Sightron has announced it will release five new Player One Astronomy CMOS sensor astrophotography cameras. The company says its goal is to be the frontrunner in the astronomy observation space using the latest technology to produce astronomical observation equipment.
Player One Astronomy is based in China and the partnership with Sightron will make the accessibility of the company’s astrophotography equipment much easier for more people to acquire.
Planetary imaging captures details of a planet, such as cloud bands or mountains on a surface, and peripheral details such as rings or moons. Player One explains in a blog entry that each of the major planets has different characteristics and therefore requires slightly different approaches when it comes to capturing them.
As DC Watch reports, the five newly announced cameras are named after five planets: Neptune-M, Neptune-C II, Mars-M, Neptune-C, Mars-C— and are titled in accordance with the size of each camera’s Sony-made sensor. DPReview explains that “C” stands for color and “M” for monochrome. Each camera has been designed to photograph specific planets and thus each sensor is different with either a 1/2.8″ sensor for the Mars cameras or a 1/1.8″ sensor for the Neptune camera models.
To avoid the inconvenience caused by Newton rings, which is an interference pattern that occurs from closely-placed surfaces, the company has equipped all five cameras with a mechanism that allows adjusting the sensor tilt plate. A 265MB of RAM (DDR3 SDRAM) has been installed to allow a more stable data transfer, which avoids frame dropping and reduces read noise. The company claims, this also helps alleviate computing pressure and allows good performance even when using the older style USB 2.0 port.
All five cameras feature a 1/4″ socket and can be attached to a standard tripod or telescope with a 1/4″ mounting screw or can be attached by adding a Barlow lens between the camera and the telescope; the cameras can also be used as meteor observation cameras by attaching a CS-Mount lens.
Player One Neptune-C costs $319 and is equipped with a 1/1.8″ Sony IMX178 sensor. In addition to general planetary imaging, it is suitable for photographing the sun and moon by taking advantage of the sensor size and the high resolution produced. A UV IR-cut protective glass has been added to deliver more true color.
Player One Neptune-C II is equipped with a 1/1.8″ Sony IMX464 sensor, which is the world’s first. Compared to the IMX178 installed in Neptune-C, the difference is that it has higher sensitivity in the near-infrared region, a reduced read noise, and also has a higher frame rate. This camera is available for $329.
The Player one Mars-C, its standard model of the Mars duo that costs $269, is equipped with a 1/2.8″ Sony IMX462 sensor which is designed for high sensitivity and ultra-low readout noise.
Player one Neptune-M is monochrome and equipped with a 1/1.8″ Sony IMX178-inch sensor. It is a high-resolution model with 6 million pixels and is suitable for imaging not only planets but also the moon, but unlike the Neptune-C model, the company suggests that this monochrome gives photographers more flexibility as it can produce sharper images and is currently available for $329.
Player one Mars-M is also monochrome and equipped with a 1/2.8″ Sony IMX290 sensor for $329. The company says that this camera is suitable for more advanced planetary photography including the use of various filters, making it ideal for close-ups of the moon and sunspots.
Below are a set of gallery images from Player One Astronomy that show what kinds of results can be achieved with its equipment. You can see the full gallery of images here.
In addition to these cameras, Player One is also accompanying the release with new accessories to further improve the astrophotography experience and results. These include three filters, such as The UV IR-Cut filter, available for $25, which helps correct the color balance of the image by cutting off both infrared and ultraviolet light to achieve a sharper image that is also more true to color. The IR 850nm and IR685nm filters, both priced at $29.90, allow infrared light with certain wavelengths to pass through while blocking shorter wavelengths, which makes for more effective lunar and planetary imaging.