Celestron NexImage Burst Color fast download color CMOS solar system imager


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The fast download Celestron NexImage Burst Color lets you view and capture live full color video of the Sun, Moon, and planets on your computer, as well as save them for later processing.
Our Product #: NEXIMBC
Celestron Product #: 95518

Product Description

The Celestron NexImage Burst Color is a dedicated fast download solar system imager (CCD camera) that can be used with virtually any telescope in any size or price range. Its images can be viewed live on your laptop or PC screen via the supplied USB cable so that several people can view the image at once. They can also be saved to your computer or laptop for later processing to bring out more detail. The innovative and inexpensive NexImage Burst is easy enough for a beginner to use, yet has one of the best CMOS imaging sensors available for exceptional results.

The sensor in the very light weight (only 2 ounce) Celestron NexImage Burst Color is the Aptina AR0132AT CMOS. This state-of-the-art single-shot color 1.2 megapixel video chip captures full-color high-resolution planetary, lunar and solar images in a single exposure. For more information on how single-shot color cameras work, click on the "Single-Shot Color" icon above. For a calculator that will show you the sky coverage of the NexImage Burst with your particular scope, click on the "CCD Calculator" in the "Formula" tab above.

For the sharpest possible images, the NexImage Burst can record more than 120 frames per second when subframed. The images can be stored on your computer as hundreds of individual frames. These can then be digitally stacked by the supplied NexImage iCap software to significantly reduce the electric "noise" inherent in all video chips. Stacking brings out the unseen fine detail (signal) hidden within your real-time images. 

The NexImage Burst camera takes advantage of the fact that the signal to noise ratio of a stacked composite image is proportional to the square root of the number of frames combined. This means that stacking as few as 16 frames will reduce the grainy noise of the composite image by 4 times. Stacking as many 1600 frames will improve the image by 40 times! 

However, stacking the individual frames to reduce the electronic noise is only part of the power of the NexImage Burst software. Before the images are stacked, the software analyzes each individual frame for quality. It then filters out those frames that are most affected (blurred) by poor atmospheric "seeing." This is a form of after-the-fact adaptive optics that leaves only the sharpest, clearest frames to be stacked and aligned into a single high quality image. The result is a bright, clear astroimage with impressive detail. 

Finally, powerful processing features in the NexImage software automatically break the image up into individual unsharp mask layers that can be used to bring out tremendous detail and reveal final images that will rival those taken with astronomical CCD cameras costing a thousand dollars or more. When you are satisfied with the quality of your images, they can be saved as BMP, JPEG, TIFF, or FITS files.

The Celestron NexImage Burst Color's small pixel size provides sub arc-second planetary detail with most telescopes. For example, with a 6" f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain scope the image scale is almost exactly the 0.5 arc second per pixel resolution recommended by most seasoned planetary photographers. 

If you plan on imaging the Sun through a Hydrogen-alpha solar scope, the monochome NexImage Burst camera would be a better choice than this one-shot color version. Only a third of the multi-color Bayer filter mask that turns a mono camera into a color sensor is sensitive to the Sun's H-alpha light. This lowers your overall resolution. Also, some solar scopes have a "sweet spot" of maximum resolution in their image that isn't very large. If the sweet spot is smaller than your imaging chip, your image resolution will be uneven, particularly when combined with the lower resolution of a single-shot color chip. The higher resolution of a monochrome sensor is also why most solar imagers using a white light filter over a telescope's aperture prefer to shoot in monochrome and process the image in false color.

Getting started with the NexImage Burst Color is as easy as pointing your telescope at the Moon, Sun, or a planet and recording a video. Solar system imaging with the NexImage Burst is a great way to enjoy the hobby of astroimaging if you live in a light-polluted area. If you can see the Sun, Moon, or planet in the sky, you can image it with the NexImage Burst Color.

Features of the Camera . . .

Imaging sensor: High sensitivity/high dynamic range/low noise Aptina AR0132AT color CMOS. Fast download electronic rolling shutter lets the imaging sensor continue to gather photons during the acquisition process, thus increasing sensitivity. The sensor chip measures 3.54mm x 2.69mm (4.45mm diagonal).

One-pass full-color imaging: Color images do not require multiple exposures through color filters.
Resolution: 1.2 megapixels (1280 pixels wide x 960 pixels high, 1,228,800 total pixels). Each pixel measures 3.75 microns square. 12-bit A/D conversion rate for a wide dynamic range.
Exposure range: From 0.0001 to 1 second (user selectable) at subframe rates of 120 per second (30fps full frame). 

USB download: The NexImage Burst Color uses a fast USB 2.0 high speed connection to your computer via a supplied 10' USB cable. This allows fast data transfer of the camera's uncompressed frames per second. You see your images almost as soon as you take them, making focusing quick and easy. There is virtually no delay between the moment the image is taken and when it appears on your computer screen.

Connection to the telescope: The NexImage Burst Color has a machined aluminum 1.25" nose piece that allows you to use it with any telescope having a 1.25" focuser. The nose piece is threaded for standard 1.25" eyepiece filters. Back focus is 13.1mm with the 1.25" nose piece. The nose piece is removable, exposing female C-mount threads (25.4 mm x 32 TPI).

Power requirements: No batteries or power supplies required. The camera is powered by your computer via the USB cable. Just plug the NexImage Burst Color's USB cable into your laptop or PC and you are ready to image. No other power supplies are needed. 

Minimum computer requirements: Pentium IV, 2.0 GHz; 1GB RAM; 24 or 32 bit graphics card; Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7/8 (32 and 64 bit); DirectX 9.0c or higher; USB 2.0/3.0. 

Included components: Celestron NexImage Burst Color camera with 1.25" eyepiece adapter; 10' USB 2.0 cable; a CD-ROM including image capture software to capture streaming video of what your telescope sees and Registax image processing software to align, filter, and stack individual frame into one high quality image or movie.

Tech Details

Pixel Array 1280 x 960
Pixel Size 3.75 x 3.75 microns
Weight 5 oz.
Warranty 2 years


Review by:
Great camera for planetary imaging, light in weight, and great resolution. Included software makes it very easy to use. (Posted on 11/4/2018)
Review by:
I have used this camera for planetary imaging of Jupiter in my C9.25. Went to the Beach on long island and got the best shots of Jupiter ever! Great color and resolution. Festooning and the Great red Spot on the surface easily resolvable and sharp. Moons resolving as small spheres. I would say that the Jupiter images I've taken with this camera rival the one shown above with the pictures of the camera body. An excellent planetary imaging camera with a price that wont break the bank. (Posted on 10/28/2018)
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