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The QHY5III462C camera uses the latest (Sixth Generation) Sony 2.1 megapixel IMX462 STARVIS CMOS sensor. The pixel size is 2.9u making it the same size and resolution as the sensor used in the QHY5III290 camera that has been so successfully used for planetary imaging by some of the best planetary imagers in the world. Like other cameras in the 5III series, the QHY5III462C is USB 3.0 powered and controlled. No additional power is required.
The IMX462 sensor is back-illuminated and incorporates new technology that gives it some significant advantage over other planetary cameras: First, the IMX462 sensor has sHCG (Super High Conversion Gain) for very low read noise at high gain. This is ideal for stacking hundreds or thousands of short planetary images. Second, it is exceptionally sensitive in the NIR.
In this latest generation of sensors, the photodiode portion of the pixel well is physically deeper than in previous Sony BSI sensors, allowing photons of longer wavelength to penetrate deeper into the substrate. This dramatically increases the sensor’s sensitivity to red and near infrared (NIR) light. The RGB filters over the pixels become transparent at NIR wavelengths, so the sensor displays almost equal peak sensitivity to NIR light as it does to light in the visible spectrum.
The peak QE in the NIR around 800nm is as high as the peak QE in the visible wavelengths. For planetary imagers using a methane filter that passes light around 880nm this is welcome news.
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