conditions play a huge part in quality of viewing. In conditions of good “seeing”, star twinkling is minimal and objects appear steady in the eyepiece. Seeing is best over-head, worst at the horizon. Also, seeing generally gets better after midnight, when much of the heat absorbed by the Earth during the day has radiated off into space. Typically, seeing conditions will be better at sites that have an altitude over about 3000 feet. Altitude helps because it decreases the amount of distortion causing atmosphere you are looking through. A good way to judge if the seeing is good or not is to look at bright stars about 40 degrees above the horizon. If the stars appear to “twinkle”, the atmosphere is significantly distorting the incoming light, and views at high magnifications will not appear sharp. If the stars appear steady and do not twinkle, seeing conditions are probably good and higher magnifications will be possible. Also, seeing conditions are typically poor during the day. This is because the heat from the Sun warms the air and causes turbulence. Good “transparency” is especially important for observing faint objects. It simply means the air is free of moisture, smoke, and dust. These tend to scatter light, which reduces an object’s brightness. One good way to tell if conditions are good is by how many stars you can see with your naked eye. If you cannot see stars of magnitude 3.5 or dimmer then conditions are poor. Magnitude is a measure of how bright a star is, the brighter a star is, the lower its magnitude will be. A good star to remember for this is Megrez (mag. 3.4), which is the star in the “Big Dipper” connecting the handle to the “dipper”. If you cannot see Megrez, then you have fog, haze, clouds, smog, light pollution or other conditions that are hindering your viewing. Another hint: Good seeing can vary minute to minute. Watch the planets for a while to pick-up those moments of good seeing.
How do I clean any of the optical lenses?
Any quality optical lens cleaning tissue and optical lens cleaning fluid specifically designed for multi-coated optics can be used to clean the exposed lenses of your eyepieces or finder scope. Never use regular glass cleaner or cleaning fluid designed for eyeglasses. Before cleaning with fluid and tissue, blow any loose particles off the lens with a blower bulb or compressed air. Then apply some cleaning fluid to a tissue, never directly on the optics. Wipe the lens gently in a circular motion, then remove any excess fluid with a fresh lens tissue. Oily finger-prints and smudges may be removed using this method. Use caution; rubbing too hard may scratch the lens. On larger lenses, clean only a small area at a time, using a fresh lens tissue on each area. Never reuse tissues.
When I use my motor drive, the moon drifts from the field of view.
The moon moves at a slightly slower rate from East to West than sidereal rate, so the motor speed needs to be reduced. If it North or South, the polar alignment should be checked.
Can I do astrophotography with my Orion SkyQuest XT?
SkyQuest XT Dobsonians are designed for visual, not photographic use. The Dobsonian mount is not an equatorial type mount, so it cannot be motor driven for long exposure astrophotography. You can take great shots of the moon with film or digital camera, but that is the extent of astrophotography with a Dobsonian telescope.
How do I troubleshoot 64 bit Windows driver installation?
Trouble shooting Vista 64 Drivers - 04/2010
If 32 bit drivers have been installed on a 64 bit computer running Windows 7 or Vista:
1. If there has been a previous installation, the camera should be plugged into the computer.
2. Click on start.
3. Click on Control Panel.
4. Click on Hardware and Sound.
5. Click on Device Manager.
6. Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers.
7. Right click on Orion StarShoot camera.
8. Click OK when the warning message appears.
9. Click on uninstall and check the box to uninstall all associated software, click OK.
10. Go to Control Panel and uninstall any StarShoot software such as PHD
11. In windows explorer, find the c:\windows\system32\drivers folder and delete the file named ssagload.sys.
12. Restart the computer
13. Install the 64 Bit driver as per the instructions on the web.
14. The camera should get recognized at this point.
Forcing the 64 bit driver installation when needed on Windows 7.
1. There have been some instances when the device driver wizard will not launch when you plug in the camera but the computer chimes. Open the device manager.
2. Look for Other Devices on the list of devices.
3. There may be an "Unknown Device" listed under Other devices. This is most likely the camera.
4. Double Click on the unknown device (or right click and select properties).
5. Click on the Driver tab.
6. Click on Update Driver.
7. Select Browse my computer for driver software.
8. Click on Browse and then locate the folder where the needed driver is and then click next.
9. Windows should install the driver.
10. If successful, the StarShoot camera will appear under the USB serial controllers list and the camera is now installed.