Astronomy Specialist



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The QHY 5-III 174C is a popular colour camera for guiding and planetary imaging. It uses the SONY IMX174, a 1/1.2-inch Exmor sensor with a global shutter that, differently from the rolling shutter, allows to expose all pixels at once. In this way the whole sensor is exposed at the same time and there is no "transient" readout. Compared to the other QHY III cameras, the 174 has a large sensor [13.27mm diagonal] that is recommended for Moon and Solar imaging.

The wide sensor combined with large 5.86 µm pixels makes this camera the perfect match for off axis guiders, especially in long focal length telescopes. For example, a 12" RC f/8 combined with the QHY 5-III 174C results in a pixel scale of 0.5"/pixel that is still manageable, especially if at binning 2x2. Also, the sensor size helps to find a suitable guiding star in off axis guiders where the field of view is limited. As for all QHY III cameras, the backfocus is only 11mm which is advantageous for instruments where the focusing travel is limited such as in off axis guiders.

The QHY III cameras can reach a data transfer speed of up to 350 MByte/s via USB3.0 port, ideal for high speed imaging of fast-rotating planets. For the 174C it translates to an output of 138 FPS at full resolution and up to 490 FPS at selected ROI. 

The metal body and the advanced thermal design aim to dissipate the heat generated by the sensor and electronics and therefore to reduce the noise. The QHY5-III cameras include a heavy duty 5-pin socket for a solid connection between the camera and other devices. The package includes a 5-pin-LEMO-to-RJ11 adapter for autoguiding with the ST4 cable.  


Sensor SONY IMX174, 1/1.2-inch Exmor - COLOUR
2.3 Megapixels 1920 x 1200
Pixel size 5.86 µm
Sensor size 11.25 mm x 7.03 mm [diagonal 13.27 mm] 
Quantum efficiency peak 78% (monochrome version)
Exposure range 5µs - 600s
Read noise 5e- at low gain ; 3e-at high gain
Full well capacity 32,000 e-
Bit depth 12 bit
Shutter type Electronic global shutter
Speed 138 FPS at 1920 x 1200 ; 262 FPS at 960x600 ; 490 FPS at 480x300
Non-volatile memory Build-in total 512 Kbytes Flash Memory. 100 Kbytes user-accessible space
Compatibility Windows, Mac, Linux
Optical window IR-UV cut
Ports USB 3.0; 6-pin RJ11 Guide Port
Back focus 11 mm
Connections 1.25" / M28.5 x 0.6
Dimensions Ø 40 mm ; ↨ 80mm
Weight 89 g


  1. QHY 5-III 174C
  2. Metal box
  3. 5mm extender with a 1.25" external diameter and female thread M28 x 0.6 for filters
  4. 20mm extender with a 1.25" external diameter and female thread M28 x 0.6 for filters
  5. USB 3.0 cable (2 meters)
  6. ST4 cable (1.5 meter)
  7. Focus locking ring
  8. Plastic shims to adjust the CS lens distance (lens not included)
  9. Camera dust cap



Guide to installing QHY and ASCOM drivers for QHYCCD cameras.


ZWO camera software QHY camera drivers

PDF Icon Small QHY 5-III 174C manual


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