The series of The Imaging Source FireWire cameras without AS in their product code has been designed for industrial, scientific and medical applications. Consequently, these cameras are extremely robust electronically and in terms of physical resistance to exterior stress.
The Imaging Source industrial cameras are often built into the interior of machines in production lines, where they run for years and years. Should a camera in such a situation fail, the whole production line would come to a grinding halt.
A typical example of this kind of application is in a brewery, in which thousands of freshly filled beer bottles race past our cameras on a conveyor belt. Each and every bottle is digitally photographed and the resulting image is analyzed in almost real-time to establish whether the bottle is sufficiently full. Should it not be, the bottle is rejected.
These kinds of applications demand cameras that are completely stable; cameras that just work and do not fail.
The Imaging Source series of astronomy cameras - those with AS in their product code - are identical in almost every respect to their industrial brothers. The astronomy cameras are designed to the same level of robustness (they have the same casing as their brothers). Electronically, the only difference is the exposure time.
The astronomy cameras can be exposed for up to sixty minutes, where as the industrial cameras have a maximum exposure time of thirty seconds.
To see this, take a look for yourself at the specification tables:
DMK 21AF04.AS and DMK 21AF04
Essentially, whenever you wish to use The Imaging Source cameras for astrophotography, we highly recommend that you deploy the AS series. After all, they have been built especially for astronomers.