SBIG STC-7

SBIG STC-7

$3,495.00

SBIG STC-7 Scientific CMOS Imaging Camera with built-in filter wheel.  This is a complete imaging package – just add telescope!  LRGB and narrowband filters are included.

SKU: STC-7
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Product Description

SBIG STC-7

Take stunning astrophotos with this all-inclusive imaging package.  The SBIG STC-7 features an ultra-sensitive and low noise 7 megapixel cooled CMOS sensor, integrated 8 position filter wheel, plus a complete set of LRGB and narrowband filters, and an opaque filter for convenience in making dark frames.

You can easily connect the STC-7 to your telescope via either the front T-Thread mount or the included 2″ focuser adapter.  The integrated filter wheel design ensures minimal back-focus distance for maximum compatibility.

The STC-7 package also includes MaxIm LT for Windows – all the software you need to take images, calibrate, stack, and do essential image processing. Other software is supported via included ASCOM drivers.  Mac OS and Linux drivers are also available.

For even better results, the STC-7 is compatible with our SBIG StarChaser SC-2 off-axis guide camera.  The StarChaser also supports the SBIG AO-8A adaptive optics accessory, which helps you get pinpoint star images.

STC-7 Highlights

  • Large, High Resolution 7.1 Megapixel monochrome CMOS sensor
  • Integrated 8-Position Filter Wheel with LRGB + Halpha, OIII, and SII filters, plus an opaque filter for dark frames
  • Electronic global shutter for fast exposure times (0.001 to 3600 sec.)
  • Stack Pro™ automatic in-camera sub-exposure stacking
  • Downloads in under 50 milliseconds (depending on computer speed)
  • Regulated two-stage cooling with delta ~ -30C
  • Compatible with SBIG StarChaser SC-2 off-axis guiding camera
  • Supports AO-8A adaptive optics unit via StarChaser SC-2
  • Accepts Nikon and Canon EOS lens adapters

Third-Generation CMOS Image Sensor

The STC-7 represents a major step forward in imaging technology, utilizing the SONY IMX-428 CMOS imaging sensor.  Compared to our venerable STF-8300 CCD cameras, the STC-7 has higher sensitivity, lower read noise, and much faster readout.  It produces extremely clean images with few hot pixels.

Due to the extremely low read noise and fast readout, the STC-7 is best used with shorter sub-exposures than for comparable CCD cameras.  A typical sub-exposure will be only 30-60 seconds, versus 5-10 minutes, while still achieving the same or better noise performance and overall dynamic range after stacking.  This has many advantages including the ability to take unguided exposures without trailing.  It can also be used for lunar and planetary imaging at high resolution, given its high sensitivity, wide exposure range, and fast readout.

The STC-7 is optimal for telescopes having a focal length of 1000 to 1500 mm.  Longer focal lengths can be used for lunar and planetary imaging.

Sensor Specifications:

  • SONY IMX428 CMOS imaging sensor
  • 3208 x 2200 pixels / 7.1 megapixel
  • 4.5 micron pixels
  • 17.6 mm diagonal
  • Peak QE 78%
  • Typical QE:
    • Red (635-700 nm) ~ 63%
    • Green (520-560 nm) ~ 78%
    • Blue (450-490 nm) ~ 75%
  • 12-bit A/D conversion with low-gain and high-gain modes
  • Very low read noise ~ 2.5e-
  • Very low dark current < 0.1 e-/pixel/sec @ 0C
  • 80 dB dynamic range

The STC-7 supports several optional gain modes:

  • Low Gain
    • Gain 5.5 e-/ADU
    • Full Well ~ 55,000 e-
    • Read Noise ~5 e-
  • Medium Gain
    • Gain 2.45 e-/ADU
    • Full Well ~ 10,000 e-
    • Read Noise ~ 2.3 e-
  • High Gain
    • Gain 1. e-/ADU
    • Full Well ~ 5,000 e-
    • Read Noise ~ 1.9 e-

Stack Pro™

The STC-7 scientific CMOS camera features Stack Pro™, a revolutionary feature that performs image stacking inside the camera.

While the IMX428 sensor has dynamic range on a par with its CCD predecessor, it is limited to 12 bit data (0-4095).  At the same time it also has far lower read noise, which means you can stack many more shorter exposures without degrading signal-to-noise ratio.  As great as this sounds it does result in a lot of extra disk usage and post-processing.

Stack Pro™ performs the stacking automatically, inside the camera.  It automatically subdivides your exposure into up to 16 individual sub-exposures, and stacks them inside the camera prior to download.  This eliminates the excessive amounts of data cluttering up your hard drive.

As an example, by stacking 16 sub-exposures inside the camera you can get:

  • Low Gain 16X Stacking
    • 16-bit data
    • Gain 5.5 e-/ADU
    • Effective Full Well ~ 880,000 e-
    • Read Noise ~20 e-
  • Medium Gain 16X Stacking
    • 16-bit data
    • Gain 2.45 e-/ADU
    • Effective Full Well ~ 160,000 e-
    • Read Noise ~ 9.2 e-
  • High Gain 16X Stacking
    • 16-bit data
    • Gain 1. e-/ADU
    • Effective Full Well ~ 80,000 e-
    • Read Noise ~ 7.6 e-

For comparison, our STF-8300M CCD camera sports typical read noise of 9.3 e-, with a full well depth of 25,000 e-.  In the medium gain 16X stack mode, the STC-7 has similar read noise and yet has over six times the dynamic range!

Complete Imaging System

The SBIG STC-7 astronomy camera is a complete imaging system – just add telescope!  The system includes:

  • STC-7 monochrome camera
  • Built-in 8-position filter wheel
  • Includes Luminance, Red, Green, and Blue (LRGB) filters
  • Includes Hydrogen Alpha (Ha), Sulfur-II (SII) and Oxygen-III (OIII) narrowband filters
  • One filter slot operates as a bias/dark frame shutter for precise image calibration, which can be replaced with an extra filter if needed
  • MaxIm LT imaging and processing software, which can be upgraded to MaxIm DL Pro

Advanced Software Included

All SBIG cameras come with our MaxIm LT software – a $200 value!  MaxIm LT is a special version of our venerable MaxIm DL software that provides complete control of your camera, filter wheel, and autoguider, plus advanced image processing capabilities.  If you wish you can upgrade to MaxIm DL Pro to get complete observatory integration and even more processing and analysis capabilities.

Optional Accessories

  • Compatible with StarChaser SC-2 off-axis guide camera
  • Compatible with AO-8A adaptive optics unit (requires StarChaser SC-2)
  • Nikon and Canon lens adapters

Package Includes

  • SBIG STC-7 monochrome imaging camera
  • Integrated 8-position filter wheel with L, R, G, B, Ha, OIII, SII filters plus opaque filter for dark frames
  • T-Thread mount
  • 2″ Nosepiece adapter
  • Universal power supply
  • USB 3.0 cable
  • MaxIm LT software
  • USB stick for software and manuals
  • Deluxe carrying case

Additional Information

A/D Converter

12-bit

Adaptive Optics Option

AO-8A via StarChaser SC-2

Sensor Size

14.4 mm X 9.9 mm

Computer Interface

USB 3.0

Cooling Delta

30 °C

Dark Current e/p/s at 0 C

< 1 e-/p/s @ 0C

Exposure

0.001 – 3600 seconds

Filter Wheel Option

Built-in 8 position

Full Frame Download

50 ms

Imaging Sensor

IMX428

Imaging / Pixel Array

3208 x 2200 pixels

OAG Option

StarChaser SC-2

Peak QE

78% typical

Pixel Size

4.5 x 4.5 micron

Power

12VDC, 4A max

Read Noise

2.5 e- typical

Temperature Regulation

Yes

Total Pixels

7.1 megapixel

Shutter

Electronic plus dark frame slot on filter wheel

Weight

2 lbs

Binning Modes

1×1, 2×2

OS Compatibility

Windows 7, 8, 10 x86/x64, MacOS 10.14 “Mojave” x86 binaries, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS x64, Raspbian Buster armhf, Ubuntu MATE arm64

Documentation

Operating manual

STC-7 user manual is in coming soon. For reference purposes the STC-428-OEM manual is currently available.

Download

Backfocus Calculator Spreadsheet

This Excel spreadsheet helps you calculate backfocus distance for your system. If you do not have Excel it can be uploaded into Google Sheets.
Download

Software

Drivers and Camera Configuration Utility

STC uses the DL Imaging driver package. Download the latest drivers and camera configuration utility.

Download

MaxIm LT Software

Camera owners can request a MaxIm LT license here (camera serial number required):

Link

To get started immediately, request the full MaxIm DL Pro demo version here (click Demo tab):

Link

Once you receive your MaxIm LT license, simply replace your demo license using Help menu Enter License.

MacOS and Linux Drivers

Available by request. Please post in our support forum, Aluma section:

Link

Software Development Kit

Available by request. Please post in our support forum, Aluma section:

Link