The ZWO ASI120MM-S is a sensitive and affordable monochrome astronomy camera with 1.2 megapixel resolution and super-fast USB 3.0 data transfer. 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 ASI120MM-S 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 monochrome 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).
The ASI120MM-S is the USB 3.0 version of the ASI120MM camera from ZWO, a Sky and Telescope Hot Product for 2014 which featured USB 2.0 data transfer. At full resolution of 1280x960, the faster ASI120MM-S can transfer images at 60 fps, twice as fast as USB 2.0. 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 monochrome images using a filter wheel. The camera also works seamlessly with USB 2.0 ports as necessary.
Many cameras in this price range have plastic housings, but the ASI120MM-S 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 ASI120MM-S 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. An M42-threaded 1.25" nosepiece, a 1.25" cover, and a 150-deg wide angle lens also come with the camera.
Camera Technical Details
- Sensor: 1/3″ CMOS MT9M034 (monochrome)
- Resolution: 1.2 megapixels 1280x960
- Pixel Size: 3.75 µm
- Exposure Range: 64µs-1000s
- ROI: Supported
- Interface: USB3.0/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 to 45°C
- Storage Temperature: -20°C to 60°C
- Working Relative Humidity: 20% to 80%
- Storage Relative Humidity: 20% to 95%
*Tested under USB3.0 port without overclocking. There is an option to overclock 30% of the current fps.
What's in the Box
- ZWO ASI120MM-S monochrome 1.2 megapixel 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: ASI120MM-S
Product carries a 1 year manufacturer warranty against mechanical defects (within USA only).
John Nyland New Member
- Skill Level
- Time with Product
Mar 26, 2019
- User Notes:
- Review by John N.
Guiding Made EasyPros: Cons: Comments:
I purchased the ZWO and mated it with the Agena 60mm guide scope. This allowed for a threaded connection between them to help minimize some flexure. Took a couple of minutes to load the drivers, set up PHD2 and done. It really was that easy.
This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.comSep 23, 2018
Purchased for guide camera usePros: Cons: Comments:
Purchased this as a low cost mono camera to use on my guide scope connected to an ASIair. Seems to work well for this purpose and includes an ST4 guide port for mounts that dont support guide pulse. It comes with a small wideangle lens which you could use as an allsky camera if you had a waterproof dome to put over it. This is the usb 3.0 model which works with the ASIair. I have not used it for imaging.
This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.comJan 17, 2018
ZWO ASI120MM-S 1.2 MP CMOS Monochrome Camera with USB 3.0Pros: Cons: Comments:
I purchased this camera based on the positive reviews it has received. I use it as a guide camera. It does the job and will consider ZWO products in the future.
Note: I converted the Celestron 9x50 Finder Scope (#51611), on an 8" EdgeHD, to a guide scope using the Blue Fireball # T-07 adapter to attach this camera to the finder scope. It is a simple conversion and guides well. Using an additional Celestron Large Base for StarSense # 51710-10I allows for an easy interchange between two telescopes.
This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.comMay 20, 2017
Monochrome mischiefPros: Cons: Comments:
I bought this after a bungle from another website that won't be named. Anyways, I was interested in Monochrome imaging after having owned the ASI224MC imaging camera, so I bought this. After using it a few times, I noticed I was getting much better detail in my pics, albeit at the cost of being in ciolor. However,i I was able to get some really deep detailed images of Jupiter due to the monochromatic nature of this camera. I have not been successful at getting any deep sky images yet, still working on it.
This camera even shows detail in the preview image before taking any exposures. But once the processing starts, then the detail really ramps up and comes into view. I am probably going to buy the ASI290MM camera soon, as I find this camera just a little too finicky for trying DSO's. But I will make sure it goes to a good home.
This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.comJan 3, 2017
Does not get any easier than this...Pros: Cons: Comments:
From mailbox to wide angle images of home office in ~ 15 minutes... and only that long because I spent 10 just holding (fondling) the camera and admiring the machining.
Images in PHD2 5 minutes later... will amend report with tracking performance once skies clear.
This review was provided courtesy of AgenaAstro.comSort by
Manufacturer ZWO Astronomy Cameras