Altair GPCAM3 385C USB3 Colour Guide Imaging EAA Camera

Product code: ALTAIR385C3
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£289.99 UK Price
£241.66 (ex. VAT) International Price
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Product information

The Altair GPCAM3 385C camera features the new Sony Exmor IMX385 CMOS sensor. It has a larger area of 7.2 x4.05mm and 2mp resolution, and is the "big brother" to the Sony IMX224, with similar super-low read noise.

GPCAM3 385C feature summary:

  • Extremely fast camera ideal for Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and the moon. Frame rates well in excess of 250fps are achievable with ROI.
  • 2mp Sony IMX385 Exmor Sensor 7.2mm x 4.05mm (larger sensor with more pixels than the 1.2mp / 4.80x3.60mm IMX224).
  • Pixel size of 3.75μm ideal for SCTs and long focal lengths for planetary or lunar imaging.
  • Exceptionally low read noise of approx. 0.62e electrons (e-) in our tests, making the camera good for solar system imaging / stacking video frames. (See read noise vs. gain chart).
  • Saturation (full well) capacity approx. 20Ke electrons (e-).

Planetary imaging: The IMX385 Sony STARVIS sensor is particularly desirable for planetary imaging where high frame rates, low light colour fidelity and  pixel size are well matched for a telescope operating at long focal length. Jupiter and Mars in particular benefit from extremely high frame rates. On most scopes with ROI enabled, 250fps or more is easily achievable. The moon is also an ideal target and in full resolution mode, you can cover larger areas of the moon than is possible with the IMX224 sensor and others. The GPCAM385C is therefore ideal for lunar mosaics with longer focal length scopes.
Deepsky and video astronomy: The Altair GPCAM3 385C can be used for long exposure deepsky imaging, and of course video astronomy with the live stacking features in AltairCapture and Sharpcap. Time-lapse all-sky imaging is fully supported in the free AltairCapture software, and the camera can be used with an optional CS-Mount lens to image meteors or aurora. Deepsky imaging software APT and NINA are also fully supported and an ASCOM driver is available for other software.

Autoguiding: GPCAM385C is fully compatible with PHD2 guiding software and any other software which uses ASCOM to guide. It has a larger field than most guide cameras, enabling you to pick up more stars, and the sensitivity, despite being a colour camera, is adequate for autoguiding. The camera has an ST4 auto-guiding port, and can be used to auto-guide with mounts from all the major manufacturers supporting ST4 format, including iOptron, Celestron and Skywatcher.
SPECIAL OFFER! FREE 1 YEAR SharpCap PRO License with all Altair GPCAM Cameras! Just download the latest SharpCap, connect your camera, register when the screen pops up and sign up for your free license. Detailed instructions on enabling your SharpCap PRO license here.  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.
QUALITY software and drivers included: Unlike cheaper cameras, the extensively featured and intuitive AltairCapture software can be downloaded from AltairCapture is a stable 64 bit Windows application, which allows full control of the camera in high speed video or still mode. It includes image capture automation features, and supports all the major file formats useful for astro imaging in 8bit or 12bit (output scaled to 16 bit for processing). Furthermore, the popular PHD Guiding, SharpCap and FireCapture are also natively supported. ASCOM drivers are also available for download at where you can also get regular driver updates. The installation process is easy, and unlike with cheaper cameras, you don't need to be a computer expert to make your camera work.
Wide USB compatibility: Although the GPCAM3 is a USB3.0 camera, it is also fully compatible with USB2.0 ports when a longer cable and less speed are required, for example in deepsky or video astronomy using the live stacking features in AltairCapture or Sharpcap. Windows 7, 10 and 11 software are supported by AltairCapture in 64bit mode.
Support & warranty: Altair delivers on-shore English-speaking UK/EU support with a 2 year manufacturer return to base warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. Now just try that with a Chinese camera! New users should definitely visit the Altair Facebook User Group where you can get answers to technical questions, as well as sharing tips and techniques, to get the best out of your camera. The AltairCapture software interface supports most languages including English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Japanese, Korean, Ukrainian, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish.
File formats: The camera can be fully controlled in AltairCapture and SharpCap to output uncompressed .AVI and .SER video files for solar system imaging, as well as all common still image formats such as .JPEG .PNG .TIFF .BMP, and .FITS (for deep-sky imaging) to mention just a few. The IMX385 Sensor supports 8bit or 12bit ADC output. The 12 bit output mode can be used for deep sky imaging with less frames needing to be stacked and a wider pixel intensity range. The sensor sensor is extremely sensitive and a good candidate for video astronomy, especially with small refractors (the final .FITS file is stretched to 16bit for post processing compatibility). Find out more about bit depth here. Find out more about video & file formats here.
Robust FULL SIZE USB3.0 connector. We feel USB micro connectors are not a good idea for imaging because they don't maintain a reliable connection and wear easily, so we used full-size dual port connectors on this camera.
Better control with Trigger Mode: Trigger Mode is fully supported to make long exposures of over 5 seconds easier to control. With most CMOS cameras, in normal video mode, the camera controls are "locked up" during a long exposure, so you have to wait for the exposure to complete before the camera will accept any commands. So you have to wait to abort a frame if a cloud covers the view, or make routine changes, say gain (ISO), exposure duration, re-aligning or refocusing on the object. However in "Trigger Mode", you can now stop the camera instantly (even if you are half way through a long 30 second exposure) change the settings, and re-start the camera looping again. For long exposures "Trigger Mode" is essential. Of course you can use normal video mode at up to 5 second exposures for video astronomy and solar system imaging. The GPCAM3 also has improved circuitry to improve data transfer stability at high frame rates (reducing dropped frames) and to increase compatibility with a wider range of PCs. This gives a more consistent data transfer rate over USB buses on laptops or desktop PCs. 
Included in the box:

  • Camera body.
  • 1.5m High-speed USB3.0 cable.
  • 1.5m ST4 guide cable.
  • 1.25 inch x nosepiece with female 1.25" astronomy filter thread on the front.
  • (Optional 2" OD Nosepiece with dual 2 and 1.25" filter threads is available, code GPCAM-2IN)
  • CS-Mount insert (12.5mm back-focus) is pre-installed on camera. (Optional 5mm extension adapter is available for C-Mount lenses requiring 17.5mm back-focus.)
  • UV-IR Blocking Filter with Anti-Reflection coatings. (Removable for sensor cleaning).
  • Plastic dust cap 1.25".
  • Silicon dust cap for sensor.

Note: This camera does not come with software in the box. To operate the camera you will need to download the latest camera drivers at (opens new window)
Sensor & performance specifications:

  • SONY Exmor STARVIS IMX385 Colour CMOS sensor
  • Sensor Size: 1/3" diagonal 6.09mm
  • Exposure duration shortest/longest:
  • Video mode: 0.105ms (0.000244 secs) / 5000ms or 5 seconds (in Video Mode)
  • Trigger mode: 0.105 ms (0.000244 secs) / 1000 secs or 16.66mins (in Trigger Mode)
  • Bit depth: 8bit & 12bit modes switchable
  • Pixel size microns: 3.75x3.75 um
  • Resolution in pixels: 1936x1096
  • Recording System: Still Image & Video
  • Region Of Interest (ROI): Supported
  • Approx. Max frame rates (assuming computer Bus and Hard Drive operating at full bandwidth)*:
  • 8 bit mode:
  • 1936x1096 127FPS
  • 640x480 273FPS ROI
  • 320x240 413FPS ROI
  • 12 bit mode - approx. 50% of above.
  • * Based on average user reports. The shorter the exposure duration, the faster the frame rate. An expensive PC does not guarantee a fast frame rate because bus and motherboard architecture vary. These are realistic frame rates.
  • Gain Sensitivity: 2350mv (STARVIS)
  • Readout: Progressive Scan
  • Shutter: Electronic Rolling Shutter

Software & OS support:

  • Drivers & AltairCapture software download (Windows only): (opens new window). Note: You will be required to set up a user login ID and password to download software. No personal data is required.
  • Driver support: PHD2, AltairCapture, SharpCap
  • AltairCapture OS support: Win XP 32bit / Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10 (32 & 64 bit) 
  • NOTE: Windows 10 is recommended for best USB performance, with 2013 or later USB host controller v1.0 or later.
  • SharpCap (a 3rd party application) is also fully supported and tested with native drivers.
  • USB Port & Cable: 3.0 USB Cable, 1.5m cable (USB2.0 also supported at low frame rates).
  • ST4 Port & Cable: Standard ST4 Opto-Isolated, 1.5m cable, iOptron, Celestron, Skywatcher SynScan GOTO.

Camera construction:
Cooling: CNC machined aluminium casing with external Heat-sink and internal cold-finger contacting rear of sensor.
Camera body length: 73 mm
Weight grams: 70 g (camera net weight)
Sensor / cover-glass transmission:
Colour cameras: Clear coverglass AR-coated: 350-1050nm transmission wavelength
Mono cameras: UV/IR blocking filter AR-coated: coverglass 400-700nm transmission wavelength
Back-focus & Adapter compatibility:
Cover glass is removable for cleaning and can be swapped with a clear or UV/IR blocking glass as required.
CS-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 12.5mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
C-mount lens adapter 5mm extension: Optional
C-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 17.5mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement.
Astro filter thread adapter: Included, 1.25" OD and 2 OD (optional), Female thread
Sensor surface distance from flat end of CS-mount adapter: 12.5 mm
Sensor surface distance from flat end of 1.25" / M42 Astro adapter: 37 mm

Operating conditions:
Power consumption: 
                  0.3 W (standby)
                  1.2w (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)

Quick Start & AltairCapture instructions: Downloaded online at and saved to hard drive.
Warranty: Limited 2 years manufacturer warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. Return to point of purchase.

Windows PC Hardware Requirements:
Minimum PC: Equal to Intel i3 4GB+ RAM Windows 10 OS with separate graphics card.
Recommended PC: ( 2013+ i5 4GB RAM Intel 1.0x USB Host Controller preferable with separate graphics)
USB port compatibility: USB2.0 High-speed Port or USB3.0 High-speed Port
(computers manufactured in 2013 or later give best USB speed).
Monitor Display: 17" or Larger recommended.
Software delivery: Downloaded online at and saved to hard drive.

Software & OS support:
Drivers & AltairCapture software download (Windows only): (opens new window). 
Driver support: PHD2, AltairCapture, SharpCap
AltairCapture OS support: Win Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10 (32 & 64 bit) 
NOTE: Windows 10 is recommended for best USB performance, with 2013 or later USB host controller v1.0 or later.
SharpCap (a 3rd party application) is also fully supported and tested with native drivers.
USB Port & Cable: 3.0 USB Cable, 1.5m cable (USB2.0 also supported at low frame rates).
ST4 Port & Cable: Standard ST4 Opto-Isolated, 1.5m cable, iOptron, Celestron, Skywatcher SynScan GOTO.
Product Packaging:
Protective silicon rubber end-cap for camera CS-thread. Intended for dark frames.
Translucent plastic end cap for 1.25" nosepiece.
Padded cardboard storage box with durable foam insertsOptional Accessories:

  • Altair 120 degree Meteor Lens (product code: GPCAM-METEORLENS-ONLY)
  • 2 inch x 22mm nosepiece with dual 1.25" and 2 filter thread, code GPCAM-2IN. See associated products.
  • C-Mount 5mm extension adapter for C-Mount lenses requiring 17.5mm back-focus.
  • Spare Clear AR coated or UVIR coated optical windows available as spares.
  • Altair Astro Premium 1.25" CLS-CCD Filter with UV/IR Block & AR Coating (Code: F125CLSCCD) for imaging emission nebulae in light polluted urban environments.
  • Altair Astro Premium 2" CLS-CCD Filter with UV/IR Block & AR Coating (Code: F200CLSCCD) for imaging emission nebulae in light polluted urban environments.

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.

Product Info

EAN 0747742377303
GTIN 0747742377303
Brand Altair
Product Code ALTAIR385C3
Delivery Weight Package