The Hypercam 174 is ideal for high speed solar and high resolution planetary imaging at long focal lengths, where fast frame rates, and high dynamic range are required to get the most detail in post processing. Because it's fan-cooled the Hypercam 174 is the best choice for solar imaging, maintaining internal electronics and sensor temperature at reliable levels for high speed operation.
You get a FREE 1 year SharpCap PRO License with this camera. Click here SharpCap PRO feature info. Just download the latest free version of SharpCap and connect your camera, then follow these steps to claim your Altair SharpCap PRO license. Sharpcap PRO has the amazingly accurate guidescope polar alignment routine, focus assistance, live flat field subtraction (great for solar imaging!), and many more great features for deepsky, Video astronomy or solar system imaging.
The Altair Hypercam IMX174 camera has the sought-after Sony Pregius Global Shutter IMX174 CMOS sensor, a very good match for the Daystar Quark and Altair Astro refractor combinations allowing prominences and solar surface detail to be captured in the same frame, without having to over-expose the image and lose detail. Images sharpen very well using wavelets with this sensor. The Hypercam IMX174 camera has in fact been developed with solar imaging in mind (Altair Astro partners are keen solar imagers!), and works very well with Hydrogen Alpha solar filters including SolarScope and the Daystar Quark. (Check out the Altair Camera Image Gallery for samples).
To sum it up, the most desirable features of the Hypercam 174M Mono camera are:
- Larger format 1/2" sensor
- Extremely fast frame rates of up to 160fps and Global shutter eliminates motion distortion
- Pattern noise artefacts (common with global shutter CMOS cameras) is eliminated
- Read noise of 6 electrons (e-)
- Saturation (full well) capacity 32,000 electrons (e-)
- Dynamic range 73 dB
Video astronomy and long exposure deepsky imaging: Although the Hypercam IMX174 is considered the best tool for long focal length solar system imaging, it will deliver very good results for video astronomy (or EAA) using the Live Stacking features in the free AltairCapture software or SharpCap.
Speed and reliability in one camera: USB3.0 and on-board memory buffering give much faster transfer speeds than the GPCAM USB2.0 series, pushing the USB3.0 format to the limit, yet within a stable envelope.
QUALITY software and drivers included: Unlike cheaper cameras, Altair Astro has spent considerable time developing the extensively featured and intuitive AltairCapture software, which can be downloaded from www.altaircameras.com. AltairCapture is a fast, stable 64 bit Windows application, which allows full control of the camera in high speed video or still mode supporting all the major file formats useful for astro imaging. Furthermore, the popular PHD Guiding, SharpCap, APT and NINA astro software are directly supported. ASCOM drivers are also available for download at www.altaircameras.com where you can also get regular driver and software updates. The installation process is simple, and unlike with cheaper cameras, there is no need to waste time tweaking .DLL files or firmware to make your camera perform as expected.
Wide compatibility: Although the Hypercam 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.
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.
Fan cooling: The Hypercam is cooled with an internal low vibration fan, powered though the USB port. The fan can be switched on or off and the speed controlled in AltairCapture and SharpCap. Cool air is drawn in through the vents at the side of the casing, over a large internal heat-sink. The heat-sink is connected directly with the sensor board just like a computer CPU. The free flow of air through the casing cools not only the sensor, but all the internal electronics boards. Cooling is desirable for long exposure imaging to reduce thermal noise. Some camera casings get uncomfortably hot during a solar imaging session. The Hypercam is designed for consistent, reliable solar imaging with a solar filter and diagonal or Hershel Wedge. With the fan running, the Hypercam electronics and sensor will remain cooler than other cameras.
Supported 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 deepsky imaging) to mention just a few. The Hypercam supports 8bit or 12bit 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. Find out more about astronomy camera video & file formats here.
Support & warranty: Altair delivers English-speaking support with a 2 year manufacturer warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. The AltairCapture software interface supports English, German, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish languages.
Included in the box:
Camera body with internal cooling fan, heat-sink, and front female M42x0.75mm T-Thread interface.
1.5m ST4 guide cable: Standard ST4 Opto-Isolated, for iOptron, Celestron and Skywatcher SynScan GOTO.
1.8m High-speed USB3.0 cable.
1.25 inch x nosepiece with female 1.25" filter thread on the front. (an optional 2" OD Nosepiece is available, code ALTAIRH-2IN)
Plastic dust cap 1.25" for 1.25" nosepiece.
Silicon dust cap for sensor allowing darkframes to be taken and with dust trapping technology. Once dust settles on the cap it sticks to reduce change of it getting on the sensor (you can recharge it by washing it in soap and water when it becomes very dusty).
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 www.altaircameras.com (new window)
Sensor & performance specifications:
ALTAIRH174M: SONY Exmor IMX174 Mono CMOS sensor
Sensor Size: 1/1.2" diagonal (13.4mm)
Exposure duration shortest/longest: 0.025 ms (0.000025 secs) / 5 secs (Video Mode)
0.025 ms (0.000025 secs) / 1000 secs (16.66mins) (Trigger Mode)
Bit depth: 8bit & 12bit mode switchable
Pixel size microns: 5.86x5.86 um
Resolution in pixels: 1920x1200
Recording System: Still Picture and Video
Region of Interest (ROI) support: Available
Approx. Max frame rates* (assuming computer Bus operating at full bandwidth):
1920x1200 160FPS (absolute maximum frame rate so far recorded).
640x480 286-300+ FPS ROI
320x240 514FPS ROI
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 because bus and motherboard architecture vary.
Sensor QE / Quantum Efficiency: 78% Peak response, estimated.
Gain Sensitivity: 1016mv;
Dynamic Range: 73db;
Read Noise: 6e-
Readout: Electronic Global Shutter
Camera Body Format:
Cooling: High Performance Electronic Fan-cooling System with Heat-sink
Camera body length: 80 mm
Weight: 320 g (camera body)
Optical window: AR-coated clear protect window 350-1050nm wavelength transmission.
(Allows imaging of Venus and gas giant planets with UV or NIR filters).
Back-focus & Adapter compatibility:
Optical Window is easily removable for cleaning however this shouldn't be necessary in normal use.
Camera body: OD 65mm
Camera body thread: M42x0.75 T2 Thread to CS -Mount insert allows direct attachment of CS-Mount lens (or C-Mount lens with optional 5mm extension).
CS-Mount Compatibility: (Code: CMOUNT-T2-INSERT)
C-mount lens compatibility: C-Mount male threaded lens with 17.5mm back-focus (or flange-distance) requirement, requires 5mm extension (Code: CMOUNT-EXT-5MM plus Code: CMOUNT-T2-INSERT)
Astro filter thread adaptors:
1.25" filter adaptor thread on front thread of included 1.25" OD nosepiece
2" filter adaptor thread on front thread of OPTIONAL 1.25" OD nosepiece
Sensor surface distance from flat end of CS-mount adaptor: 12.5 mm
Sensor surface distance from flat end of 1.25" / M42 Astro adaptor: 37 mm
Operating environment and power:
Power consumption: 0.905 W (standby);
1.68 W (running with Fan off);
2.525 (running with Fan on);
Max operating temp: 50 °C
Lowest operating temp: -10 °C
Max operating humidity: 80 % RH
Power source in Volts: 5V DC (via USB cable)
Windows PC Hardware Requirements:
Minimum CPU: Minimum equal to Intel i3 or higher, recommended i7 or higher
Minimum Memory: Minimum equal to 4gb or more, recommended 8-32gb or more
USB port: USB2.0 High-speed Port or USB3.0 High-speed Port
Software delivery: Downloaded online and saved to hard drive.
Software & OS support:
Drivers & AltairCapture software download (Windows only): www.altaircameras.com (opens new window).
Recommended 3rd party software with "direct" Altair camera support:
Astrophotography Tool (APT)
NINA Night Time Imaging & Astronomy
ASCOM drivers are also available for download at www.altaircameras.com
Altair Magnetic Filter Holder (various versions see related products).
Daystar Quark & Interference eliminator.
Altair Imaging-Read Solar Wedge
Quick Start & AltairCapture instructions: Online at www.altaircameras.com/support
Altair Astro and dealers reserve the right to change the product specification and/or price at any time without notice.