Altair GPCAM2 130 Mono Guide / Imaging / EAA Camera
SPECIAL OFFER! FREE 1 year SharpCap PRO License with this camera! Click here for more SC PRO feature info. Just download the latest SharpCap and connect your camera, register when the screen pops up and off you go. Sharpcap PRO has the amazingly accurate guidescope polar alignment routine, focus assistance, live flat field subtraction and many more great features to make deepsky, EAA or solar system imaging that much easier. Download SharpCap here to take advantage of this special offer.
Very high sensitivity in the far red / NIR region makes the GPCAM2 AR0130 especially good for solar imaging with the Daystar Quark other Hydrogen Alpha filters. This high red sensitivity makes it a great choice for Astro Video or EAA use.
The form factor is ideal for the Daystar Quark. GPCAM fits direct to the Daystar Interference Eliminator and the 1.25" nosepiece screws into the other side, which goes into the Quark. Simple and easy to use. Keep it assembled and just pop it in and go!
Onboard buffering gives USB data transfer speeds significantly higher than the GPCAM1 series, pushing the USB2.0 format to the limit, yet within a stable envelope. This almost completely eliminates dropped frames, corrupted video, and enables faster more consistent frame rates, even with less powerful notebook computers.
The GPCAM2 AR0130 Mono camera can be used for any type of imaging you care to try, such as solar, planetary, lunar “lucky” imaging, and even long exposure deepsky photography. Of course video astronomy is easy with the incredible sensitivity of approx. 78% QE. Time-lapse all-sky imaging (with the optional meteor lens) is fully supported in both AltairCapture and SharpCap software.
The camera has an ST4 auto-guiding port, and can be used to auto-guide with mounts from all the major manufacturers supporting ST4 format, such as iOptron, Celestron and Skywatcher.
The casing has an external heatsink surface, which dissipates heat generated by the electronics, reducing thermal noise.
The USB2.0 connector is the high strength type - the highest quality component of it's type on the market. This is much more reliable than the micro-USB connectors found on smartphones (we all know how those loosen up over a short time!).
You would be hard-pressed to find a more versatile small-format colour astronomy imaging camera with this price and features. And what's more, you get UK/EU based warranty support, plus the Altair Camera Google User Group for all your technical questions - a great place to share tips and techniques to get the best out of your camera.
Here's a YouTube video review by AstroBackyard:
The GPCAM cameras can be fully controlled in AltairCapture and SharpCap to output uncompressed .AVI and .SER video files for solar system "lucky" imaging, as well as all common still image formats such as .JPEG .PNG .TIF .BMP, to mention just a few. The GPCAM supports 8bit or 12bit output. The 12 bit output mode can be used for deep sky imaging with less frames needing to be stacked and a wider pixel intensity range, or for high dynamic range solar and lunar imaging where bit depth improves tonal range. The AR0130 sensor is extremely sensitive in the NIR region and can be used very effectively with IR Pass filters such as the Altair Planet Killer series, for solar and lunar imaging in mono mode. Simply attach the IR pass filter to the front of the 1.25" nosepiece.
What’s different about the "Purple casing" GPCAM2 platform compared to the blue casing GPCAM1 platform? You’ll notice the GPCAM2 casing is larger than the GPCAM. This is to house larger electronics boards which support trigger mode and frame buffering as well as to increase the surface area for cooling. The GPCAM2 platform supports “Trigger Mode” to make long exposures of over 5 seconds easier to control. With most cameras, in normal video mode, you have to wait for an exposure to complete before the camera will accept, say a command to abort the frame, for say clouds, aircraft, or an alignment issue, like kicking the tripod and so-on, or for routine changes in gain, exposure time, , re-aligning or refocusing on the object. For long exposures, normal video mode is inconvenient, especially for video astronomy and deep-sky imaging, however in Trigger mode, you can stop the camera instantly (even if you are half way through a long 30 second exposure) change the settings, and re-start the camera looping again. The GPCAM2 also has an improved onboard frame buffer to improve data transfer stability at high frame rates (to reduce dropped frames) and to increase compatibility with a wider range of PCs. The improved buffers give a more consistent data transfer rate over USB2.0 and USB3.0 buses on laptops and desktop PCs.
Some interesting features of the AR0130 Mono sensor, aside from increased overall sensitivity compares to the MT9M034 sensor in the GPCAM1, is a very high response in the red region of the spectrum making the camera very sensitive to red light for Hydrogen Alpha solar imaging and in the NIR / IR region which enables the camera to be used with an Altair Planet Killer IR Pass filter for high contrast lunar imaging.
Included in the box:
2m High-speed USB2.0 A male to B male cable.
1.5m ST4 guide cable.
1.25 inch x 20mm nosepiece with female 1.25" filter thread on the front.
CS-Mount adapter with built-in Clear Optical Window, AR coatings. (Attached at factory but removable).
Plastic dust cap 1.25"
Please note: This camera does not come with software in the box. To operate the camera you will need to download the latest camera drivers at cameras.altairastro.com (launches new window)
Very high sensitivity in the far red / NIR region makes the GPCAM2
AR0130 especially good for solar imaging with the Daystar Quark other
Hydrogen Alpha filters.
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