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Orion 52175 StarShoot Solar System Color Imaging Camera IV (Black)

3.1 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
| 39 answered questions

Price: $105.05 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • Now compatible with Apple computers and laptops! Included software is now Mac OS X compatible (up to OS X 10.10), as well as Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista (32 bit & 64 bit), and XP operating systems
  • Our fourth generation planetary imaging camera provides an affordable way to acquire stunning astrophotos of our neighbors in the solar system
  • Features a 1/3 inch format color CMOS imaging chip with a very small 3.6 microns x 3.6 microns pixel size for exceptional resolution
  • Camera sensor features a 1280 x 1024 pixel layout with 1.3 megapixel resolution, progressive scan imaging uses all pixels for each exposure
  • Features a 1.25 inch nosepiece threaded for 1.25 inch filters so you can enhance your astrophotos easily
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$105.05 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 17 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Orion 52175 StarShoot Solar System Color Imaging Camera IV (Black)
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  • Orion 05662 1.25-Inch 13 Percent Transmission Moon Filter (Black)
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  • Orion 08711 Shorty 1.25-Inch 2x Barlow Lens (Black)
Total price: $179.34
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Technical Details


Product Description

The Orion StarShoot Solar System Color Imager IV is equipped with features that make it easy to take your own pictures of objects in our solar system. Its 1/3 inch format CMOS imaging sensor with a 1280 x 1024 pixel layout can take sharply detailed planetary and lunar astrophotos. Each pixel is a mere 3.6µm x 3.6µm in size for exceptional image resolution in 24-bit RGB color. Since the 8-bit output StarShoot Solar System Color Imager IV is progressive scan, all pixels will be used for each and every exposure. At full 1280 x 1024 resolution, you can capture up to 15 frames per second. By stacking multiple exposures to create a single picture, you can increase image detail significantly. The Imager's 1.25inch nosepiece is threaded for 1.25 inch filters, so you can use astrophotography filters and color visual filters to enhance your shots. The StarShoot Solar System Color Imager IV features an integrated IR-cut filter to block both ultraviolet and infrared light. These wavelengths of light can degrade image quality, so by blocking them, the IR-cut filter helps to optimize contrast in all your astrophotos. The included Orion AmCap software provides the means to capture images in the popular AVI movie format which are downloaded to your computer through its high speed USB 2.0 connection with the included 58 inch long USB cable. Website links are provided in the launcher to download popular free image processing software to be used with your AVI files to further enhance your astrophotos. Apple, the Apple logo and Macintosh are trademarks of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Included imaging and processing software is now compatible with Apple Mac OS X systems as well as Windows 8, 7, Vista (32 bit & 64 bit), and XP operating systems.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 2.2 x 2.5 x 2.8 inches
Item Weight 2.6 ounces
Shipping Weight 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
ASIN B004E4M7QI
Item model number 52175
Customer Reviews
3.1 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #207 in Computers & Accessories > Computer Accessories > Audio & Video Accessories > Webcams
Date first available at Amazon.com November 1, 2003

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joshua Wormley on May 29, 2011
Verified Purchase
I have mixed feelings about this camera. First, the good: Orion has done a great job with creating an affordable lunar/planetary imager with this camera. It's very easy to install and operate. The focus comes out pretty clean on lunar features. And, it is very lightweight and fits quickly into and out of the eyepiece slot and sits at about the same focal point as [my] 15mm eyepiece when focused. This is the good stuff about the camera. Here's the second, or frustrating stuff: I have calibrated and adjusted my finder scope to perfection. I have attached the camera straight to the visual back, to the diagonal, to a 2x barlow, to a focal reducer (just for fun) to change the focal lengths. I have also adjusted the software settings to all extremes. The results are that I cannot get the camera to gather enough light to capture either Jupiter or Saturn. I am using a Nexstar 6SE. I don't want to sound unfair to Orion because I love their products and purchased the Nexstar from them, plus I have a Monochrome Imager from them that is awesome. But, I am not sure this imager can operate at the lower light levels required for planetary imaging. This is a great lunar imager, and probably not a great planetary imager - if that is your goal.
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My images are posted here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-media/product-gallery/B004E4M7QI/ref=cm_cmu_up_thanks_hdr

I originally tried to make my own astronomical camera from a cheap webcam. This worked except that I have a mac laptop, and none of the cameras I tried to use had mac drivers. After some frustrating experimentation I discovered that these drivers are essential. The mac might be able to "see" the camera and record video from it, but without control of gain and exposure you will never get a decent image of Jupiter, for example, because the camera will constantly try to overexpose it.

So, I bought the Orion Starshoot. My main reason for choosing this camera was the higher resolution, and that it came with Mac software.

The drivers do work for controlling gain, exposure and brightness, which is essential. The included stacking program called "Lynkeos" is pretty easy to use; much simpler than a mac alternative "Keith's Image Stacker" because it has a more GUI interface (more buttons). However, it crashes very frequently. Also, beware that the "default" settings for the camera are wrong for astroimaging, make sure you deselect "auto balance" checkbox, that will lead to overexposure and highly changeable images. Also, the "Webcam Monitor" software (for capturing images) can take quite some time to recognize the camera; often I have to unplug the USB and replug, or restart the computer to get it to show up.

General tip: You need a good finder scope because the chip on this thing is very small. You need to adjust your finder scope alignment at the start of every session and probably a few times during the session. Focusing is not easy esspecially with vibrations on the scope and the delay of seeing the results on your laptop.
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This was the first astrophotography camera I purchased. I chose it for the price because I wanted an inexpensive camera to try solar astrophotography. At $99 I think it is a good value. I use it with a Lunt 60mm H-Alpha solar scope, mounted on an Orion AstroView EQ mount. It is easy to use and the instructions are clear and easy to follow. Patience is required, and the instructions keep things simplified. The camera software and image processing can get complicated, and the system can do a lot more (image enhancements) than is covered in the instructions. But the simplified instructions were good for a beginner like me. I'm posting this review after the first day's use. I did not contact Orion for technical support, but they have always been helpful in the past, and I would not hesitate to contact them if I wanted their help. I like tinkering first.

When using for solar imagining, ambient light leaked into the camera from the rear LED window. I used some foil and tape to block this out, but I bought it for solar imagining, so I deducted a star for this! For night imaging it probably would not be a problem.

Learning to use Registax is essential, and I recommend looking for tutorials on YouTube. Without using Registax you will be disappointed in the images. Registax (or other stacking software) is the key to using a modified webcam for astroimagining. The instructions do not cover stacking, but tell you were to go for help.

The instructions suggest learning the system in a lighted environment for the first session. I think this is essential. It would be a nightmare learning everything in the dark. Also, the instructions stress that focusing is the hardest part to learn. Patience and trial/error is a must.
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By Tim on April 30, 2011
Verified Purchase
I got this for my birthday to use with my Meade ETX-80. It turned out to be just a hair off from focusing, making me have to get an adapter for using a straight tube, instead of the angled mirror. And I am ultimately OK with that, as it is the preferred method of viewing with the camera. I haven't had any problems with it. I already have familiarity with Registax and similar programs since I have a bachelor's degree in astronomy. But if you do not have any understanding of these programs, I would recommend getting familiar with them before you buy this, or any, camera.
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