Advanced Telescope Supplies

Australia's Premier CCD and Astro-Imaging Experts


NEW SBIG Imager!
ST-8300M and ST-8300C
High Resolution 8.3 Megapixel CCD Cameras
$A pricing $2380.00 Plus GST

(price may vary without notice due $A to $US exchange variations )

The ST-8300M and ST-8300C
High Resolution CCD Cameras

Model ST-8300M High Resolution CCD camera

The new ST-8300M (monochrome) and ST-8300C (color) cameras are based on Kodak's KAF-8300, 8.3 megapixel, full frame CCD.  This CCD array has 3326 x 2504 pixels at 5.4 microns making it ideal for both short fast optics in high resolution (unbinned) mode, and for longer focal lengths it can be binned binned 2x2 or 3x3.  The CCD has both antiblooming and microlens technology to improve the effective Quantum Efficiency of the sensor.  As a result it can be used in a wide variety of optical configurations.  The camera electronics are USB 2.0 for fast download rates and rapid focus mode.  The small light body accepts body accepts both c-mount and standard 35mm Nikon camera lenses.  In addition to its imaging capabilities, it can also be used as a guider.  A built-in mechanical shutter is included for automatic dark frames.

KAF-8300 CCD


Large High Resolution Imaging CCD.  The KAF-8300 CCD is approximately 18 x 14mm and has a diagonal measurement of about 22 millimeters.  This is about 1.6X the image area of an ST-10 and nearly the same area as the STL-4020M.  With its relatively small pixels and large image area it is ideal for wide field imaging with short fast refractors.  Binned 2x2 the pixels are 10.8 microns square and binned 3x3 they are 16.2 microns square.  At 2x2 the array is still 2 megapixels and at 3x3 just under one megapixel.  This feature makes it possible to match the pixel size to your seeing and scope, from a small refractor to a large SCT.  For most users, binning will not only help optimize the sensitivity of the CCD with their optics but also speed up the download rate.   

USB 2.0 Interface:  The ST-8300 will download a full frame in approximately 7.7 seconds and focus with 1 second update rates in planet mode when connected to a high speed USB port.  The camera is also compatible with USB 1.1 ports albeit at a slower download rate.   

I2C Accessory Port:   The 9-pin I2C port allows the use of our filter wheels with the same interface.  The power and commands for the filter wheel all come from the camera through this port, so there are no other cables or power supplies needed to operate the filter wheel.  Also, the same software that controls the camera also controls the filter wheel.  Automatic RGB exposure sequences may be set or the user may control the filter wheel for each exposure.   

Mechanical Shutter:  A mechanical shutter is included to facilitate dark frames.  This is a necessity for anyone operating remotely, even if remotely means a few feet away from the telescope.

TE cooling:  In our initial tests the camera reached a maximum of -40 degrees C below ambient in a warm room.  A few degrees were then given up for regulation with the camera running at only 70% TE cooling power to maintain -36 degrees C below ambient.  Because of the CCDs extraordinary low dark current, great temperature deltas are not required to achieve a dark current low enough that it becomes relatively insignificant compared to the background sky brightness.  In ne test, one 15 minute dark frame at -10C was subtracted from another at the same temperature.  The noise remaining was a total of 15 electrons, including read noise, in this 15 minute exposure.  This is exceptionally low. 

Rendering of new CFW5-8300 filter wheel

36mm Filters and Filter Wheel:  Due to the large size of this CCD, typical 1.25" filters are just too small to fully cover the sensor without some vignetting in the corners.  This may be acceptable at f/7 or longer focal lengths, but at shorter focal lengths the effect becomes greater.  For this reason SBIG will offer a new 5-position filter wheel that will hold 36mm filters.  We are informed that a full set of 36mm filters will be available for this camera from several of our filter suppliers:  Astrodon, Baader and Custom Scientific.  We expect the filter wheel to be ready in January, 2010 and some of the filters are already available.

For those doing narrowband work, or for those with slower optical systems, 1.25 inch filters may be acceptable.  In this case both the CFW9 and CFW10 filter wheels will fit the ST-8300 camera.



Each ST-8300 camera system includes the following:

  *  Rugged camera body with rack handles and 2" nosepiece
  *  New KAF-8300 (or KAF-8300C) imaging CCD
  *  High speed USB 2.0 interface
  *  New I2C bi-directional accessory port
  *  Standard accessory guider port
  *  Internal shutter
  *  Cooling Fan
  *  Tripod mount 1/4-20 threaded side plate
  *  15 foot USB cable (third party USB extenders available)
  *  Telescope interface cable (for guiding)
  *  Universal Power supply
  *  SBIG's CCDOPS version 5 camera control software
  *  Software Bisque's CCDSoftV5 camera control and image processing software
  *  Software Bisque's TheSky v5, Level II
  *  Printed Operating Manuals
  *  Custom design carrying case with pre-cut foam for your camera and accessories
  *  One Year Warranty Parts and Labor on the CCD
  *  Two Year Warranty Parts and Labor on the camera other than the CCD
  *  Demo CD-ROM with sample images and software



North American Nebula Image Details:
Camera:  ST-8300M with Baader 7nm H-alpha filter
Guider:  SG-4
Telescope:  TeleVue NP-101 f/5.4
Exposure:  Average of 8 x 15 minute frames
Processing:  DDP (CCDOPS), Reduced for display
Taken by:  Alan Holmes / SBIG

Model ST-8300M and ST-8300C
Typical Specifications


CCD   Kodak KAF-8300
Pixel Array   3326 x 2504 pixels
CCD Size   17.96 x 13.52 mm
Total Pixels   8.3 million
Pixel Size   5.4 x 5.4 microns square
Full Well Capacity   ~25,500 e-
Dark Current   ~0.02e-/pixel/sec at -10C.
Antiblooming   1000X

Readout Specifications

Shutter   Mechanical
Exposure   0.12 to 3600 seconds,
  10ms resolution
Correlated Double Sampling   Yes
A/D Converter   16 bits
A/D Gain   TBD (prototype = 0.38e-/ADU)
Read Noise   ~8e- rms
Binning Modes   1 x 1, 2 x 2, 3 x 3
Pixel Digitization Rate   > 1 million pixels per second
Full Frame Download   ~7.7 seconds
Focus Mode   ~1 second

System Specifications

Cooling - standard   Single Stage Thermoelectric,
  Active Fan, max -40 C w/air
Temperature Regulation   0.1C
Power   12VDC at 3 amps,
  power supply included
Computer Interface   USB 2.0
Computer Compatibility   Windows / Mac

Physical Dimensions

Optical Head   2 x 4 x 5 in. (50x100x127mm)
Mounting   T-Thread,
  2" nosepieces included
  c-mount compatible
Weight   Approx. 1.8 pounds / 0.8kg
Backfocus   0.69 inches / 17.5 mm

We are now taking orders for early 2011 delivery