ZWO ASI094MC Pro cooled, full-frame camera
ZWO has pushed Sony’s in-vogue IMX094 sensor a little further… at a cost
Z WO has been around for quite a long time now and has been pushing the boundaries of CMOS camera capabilities with every new model. On paper, its latest camera looks to push those boundaries to a whole new level. The ZWO ASI094MC Pro cooled full-frame camera has some impressive specifications and hefty rice tag to match.
This is the first full-frame camera for ZWO so we were eager to get imaging with it. Inside the box, the camera arrives in its own padded carry bag and comes with quite a few accessories. It shares the same cylindrical shape as other cooled cameras in the ZWO range. Taking the cap off the camera reveals a formidable-sized sensor measuring 36x24mm, giving a diagonal measurement of 43mm. On the back of the camera there’s a dual USB3 and USB2 port along with two USB2 ports that act as a hub for accessories such as motor focusers and filter wheels. There’s also a 12V socket for the cooler, though there’s no power supply included with the camera. It would have been nice to see one in the box considering the price ZWO is charging.
After downloading the driver package the camera was ready to go. On the first clear night the Moon was quite bright, so we gave the camera a run in video mode. Setting the camera up on a 5-inch refractor with an 800mm extension tube it was easy to resolve a good image of the Moon on screen. The maximum speed of the camera in full- frame is 5FPS and, setting a capture of 200 frames, it didn’t take too long for the SER video file to download. You can can increase the speed of the camera considerably by changing the region of interest (ROI) settings.
SKY SAYS… For a CMOS it has impressive colours as well well as fine detail, but it doesn't come cheap
One of the big differences with this camera is that it uses a Sony imaging sensor and not one originally made for high-speed barcode reading. This gives very good colours in capture and live displays on a screen, without the green cast seen with a lot of one-shot colour cameras on the market.
With a change of telescope on another night we pointed the camera at Mars, setting it to 95FPS