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Archive for the 'New Products' category

Posts Tagged 'touptek'

The new Sony Exmor R sensor: What does it mean for astrophotographers?

March 26 2018, Marcus Schenk

“Where there’s a lot of light, there’s a lot of shadow”.

These words come from no less than Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. When he wrote these lines, nobody had even conceived of digital cameras. And the famous poet expressed this in a totally different context.

And yet: This sentence is so well suited to astronomy camera sensors that we simply had to use it.

But how does it all fit together? And why does this quote no longer apply to cameras with new Exmor R sensors? We’ll come back to that.

100% more sensitive cameras by ToupTek

This is news that many friends of astronomy will be pleased with: The latest ToupTek cameras are up to 100% more sensitive (source: Sony) than older, conventional CMOS cameras. For recently, great things have been achieved in sensor technology. To put it briefly: Thanks to the new Exmor R sensor, it’s now possible to put even more object information on the chip with short exposure times.

The cameras by ToupTek have already been fitted with these latest, brand-new sensors: Here’s the link to the cameras.

Until a few years ago, people still preferred CCD sensors. This was because they created less noise, were sensitive and you could recognise more details. But CMOS sensors have been improved. Fast data transport and super-fast digitalisation round out the achievements. Noise was markedly reduced, making this technology interesting for astronomy.

These CMOS sensors are also referred to as front-illuminated sensors. And this is where Goethe’s quote: “Where there’s a lot of light, there’s a lot of shadow” becomes interesting. Because it’s got something to do with the architecture or the construction of the chip.

Der Front-Illuminated Sensor: Lichtstrahlen treffen auf den Sensor, werden aber zum Teil abgelenkt.“Classic” CMOS sensors

Front-illuminated sensors contais quite a few elements that the photons must go through before they reach their target land on the pixel.

First, there are the microlenses, then the colour filters and then finally the electronics. The latter were placed on the chip from above. This means: at this spot, there are aluminium strips, wires and transistors. The photons must go through them, too. After all that, the light finally reaches the long-awaited pixel.

The electronics, however, unfortunately, acts like a shadow-caster. It’s a little like what we experience with telescopes with large secondary mirrors: some of the light is absorbed and diverted.

Some photons simply don’t have a chance. They are not let through or they are simply reflected by the metal wire. This consequence is unavoidable: Less light reaches the sensor.

Sony, however, thought about how current chips could be made more sensitive. And something amazing occurred to them and which is now being used in astronomy cameras: “Back-illuminated” CMOS sensors.

 

The new “back-illuminated” sensors by Sony

Sony has taken sensors apart and put them back together quite differently. Now, the photons pass through the microlenses and then the colour filters. So far, so good. But after that, they go straight to the pixels.

The electronics, wires and transistors are located behind. The photons now reach the photo cells without being diverted. The silicon substrate is illuminated from behind instead of from the front. Another advantage is STARVIS technology, a sub-group of the Exmor R sensors that possess even higher sensitivity. This technology realises its greatest benefit precisely where there is little light.

Thanks to numerous improvements, the Exmor R sensors are extremely fast , produce even less noise, and are twice as sensitive (source: Sony) and even have higher transmission in the infra-red.

This technology has been used in research for a long time already. But until now, the price of such cameras was astronomically high. Thanks to the fall in price, amateurs can now enjoy the benefits of these CMOS sensors.

What does this mean for your astronomy shots?

  • More light in a shorter time
  • Shorter exposure times – and therefore fewer problems with tracking
  • Galaxies and nebulae can now be photographed without cooled cameras
  • Extremely high frame rates – resulting in even sharper planet shots
  • Higher sensitivity in the close infra-red range – for images of Mars and Venus
  • Brighter celestial objects often possible as live video

Conclusion:

These new “back-illuminated” sensors by Sony offer new and exciting possibilities for astrophotographers. Thanks to the lower costs the prices are low. And the gain is beautiful astronomy photographs with little outlay. But the best of all is: The cameras by ToupTek are already fitted with this technology. Perhaps, we could now say: “Where there’s a lot of light, there remains a lot of light”. At least, as far as these new cameras are concerned.

P.S.:

If you want to use these cameras, too, then go here.

Touptek: Which camera is right for me? How to find out – at a glance.

February 23 2018, Marcus Schenk

Imagine the following situation: You’re looking for the right camera.

The amateur astronomer stares desperately at the hundreds of cameras on the screen. The technical data gives him a headache. Gradually he loses sight of the big picture. Which camera should he buy then? He does not want to search for ever; he just wants to take beautiful photos.

In this post, you will find two aids that will make it easier for you to quickly find the right ToupTek camera for your needs.

 

Das Touptek Kamera-Sortiment

 

1. A graphic that will give you an overview

The range of cameras is constantly increasing. How can you keep track of them?

Sensor size, pixel size and resolution are just a few of the key features. And you have to compare all the cameras with each other.

But the question is: Are they suitable for planets, deep sky or only for guidance?

Isn’t there an easier way to find out? Yes, we have wondered that, too; and have found the solution for ToupTek cameras. Here is the result: A graphic for a quick overview that also offers additional information. This saves you from having to constantly click all over the place. What can you see in this graphic?

Sensor size: At a glance, you can see the sensor size of ten different cameras. The frame sizes are matched accordingly.

Article numbers: Above every sensor, there is an article number in addition to the camera name. If you are interested in a camera, you can enter the number directly into the search function in the shop.

Coloured squares: Within the frame, you can see three small coloured boxes and/or a black and white box. It is actually self-explanatory: The boxes indicate whether the camera is available in a colour and/or in a monochrome version.

Number under the sensor: the sensor name is indicated, as IMX178 or AR0130, for example.

Pixel size (micron) and frames per second (fps): The cameras have been plotted on an X/Y graph. You will be able to see immediately whether a camera has small or large pixels, and whether the number of images recorded per second is very low or very high. Sensor size, pixel size and fps: These are all important pieces of information to help you decide which camera is right for your needs.

Planetary, focal length, guiding: Three coloured bars on the edge indicate for which purpose or telescope the camera is best suited. The more colourful the bar, the better suited for the respective area. These bars will tell you immediately which cameras are suitable for you.

Example: A high frame rate is suitable for planetary images, while a very large chip is not particularly well suited for just guiding. Chip size and pixel size will give you a clue about the appropriate focal length of the telescope.

 

2. How do I distinguish between different sensor sizes?

The sensor sizes of Touptek cameras range from 4.8 mm x 3.6 mm up to the large 20 MP sensor which measure 13 mm x 8.7 mm.

For planet images and guiding, smaller sensors are sufficient; for large moon shots or extended deep sky hosts, there should be more field.

A presentation of the various sizes is difficult, but it is important before making a purchase. That is why we have also created a graphic for you here and projected it on an image of the Galaxy NGC247.

The various frames with product numbers are marked clearly. Much better than an explanation could do, for example, you can see how much bigger the ToupTek EP3CMOS camera20000Kpa Deep Sky Color is than the ToupTek GPCMOS1200KMB Mono Guider.

 

 

With these two graphics, you’ll be on the safe side before you make your purchase and without many hours of searching. The best thing to do is take a look at the product pages of modern ToupTek cameras.

Photos taken of the sun in H-Alpha light with the filter QUARK and the new ToupTek camera.

October 13 2017, Stefan Taube

Our Spanish Colleague Carlos Malagon has a clear view of our day star almost every day. He sent us this image of the sun he had taken with the new camera EP3CMOS02300KMC from ToupTek:

H-Alpha-Sonne

The image shows the chromosphere of the sun: This is a part of the sun’s atmosphere above the photosphere, appearing in light with a wavelength of 656 nanometres. This wavelength is also referred to as H-Alpha. It represents a certain excitement condition of the hydrogen atoms in the sun’s atmosphere. At the edge of the sun you see a very nice protuberance.

Besides the camera from ToupTek Carlos Malagon used the H-Alpha filter QUARK from DayStar and the Omegon Pro Apo 80/500 on the mount SkyWatcher Star Adventurer.

This small mount is ideal for travelling. It carries a camera with small optics and tracks it parallel to the rotation of the sky. The Star Adventurer can be screwed on any photo tripod. For this purpose, Carlos Malagon used the Omegon aluminium tripod Titania 500. The photo below shows the complete equipment.

Carlos_Ausrüstung

By the way: Since the sun filter QUARK can simply be inserted into the eyepiece holder between camera and telescope, it can also be quickly removed. The easy to handle equipment can then be simply used to take photos of the night sky.

15.10.2019
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