Webcams for Astrophotography
Choosing a webcam for astrophotography is just as important as choosing a telescope and mount.

There are many brands of webcams on the market. They are often sold by the number of pixels i.e megapixels that thier chips have on them. There are other important details to consider when selecting a webcam to use for astro-imaging.

For years the clear winner in the debate over which sensor type is better for astrophotography was the CCD sensor based camera. For the most part that is still true but the line is not so clear and the differences continue to grow smaller.

CCD The main concept CCD or Charge Coupled Device is based on the fact that a CCD shows photoelectric effect when light falls on it. The charge acquired by a two dimensional array of capacitors are transferred a charge amplifier when light of the captured scene falls on it. The charge amplifier converts the charge into voltage. By repeating the process the whole image is captured and transferred to the next stage for further processing.


CMOS or Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor Sensors are created using the same manufacturing technology which are used to make microprocessors. These chips contain transistors at each pixel position which amplifies and moves the charge using more conventional wires which is a more flexible technology as every pixel can be read individually.

CCDs have better sensitivity in low light situation than CMOS. This is because some part of CMOS chip has the transistors for signal amplification which does not have sensitivity to incident light. On the other hand CCD can have more light as the whole surface can be used for light interception.
Philips ToUcam Pro
  This is one of the more popular cameras for astrophotography becasue it's lens unscrews and can be replaced by a simple telescope mount.
Other popular cameras


Best Universal Adapter Version

Quick Cam B/W UWAL-F
Quick Cam Express  UWAL-F
Quick Cam VC UWAL-F
Quick Cam Pro UWAL-F
Quick Cam Pro 3000 UWAL-F
Quick Cam Pro 4000 UWAL-F
Quick Cam 5000 Series UWAL-F
3 Com Home Connect UWAL-F
Vesta Pro (PCVC675K & PCVC680K)  UWAT-F
ToUcam Pro (PCVC740K) UWAT-F (New version still fits the older 740 model)
ToUcam Pro II 840 UWAT-F (Modified 1 Nov 03 to fit both 840 & 740)
Philips SPC 900NC (Toucam III) W900NC-F (New)
X10 XCam2  UWAT-F
Creative Webcam Pro EX UWAT-F
Creative Webcam NX Ultra . UWAT-F
SK-1004 XAC B/W miniature TV UWAT-F
Kensington VideoCAM  UWAT-F
Alaris Quickvideo weeCam UWAT-F
WATEC (C-Mount Video Camera) UWAC-F
Intel PC Deluxe Camera NOT M12 0.5 Lens - No Adapter
Big Picture Camera NOT M12 Threaded lens fitting - No adapter
Blaze PC0995 UWAT-F
We noticed that some software systems could not handle the Philips ToUcam Pro webcam, a favorite among amateur astronomers. HandyAvi 2.0 uses the most recent versions of DirectX software to ensure that the widest range of webcams will be handled properly. HandyAvi 2.0 works very well with the ToUcam as well as nearly all other popular webcams such as the Logitech Quickcam Pro 4000 and the Philips SPC 900NC camera which has gained popularity among amateur astronomers.Fire-i web camNot M12 Compatable
Visit our astronomy observing site to see information on the hobby. Most popular is out selecting a telescope section.
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