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Competitor #2 - 'CamB' Specifications
The second camera used in the Starfish competitive camera shootout is a camera that we designated 'CamB'. This camera was designed as an entry level deep sky imaging camera by a major telescope manufacturer. This is one of those cameras that was not designed as an auto-guider camera but has been pressed into service by amateurs. The camera has a fairly sensitive monochrome image sensor and is fitted into a very compact enclosure. The camera is also inexpensive. Recently, the manufacturer has been holding a 'fire sale' on these cameras offering them for as low as $119.00.

CamB cannot be used directly as an auto-guider camera however since it does not have a built in ST-4 style guider port like the other cameras tested. You will have to find another means of connecting to your telescope mount's controller when using this as a guide solution. While this is certainly feasible, there is additional cost for the interface hardware, software compatibility issues, and an increase in cabling 'rats-nest' at the telescope.

CamB also was designed as a low-cost camera and as such uses an image sensor originally designed for the video imaging market. Because of this, it has an interlaced readout where it takes two frame readout sequences to read the entire image. The first sequence reads out the even rows of the image followed by a readout that transfers all of the odd rows in the image. The controlling computer's software then de-interlaces it to give you the final image. In my tests, I was not able to get the driver software properly loaded to support imaging under MaximDL to handle the interlace problem. You can see this in the example images I took. Also, I could not take an exposure longer than 2 seconds with the MaximDL driver. I intend to re-take the example images at a later time when I have a chance to remedy both of these problems.

The images I did take do give a good indication of the light sensitivity of this camera. It actually does a pretty good job of imaging magnitude 11 stars with a 2 second exposure. It also has the lowest read noise of all the cameras tested. The small size of its image sensor does limit the FOV of the guide images.


CamB Specifications

Weight: Pixel Size:

Array Format:

Total Pixels:

A/D Conversion:

Exposure Time:


USB Compatibility:



10 oz. 9.6u x 7.5u

510 x 492



1/10,000 sec to 1 hour

Anodized die-cast aluminum

High Speed 2.0 and 1.1

3.25" x 3.25" x 1.25"

$119.00 (current manufacturer's sale price)

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