• 8050_p1012303p1
  • STF-8050

    SKU: STF-8050


    8.1 Megapixel CCD, Fast Dual Channel Read Out


    This product is also available in packages.

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Product Description

Note: For software and user manual downloads, please click the Downloads tab above.


  • Large, High Resolution 8.1 Megapixel CCD with 5.5 micron pixels
  • Fast, Dual Channel Read Out
  • Monochrome, color, and sparse color options
  • Full Frame, High Res, Low Noise, 16-bit download in 0.5 seconds.
  • Electronic shutter for fast exposure times (0.001 sec to 3600 sec.)
  • STX/STXL style pin-fin heat sink and 70mm fan
  • Exceptional cooling delta greater than -50C with air only
  • Sapphire Chamber Window
  • Very Low Read noise ~ 9e-
  • Very Low Dark Current ~ 0.01e- at -20C
  • Antiblooming Protection
  • Uses STF 8-Position Filter Wheels and OAG
  • Accepts Nikon and Canon EOS lens adapters

Now Supports Optional StarChaser SC-2 and Adaptive Optics

The SBIG StarChaser SC-2 brings Adaptive Optics capability to the STF series for the first time!  The SC-2 attaches to the front of the STF camera via an FW8-8300 or Filter Wheel Spacer, providing self-guiding capability.  An AO-8A can also be attached to the front of the SC-2, and connected directly to it via the I2C interface cable. The StarChaser SC-2 will then control the Adaptive Optics unit directly, providing tighter star images than possible through conventional autoguiding.

New Software Included!

Starting October 1, 2019 all new SBIG STF series cameras now include a license for our renowned MaxIm LT software, a $200 value, at no extra cost.

Unique Product:  STF-8050SC with One-Shot LRGB

SC stands for “Sparse Color”, but astrophotographers will more easily understand this as one-shot LRGB.  This sensor far outperforms the old STF-8300C in terms of quantum efficiency, readout speed, and exposure range.  With this package we are including our MaxIm LT software, which provides the necessary “de-bayer” processing – a $200 value!

These Sparse Color sensors can realize a significant increase in sensitivity – between two and four times compared to standard designs – while retaining overall image quality and color fidelity. Image sensors using this design allow end users to capture better pictures under low-light conditions.  Here is a comparison of the same exposure with “C” and “SC” sensors:

Features – STF-8050M, STF-8050C and STF-8050SC

The SBIG STF-8050 camera comes in monochrome (STF-8050M) and two color models. The color models are available with either the standard Bayer Color FIlter Pattern (STF-8050C) or the higher sensitivity TRUESENSE Sparse Color Filter Pattern (STF-8050SC). The KAI-08050 Image Sensor is an 8-megapixel CCD in a 4/3″ (22 mm diagonal) optical format. Based on the TRUESENSE 5.5 micron Interline Transfer CCD Platform, the sensor features broad dynamic range, excellent imaging performance, and a flexible readout architecture. The TRUESENSE Sparse Color Filter Pattern provides a 2x improvement in light sensitivity compared to a standard color Bayer part.

KAI-08050 CCD Key Features:

  • Available in Monochrome, Bayer Color Pattern or TRUESENSE Sparse Color Filter Pattern
  • Progressive scan readout
  • Flexible readout architecture
  • High frame rate
  • High sensitivity
  • Low noise architecture
  • Excellent smear performance
  • Package pin reserved for device identification

In addition to the new color technology, the STF-8050 has been optimized for fast full frame download and maximum cooling in an STF sized package. A high resolution 8.3 megapixel 16-bit frame will download in about 1/2 second using the dual channel readout mode. Even at this rapid download rate, the read noise remains exceptionally low, about 9e-. The tables below show download times and frame rates for the STF-8050 camera measured using our high speed drivers:

STF-8050 Download time in seconds for single frame
Full Frame Half Frame Qtr Frame Planet Focus
High Res 0.59 0.41 0.27 0.06 4.3 fps
Med Res 0.48 0.28 0.16 0.06
Low Res 0.34 0.2 0.13 0.05
Ultra Low 0.16 0.11 0.08


STF-8050 Frames per second saved to disk using high speed drivers
Full Frame Half Frame Qtr Frame Planet Focus
High Res 2 3.4 5.3 4.3 4.3
Med Res 3.4 5.3 7.5
Low Res 4.5 6.6 8.6
Ultra Low 8.1 9.5 10

The STF-8050 is very similar to the STF-8300M, except for the shutter, ability to perform very short exposures, and download speed.  This camera is designed to operate well in microscopy applications, where extremely high speed is desirable.  To reduce the necessity for dark frames, the STF-8050 is designed with exceptionally strong cooling, capable of a cooling delta greater than -50 degrees C. This means that the camera at room temperature can cool enough to reduce the dark current to 1/100th of an electron per pixel per second, or less.


The STF-8050 has good quantum efficiency.  For the best sensitivity and resolution use the monochrome version with filter wheel.  A filter wheel can also provide dark frame shuttering, by simply blocking one filter slot.  Alternatively, the TRUESENSE Sparse Color option provides improved sensitivity for single-exposure color imaging.
qe_chart_copy-543x0The combination of a large 8.1 megapixel CCD, high resolution 5.5 micron pixels, low noise 16-bit images and fast exposure capability make the STF-8050 camera extremely flexible. It is ideal for both long-exposure deep-sky imaging and for solar and lunar imaging. The image below is just a portion of a single frame of the entire solar disk taken with the STF-8050M camera using a Lunt 80mm Solar Scope.




Diffraction Limited has been certified by BSI to ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management under certificate number FM 719560.

Additional Information

A/D Converter

16 bit

Adaptive Optics Option

AO-8A with StarChaser SC-2



Sensor Size

18.3 mm x 13.6 mm

Computer Interface


Cooling Delta

50 °C

Dark Current e/p/s at 0 C

0.02 e-/p/s


0.001-3600 sec

Filter Size

36mm / 1.25″

Filter Wheel Option


Full Frame Download

0.5 sec

Full Well Capacity

20,000 e-

Imaging Sensor


Imaging / Pixel Array

3296 x 2472

OAG Option

StarChaser SC-2

OS Compatibility

Windows 7, 8, 10 x86/x64, MacOS 10.14 “Mojave” x86 binaries, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS x64, Ubuntu Mate arm64

Peak QE


Pixel Digitization Rate

10/20 MHz

Pixel Size

5.5 um


12 Volt

Power Cable

US, European

Read Noise

9 e- typical

Temperature Regulation



2.15 lbs


User Manual

Installation, and operation instructions for all STF series cameras.




The SBIG Universal Driver is distributed via SBIG Driver Checker 64 on Windows, and via an installer on Mac OSX. Keeping your drivers up to date is the best way to ensure your camera runs smoothly, so remember to update your drivers regularly.

Download (Win) Download (OSX)


CCDOPS is a free program that operates USB based SBIG cameras.

Download (Win) Download (OSX)

Software Development Kit

Software development kit for the Windows platform.

Download (Win)

Also Available