CCD Cameras

CCD cameras are the ultimate tool for astrophotography, providing a greater dynamic range and less noise than most DSLR cameras. CCD cameras generally have larger pixels than their DSLR counterparts, which means they can handle longer exposures without saturating individual pixels. Most CCD cameras are actively cooled to 30-40 degrees Centigrade below ambient temperature, which dramatically reduces the image noise. Premium CCD cameras offer setpoint controlled cooling, offering you the considerable advantage of being able to do all of your imaging at one or two selected temperatures.

  • Atik 4120EX Color CCD Camera
  • Atik 4120EX Color CCD Camera

  • The 4120EX is the highest resolution camera available in the Atik 4 series featuring an impressive 12 megapixels. read more...
  • Our price: $3014.00

  • Atik 414EX Color CCD Camera
  • Atik 414EX Color CCD Camera

  • The Atik 414EX color CCD features the brand new Sony ICX825 sensor that is 60% more sensitive than its popular predecessor. read more...
  • Our price: $1489.00

  • Atik 414EX Mono CCD Camera
  • Atik 414EX Mono CCD Camera

  • A truly impressive color CCD camera, the Atik 414EX will bring you joy for many years with its incredible sensitivity and top of the line features. read more...
  • Our price: $1489.00

  • Atik One 6.0 CCD Camera
  • Atik One 6.0 CCD Camera

  • Atik One 6.0 features the popular Sony ICX694 CCD with a 2750 x 2200 array of 4.54 micron pixels and an integrated 5 position 1.25-inch filter wheel. read more...
  • Our price: $3075.00

  • Atik One 9.0 CCD Camera
  • Atik One 9.0 CCD Camera

  • Atik One 9.0 features the popular Sony ICX814 CCD with a 3380 x 2704 array of 3.69 micron pixels and an integrated 5 position 1.25-inch filter wheel. read more...
  • Our price: $3180.00

  • Atik 420 Color CCD Camera
  • Atik 420 Color CCD Camera

  • Atik 420 is a medium format color CCD camera that is is well matched to most refractors. This camera features a 1620x1220 array of 4.4 micron pixels. read more...
  • Our price: $1099.00

  • Atik 420 Mono CCD Camera
  • Atik 420 Mono CCD Camera

  • Atik 420 monochrome features a 1620x1220 pixel array and is ideal for use with short focal length refractors. The small 4.4 micron pixels will allow you to capture stunning high resolution images. read more...
  • Our price: $1099.00

  • Atik 383L+ Mono CCD Camera
  • Atik 383L+ Mono CCD Camera

  • The Atik 383L+ is a large format monochrome camera using the popular Kodak KAF-8300 CCD with a 3362 x 2504 pixel array. read more...
  • Our price: $1995.00

  • Atik 450 Color CCD Camera
  • Atik 450 Color CCD Camera

  • Atik 450 features Sony's excellent ICX655 5 MP sensor featuring extremely small 3.45 micron pixels that will work well with even the shortest focal length instruments. read more...
  • Our price: $1850.00

  • Atik 450 Mono CCD Camera
  • Atik 450 Mono CCD Camera

  • Atik 450 Mono is based upon Sony's excellent ICX655 sensor featuring extremely small 3.45 micron pixels that are ideally matched with very short focal length instruments. read more...
  • Our price: $1850.00

  • Atik 428EX Color CCD Camera
  • Atik 428EX Color CCD Camera

  • Atik 428EX Color is a CCD camera featuring the Sony ICX674 sensor with a 1932 x 1452 pixel array of 5.4 micron pixels. read more...
  • Our price: $1860.00

  • Atik 428EX Mono CCD Camera
  • Atik 428EX Mono CCD Camera

  • Atik 428EX monochrome features the popular Sony ICX674 CCD sensor featuring 4.54 micron pixels in a 1932 x 1452 array and is ideal for use with short focal length refractors. read more...
  • Our price: $1860.00

  • Atik 16200 Color CCD
  • Atik 16200 Color CCD

  • The Atik 16200 is the highest resolution astrophotography one shot color camera in the Atik Cameras range. read more...
  • Our price: $3570.00

  • Atik 16200 Mono CCD
  • Atik 16200 Mono CCD

  • The Atik 16200 is the highest resolution astrophotography camera in the Atik Cameras range. read more...
  • Our price: $3570.00

  • Atik 460EX Color CCD Camera
  • Atik 460EX Color CCD Camera

  • The Atik 460EX provides a 6 Megapixel CCD sensor with a 2200x2750 pixel array, all in a very compact and lightweight package. This camera features the highly acclaimed Sony ICX694 sensor with 4.54 micron pixels and very low noise. read more...
  • Our price: $2475.00

  • Atik 460EX Mono CCD Camera
  • Atik 460EX Mono CCD Camera

  • The Atik 460EX Mono provides a 6 Megapixel Sony ICX694 sensor with a 2200x2750 pixel array, all in a very compact and lightweight package. The small 4.54 micron pixels are ideal for use with short focal length refractors. read more...
  • Our price: $2475.00

  • Atik 490EX Color CCD Camera
  • Atik 490EX Color CCD Camera

  • Atik 490EX Color CCD Camera is a high resolution color one-shot camera featuring small ultra small pixels in a 3380 x 2704 array. The 3.69 micron pixels on this sensor will deliver stunning resolution with even the shortest focal lengths instruments. read more...
  • Our price: $2765.00

  • Atik 490EX Mono CCD Camera
  • Atik 490EX Mono CCD Camera

  • Atik 490EX Mono CCD Camera is the highest resolution Atik CCD camera to date with a 3380x2704 array of ultra small pixels. The 3.69 micron pixels of this sensor will provide stunning resolution with even the shortest focal length instruments. read more...
  • Our price: $2765.00

  • Atik 4000 Color CCD Camera
  • Atik 4000 Color CCD Camera

  • The Atik 4000 is a large format cooled CCD camera incorporating a 4-megapixel Kodak sensor with 2048x2048 pixel array. The 7.4 micron pixels are suitable for use with longer focal length telescopes, such as Schmidt-Cassegrains. read more...
  • Our price: $3795.00

  • Atik 4000 Mono CCD Camera
  • Atik 4000 Mono CCD Camera

  • The Atik 4000 large format cooled monochromatic CCD camera incorporating a 4-megapixel Kodak sensor with a 2048x2048 pixel array. The 7.4 micron pixels are best suited for telescopes with longer focal lengths, such as Schmidt-Cassegrains. read more...
  • Our price: $3795.00

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-825 CCD Camera
  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-825 CCD Camera

  • This successor to the SX-9 features the Sony ICX825 monochrome sensor with 1392 x 1040 pixel array that is up to 60% more sensitive than its predecessor. read more...
  • Our price: $1489.00

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-825C CCD Camera
  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-825C CCD Camera

  • This successor to the SX-9C features the Sony ICX825 color sensor with 1392 x 1040 pixel array that is up to 60% more sensitive than its predecessor. read more...
  • Our price: $1489.00

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-674 CCD Camera
  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-674 CCD Camera

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-674 features the Sony ICX674 CCD sensor with a 1932x1452 array of 4.54 micron pixels and is a great match for small refractors. read more...
  • Our price: $1949.00

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-674C CCD Camera
  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-674C CCD Camera

  • Trius SX-674C is the color one-shot version of the SX-674 with a 1932x1452 pixel array. The small 4.54 micron pixels are a great match for small refactors. read more...
  • Our price: $1949.00

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-814 CCD Camera
  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-814 CCD Camera

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-814 features the Sony ICX814 CCD with a 3380x2704 pixel array. The ultra small 3.69 micron pixels on this sensor will allow you to capture stunning resolution with even the shortest focal length instruments. read more...
  • Our price: $2629.00

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-814C CCD Camera
  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-814C CCD Camera

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-814C is the color one-shot camera featuring small 3.69 micron pixels that make it ideal for imaging with very short focal length refractors. read more...
  • Our price: $2629.00

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-694 CCD Camera
  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-694 CCD Camera

  • The Starlight Xpress Trius-SX-694 features the popular Sony ICX694AL Exview CCD with a 2750x2200 pixel array. read more...
  • Our price: $2429.00

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-694C CCD Camera
  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-694C CCD Camera

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-694C is a color one-shot camera featuring the Sony ICX694 CCD sensor with a 2750x2200 array of small 4.54 micron pixels, making it a good match for short focal length refractors. read more...
  • Our price: $2659.00

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-16 CCD Camera
  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-16 CCD Camera

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-16 is a medium format CCD camera with a 2048x2048 pixel array of 7.4 micron pixels well suited to Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. read more...
  • Our price: $3169.00

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX25C CCD Camera
  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX25C CCD Camera

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-25C features an APS sized color CCD with a 3024x2016 pixel array. The array size and 7.8 micron pixels make this a popular choice for use with Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes equipped with the Hyperstar system. read more...
  • Our price: $2859.00

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX26C CCD Camera
  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX26C CCD Camera

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX-26C is a large format 10 megapixel camera with a 23.4 x 15.6mm sensor. The sensor features a 3900x2016 array of 6.05 micron pixels. read more...
  • Our price: $2859.00

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX46
  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX46

  • The SX-46 is a full frame 16.7 megapixel CCD camera based upon the popular KAF-16200 sensor. read more...
  • Our price: $4299.00

  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX56
  • Starlight Xpress Trius SX56

  • The Trius SX-56 is a large area CCD camera with a square 16.7 megapixel sensor. read more...
  • Our price: $7899.00

  • Atik 11000 Color CCD Camera
  • Atik 11000 Color CCD Camera

  • Atik 11000 Color CCD Camera features the largest sensor commonly available to the consumer market. read more...
  • Our price: $5295.00

  • Atik 11000 Mono CCD Camera
  • Atik 11000 Mono CCD Camera

  • Atik 11000 Mono is a large format CCD Camera with a 4008 x 2672 array of 9 micron pixels. read more...
  • Our price: $4795.00

  • Atik Titan Color CCD Camera
  • Atik Titan Color CCD Camera

  • The Atik Ttian Color CCD is the one-shot color version of Atik's entry level camera with a 659 x 494 pixel array. The Titan can serve as a beginner CCD camera, planetary imager or guide camera. read more...
  • Our price: $669.00

  • Atik Titan Mono CCD Camera
  • Atik Titan Mono CCD Camera

  • The Atik Titan is an entry level camera that can perform either deep space or planetary imaging, plus it will make a fine guider if you ever outgrow it. Think of the Atik Titan as a low risk entry point into the world of CCD imaging. read more...
  • Our price: $669.00

CCD Cameras for Astrophotography

There are a number of features to consider when purchasing a CCD camera These features include:

  • CCD Sensor: CCD sensor size is the one of the more fundamental difference between models. The larger the CCD sensor, the more of the sky you can image in a single shot, all else being equal. Larger CCD sensors also produce larger images, enabling you to make large, high-quality prints.
  • Pixel Size:  Consumer cameras are sold on the basis of pixel count, but pixel size is actually more important when it comes to astrophotography. Apochromatic refractors produce pinpoint stars and are best matched to CCD sensors with small pixels.  Schmidt-Cassegrains produce larger star images and can be matched to sensors having larger pixels.  Larger pixels have a deeper electron well, meaning they can sustain longer exposures without saturating.
  • Color vs. Monochromatic Imaging: Monochrome CCD cameras tend to be more versatile than color cameras and also have a 4x advantage in resolution. Color CCD sensors combine one red, one blue and two green pixels into a composite dot.  Using a monochromatic sensor in combination with color filters allows each and every pixel to be recorded in the the three primary colors.  Color CCD cameras are an easier way to get started because the images require less post processing, but most astro imaging enthusiasts eventually graduate to a monochrome camera with a filter wheel for greater resolution and flexibility.
  • Cooling: Temperature tends to have a strong effect on CCD cameras, with increases in temperature resulting in more image noise. As a result, cooled CCD cameras for astronomy are generally more favorable.

While larger, more sensitive CCD astronomy cameras tend to be favorable in most cases, price and application is always a factor to consider. Beginning astrophotographers should probably turn to more modest CCD cameras for astrophotography, with user-friendly features like one-shot color. However, just because you aren’t getting the most expensive model doesn’t mean you can’t take quality images — just about any quality astronomical CCD camera will work when paired with the right telescope. With the right technique, modern users can get images of comparable quality to those taken with the most sophisticated CCD astrophotography cameras only a few years ago.

If you need help choosing the right CCD camera for your needs, Skies Unlimited can help. We offer the best CCD astrophotography cameras and can provide quality advice for any astrophotographer, from beginners to experienced imagers. Founded in 2004 by amateur astronomers and astrophotographers, we pride ourselves on providing quality equipment and expertise, with a team of amateur astronomers on staff to provide customers with quality resources in the field.

Learn More

Whether you want to order a specific CCD camera for astronomy from our store or need advice on which is the best CCD camera for your astrophotography needs, we can help. Call Skies Unlimited today or visit our physical store just outside of Pottstown, Pa., to speak with one of our team members to get help choosing your next astrophotography CCD camera.


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