Sony’s IMX290 sensor has proven popular since its launch into the astronomy market and now Bresser has introduced its Full HD Deep-Sky Camera to take advantage of its impressive specs.
The camera uses the USB 2.0 format for downloading images to your laptop and the camera is aimed at planetary, lunar and some basic deep-sky imaging.
With a built-in guide port it can also be used for autoguiding and comes supplied with a 1.25-inch nosepiece, ST4 guide cable, USB 2.0 cable and a software CD.
At first glance the camera has the generic form of other cameras on the market.
What helps differentiate it is the clear glass in front of the sensor instead of IR glass.
This means the camera will need a UV/IR-cut filter when imaging planets and the Moon.
Once the software and drivers are installed the camera can be used with the ToupSky image capture and processing software.
Using the full resolution in planetary mode the camera will run at around 20fps.
Using Region of Interest (ROI) you can obtain a higher speed, but since it relies on USB 2.0, you can’t really call it a high-speed camera now that USB 3.0 is becoming standard.
The manufacturer states that the camera can be used with other popular capture software, however a couple of test runs in SharpCap and FireCapture revealed it wasn’t quite as easy as they say.
There are two ways to connect the camera under settings in SharpCap.
The first is using the ASCOM driver. The problem is that the camera can only run in RGB24 and not RAW 8 or 12-bit modes.
This can cause all sorts of problems with colour and rings around planets.
You also can’t take good deep-sky images in that setting.
While an ASCOM driver is included in the software, it seems the RAW drivers have been left out.
The other way of connecting the camera is to use a driver from another manufacturer which does allow the camera to run in RAW mode.
This means we could only get the camera to image properly in the ToupSky software supplied.
Concentrate on the details
To image the Moon we first set the camera up on a 4.5-inch refractor.
The picture on screen was very good, containing lots of detail.
With the camera set in 8-bit mode and RAW, the image had a green cast like most other cameras.
This is due to the sensor’s Bayer matrix layout containing more green pixels.
However, this can be easily balanced out during post processing.
Our next target was Jupiter. Unfortunately, the seeing conditions didn’t allow us to use a larger aperture telescope so we continued with the 4.5-inch refractor and a 4x Powermate.
On the control panel there is a check box for region of interest (ROI).
With this checked you can draw a small box around Jupiter and remove the area you don’t want to image, which allows the camera to work at a higher frame rate.
The resulting images were very good for the equipment being used, with lots of detail.
We then chose M27 as a deep-sky object to image using the Live Stack feature in ToupSky.
By covering the telescope and taking some dark frames using the dark field correction tab you can subtract the darks for live stacking.
ToupSky also contains a trigger mode for long exposure.
When imaging in long exposure mode you need to make sure the RAW mode tab is selected.
Finally, although we generally don’t use colour cameras for solar imaging in H-alpha, we used the Bresser on a Lunt solar scope and got some quite interesting detail of the Sun.
Overall, a decent camera for imaging a large range of targets with the ability to image solar, lunar and deep-sky objects using the proprietary software.