CMOS sensors have undergone significant upgrades in recent years, in many cases surpassing CCD sensors. Their high speeds (frame rate) and resolution (number of pixels), their low power consumption and, most recently, their improved noise characteristics, quantum efficiency, and color concepts have opened them up to applications previously reserved for CCD sensors.
The improvements to CMOS technology and the strong price/performance ratio in these sensors make CMOS sensors increasingly attractive for industrial machine vision. In particular, the very high frame rates that can be achieved, almost without any compromise in image quality, are one of the primary hallmarks of the current generation of CMOS.
CMOS development over taking CCD
- High speeds (frame rates)
- High resolution (number of pixels)
- Strong dynamic performance
- Low power consumption
- Improved noise performance
- Improved quantum efficiency
- Improved color concepts
- Good price/performance ratio
What is a CMOS sensor?
There are two types of image sensors for industrial cameras on the market: CCD and CMOS sensor. The right sensor for any given job is a case-by-case question. At the same time, the trend seems to be toward CMOS sensor technology as the wave of the future. This should come as no surprise, as CMOS sensors have made major strides in recent years in two important parameters for area and line scan cameras, namely image rate and noise level. Since the beginning of 2015, it has become official that CMOS technology will be the future technology.
|ZWO 1600MM PRO|
One beautiful thing about the 1600MM pro is it's huge size chip. The MN34230 CMOS sensor comes with a resolution of 4565*3520 and has a 3.8um pixel size, which makes it a great camera for imaging widefield objects with my 105MM refractor. Another important reason for me to buy this camera is that it also contains DDR3 256MB memory, which should help to improve data transfer reliability and minimize amp glow caused by a slow transfer speed when using a USB 2.0 port on your laptop or computer to connect the camera. Moreover, the camera has a low read noise of 1.2e.
Testing noise and ampglow levels
You can guess that the first thing i did was taking some dark frames and checking the amount of noise and amp glow at various shuttertimes, while cooling the camera at -25 degrees celcius (77 degrees fahrenheit) at unity gain (139) setting. I went as far as 5 minute (300s) frames.