MX7C Single Shot Color CCD Camera


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Brand and Model:MX7C Single Shot Color CCD Camera
Price ($USD):$1525.00
Pixel Size (microns):8.6
Resolution:752x582
Computer Interface:Parallel
Attributes:un-checkedAutoguider
Electric Power:12v
Weight (lbs.):<1
Description:CCD type - Sony ICX249AK
CCD size - 6.47 x 4.83mm
Resolution - 752 x 582 pixels
Pixel size - 8.6 x 8.3 uM
Camera size - 50mm diameter x 100mm long (Same as the MX5)

Overview

Vote Highlights Vote
MX7C Single Shot Color CCD Camera
The MX7C is a wonderful camera.
CCD size
The chip is large enough to allow a good field of view and is nicely matched for Schmidt Cassegrain scopes with a focal reducer.

Performance
The MX7C is robust, and fits into a crayford focuser (for example a JMI NGF) just like a 2" eyepiece. This allows the distance from the Meade 3.3 reducer to be adjusted via the focuser, to suit the target size and seeing conditions.

CCD chip is quite sensitive, especially to Near Infrared. An IR block filter is beneficial for achieving colour balance. In an 8" scope the spiral arms of M101 are visible with as low as a 10 second exposure. Of course, you must stack multiple exposures of longer duration to get a pretty picture, as the signal to noise ratio increases with exposure time.

With the optional Star2000 guider, guiding is a simple task. Dark frames are necessary to eliminate the amp glow, especially when using Star2000 self guiding.

With the USB interface, download from the camera at full resolution is only about 5 seconds. Binned is even faster.

The one-shot colour works as advertised, and is wonderful for not requiring filter wheels and extra exposures. Software supports extraction of the bayerized colour data with ease.

Following extraction of the colour data from the raw image, processing is just like any other CCD camera data, with L,R,G,B, data in seperate frames. These are recombined into a final image after stacking the individual colour sets of frames.

Ease of Use
Like any CCD, there is a learning curve associated. I have give a 9 for ease of use because the support network from Terry Platt and other SX camera users is excellent.
Otherwise this would have been an 8, for the following reasons:
-Setting up the USB device drivers can be tricky, the HID device is very particular about order of operation. This is a one-time setup, and by following instructions it is easy, but still a bit tricky and certainly tricky for less technical people.
-the supplied software works, but is not very finesse. I recommend getting AstroArt instead, it works very well with the MX7C

Value;
The MX7C is much more realistically priced than competitive cameras, allowing more amateur astronomers access to the world of CCD imaging without taking a second mortgage.

Support
2nd to none! Starlight Xpress support is superb. Terry Platt answers questions quickly and kindly, even when the user asking for help could have read the answer in previous posted responses. Very patient in this regard.

Overall
Highly recommended. A good entry level camera, with excellent support.

Overall Rating: 10
Performance:10 Ease of Use:9 Value:10
Weight: 10 (Trustworthy Vote)
Date:
By: LBenschop
Link to this vote: http://www.excelsis.com/1.0/displayvote.php?voteid=337244

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