SBIG STX-16803


SBIG STX-16803

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Our most popular large format camera.  16 megapixel CCD with 9 micron pixels.  Supports options including FW7-STX 7 position Filter Wheel, StarChaser SC-3 guide camera, and AO-X Adaptive Optics.

The SBIG STX Series represents the ultimate in astronomical imaging systems. The integrated design allows the user to select either Ethernet or high speed USB 2.0 connection to the control computer. The Model STX-16803 uses Kodak’s KAF-16803 CCD with 16 million pixels at 9 microns. The sensor measures almost 37mm square. The STX series has superior cooling to -50 degrees C below ambient with air only. Water-cooling is also possible. STX cameras have internal voltage regulation and may therefore be operated directly from any unregulated 12VDC power supply.

For guiding, a KAI-340 guide CCD is available in the optional Remote Guide Head, or the StarChaser SC-3 off-axis CMOS guide camera can be used.  The StarChaser SC-3 is a new self-contained guiding option with built-in AO support.

SKU: STX-16803

Product Description

Superior Cooling


The STX uses an innovative pin fin heat sink. This design is the most efficient for dissipating heat per given volume, and while it is more expensive than typical parallel fin heat sinks commonly round elsewhere, it provides superior performance and minimizes size and weight at the same time. This is one of the reasons the STX camera weighs less than competing cameras with similar cooling performance. The new heat sink is an optimized design for this camera using a large custom pin fin heat sink mated directly to the hot side of the 2 stage TE cooler to achieve maximum heat dissipation with a single large fan. In less than 5 minutes the STX achieves a delta of -50C using air cooling only.

Water Circulation Ready

While the design is aimed at sufficient cooling without water assist, it is possible to use water instead of air or in addition to air for optimum cooling. Using water instead of air will not require the use of a fan.

Variable Speed Fan Control


If the user desires air cooling only, the fan speed is controllable through software. Variable speed control allows the user to “tune” to fan to eliminate any resonance with the user’s telescope thus suppressing harmonic vibrations.

User Rechargeable Desiccant

This feature allows the user the greatest flexibility in the field, and avoids having to return the camera to the factory in order to dry the CCD chamber.

Even-illumination Shutter

From our first ST-7 camera, SBIG has incorporated an even illumination shutter for taking short exposure flat field frames. However the rotating disk design becomes rather large with ever increasing CCD sizes.  The STX uses a linear shutter design that reduces overall size and weight, while maintaining even illumination on short exposures with large CCDs.  This is something not found on any other camera with a CCD this large.

Flexible Self-Guiding Options

It is well known that the advantage of easier guiding through a separate guide scopes is often limited by differential deflection of the guide scope relative to the main optical axis due to mechanical flexure or shifting of the mirror in the main OTA.

The SBIG StarChaser SC-3 is a new option for integrated self-guiding and AO-X control.  Attaching to the front of the FW7 filter wheel, it directly images and controls the AO completely independently of the main camera.


Optional AO-X Adaptive Optics

All STX models can operate with the AO-X Adaptive Optics accessory.  The AO-X uses a tip-tilt window to quickly and precisely adjust the image position in response to autoguider feedback.  With Adaptive Optics there is no backlash, stiction, or lag, and the movements are precise and accurate.  This allows the AO-X to not only remove the effects of periodic error, drift, and wind gusts, but also reduce the effects of atmospheric seeing.  The AO-X requires the use of an STX Guider, StarChaser SC-3, or an off-axis guide assembly with the Remote Guide Head.

For more information please see AO-X.

I2C AUX Port

The STX cameras have a convenient I2C AUX port, which controls all accessories including filter wheels and AO-8T Adaptive Optics accessories.

Tracking Relay LED indicators


This handy set of 4 LEDs will tell you at a glance if the camera is issuing corrections to the mount in +X, -X, +Y or -Y directions during an imaging session.

USB 2.0 and Ethernet

Both USB 2.0 and Ethernet are available on STX cameras. The user does not have to choose the interface at the time of purchase. The STX camera also directly powers and controls all optional accessories including filter wheel, STX Guider, and AO-X Adaptive Optics.

Full Frame Image Buffer

The STX series cameras has a full frame image buffer for storing image data during download. This eliminates any possibility of image artifacts caused by computer processing delays during image download.

Advanced Software Included

All SBIG cameras purchased on or after September 1, 2019 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.

Carrying Case

All STX cameras include a deluxe carrying case, universal power supply, STX power extension cable, USB cable, guider cable and software.

Additional Information


0.1-3600 sec

OS Compatibility

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

Full Frame Download

9 sec

Pixel Digitization Rate

1.8 MHz


5.5 lbs

Filter Size

50mm Square

Read Noise (typ)

10 e- typical

Remote Guide Head


Temperature Regulation


Computer Interface

USB2 /Ethernet


12 VDC

Cooling Delta

~50 °C delta to a minimum -35°C operating temperature

Adaptive Optics Option


A/D Converter

16 bits

Dark Current e-/p/s

0.8 e-/p/s typical

Full Well Capacity

100,000 e- typical

Sensor Size

36.8 mm x 36.8 mm

Imaging / Pixel Array

4096 px x 4096 px


Mechanical, Even-illumination

Self-Guiding In Front of Filters

Yes with StarChaser SC-3

Pixel Size

9 μm

Total Pixels

16.0 million pixels

Filter Wheel Option


OAG Option

STX Guider or StarChaser

Imaging Sensor





Product overview

Product overview of STX and STXL cameras.


Operating manual

Installation, and operating instructions for STX-Series cameras. Note: for completeness the manual includes information for older STX cameras with internal guide sensors; these guide sensors have been discontinued.


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.



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)

Software Development Kit

Software development kit for the Windows platform.

Download (Win)

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