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640x480, Monochrome Camera

Sentech's USB2.0 Ultra-Small cameras are ideal choices for planetary, lunar, and solar imaging. They also feature an extended exposure mode with noise-reduction that makes longer exposures of deep-sky objects possible with no additional modifications. They make a great planetary camera while allowing basic deep-sky imaging at a fraction of the cost of a cooled astronomical CCD camera.

The STC-MB33USB is an ultra-compact, progressive scan, VGA, USB camera with a 1/3” monochrome CCD. At full resolution it can capture 60 frames per second (fps). Faster frame rates are possible with partial scanning modes that use a smaller portion of the sensor.

Most USB video cameras used for solar system imaging capture data at 8-bit depth. While this is fine for most planetary imaging, a higher bit-depth can be preferable for solar imaging where the extra dynamic range allows for capturing both surface detail and prominences in the same exposure. The Sentech cameras can capture 10-bit data at 1/2 the full frame rate, and 12-bit data at 1/4 the full frame rate.


  • Image Sensor: 1/3” Interline VGA monochrome progressive CCD: Sony ICX424AL
  • Effective Pixels: 659 (H) x 494 (V)
  • Sensor Size: 4.74 (H) x 3.55 (V) mm
  • Pixel Size: 7.40 (H) x 7.40 (V) µm
  • Scanning System: Progressive
  • Resolution: 640 (H) x 480 (V) (Full scanning); 640 (H) x 224 (V) (1/2 partial scanning); 640 (H) x 80 (V) (1/4 partial scanning)
  • Scanning Methods: Full scanning, 1/1 partial scanning, 1/2 partial scanning, 1/4 partial scanning, Variable partial scanning
  • Maximum Frame Rate (Full Scanning): 60 fps (Normal) / 30 fps (1/2 clock) / 15 fps (1/4 clock) / Up to 240 fps with 1/4 partial scanning
  • Video Output: 8bit / 10bit / 12bit
  • Minimum Scene Illumination: 0.17 Lux at F1.2
  • Electronic Shutter: Auto / Manual (software selectable)
  • Gain: Auto / Manual (software selectable)
  • Gamma: Manual (software selectable)
  • Input / Output: USB 2.0 High Speed
  • Power: Input Voltage +5 Vdc through USB connector (+4.4 to +5.25V); Consumption < 420 mA
  • Dimensions: 28 (W) x 28 (H) x 37 (D) mm (excluding connector)
  • Lens Mount: CS mount
  • Weight: Approximately 45g
  • Interface Connector: Mini-B USB connector IO signal
  • Included Accessories: Mini USB cable, 1.25" nosepiece with filter threads, software CD