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QHY268 Pro Cooled CMOS Camera

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QHY268PRO is a cooled scientific CMOS camera with a SONY IMX571 APS-C format CMOS sensor inside. 26mega pixels, Back-illuminated, native 16BIT ADC. QE is up to 91% and readout noise is as low as 1.1e Even with a 3.76um pixel size, it has a big full-well up to 75ke.  It has extremely low thermal noise 0.0005e/pixel/sec @ -20C,  ZERO amplifier-glow performance, It has a maximum frame rate of 6.8FPS@16bit full resolution.

QHY268PRO has both USB3.0 and 2*10Gbps optical fiber interface. It has a 2GBytes big DDR3 memory buffer. It has the 6pin GPIO port support complex Trig-In and Trig-Out signal. It can connect with QHY GPS-BOX to get the high-precision GPS timestamp onto the image head.

QHY268PRO has both monochrome version and color versions.  QHYCCD also supplies the water cooling version. (Water cooling version is a customized version, needs to be pre-ordered).

The QHY268PRO supports the Trig in/out function and GPS function.   There is a 6pin GPIO socket on the camera backside. It can be configured into different modes.  QHY600PRO also can be customized as the user requests to meeting more complex timing by re-programming the FPGA.

Native 16 bit A/D

The new Sony sensor has native 16-bit A/D on-chip. The output is real 16-bits with 65536 levels. Compared to 12-bit and 14-bit A/D, a 16-bit A/D yields higher sample resolution and the system gain will be less than 1e-/ADU with no sample error noise and very low read noise.


One benefit of the back-illuminated CMOS structure is improved full well capacity. This is particularly helpful for sensors with small pixels.In a typical front-illuminated sensor, photons from the target entering the photosensitive layer of the sensor must first pass through the metal wiring that is embedded just above the photosensitive layer. The wiring structure reflects some of the photons and reduces the efficiency of the sensor.

In the back- illuminated sensor the light is allowed to enter the photosensitive surface from the reverse side. In this case the sensor’s embedded wiring structure is below the photosensitive layer. As a result, more incoming photons strike the photosensitive layer and more electrons are generated and captured in the pixel well. This ratio of photon to electron production is called quantum efficiency. The higher the quantum efficiency the more efficient the sensor is at converting photons to electrons and hence the more sensitive the sensor is to capturing an image of something dim.

Zero Amplify Glow

This is also a zero amplifier glow camera.


In the DSLR implementation there is a RAW image output, but typically it is not completely RAW.  Some evidence of noise reduction and hot pixel removal is still visible on close inspection.  This can have a negative effect on the image for astronomy such as the “star eater” effect.  However,  QHY Cameras offer TRUE RAW IMAGE OUTPUT and produces an image comprised of the original signal only, thereby maintaining the maximum flexibility for post-acquisition astronomical image processing programs and other scientific imaging applications.

Anti-Dew Technology

Based on almost 20-year cooled camera design experience, The QHY cooled camera has implemented the fully dew control solutions. The optic window has built-in dew heater and the chamber is protected from internal humidity condensation. An electric heating board for the chamber window can prevent the formation of dew and the sensor itself is kept dry with our silicon gel tube socket design for control of humidity within the sensor chamber.


In addition to dual stage TE cooling, QHYCCD implements proprietary technology in hardware to control the dark current noise.

Advanced Functions
The QHY268PRO supports the Trig in/out function and GPS function.   There is a 6pin GPIO socket on the camera backside. It can be configured into different modes.  QHY600PRO also can be customized as the user requests to meeting more complex timing by re-programming the FPGA.

High Speed Interface
QHY268PRO has two data interfaces:  USB3.0 interface and 2*10Gbps fiber interface.

2*10Gbps Optical Fiber
PRO Version has a built-in 2*10Gbps fiber socket. It can work with the QHYCCD PCIE2.0x8 data grabber card. It can get 4FPS @ 16bit full resolution and 10FPS @ 14bit full resolution frame rate under live streaming mode.

What is the benefit of the Fiber Interface? The fiber interface is for the requirement of the professional obs.  It will give the following advantages than the USB3.0 interface.

  • Higher data rate. One 10Gigabit Fiber can transfer maximum 10Gbps data. The actual data rate can get about 800MBytes/s. While the USB3.0 is 5Gbps and the actual data rate is about 350MByte/sec. Use the two 10Gigabit fiber can get about 1.6GBytes/s speed. The IMX455 sensor has the high-speed mode like the 10FPS 14bit full resolution mode and 30FPS 8K VIDEO mode. The data rate of these modes is much more than USB3.0. This mode can be well supported by QHY600’s 2*10Gigabit fiber solution.
  • Very long transfer distance.  The fiber is hundreds of times longer than USB3.0.  USB3.0 can only transfer 3meter to 5meter. For longer distances, it needs the extender cable but can just get 10meter to 15meter. While the Fiber can transfer 300meter directly by default optic module comes with the QHY600. And if with the long-distance optic module, it can transfer up to 40km.
  • Solid stable and no affected by EMI. One major factor that causes the camera to hang is the EMI issue. The USB3.0 transfer maybe gets effect by the EMI in the transfer patch. Like the static and other high-power device emitted. The EMI will cause the transfer data packet to get a CRC error and cause the image loss. A long USB cable is easier to get this problem. Light can not be affected by the EMI. So with the fiber transfer, it will get everything very stable.

USB3.0 is a very popular interface and very easy to use. QHY268PRO comes with a 1.8meter USB3.0 cable. Under USB3.0 the maximum frame rate is 2.5FPS @ 16bit full resolution, 4.0FPS @ 8bit full resolution in live stream mode. USB3.0 can not support a transfer distance of more than 3meter.  If you want to get a long-distance under USB3.0, QHYCCD supplies the optional 5meter and 10meter USB3.0 extender cable with a built-in amplifier. 

Special And Customized Version
QHY268PRO has a water cooling version. When using the room temperature water it can get -10C more than air cooling (about -45C below ambient) and for low-temperature liquid cooling it can get more cooling.

The front part of the QHY268PRO can be customized to the standard 17.5mm doven type or the 7mm/12.5mm ultra-short focal length version.



Specifications: QHY268 Pro Cooled CMOS Camera





COMS Sensor








Pixel Size

3.76um x 3.76um

Effective Pixel Area

6280*4210 (includes the optically black area and overscan area)

Effective Pixels


Sensor Size


A/D Sample Depth

Native 16-bit (0-65535 greyscale) A/D

Full Well Capacity (1×1, 2×2, 3×3)

75ke- or above in extended full well mode

Full Frame Rate

USB3.0 Port:
Full Resolution  6.8FPS  @8BIT         6FPS @16BIT
2048lines         13.6FPS  @8BIT     11.5FPS@16BIT
1080lines         25.4FPS  @8BIT     19.5FPS@16BIT
768lines           35FPS     @8BIT        25FPS@16BIT
480lines           50FPS     @8BIT        34FPS@16BIT

Readout Noise

1.1e- High Gain,

3.5e- Low Gain

(5.3e- to 7.4e- in extended full well mode)

Dark Current

-20C,0.0005e /pixel/sec

-10C,0.001e /pixel/sec

Exposure Time Range


Unity Gain*

0(PH Mode)

30(Extended Fullwell Mode)

*With the improvement of the CMOS technology, the 16bit CMOS camera has been released, like QHY600/268/411/461. For these cameras, even in lowest gain it has beyond the requirement of unit gain (less than 1e/ADU due to sufficient samples) So you can directly set gain0 as start. Please note QHY600/268C/411/461 has extend full well mode. In this mode you still need to find out the unit gain position.

Amp Control

Zero Amplifer Glow

Firmware/FPGA remote Upgrade

Fully support via Camera USB port

Shutter Type

Electronic Shutter

Computer Interface

USB3.0 and 2*10Gbps Fiber interface

Built-in Image Buffer

2Gbyte DDR3 Memory

Cooling System

Two-stage TEC cooler

Air Cooling Version
Typical -30C below ambient in short exposure time (exposure time < 10sec)
Typical -35C below ambient in long exposure time (exposure time > 30sec)

Water Cooling Version
Typical -45C below ambient in long exposure time (exposure time > 30sec)

Optic Window Type

AR+AR High Quality Multi-Layer Anti-Reflection Coating

Anti-Dew Heater


Humidity Sensor*



Telescope Interface

Support M54 and M48 (with standard adapters )

M54/0.75 (with CAA)and M48 (with standard adapter)

Back Focal Length

QHY268M: 12.5mm (with CAA)
If used with the QHY filter wheel, the actual calculated intercept is 12.5mm.The actual BFL (the intercept from the CMOS chip to the top of the camera) is 14.5mm. Since most uses will match CFW with monochrome cams, please take 12.5mm as major reference. Check the mechanical drawing below for details.
Note 14.5mm rear intercept does not include adapter thread, which must be used with adapters of various sizes through the top 6 screw holes.

QHY268C: 17.5mm (without CAA)
This intercept does not include CAA. If CAA is used, it increases by 6mm (23.5mm total). Please check the mechanical drawing below for details.

What's in the Box

What's in the Box: QHY268 Pro Cooled CMOS Camera

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