New Kid on the Block: The ASI120MC

I’ve been pondering on a dedicated planetary imaging camera for a while. The SPC900 is exceptionally good for what it is, especially as I paid only £5 for mine, but being USB1 the frame rate is limited to 10 fps which means it’s not that great at “beating the seeing”. The usual choice is the DFK21.618, but the price and the fact that Imaging Source acknowledge that the firmware has bugs but they don’t intend to fix them put me off.

A few people have been trying out the ASI120MC from ZW Optical and are getting very good results, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ll do a separate “unboxing and first thoughts” post, but from a cloud-dodging night of poor seeing, here are a couple of shots to compare the SPC900 and ASI120MC. Neither at their best, particularly as I’ve really not got to grips with the new camera.

First three frames from the SPC900:

And three from the ASI120MC. No idea where the boxes came from, but they’re some sort of artefact introduced in the processing:

I’d certainly hesitate to say that the new camera is clearly better at this juncture, but it definitely looks promising.

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