QHY183M Review – Part 2

As promised, now that I have done some imaging with my new QHYCCD 183M Mono ColdMOS Back Illuminated camera here’s the second part of my review on the camera.

Pixel size:- The pixel size on the 183M is 2.4um which I absolutely love, on my Sky-Watcher 8 Inch Quattro F4 the camera gives me a field of view of 0.62 Arcseconds/Pixel, which is a fantastic resolution, I remember when I had my Atik 383L+ and my Astro-Tech AT8RC F8, that offered me a resolution of around 0.63 Arcseconds/Pixel, so I am now imaging at almost the same field of view but at F4 and at 20mpx, but let’s just put that into comparison on the same scope, the first image below is IC434 taken with the Atik 383L+ on the Quattro, and the second image below is taken with the QHY183M on the same telescope, you can see what impact it has on the field of view:

FOV on Atik 383L+ with 8″ Quattro F4

FOV on QHY183M with 8″ Quattro F4

As you can see from the above two images the difference in the field of view due to the chip size.

Camera Sensitivity:- Since moving to the QHY183M I have had to make changes to how I image, having owned the Atik 383L+ for a good few years, I got used to imaging with it, so when I moved to the QHY183M I suddenly noticed that this camera was quite a bit more sensitive, the first image above consists of 300 second frames for the LRGB whereas the second image consists of just 150 second frames, yes 150 second frames!!!

When I first started imaging M81/M82 with the QHY183M, I immediately started with 300 Second frames, I ended up with the same amount of 300 second frames that I had with the Atik 383L+ but I just could not process it, after further analysis I noticed then that the lights were severely clipped, to put this into perspective, below is the Sequence Generator Pro Histogram for both the 300 second exposure (left) and the 150 second exposure (right)

As you can see the histogram on the left for the 300 second exposure is severly clipped on the right side of the histogram indicating that the exposure was too long, the histogram on the right for the 150 second exposure is a lot better, there is still some slight clipping happening but this was a luminance frame, this clearly indicates that the 183M is much more sensitive than my previous CCD imager.

The following two images were produced with the 183M, firstly IC434 consists of 19×300 Second Exposures in RGB and the Second Image of The Owl Nebula consists of 27×300 second exposures in RGB + 25x600S in Ha

Software Integration:- As you probably know already, I use Sequence Generator Pro for my image acquisition and the integration with the camera has been pretty seemless, the ASCOM platform driver works pretty well, and I have the camera set to the default gain and offset setting that QHY have provided which is 16 of Gain and 76 for offset:

UV/IR Sensitivity:- I have read online that the 183M is a little bit sensitive to UV/IR Light, so I asked the guys at QHYCCD about this abd they informed be that the window on the senor is straight clear glass, so it also lets in UV/IR Light, which for me is not an issue as all of my Baader filters are UV/IR Blocked anyway, but it is something to consider if I ever change filters.

The camera has performed way beyond my expectations, had to change some of my approaches to image acquisition but that was to be expected, I am extremely happy with the camera and look forward to getting more data to compliment the Luminance for M81/M82 in the not so distant future.

If you are considering the QHY183M as an imaging camera, and would like to discuss, then feel free to reach out to me.

Clear Skies

23 thoughts on “QHY183M Review – Part 2”

  1. Hi Simon,
    I am definitely buying this model – but would like your thoughts on a QHY filter wheel and OAG. I have a Celestron C11 Edge HD with focal reducer, and an ES127 refractor with a focal reducer. Interestingly, I have been researching the purchase of a camera for months, and independently came to the same conclusion. I read your review here after I made the decision to buy – nice confirmation! Thank you.

    1. It’s a really good choice, I do not have any experience with the QHY Filterwheel and OAG, I have only ever used my StarlightXpress 7x36mm filterwheel and I have just moved away from an OAG and use a finder scope for guiding, I used to use the TS9OAG

      1. Hi Simon. Is there a particular reason you didn’t use the ts9oag? I just swapped my qhy10 for a qhy183m and I already have a SX filter wheel. I’m planning to use them on my 10″ quattro in particular and I already installed my ts9oag on it. Was it difficult to finde guide stars with it? I’ve been using a 9×50 finder-guider but was really looking forward to use it with the oag. I used the oag in the past with a 200p and a lacerta mgen standalone autoguider but now I’m planning to use my qhy5 which is more sensitive than the lacerta.

        1. Yes, with the TS9OAG I could not get the correct level of backfocus to the QHY183M, it simply adds too much, hence why I could not use it for Guiding, I would have loved to have stuck with it, but it just would not work

  2. I have just discovered your website and may I say it is compulsive reading. You are ahead of me on the astro-imaging curve and as such the equipment and techniques you are using are effectively ‘my next steps’, albeit big ones in this hobby. So the information you are detailing is answering the questions I have had rattling around in my head.
    Please keep adding to the site, especially information concerning the new 183 chipped camera…. maybe my next purchase and the upgrade from a modded DSLR. So keep up the good work. Many thanks.

      1. Thanks Simon,
        I am new to astrophotography and don’t understand how pixel size works. I have the Qhy174 @ 5.8 micron pixel size. Can you explained how the FOV, magnification, and light gathering properties of the qhy183 @ 2.4 micron pixel camera will compare to those of my qhy174@5.8 pixel camera?
        Thank you, warren

  3. Hi Simon,

    Do you have any comments on how this would compare to an QHY163M or similar Panasonic-based sensor?

    With a 102mm/f7 refractor, I expect that I would benefit from the wider field of view with the 163M and suspect I would not be able to take advantage of the smaller pixels of the 183M but it’s quite tempting on it’s high QE and lower price.

    1. Hi MT
      I have no experience of the 163M, however the pixel size on the 163M are much bigger than the 2.4um on the 183M, so I totally agree the 163M will give you a much wider field of view than the 183M

  4. Hi Simon,
    Thank you for your 183 review.
    I am new to astrophotography. I am looking for a guiding camera that can be used for planitary work as well. I have not done either yet. Is it a good idea or a bad one to get a camera that will do both? Will this qhy183 be a good choice for planitary and for guiding? I have a sv130 and a qhy174 camera.
    Did you imply that smaller pixels give smaller FOV & therefore objects appear larger? My 174 with 5.8 micron pixels show tiny planets.
    Thanks Warren

    1. Yes, a smaller pixel size will give a smaller field of view, so in essence they should appear larger, plus at 20mpx you have a lot more resolution to play with

  5. Simon,

    I know this review is getting a bit old, I am sorry but I have to correct this for your readers. Pixel size determines the resolution that the camera can provide with a specific telescope, not the field of view. The sensor size determines the field of view.

    If two cameras have the same number of pixels (for example., 1024×768), then the pixel size will be related to the field of view, but only because the pixel size together with the number of pixels determine the sensor size.

    But a 1024×768 camera with 8 micron pixels will have field of view that is 1/4 the area (1/2 the length in each direction) of a 4096×3072 camera with 4 micron pixels. So a camera with smaller pixels will not automatically have a smaller field of view.


  6. Hi there – can you comment on amp glow? I understand that some of the early cameras had significant amp glow but QHY made some changes to reduce it.

    1. Hi Chris
      Yes my QHY183M had Amp glow but this was no issue when dark frames were applied, the amp glow was correctly removed

  7. Hi Simon,

    That’s for this review as I’m currently searching for a good economic CCD. Which coma corrector are you using? Do you have a 1.25 to 2” adapter? Do you have more pictures with this equipment? Thanks a lot .

    1. Hi Benjamin
      I was using the Aplanatic Coma Corrector on the Skywatcher, but I have now moved to the SharpStar 15028HNT which has a built in corrector

  8. hi Simon, I have the same camera, how about amp glow? Qhy says to have implemented a circuit to remove the amp glow, but my images have a very evident problem with it and sometimes it is so hard to remove it whit post processing. What’s your experience?

    1. Hi Nicola
      Yes the QHY183M suffers from Amp Glow, however I was able to counter this by using dark frames at the same temperature, Exposure and Gain/Offset as the light frames, hence why Amp glow is not evident in my images

  9. I have just got the QHY183m but i am new to this & need as much help as possible to get it to work with my 16″ Sky-Watcher 400p, I am using SNAPCAP software as is recommended by the QHY manual. So any help would be great as I would like to get the color version as well.

    1. It’s a good camera Richard, I am now going for the QHY268C as I wanted an APS-C OSC in preparation for a RASA Scope next year

  10. Thanks for the great review on QHY183. Please share your thoughts on this camera’s compatibility with a short focal length scope such as Radian Raptor or Redcat in light of its small pixel scale. If price is not a concern, would you be looking at other larger pixel scale cameras as well?

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