View Full Version : Advice requested on what camera to consider

September 19, 2010, 16:25:06

I'm aiming to get one of the cameras in the next couple of months, to supplement & eventually replace the ToUCam I currently use. However, as there is quite a choice of camera, I'd like to ask a few questions ...

I'm happy with the choice between USB, FW & GigE (apart from the extra cost on GigE ;-)), but what are the differences in the 9 models on offer ? :question:

It looks like there are three 'flavours' of camera, repeated 3 times (excluding the interface). The lowest in each 'flavour' being b&w, the other two being colour. But I guess I'm missing something, else there would just be 3 cameras, and not 9 :confused:

Is there a 'master index' where I can see them all at a glance, or can someone explain what I'm obviously missing ?

Many thanks,


September 19, 2010, 21:36:43
A few notes:

Make sure the camera model is a ".AS" model. I made the original mistake of purchasing a ".H" model which is not an astronomy camera, i.e.: 30 sec max. exposure and a lot more bad pixels.

DMK is B&W
DBK is color w/o a built-in IR filter
DFK is color w/ a built-in IR filter; not removable w/o voiding warranty!

DMK,DBK,DFK21 has 1/4" sensor
DMK,DBK,DFK31 has 1/3" sensor
DMK,DBK,DFK41 has 1/2" sensor

As sensor size goes up image size goes up and video rate goes down. The best model depends upon what you want to use it for. Most serious planetary imagers want a high frame rate, i.e.: the "21". Most really serious planetary imagers also use a B&W camera with a filter wheel, i.e.: the DMK21.

If you're just into Lunar/Solar imaging, the model "31" or "41" might be your choice, although the "21" will also work.

The "31" gives you a bit more real estate upon which to focus an image BUT slower video rate.

The "41", same price as "31", give you yet more real estate BUT yet a slower video rate.

Personally I chose the DBK41 USB model. I have the option of using (or not) a third party IR filter. It is a one-shot color meaning no extra cost for filters. It is more than sensitive enough for lunar and solar imaging AND, since I'm not serious about planetary imaging, it works in this capacity for me (I've attached a couple of images from the DBK41). I like it. I would probably be just as happy with the DBK31...

Happy hunting!


September 24, 2010, 15:35:28
Cheers for that ... some things to think about, certainly.

I guess the main item I'll need to consider is whether I was the instant gratification the colour camera gives, or if taking multiple shots through a filter-wheel will be better for me.

Initially, I'd be looking at solar/lunar/planetary work, but will want to do some deep-sky later on. Not a good combination for a single camera :doh:

September 24, 2010, 18:40:51

Take a look @ http://www.makina.it/SAA/DSO-(DMK+DBK).html for a variety of pictures taken w/ IS cameras. He's a pro...

The DBK41, being a one-shot color camera (OSC), fits my philosophy, i.e.: I also own a DSLR, QHY8 and a QHY9C for astrophotography.

I do have a B&W ultra lolux Sony Starlight web cam that I play with; however, I do like the instant gratification of OSC's and they allow me to capture an image when the weather provides a window, which is not often on the eastern slope of the Rockies.

Clear skies!