When Sony announced the monochrome version of their IMX571 APS-C size CMOS sensor, we knew we would have an amazing camera based around that sensor. Introducing the StarShoot G26 APS-C Mono CMOS Imaging Camera. The G26 Mono offers a 28.3mm diagonal (APS-C format) 16-bit sensor, with 3.76 micron pixels, >85% QE, and a full resolution topping out at a massive 6224x4168 pixels.
The G26 Color camera has been a very popular model for us - but up until now it was only available in the One-Shot-Color (OSC) version. Now granted, an OSC camera is the height of convenience when it comes to color imaging. Take a single shot, and you have a color image. Yes, the monochrome version requires more work. Yes, it requires you to shoot through a Red, Green and Blue filter in order to "build" your full color image. And YES, that extra work is absolutely worth it, trust us. The boost in sensitivity you get when ALL of the pixels see ALL of the light coming into the camera is simply astounding. And you get the added versatility of being able to use specialized filters in addition to the normal LRGB used for broadband pictures. Try using a Hydrogen-alpha, Oxygen-III, and Sulphur-II filter in front of this camera for the ultimate in narrowband, extremely high contrast deep-sky imaging. Even when the bright moon is out or you live in the middle of a city, a narrowband Ha filter can cut through that light pollution to reveal details not seen in broadband imaging.
The G26 Mono also features the same amazing qualities of the color version. The IMX571 CMOS chip is a native 16-bit sensor with a full well capacity of 51ke- which produces an incredible dynamic range in your images, with smooth transitions in brightness and amazing contrast. And best of all, unlike most CMOS cameras on the market, the IMX571 chip products ZERO amp glow! Look at the dark frame examples below for the difference between our very popular StarShoot G10 camera and this new G26. Notice the signature amp glow on the upper right edge of the G10 IMX492 chip image? Of course, this is normally processed out when shooting and subtracting dark frames, but with the G26 having no amp glow to begin with, you're that much closer to a fully calibrated image straight off of the camera!
A 120s stacked StarShoot G10 dark frame
A 120s stacked StarShoot G26 dark frame
The APS-C format chip in the StarShoot G26 Mono provides an even bigger field of view compared with the smaller 4/3" format sensors in our G10, G16, and G21 lines, providing more opportunities for the perfect image composition in your photographs. And of course, with 26 million pixels at 3.76 microns each, there is an incredible amount of resolution inherent in this camera, both for deep-sky and solar system imaging.
The gain setting is fully adjustable in the G26, but because of the extreme sensitivity of these modern CMOS sensors, we actually recommend leaving the gain at ZERO for the best results in your astro-images. And when you switch to HCG mode (which is available at any gain setting), the resulting read noise drops dramatically, all the while still providing a very large full well capacity. All the astro-images shown on this webpage taken with the G26 mono were at Gain 0, HCG mode, -15 C at either 180 seconds sub-exposure (for all the broadband images), or 300 seconds (for the narrowband Ha). Nothing more than 3-5 minute subs necessary! More data on the Sony IMX571 chip is shown below in HCG mode:
The StarShoot G26 Mono APS-C features a two-stage regulated thermo-electric cooler with fan, capable of reaching ~35° C below ambient temperature. A 512MB DDR3 memory buffer stabilizes the data transfer during image download. A dew heater built into the front window protects against dew forming at such low temperatures. The USB 3.0 interface provides exceptionally fast frame rates and download speeds. Power for the camera electronics comes from the USB 3.0 port, and the TE cooler is powered by an included AC adapter, though any 12v 3amp external battery source will work as well.
A standard t-thread is cut into the front opening of the camera, and with an included 2" nozzle, you can attach the G26 camera to most all telescope configurations, including coma correctors, flatteners, and off-axis guiders. With a built in two-port USB 2.0 hub, your guide camera and other USB accessories can be wired directly to the G26, which means you'll only have the one USB cable running to your laptop, eliminating many extraneous wires draping from the telescope to the computer.
How to Set Black Level on Orion StarShoot G Cameras
Compatible with Win 8/10/11, the camera includes a hard case, along with free control and image acquisition software. And best of all, the StarShoot G26 Mono is ASCOM compatible, meaning you can use most dedicated astro-imaging software on the market including N.I.N.A., Sequence Generator Pro, Nebulosity, SharpCap, and more to unlock the full potential of your new StarShoot G26 APS-C Color Imaging Camera!
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 800-447-1001.
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