Evaluation of CMOS sensors by professional astronomers

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    Robin Leadbeater

    An evaluation of the suitability of Sony CMOS sensors IMX455 IMX411 for professional astronomy. These sensors are found in several commercial cameras for the amateur. (Thanks to Christian Buil for bringing this to the attention of the community)


    Dr Paul Leyland

    And thanks also to you, Robin, for drawing it to my attention. Already downloaded for later study.


    Grant Privett

    Thats an interesting read and pretty much correlates with what I heard from an academic earlier this year.

    Looks like current darks are important and for aesthetic purposes a median smooth may help some of the noise that doesn’t respond to sigma clipping – on account of not being from a Normal distribution.

    It does make the QHY600 a very attractive prospect.

    Nice to see CMOS has finally (nearly) caught up with CCDs. I first remember hearing of them from a friend in the mid 90s – the noise characteristics then were hideous.

    Of course a 123MB image is a little worrying. I might need a 2TB drive a bit sharpish, if I bought one of those.

    Nick James

    Robin. Thanks for that. A very interesting paper.

    The Sony IMX455 is certainly a very nice sensor for astronomy. Here’s what you can do with it if you couple it to a Celestron RASA 11 and have very dark skies:



    Dr Paul Leyland

    Grant: 2TB drives are pretty cheap thes days. I just replaced two of them (one was soft-failing) with 4TB units, for a total cost of around £175. The 3-disk array of which they were part already had a 4TB drive to which replaced an earlier dodgy unit. Once all three were 4TB the array could be grown to provide an effective 10.5TB filesystem.

    The extended array (actually a ZFS pool) is already 22% full because it holds all the archives & backup of all the systems on the home network.

    Another 4TB unit is inside a portable USB-3 drive. Very useful for ferrying material between the UK and LP.

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