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Opticstar DS-335C ICE
Peltier Cooled - Long Exposure - High Resolution - Colour Imaging
Opticstar DS-335C ICE.
  • Sony ICX262AQ, 3.3 Megapixel 1/1.8"
  • Colour CCD: 2140 x 1560 pixels
  • Pixel size 3.45µm x 3.45µm
  • Binning: 1x1, 2x2, 4x4
    in colour and monochrome
  • StarView mode 36 times sensitivity boost
  • Peltier cooled with fan assist,
    up to 30°C below ambient
  • 48-bit colour images
  • 16-bit B&W images
  • Preview mode @ 2048x1536: 4 fps
  • Raw 16-bit image transfer @ 2048x1536: 1 second approximately
  • Maximum exposure time: 24 minutes
  • Robust all metal case
  • Sealed sensor and electronics
  • USB 2.0 high-speed interface
  • Focusing preview mode
  • Full Nebulosity software included for camera control and image processing
  • Bundled plug-ins: Nebulosity, AstroArt & MaxIm DL
  • Microsoft Windows (32-bit & 64-bit) 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10
Opticstar DS-335C ICE features.
A+ sensor. The Opticstar hand-selected hi-grade A+ sensor installed in this camera is noted for its uniform surface response and low noise required for low light applications.
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Opticstar DS-335C ICE
The package includes the following:
Order No. Price (inc_VAT) Shipping Delivery click to purchase
OSRDS335CI £ -- £ --
DS-335C/ICE Setup Guide
(March 2010, PDF)
Sony ICX262AQ
(PDF)
Nebulosity Manual
v1.5.2 (PDF)
Opticstar CCD Cameras
(Brochure, PDF)

Outline
The DS-335C series colour cameras have been specifically designed for the amateur astronomer. Two models are available, the DS-335C and the DS-335C ICE which incorporates Peltier cooling with fan assist that greatly reduces noise, important during extended exposures. Otherwise both models are identical in every respect.

Cooled CCD
The DS-335C ICE is well suited for Lunar, Solar, planetary and deep sky astrophotography. The camera's cooling subsystem reduces image noise to the bare minimum and allows for very long exposures. This is of great importance in deep-sky photography but not relevant when imaging the Sun, Moon and planets.

Sensor cooling is important when imaging deep sky objects that require exposures of several minutes. As the sensor heats up the thermal noise manifests itself on the image as bright pixels and high levels of background noise. The on-board Peltier cooling subsystem eradicates hot pixels and background noise to produce high quality images. The camera supports binning at 1x1, 2x2 and 4x4. At a 2x2 binning value camera sensitivity quadruples offering a resolution of 1024x768 in colour and/or monochrome.

StarView Mode
The DS-335C ICE supports the special StarView mode that is ideal for fast focusing and real time preview. The StarView mode runs at 4 frames per second with maximum exposure times of 10 seconds per frame. This colour-only mode boosts the camera sensitivity by 36 times.

Sample Astronomical DS-335C ICE Images
Please click on the images below to expand to their full size.
Sample image. Sample image.
Eta Carina nebula by John Haunton.
DS-335C ICE, WO66SD.
Stacked frames: 14 x 120s.
Click to enlarge to: 2048 x 1536 pixels.
Eta Carina nebula by John Haunton.
DS-335C ICE with VC200L f6.3 FR.
Stacked frames, 2x2 colour binning.
Guided with Opticstar AG-130M.
Click to enlarge to: 1024 x 768 pixels.

Sample image. Sample image.
Omega Centurai by John Haunton.
DS-335C ICE, WO 66mm refractor.
Stacked 6 frames x 120 seconds.
Click to enlarge to: 2048 x 1536 pixels.
M8 Nebula, by John Haunton.
DS-335C ICE, WO 66mm refractor.
Stacked 10 frames x 240 sec.
Click to enlarge to: 2030 x 1504 pixels.

Sample image. Sample image.
M42 by Nick Witte-Vermeulen.
DS-335C ICE.
Frames: 5 x 120sec in Hα.
Guided with Opticstar AG-130M.
Click to enlarge to: 1024 x 770 pixels.
M42 by Peter Shah.
DS-335C ICE, 8" f4 Newtonian, poor conditions.
Frames: 2x5 min. + 1 min. core (2x2 colour binning).
Click to enlarge to: 768 x 1024 pixels.

Sample image. Sample image.
M31 by Peter Shah.
DS-335C ICE, A&M 80mm f6, near full Moon.
Stacked 8 frames x 600 seconds.
Click to enlarge to: 1011 x 735 pixels.
Trifid nebula by John Haunton.
DS-335C ICE, WO 66mm refractor.
Stacked frames (2x2 colour binning).
Click to enlarge to: 1013 x 743 pixels.

Sample image. Sample image.
The Moon by Peter Shah.
Single shot.
Taken with 66mm f/5.9 refractor.
Click to enlarge to: 2048 x 1536 pixels.
Centaurus A by John Haunton.
DS-335C ICE.
Frames: 14 x 120s, 2x2 colour binning.
Click to enlarge to: 950 x 768 pixels.

Binning for Higher Sensitivity
The camera supports colour and monochrome binning at 1x1, 2x2 and 4x4. At a 2x2 binning value camera sensitivity quadruples offering a resolution of 1024x768 pixels. At 4x4 binning, the camera sensitivity is multiplied by 16 times at 512x384 pixels in colour or monochrome. The user can configure the camera to suit his imaging application by choosing between colour imaging or monochrome imaging. For the ultimate in sensitivity please consider the Opticstar DS-145M ICE monochrome CCD camera.

The complete camera kit.
The complete camera kit. All components shown are provided as standard.

High Quality Construction
The camera electronics and sensor are housed inside a high quality aluminium body that entirely seals the sensor and on-board electronics from the outside environment. This is important as it protects the camera internals from high humidity and water running down the telescope and into the camera damaging the electronics or sensor, quite common in inadequate camera designs. The camera has passed 100% moisture tests for an hour at the time, at 25°C without any dew on the CCD chip.

Moisture test.
Moisture test.

Temperature testing inside the electric oven.
Temperature testing inside the electric oven at up to 60°C.

The camera relies for fast data transfers on an efficient USB2.0 sub-system specially designed for the DS-335C ICE (and DS-335C). The camera is powered via a high quality regulated mains power supply included with the camera and comes with all cables, adapters and software needed to be able to use the camera out of the box. C-mount.
The camera's C-mount (not drawn to scale).

Opticstar DS-335C ICE size.
All measurements in millimetres.

Specification
Model Opticstar DS-335C ICE
Sensor type Sony ICX262AQ CCD, interline
Sensor size 8.10mm x 6.64mm (1/1.8")
Sensor aspect ratio 4:3
Resolution 3.3 Megapixels, 2140 x 1560 pixels
Pixel size 3.45µm x 3.45µm
Binning modes 1x1, 2x2, 4x4.
Preview mode 340x256 at 4 frames per second (StarView mode) x36 sensitivity 2048x1536 at 2 frames per second, standard sensitivity
Exposure time min. 1 millisecond, max. 24 minutes
Data output 24-bit colour (48-bit raw), 16-bit monochrome
Raw 16-bit image transfer 1 second approximately @ 2048x1536
Cooling Peltier cooled with fan assist, up to 30°C below ambient
Computer interface USB 2.0
Housing Robust all metal case and sealed electronics
Dimensions 71mm (W) x 95mm (H) x 86.7mm (D)
Weight 680 grams
Bundled Software Nebulosity software for camera control and image processing.
Plug-ins for MaxIm DL and AstroArt.
Computer requirements Microsoft Windows (64-bit & 32-bit) 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10
The technical data is correct at the time of writing.

DS-335C ICE in Astronomy
Like any other astronomy camera used in low-light applications the DS335C camera will greatly benefit when used with lower focal ratio telescopes or when a focal reducer is used. Typically the Opticstar f0.5 reducer will reduce exposure times by a factor of 4 enabling any telescope/camera combination to receive 4 times the amount of light in the same period of time.

MaxIm DL & AstroArt Support
The camera is shipped with software drivers for MaxIm DL and AstroArt v3/v4. There is extensive support with several binning modes including 1x1, 2x2 and 4x4. There are binning modes for colour imaging as well as black & white! The user can select a Region of Interest of any size. Focusing is greatly simplified with a real-time window of up to 4 frames per second.

There is support for 8 binning modes. These modes have been included in order to maximize the performance of the camera in specific areas including: resolution, colour/monochrome, sensitivity and focusing. Please refer to the table below.
Binning Modes for Imaging
Mode Binning Mono Colour Resolution FPS*** Sensitivity
1x1 HW cl/bw software yes yes** 2048x1536 1 x1
2x2 HW bw hardware* yes n.a. 1024x768 2 x4
2x2 SW cl/bw software yes yes** 1024x768 1 x4+
4x4 HW bw**** hardware* yes n.a. 512x384 2 x16
4x4 SW cl/bw software yes yes** 512x384 1 x16+
* Hardware assisted. ** AstroArt /MaxIm DL supported.
*** 16-bit RAW uncompressed image transfer rate (focus and capture mode). **** Preferred focusing mode.

Binning Modes for Focusing / Preview
Mode Binning Mono Colour Resolution FPS*** Sensitivity
1x1 HW cl/bw software yes yes** 2048x1536 2 x1
2x2 HW bw hardware* yes n.a. 1024x768 4 x4
4x4 HW bw**** hardware* yes n.a. 512x384 4 x16
StarView Mode hardware* no yes 340x256 4 x36
* Hardware assisted. ** AstroArt / MaxIm DL supported.
*** 16-bit RAW uncompressed image transfer rate (focus and capture mode). **** Preferred focusing mode.

For focusing, the 4x4 HW bw mode is ideal because it combines the highest frame rates with the highest light sensitivity.

The hardware assisted binning modes 2x2 HW bw and 4x4 HW bw vary in the way that they produce colour data to the equivalent software binning modes (2x2 SW cl/bw and 4x4 SW cl/bw). Generally, the latter produce more natural colours and are marked as cl/bw. The former are ideal for black and white images, and are marked as bw only. Please refer to the AstroArt manual on how to convert raw data to colour.

Nebulosity Software
Nebulosity supports direct control of the DS-335C ICE camera and it provides a complete software solution for image capture and processing. These updates are provided as free downloads.

Binning Modes for Imaging
Mode Binning Mono Colour Resolution FPS*** Sensitivity
1x1 HW cl/bw software yes yes** 2048x1536 1 x1
2x2 HW bw hardware* yes n.a. 1024x768 2 x4
2x2 SW cl/bw software yes yes** 1024x768 1 x4+
4x4 HW bw hardware* yes n.a. 512x384 2 x16
4x4 SW cl/bw software yes yes** 512x384 1 x16+
* Hardware assisted. ** Nebulosity supported.
*** 16-bit RAW uncompressed image transfer rate (focus and capture mode).

Binning Modes for Focusing / Preview
Mode Binning Mono Colour Resolution FPS*** Sensitivity
1x1 HW cl/bw software yes yes** 2048x1536 2 x1
2x2 HW bw hardware* yes n.a. 1024x768 4 x4
4x4 HW bw**** hardware* yes n.a. 512x384 4 x16
StarView Mode hardware* no yes 340x256 4 x36
* Hardware assisted. ** Nebulosity supported.
*** 16-bit RAW uncompressed image transfer rate (focus and capture mode). **** Preferred focusing mode.


Nebulosity is designed to be a powerful, but simple to use camera control and image processing application for Opticstar CCD cameras. Its goal is to suit people ranging from the novice imager who wants to create his or her first images to the advanced imager who wants a convenient, flexible capture application for use in the field. In it, you get a host of purpose-built powerful tools to make the most out of your images (e.g., Digital Development Processing, traditional alignment/stacking (equatorial and alt-az), Drizzle alignment/stacking, Bad Pixel Mapping, real-time tricolour histograms for colour balancing, star tightening via edge detection, adaptive scaling of stacks, Canon CR2/CRW RAW Bayer matrix loading, 32/96-bit accuracy, etc.)

Click to enlarge.
Nebulosity's user interface for Windows.

Nebulosity Features
  • Simple, but powerful interface.
    • All basic controls are present on the main screen. No need to navigate through lots of menus during an imaging session. Nebulosity was designed to be easily operated in the field by someone who actually operates it in an actual field.
    • By default, all displays are auto-scaled. Any scaling (including inverted) of the data onto the display possible using easy sliders.
    • Histogram gives a quick view of how much of the valid data range is being used during each capture.
    • Pixel statistics / area statistics pop-up window.
    • Zoom button lets you rescale the displayed image quickly.
    • Measure Distance tool lets you measure the distance (CCD pixels, arc-seconds, or arc-minutes) among up to 3 points.
    • Can act as a FITS file viewer for Windows (double-click or drag-and-drop).
    • Can write / run scripts to automate captures.
    • Unlimited undo/redo (0, 3, or unlimited levels of undo).
    • Small clock to show local time, UTC, GMST, local sidereal, or Polaris RA.
  • Capture control.
    • All basic capture parameters present on main screen. Duration of exposure, number of exposures per captured series, delay between captures, name of series, camera gain and camera offset all in one simple panel.
    • Times may be specified in either seconds or milliseconds.
    • Quick Preview button captures one frame with current settings and displays it on the screen without saving. Helps in focus, composition, and tuning of capture parameters.
    • Frame and Focus mode: Loops a quick, binned image to assist in rapid initial focus and framing.
    • Fine Focus mode: Loops a very quick image around a selected star in full resolution to fine-tune focus.
    • Capture one-shot colour in RAW CCD format or reconstruct colour on the fly ñ your choice.
    • Automatic setting of camera offset.
    • Capture status able to be shown in large red display for easy viewing when away from computer.
  • Multiple file formats supported.
    • Read virtually any FITS file to process images from virtually any camera (RGB colour, black and white, compressed or uncompressed, any bit depth).
    • Captured data saved in FITS as 16-bits (0-65535) per colour channel, 32-bit floating point per colour channel, or in 15-bits (0-32767) per colour channel.
    • One-shot colour data captures may be saved in RAW CCD format or as reconstructed full-colour images in an RGB FITS format (Maxim / AstroArt style or ImagesPlus style) or 3 separate FITS files (the latter only for capture and subsequent use in other programs).
    • Captured data saved in either lossless compressed FITS according to the FITS standard or uncompressed FITS.
    • These same save formats available for any loaded image, making Nebulosity serve to convert between many FITS formats (just select your output format using the settings on the Preferences menu).
    • Save current displayed image in BMP or JPG format (24-bit colour) as displayed.
    • Save current image in 16 bit/colour (48-bit colour) uncompressed TIFF, compressed TIFF, or PNG (compressed) format.
    • Load Canon CR2 format RAW (Rebel XT, 20, 20Da, 5D, etc) and Canon CRW format RAW as pure Bayer-matrix RAW data.
    • Load 8/24 bit PNG, TIFF, JPG, and BMP (scaled to 16/48-bit) or 16/48-bit PNG and TIFF.
    • Batch convert from FITS to 16/48-bit PNG or compressed TIFF.
    • Batch convert from CR2, CRW, PNG, TIFF, JPG, and BMP to FITS.
  • Internal calculations.
    • All data stored internally in 32-bit floating point per colour channel. For B&W or RAW images, this equates to 32-bits and for colour images, this equates to 96-bits in all math routines. You will never have overflow (saturation) or overflow or quantization issues as a result.
    • Critical math routines computed in double-precision (64-bit per channel) floating point.
    • Since all captures even from one-shot colour cameras can be done in B&W mode (RAW CCD data) and since memory for colour images is only allocated when viewing in colour, memory requirements can be reduced by capturing one-shot colour data in RAW format for machines with less RAM.
    • All calculations done using pointer arithmetic for high-speed operation.
  • Image processing.
    • Dark / flat / and bias frame pre-processing of B&W, RAW one-shot colour, and RGB one-shot colour sets of images.
    • Auto-scaling of dark frames to compensate for differences in exposure time or temperature.
    • Create and apply Bad Pixel Maps as an alternative way of removing hot pixels.
    • Versatile Levels / Power Stretch tool lets you apply not only simple linear stretching of your images, but non-linear stretches as well. Pre- and post- stretch histograms interactively displayed and an ROI preview is available.
    • Digital Development Processing (DDP). A technique to make CCD images look more like film images by using a hyperbolic scaling of the data. Here, the basic technique is enhanced to allow easy darkening of the background at the same time.
    • Star Tightening. A technique to sharpen stars using an edge-detection algorithm (does not leave the artifacts found).
    • Grade a series of images to determine the sharpest / best of the set.
    • Line filter reconstruction for one-shot cameras. Optimized reconstruction of RAW images taken using line filters. General mode plus modes optimized for H-alpha and O-III/H-beta on CMYG arrays.
    • Align and stack a series of images using translation (for equatorially mounted telescopes) or translation + rotation (alt-az or equatorial) or translation + rotation + scaling. Unequal image sizes supported and output either the stack or the individual aligned frames.
    • Drizzle alignment / stacking and resolution enhancement for either equatorial or alt-az (translation + rotation).
    • Colours in Motion: Simultaneous over-sampling alignment/stacking and De-Bayer of one-shot colour images to significantly decrease colour error and increase resolution. For one-shot colour imagers, this improves resolution and reduces colour error.
    • Adaptive scaling of combined data (stacks) to use full 16-bit range (gives you the best features of adding and averaging frames).
    • Average a series of images without alignment (e.g., for combining darks, flats, bias frames, etc.)
    • Tools to set the minimum of an image to zero (useful if a computation has taken it above 65535 and you wish to save the image) and to rescale the intensity of an image (multiply each pixel by a constant.)
    • Colour balance adjust (offset and scaling) with real-time 3-colour histograms for easy, accurate balancing. Luminance extraction provided as well.
    • De-mosaic a RAW one-shot colour image for any of the supported cameras. Both interactive and batch-mode supported.
    • Automatic demosaic of Canon CR2 files with control over white balance for stock and IR-filter modified cameras.
    • Manual De-mosaic of RAW one-shot colour images from RGB or CMYG cameras. Full control over pixel aspect ratio and over colour balancing / mixing during conversion.
    • 2x2 binning of images: addition, averaging, or adaptive.
    • Blurring of images (3-levels).
    • Crop tool.
    • Rotation and mirroring of images.
    • Pixel squaring.
Auto-Guiding
The Opticstar deep sky cameras (DS-xxx) can be used in conjunction with the Opticstar AG-130M COOLAIR Auto-guiding Kit to deliver a complete imaging solution.

Opticstar DS-335C ICE.
Shown: DS-335C ICE and PL-130M on telescopes.

Sample Astronomy DS-335C ICE Images
Coming soon...

Sample Microscopy DS-335C ICE Images
Please click on the images below to expand to their full size.
Sample image. Sample image.
A 30 second exposure of a leaf.
Click to expand to: 2048 x 1536 pixels.
Single fluorescence image of bacteria.
Click to expand to: 614 x 461 pixels.

Sample image. Sample image.
Dual fluorescence image of bacteria.
Click to expand to: 700 x 425 pixels.
Brightfield image.
Click to expand to: 614 x 461 pixels.

AVI Converters / Tools
A range of freely available software applications are available to convert a number of JPG and/or BMP files into an AVI. The following list includes a number of AVI converters / tools that you may wish to try for their suitability.
Author Application (external link)
Price Media Rostrum Camera
NDW Ltd JPGVideo
J. Thiemann Slide Show Movie Maker
Avery Lee Virtual Dab
Opticstar does not guarantee or endorse any of the above 3rd party software in any way, implied or otherwise.

Click to enlarge.
A dark frame of an 8.6 minute exposure with the DS-335C ICE. Click on image to view the full size at 2048 x 1536 pixels.



Notice
We are constantly checking the accuracy of the technical data. We are prepared to provide more detailed information on request. Technical data is subject to change without notice.

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