Note：ZWO Cooled cameras require a 12V power source for the TEC cooler and USB hub power. If you don’t have one, please add it through the options on the right side of the product display.
The ASI294MC Pro is the first camera in the world equipped with the latest Sony IMX294CJK sensor.
The sensor has been refined by ZWO and remodeled it to increase the diagonal size to 23.2 mm with approximately an 11.7 megapixel effective layout (4/3 format) using 4.63um pixels.
The IMX294CJK sensor is the first in-house image sensor for astronomic cameras to adopt the 4/3 format and provides the necessary number of pixels for true 4k output at 120 frames per second (w/ ADC 10-bit output mode. The ASI294MC Pro can run up to 25fps at 4k format when used with USB 3.0). In addition, the use of larger-sized pixels achieves an SNR of 0.14 lx* which is very close to the performance of the ASI224 (0.13 lx*).
Exceptional low-illumination performance of SNR1s: 0.14 lx is realized by the use of a large-size optical system and by expanding the area per pixel to 4.63 um. This makes the IMX294CJK ideal for astronomic camera market applications that require low-illumination performance.
DDR Memory Buffer
The ASI294MC Pro camera includes a 256MB DDR3 memory buffer to help improve data transfer reliability. Additionally, the use of a memory buffer minimizes amp-glow, which is caused by the slow transfer speeds when the camera is used with a USB 2.0 port. The DDR memory buffer is the main difference between non-Pro and Pro cameras, along with the cooling in the Pros.
14bit ADC w/ 13 stops DR
The ASI294MC Pro has a 14bit ADC unit, allowing it to achieve 13 stops of dynamic range. This is an excellent characteristic for deep sky imaging, which is inherently high dynamic range. At 13 stops, the ASI294MC Pro has even more dynamic range than the ASI1600.
The ASI294MC Pro incorporates a HCG (high conversion gain) mode, which reduces read noise to even lower levels at higher gain without loss to dynamic range. It's automatically enabled when the gain setting is 120 or higher. Read noise will drop under 2e-, while dynamic range will remain at 13 stops.
This cameras has a 63700e full well, which is 3 times that of the ASI1600’s capacity. Even bright stars won’t saturate under long exposure. This camera can achieve a higher SNR (signal to noise ratio) with just one single exposure.
The ASI294MC Pro has the same overall mechanical design as ASI1600 Pro. There are four screws that seal the sensor chamber. The camera design has been extensively tested and is very stable. Even when used in higher humidity environments, the ASI294MC Pro will still work fine without dew problems.
The IMX294 sensor is a BSI (backside illuminated type) sensor, which has a very high QE (quantum efficiency, over 75% peak)
The dark current of the ASI294MC Pro is a bit lower than the ASI1600 at same temperature, based on ZWO test results.
USB 3.0 Port & USB2.0 HUB
USB 3.0 Port: Provides 5GB bandwidth to make it possible for the ASI294MC Pro to run at 16 fps (14bit, normal mode) or 19 fps (10bit, high speed mode) at full resolution (11.7MP).
The USB 2.0 hub can connect with various accessories, such as filter wheels, guide cameras and electronic focusers, allowing you to better manage your cables. The ASI294MC Pro includes two short 0.5m USB 2.0 cables. The integrated USB 2.0 hub is powered by the 12V external power source which also powers the TEC cooling.
The ASI294 Pro has a 2-stage TEC cooling system that enables deep cooling (35°C-40°C below ambient). The cooler requires an external power supply, which is not included with the camera. You may order a suitable power supply from here.
Recommended cooler power supply: 12V @ 3-5A (or more) DC adapter (2.1×5.5mm, center pole positive). Also suitable: DC battery with 9-15V.
Using a battery 9-15V is also suitable for the cooler power supply.
What's in the Box?
The ASI294MC Pro box includes all necessary cables, adapters, and manuals to get you started imaging right away: