The ZWO ASI120MC is a sensitive and affordable color astronomy camera with 1.2 megapixel resolution. Selected as a Sky and Telescope "Hot Product" for 2014, this versatile camera captures images of the Moon, planets, and the Sun (with a proper solar filter), as well as brighter deep-sky objects. It also includes a wide-angle 150-degree lens that turns the ASI120MC into an all-sky camera that captures meteors, aurora, and the slow movement of the stars and planets across the sky during the night.
The heart of this color camera is a 1/3" CMOS sensor with 1.2 megapixels (1280x960) with a quantum efficiency (QE) of 75% and no fixed-pattern noise. The pixels are 3.75 μm in size, small enough for imaging solar-system objects but large enough to capture fainter objects such as nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters. The camera enables exposure times of 64 μs to 1000 s (16.67 minutes).
At full resolution of 1280x960, the USB 2.0 interface of this camera can transfer up to 35 frames per second. At reduced resolution, download rates up to 254 fps become possible. Such rates make it easier to produce high-quality images of solar system objects, especially quickly-rotating objects like Jupiter and Saturn when taking multiple color images using a filter wheel.
Many cameras in this price range have plastic housings, but the ASI120MC has a robust and attractive CNC machined red-anodized aluminum body that stands up to heavy field use. An IR-cut glass window protects the sensor and helps keep images sharp. A 1/4-20 thread in the bottom of the camera makes it easy to attach the device to a camera tripod or mount, and four M4 threads along the outside edge offer additional mounting options.
The camera body features a standard T/T2 female thread (M42x0.75) so that it can be directly connected to T-threaded accessories. Included is a 1.25"-T threaded nosepiece adapter that allows you to use the camera in standard 1.25" telescope focusers. The front of the camera also has a short (8mm long) 2" barrel that can be directly inserted into 2" telescope focusers. However, we recommend that use of a 2" T threaded prime focus adapter (not included) for a more robust connection to 2" telescope focusers.
The ZWO ASI120MC astronomy camera comes with everything you need to get started including a CD with the user manual, Windows camera driver, ASCOM driver, SharpCap Image Capturing software, FireCapture Image Capturing software, and Stakkert 2 Stacking software. You also get a 2-meter USB 3.0 cable and a 2-meter ST4 guider cable for use in autoguiding. A M42-threaded 1.25" nosepiece, and a 1.25" cover also come with the camera.
Camera Technical Details
- Sensor: 1/3″ CMOS AR0130CS(Color) / MT9M034(mono)
- Resolution: 1.2 Mega Pixels 1280×960
- Pixel Size: 3.75µm
- Exposure Range: 64µs-1000s
- ROI: Supported
- Interface: USB2.0
- Bit rate: 12bit output(12bit ADC)
- Telescope connection: 2" nosepiece / 1.25" nosepiece / M42X0.75 female T thread
- Dimension: φ62mm X 28mm
- Weight: 100g
- Working Temperature: -5°C—45°C
- Storage Temperature: -20°C—60°C
- Working Relative Humidity: 20%—80%
- Storage Relative Humidity: 20%—95%
- The lens can be screwed in too far, result in a scratch on the protect window! Please adjust it very slowly! Don’t turn it beyond the focus at infinity!
- Full resolution function of the ASI120 requires full 480mbs USB communication!
- Mac OSX may not compatible well. Neither Windows though virtual machine. Windows though Bootcamp is recommended. Or use our ASI120S USB3.0 Cameras which runs well under Mac OSX.
What’s in the Box?
- ZWO ASI120MC Colour 1.2 Mega Pixel Astronomy Camera
- 150° Lens for use as an all-sky camera
- M42-1.25″ nosepiece
- 1.25″ IR-cut window
- 2 m long USB cable
- 2 m long ST4 guider cable
- Driver & Extra Software CD
Manufacturer Part Number: ASI20MC
Product carries a 1 year manufacturer warranty against mechanical defects (within USA only).
Apr 19, 2017
ZWO ASI120 MCPros: Cons: Comments:
I have finally had the chance to try this camera out. I have always used the Meade LPI for planetary imaging. I found the ZWO120 MC to be a very simple and effective camera. Imaging Jupiter has always been a pain. Because of it's rapid rotation. With the LPI. I would get a stack of maybe 80 images. With the ZWO 120 I am getting 500 images, in the same amount of time. Making a much more smoother final image to work with. The hard part is learning how to correctly use the stacking program. I would give it a 5. But am getting a little frame flipping during recording process. Haven't figured that out yet. It may be my computer. Seems to go away after a while though.
This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.comApr 7, 2017
Great Planetary CameraPros: Cons: Comments:
Small and very light weight. Has high resolution perfect for the moon and planets. USB 2.0 is a little slow at full frame, if you have USB 3.0 you should buy that version and take advantage of the speed.
This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.comDec 24, 2016
Great Camera!Pros: Cons: Comments:
I needed a camera for guiding and deliberated for awhile on different mfg's. I also debated in getting mono or color. I decided on color so that I can do some planetary also. I then decided on the ZWO for its reputation and reviews claiming that it has good sensitivity even in LP sky's.
I have only been able to use this a couple times but my first session with this as a guide camera was impressive.
Ii had started my imaging session (indoors) and after about the tenth image I noticed that they were getting very over exposed. Guiding was perfect so I went outside and discovered that my sky was totally cloud covered. I couldn't see any stars with my eye.
Looked at my laptop screen and the ZWO was still locked onto a star and guiding happily away. Nice!
Haven't had the chance to try planetary yet as Jupiter is just beginning to clear some trees at 4:00am.
This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.comSort by
Manufacturer ZWO Astronomy Cameras