Imaging Source DFK 51AU02.AS Color USB Astronomy Camera with IR Cut Filter, 1600x1200 Pixel Resolution, C/CS Mount

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About Imaging Source DFK 51AU02.AS

The Imaging Source DFK 51AU02.AS Color USB Astronomy Camera with its extremely high resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels is ideally suited to capture detailed images of the night sky, which demand the finest precision. The camera ships with IC Capture.AS, a comprehensive software package with which you can capture lossless and uncompressed images sequences and write them to disk as AVI files, or as a series of singular bitmaps.

The DFK 51AU02.AS ships with the color Sony ICX274AQ progressive scan CCD chip. With its 1/1.8" format, the CCD chip produces a resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels. Even at very long exposure times - up to 60 minutes exposure are possible - noise is minimal. Thanks to this extremely high quality, the Sony ICX274AQ CCD chip is also often used in other scientific, industrial and medical image processing applications.

Imaging Source DFK 51AU02.AS Features

  • Color Interpolation: For visualization applications, it does not make sense to view the RAW image stream from the CCD chip. It must be interpolated, before it may be viewed or saved in common formats. IC Capture.AS perform color interpolation, thus reducing the load on the DFK 51AU02.AS's processor
  • IR Cut Filter As Standard: Unlike the human eye, CCD chips are sensitive to near infrared light (wavelengths over 700 nm). The DFK 51AU02.AS ships with an IR cut filter as standard and is thus suited to applications in which these wavelengths would lead to interference or undesirable results
  • High Speed Data Transfer Via USB: In order to transfer the vast amount of data created by the stream of uncompressed and lossless color images to the host PC, you need a very high speed bus. Hence, the DFK 51AU02.AS is fitted with a fast USB connector

Imaging Source DFK 51AU02.AS Specifications

Video formats @ FPS
1600 x 1200, BY8 (RAW) at 12, 7.5, 3.75 FPS
1600 x 1200, UYVY at 7.5, 3.75 FPS
Dynamic range
8 bit
IR cut filter
Optical Interface Type
Progressive scan
1/1.8 "
H: 1600 pixel, V: 1200 pixel
Lens mount
C/CS mount
Connector type
Supply voltage
4.5 VDC to 5.5 VDC (via USB cable)
Current consumption
Approx. 500 mA at 5 VDC
Shutter (exposure time)
1/10,000 second to 60 minutes
0 dB to 36 dB
Max. temperature (operation)
-5 deg.C to 45 deg.C
Max. temperature (storage)
-20 deg.C to 60 deg.C
Max. humidity (operation)
20 % to 80 % non-condensing
Max. humidity (storage)
20 % to 95 % non-condensing
Dimensions (H x W x L)
50.6mm x 50.6mm x 50mm (1.99" x1.99" x 1.96")
265g (9.34 oz)

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Questions about this item:

Dan D  Does it make a difference to go with a color cam or monochrome for solar work? There's some beautiful work done with this camera (on the manufacturer's webpage) but I don't know if color has been added to a monochrome shot via photoshop cs or what?
DANIEL J  I disagree strongly with the fellow who advised using a DSLR for solar work. I have personally used the monochrome version of this camera (DMK51) for solar work, as will as a color version of a similar camera (the DFK21). The software supplied makes it possible to adjust your exposure just fine--you have full control over exposure time and gamma settings. As for monochrome vs. color, if you are doing hydrogen alpha work, go with the monochrome. For H-alpha work, it is a major problem to use the color camera, since only 1/4 of your pixels will have true red information (most Bayer matrices use an array two green pixels, one red, and one blue, since the human eye sees green in finest detail). If you are referring to the H-alpha images in astronomy publications, they are generally colorized using Photoshop. For white-light solar photography, one can use either color or monochrome. I just filmed the transit of Venus in hydrogen alpha light with a monochrome camera, and couldn't be happier.
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