Astronomy Specialist



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The QHY 5-III 290M uses the SONY STARVIS Exmor R back-illuminated IMX290 CMOS sensor that has an extremely low read noise (0.75e- at high gain) and a quantum efficiency above 80%. This camera is mainly used for planetary imaging as it is highly sensitive in the visible and infrared spectrum. The pixels have a size of only 2.9 µm, a perfect fit for imaging planets with regular Barlow lenses and low-medium focal length telescopes. For example, a 2X Barlow combined with an f/10 Schmidt Cassegrain and a 4X Barlow in a f/5 Newtonian allows to reach the ideal pixel scale. Cameras with large pixels require more powerful Barlow lenses.

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. All 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 290M it translates to an output speed of 135 FPS at full resolution and up to 460 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 Exmor R, IMX290 STARVIS Back-Illuminated CMOS, 1/2.8-inch - MONOCHROME
2.1 Megapixels 1920 x 1280
Pixel size 2.9 µm
Sensor size 5.6 mm x 3.2 mm [diagonal 6.46 mm] 
Quantum efficiency peak >80%
Exposure range 5µs - 600s
Read noise 3.2e- at low gain ; 0.75e-at high gain
Full well capacity 15,700 e-
Bit depth 12 bits
Shutter type Electronic rolling shutter
Speed 135 FPS at 1920 x 1080 ; 220FPS at 960x540 ; 460FPS at 480x270
Non-volatile memory Build-in total 512 Kbytes Flash Memory. 100 Kbytes user-accessible space
Compatibility Windows, Mac, Linux
Optical window AR coated
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 ; ↨ 80 mm
Weight 87 g


    • QHY 5-III 290M
    • Metal box
    • 5mm extender with a 1.25" external diameter and female thread M28 x 0.6 for filters
    • 20mm extender with a 1.25" external diameter and female thread M28 x 0.6 for filters
    • USB 3.0 cable (2 meters)
    • ST4 cable (1.5 meter)
    • Focus locking ring
    • Plastic shims to adjust the CS lens distance (lens not included)
    • 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 290M manual



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