The GP-CAM is an all-in-one General Purpose astronomy and guide camera with a 1.2mpx MONO AR0130 CMOS sensor.
The GPCAM is great for auto-guiding, giving you more stars and shorter exposures.
About the size of a small eyepiece, and weighing about 70 grams, the GPCAM is small in size but not in features:
The GPCAM is perfect for auto guiding, with direct support for PHD2 - the world's most popular FREE autoguiding software. The new AR0130 sensor is significantly more sensitive than the previous GPCAM 120 and other 120 series cameras, outperforming them in guiding, video astronomy EAA and deepsky imaging.
Deepsky and solar system imaging:
The GPCAM replaces your telescope eyepiece and let's you image the Moon, Sun and Planets, or deep-sky objects easily using the included AltairCapture software or ASCOM driver for use with other applications. SharpCap PRO APT and NINA are also supported.
No more polar alignment woes! The GPCAM is the ultimate polar aligmnent tool when used with a guide scope and the included SharpCap PRO software (see special offer below). You will be able to achieve super accurate polar alignment in minutes - far more accurate and less time consuming than using a polar scope or GOTO mount alignment routines.
Realtime EAA Live Stacking features in AltairCapture:
Now you can view faint deepsky objects in high detail which are normally only visible as fuzzy blobs in a small telescope eyepiece. Click on the "Live Stack" menu in AltairCapture, choose "Additive" stacking and "Deepsky" mode, and watch a detailed image of very faint objects build up on the screen before your eyes. Each new frame is even auto-aligned with the first frame using stars as a reference - for better sharpness.
Optional Meteor Lens:
You can attach the optional CS-mount lens for wide angle imaging of the sky to capture meteorites and aurora displays - or just create a video of the night sky as the earth rotates. Choose the meteor lens product option when ordering.
SPECIAL OFFER! FREE 1 year SharpCap PRO License with all GPCAM1 AR0130 cameras manufactured from March 2018! Click here for more SC PRO feature info. Just download the latest SharpCap and connect your camera, register when the screen pops up and off you go. Sharpcap PRO has the amazingly accurate guidescope polar alignment routine, focus assistance, live flat field subtraction and many more great features to make deepsky, EAA or solar system imaging that much easier. Download SharpCap here to take advantage of this special offer.
Special voltage regulation hardware and on-board noise reduction circuitry enable longer deepsky exposures compared to other older CMOS camera designs. The camera ADC has a geniune 12bit output so you can stretch the histogram to bring out faint detail, and the free Altaircapture software can be used to generate 12bit .FITS files for stacking in image processing software without any quality loss. Japanese SMD boards and US made components give better reliability than older style cameras on the market. The USB connector is rock solid and your cable will not drop out during an imaging run unlike other cheaper cameras.
Full ROI (Region Of Interest) support is included, allowing you to increase the frame rate to very high speeds by focusing on planets or solar features, and with the free downloadable AltairCapture software, you can even take sequences of images and sequences of videos to create larger animations.
Specially selected 1/3" Aptina AR0130 HD CMOS sensor with 3.75 micron pixels, high sensitivity and fast frame rate, as well as long time exposure capability. The mono CMOS sensor has a Peak QE rating of 78% outperforming more expensive CCD sensors, and is optimised for performance in a very low light environment, making it a good option for solar imaging, planetary imaging, video astronomy, and deepsky imaging. The peak Quantum Efficiency (QE) of the Aptina AR0130 Mono sensor is appox. 78% in green light, and 65% in Red Hydrogen Alpha light, making it one of the most sensitive 1/3" CMOS sensors available at this price. It is also extremely sensitive in the red and IR regions making it ideal for challenging task of imaging gas giants in NIR light using the Altair Planet Killer filter. This NIR sensitivity brings planets such as Neptune and Uranus into the reach of amateur imagers with medium sized telescopes.
The GPCAM 130 is more sensitive than the 120-Series cameras:
Altair Astro GPCAM PCB boards feature ESD protection (Electro-Static Discharge). All the electronic components on the PCB board are of high quality and are imported from the USA and Japan. These quality components give Altair cameras more stable performance and a longer lifespan than most other cameras, hence the two year warranty. Non-essential circuitry is shut down during long exposures resulting in even less noise and a stronger signal. Special voltage regulation hardware and on-board noise reduction circuitry allow the GPCAM to outperform CMOS cameras using older electronics boards, so the GPCAM can even be used for longer deepsky exposures. Japanese SMD boards and US made components give better reliability than older style cameras on the market.
The camera casing is CNC machined on a CNC lathe will multi axis milling capabilities, accurate to thousands of an inch, therefore component fit and alignment are very accurate. The case features an internal heat transfer structure designed to conduct heat away from the electronics, and directly from the sensor to be dissipated through the outer housing quickly and efficiently resulting in a cooler sensor and lower noise in long exposure mode. The GPCAM is attractive for auto guiding because it has a slim casing which fits between OAG and Filter wheel or Guidescope and main optical tube. The ST4 & USB cables protrude from the back of the camera for more clearance. Some cameras do not have this slim casing, and some even have a large wide body with cables protruding from the sides at 90 degrees to the optical axis, or USB/ST4 cables which cannot be combined in a sheath because they are too far apart. This means they are difficult or impossible to use with an OAG and most finder/guiders with cable pull and clearance issues. Neat cable management and clearance are more reasons to choose the GPCAM.
The optical window:
The sensor is protected by a removable double-side Anti Reflection (AR) coated optical window. The mono camera optical window is clear to allow the user full control over what type of light they wish to pass for example narrowband imaging, Ha solar imaging, RGB planetary imaging or even UV and NIR planetary imaging. When you order the lens kit with the Mono camera, you'll get the UVIR blocking optical window as well. The optical window unscrews making it easy to swap or clean the sensor.
Connecting your GPCAM to your PC and mount: A built-in ST4 auto guider port is included on the rear face with 2m ST4 cable for easy connection between auto guider directly to your GOTO mount. The camera is powered through the included 2m USB 2.0 cable, which is aligned with the USB cable so you can combine them in a sheath or tie them together with cable ties to reduce cable-clutter.
Connecting your GPCAM to telescopes with filters, and C or CS-Mount lenses: The CNC machined aluminum housing has a standard 1.25 inch OD barrel to fit to almost any telescope focuser including the Altair Miniguider 60, 80, and Starwave 50mm guide scopes. A standard 1.25 inch eyepiece filter can be installed on the end of the 1.25" barrel, such as a light pollution or other special filter. The 1.25" barrel can be removed to reveal a standard CS/C-mount thread compatible with most industrial and surveillance lenses, or microscope eyepiece adapters. If you want to image in exotic wavelengths like UV or IR you can use the clear optical window which comes with the MONO camera. For use with a lens or a telescope with lenses in the optical path, you just attach UV/IR Blocking optical window (already in place on the colour camera and included with the mono camera. The GPCAM is a very flexible system compared other cameras. It allows you to swap the optical window instantly and easily whilst avoiding touching the filter, a feature not possible with some other cameras. A 5mm CS to C mount converter ring is also included. This allows you to attach CS-mount as well as C-mount lenses, so you have a huge range of lenses available to experiment with, unlike other cameras which only allow the use of CS lenses. See the GPCAM system chart for more info.
The Meteor lens: You can use the optional 150 degree FOV F1.6 Meteor lens for wide angle imaging of the sky to capture meteorites and aurora displays - or just create a video of the night sky as the earth rotates. You can even make timelapse daytime videos to capture cloud formations or capture any activity with standard high speed video mode. This little lens is sharp too, and perfectly capable of macro photography and video. Your imagination is the limit!
Software & compatibility:
- Note: This camera does not come with software in the box. You will need to download GP-CAM drivers and software to make it work. DO NOT PLUG IN CAMERA UNTIL YOU HAVE INSTALLED THE DRIVERS.
- AltairCapture astro photography software supports on-the-fly darkframe subtraction, video preview, video recording, snapshot image capture, timelapse, and real 8 or 12 bit data output in .SER and .AVI video, stills or frame-stacks in .FITS .PNG, TIFF .BMP formats and more. You can control the camera frame rate, exposure time from milliseconds to minutes, colour balance, gain, gamma, live histogram manipulation (in RGB or Mono), switching between mono or colour modes, camera resolution, ROI (Region Of Interest) and a lot more. NEW EAA feature in AltairCapture - live additive stacking with star-alignment.
- Fully supported by the latest version of Sharpcap for still and video capture, and full control of your camera. Sharpcap supports darkframe subtraction, and live image stacking for viewing deepsky objects in real-time!
- Download the ASCOM driver here.
- The GPCAM AR0130 drivers are included in AutoGuiding software PHD2.6 for direct support.
- Beta and ASCOM diver updates are available on the Altair Astro Google Group. Please check for regular updates.
- Camera body.
- Clear Anti-Reflection coated coverglass for maximum transmission.
- 2m High-speed USB2.0 A male to B male cable.
- 1.5m ST4 guide cable.
- 1.25 inch x 20mm nosepiece with 1.25" filter thread.
- Plastic dust cap 1.25".
- Note: This camera does not come with software in the box. You will need to download the latest GPCAM software and drivers from www.altaircameras.com.
- All the above for code GPCAMAR0130M, PLUS:
- Extra CS-Mount adapter with built-in clear AR coated optical window (for UV or IR imaging of planets with UV or IR pass filters).
- CS-Mount adapter with built-in UV-IR Blocking Filter AR coated (for imaging with lenses or refractors).
- 2.1mm F1.6 150 degree FOV wide angle Meteor lens and dust caps.
Sensor & performance specifications:
(Where they differ, Colour and Mono camera specs are included for comparison).
- Aptina AR0130 Mono CMOS sensor
- Sensor Size: 1/3" diagonal (4.8x3.6mm)
- Exposure range: Shortest 0.4 ms (0.0004 seconds) ~ Longest 800 seconds (13.33 minutes)
- Bit depth: 8bit & 12bit mode switchable
- Pixel size microns: 3.75x3.75 um
- Resolution in pixels: 1280x960
- Recording System: Still Picture and Video
- Region Of Interest (ROI) support: Yes, user selectable via driver
Approx. Max frame rates:
(assuming computer Bus and Hard Drive operating at full bandwidth)*
8 bit mode:
- 1280x960 17-18fps (by comparison the Altair GPCAM2 model "ALTAIRGP130M" is about 35-40% faster)
- 640x480 25-30fps
- 320x240 approx. 35fps
12 bit mode - approx 50% of above.
* Based on average user reports. May be revised as we get more data. The shorter the exposure duration, the faster the frame rate. An expensive PC does not guarantee a fast frame rate.
- Sensor QE / Quantum Efficiency: Approx. 78% peak in green light
- Gain Sensitivity: 5.5v/lux-sec
- Dynamic Range: 85.3dB
- SNR Maximum: 44dB
- Readout: Progressive Scan
- Shutter: Electronic Rolling Shutter
Software & OS support:
- Drivers & software download (Windows only): www.altaircameras.com
- Driver support: PHD2.6 Guiding (with altaircam.dll), AltairCapture, SharpCap, (Windows DirectShow)
- AltairCapture OS support: Win Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10 (32 & 64 bit)
- USB Port & Cable: 2.0 USB, 2m cable
- ST4 Port & Cable: Standard ST4 Opto-Isolated, 1.5m cable, iOptron, Celestron, Skywatcher SynScan GOTO.
- Cooling: High Performance Cooling Chassis uses telescope focuser as heat-sink
- Camera body length: 63mm total length including C-Mount and 1.25" Astro barrel
- Weight grams: 70 g (camera net weight)
- Optical window built into CS Mount Adapter before 1.25" front barrel - can be removed:
- Mono Camera: AR-coated clear 350-1050nm wavelength transmission
- Colour Camera: AR-coated UV/IR blocking filter 380-650nm wavelength transmission
Back-focus & Adapter compatibility:
- Optical Window is removable to reveal female C-Mount thread.
- Camera body: OD 1.25" stepped barrel
- Camera body thread: C/CS-Mount female allows direct attachment of CS-Mount lens or C-Mount lens with 5mm extension.
- C-mount lens adapter: Included, terminates in female thread.
- C-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 17.526 mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
- C-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 12.526 mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
- Astro filter thread adapter: Included, 1.25" OD, Female thread
- Pushfit Barrel OD: Standard Astro format 1.25" OD eyepiece-barrel
- Sensor surface distance from flat end of C-mount adapter: 17.58 mm
- Sensor surface distance from flat end of 20mm 1.25 Astro adapter: 37.58 mm
Operating environment conditions:
- Power consumption: 0.8 W (Ave. Camera running)
- Max operating temp: 50 °C
- Lowest operating temp: -10 °C
- Max operating humidity: 80 % RH
- Power source in Volts: 5V DC (via USB cable)
- Minimum CPU: Equal to Intel Core2 2.8GHz or Higher
- Minimum Memory: 2GB or More
- USB port: USB2.0 High-speed Port
- Monitor Display: 17" or Larger
- Software delivery: Downloaded online and saved to hard drive.
- Protective rubber end-cap
- Padded cardboard storage box with durable foam inserts
- Altair Astro Premium 1.25" CLS-CCD Filter with UV/IR Block & AR Coating (Code: F125CLSCCD) for imaging emission nebulae in light polluted urban enivonments.
- Altair Astro Premium Planet-Killer 685nm IR Pass Filter with AR Coating (Code: F125IRP685CCD) for the ultimate sharpness in lunar and planetary imaging (best for mono camera but does work with colour camera).
2 years manufacturer warranty against defects in materials and worksmanship.
Availability: If out of stock, click on the red "Notify when in stock" button above to receive an email when product is ready to ship.
Altair Astro and dealers reserve the right to change the product specification and/or price at any time without notice.