PointGrey Blackfly - a new handy camera

PointGrey revealed a new camera called Blackfly. It should be released this year and should cost $395 or 299 EUR. It's a GigE camera - meaning that you connect it to an Ethernet card with an Ethernet cable - and nearly every laptop or PC has an Ethernet (network/Internet) card.

This camera can be very handy in Solar System imaging. It's based on already tested e2v EV76C560 CMOS sensor. It has a quite big diagonal - 1/1.8", and good pixel size - 5.3 μm. Full 1280x1024 frame can be recorded at whooping 60 FPS. With small sub-frame it should be even faster. The sensor is probably locked to global shutter (it also has rolling shutter with lower read noise, but plausible artifacts when the image isn't stable).

Big diagonal will be handy for solar imaging where it will cover whole Sun from small solar scopes. It will also cover a lot of lunar surface. As the performance of this sensor is quite good it also can be used for some planetary imaging. EV76C560 is not the latest e2v sensor, but it's quite cheap (as newer one showed up). This sensor is available in multiple cameras. I tested IDS Imaging UI-1245LE-M-GL and Ximea xiQ MQ013MG-E2. It was also test on astrosurf in solar H-alpha imaging.

So we can get a fast and affordable multi-purpose Solar System imaging camera. And for people wanting more - newer e2v sensors - EV76C661 and EV76C660 sensors should show up in new cameras too.

PointGrey Blackfly

Astronomy and Astrophotography, 21 October 2012

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