Astronomy Specialist



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The QHY 5-III 178M uses the new IMX178 STARVIS Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS sensor (STARVIS is Sony's designation for sensors that can record real time videos in starlight). This sensor has 6.0 Megapixels which makes it suitable for Lunar and Solar high resolution imaging. The pixels have a size of only 2.4 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 an 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.

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 178M it translates to an output of 50 FPS at full resolution and up to 190 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 IMX178 STARVIS Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS sensor - MONOCHROME
6.3 Megapixels 3072 x 2048
Pixel size 2.4 µm
Sensor size 7.36 mm x 4.92 mm [diagonal 8.85 mm] 
Quantum efficiency peak 78% (monochrome version)
Exposure range 5µs - 600s
Read noise 2.4e- at low gain ; 0.9e-at high gain
Full well capacity 15,000 e-
Bit depth 14 bit
Shutter type Electronic rolling shutter
Speed 50 FPS at 3072 x 2048; 100FPS at 1528 x 1024 ; 190 FPS at 764 x 512
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 ; ↨ 80mm
Weight 87 g

  1. QHY 5-III 178M
  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 178M manual

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Quinton Jones


Sister Haag

very quick with DHL

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