With 60 FPS (frames per second), the DFK 21AU04.AS is the fastest within its category. It is ideally suited to color astrophotography, in which very fast image sequences should be captured. The camera ships with IC Capture.AS, a comprehensive software package with which you can capture lossless and uncompressed images sequences and write them to disk as AVI files, or as a series of singular bitmaps.
For visualization applications, it does not make sense to view the RAW image stream from the CCD chip. It must be interpolated, before it may be viewed or saved in common formats. IC Capture.AS perform color interpolation, thus reducing the load on the DFK 21AU04.AS's processor. Should, on the other hand, you prefer that the camera itself performs color interpolation, you can select the appropriate option in IC Capture.AS. This enables the transfer of data to reach the camera's maximum of 60 FPS. Finally, if you do not require color interpolation at all, you can turn it off completely and the image stream is written to disk in RAW format.
The DFK 21AU04.AS ships with the color Sony ICX098BQ progressive scan CCD chip. With its 1/4 " format, the CCD chip produces a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. Even at very long exposure times - up to 60 minutes exposure are possible - noise is minimal. Thanks to this extremely high quality, the Sony ICX098BQ CCD chip is also often used in other scientific, industrial and medical image processing applications.
Unlike the human eye, CCD chips are sensitive to near infrared light (wavelengths over 700 nm). The DFK 21AU04.AS ships with an IR cut filter as standard and is thus suited to applications in which these wavelengths would lead to interference or undesirable results.
In order to transfer the vast amount of data created by the stream of uncompressed and lossless color images to the host PC, you need a very high speed bus. Hence, the DFK 21AU04.AS is fitted with a fast USB connector.
The DFK 21AU04.AS ships with the device driver IC WDM UVCCAM TIS and the camera control and image acquisition application IC Capture.AS. Both of these run on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit).
Software for Mac OS and Linux is available from third parties.
|Technical details are subject to change|
|Video formats @ FPS||640 x 480, BY8 (RAW) @ 60, 30, 15, 7.5, 3.75 FPS|
640 x 480, UYVY @ 30, 15, 7.5, 3.75 FPS
|Dynamic range||8 bit|
|IR cut filter||yes|
|CCD specification||Sony ICX098BQ [PDF]|
|Resolution||H: 640 pixel, V: 480 pixel|
|Lens mount||C/CS mount|
|Supply voltage||4.5 VDC to 5.5 VDC (via USB cable)|
|Current consumption||approx. 500 mA at 5 VDC|
|Dimensions||H: 50.6 mm, W: 50.6 mm, L: 50 mm|
|Shutter (exposure time)||1/10,000 second to 60 minutes|
|Gain||0 dB to 36 dB|
|Max. temperature (operation)||-5 °C to 45 °C|
|Max. temperature (storage)||-20 °C to 60 °C|
|Max. humidity (operation)||20 % to 80 % non-condensing|
|Max. humidity (storage)||20 % to 95 % non-condensing|
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