Regarding the ASI1600 camera for beginners and as a "CCD Killer". I don't think it is either. Well, at least, not the mono.
For one, the ASI1600 hasn't even hit the street yet and is unproven. For someone who hasn't even stuck a DSLR on their scope yet, then at the very least, the mono version is probably not the best option. It took me a few days of searching around and reading various sites and forums, then time researching how to get the darn thing connected to my existing scopes, before I knew it would even be possible.
I had to contact Precise Parts by email and ask about the possibility of adapting an EFW2 to a MALE (not female) M42 thread, and a very thin one at that (and within 12 hours they had a solution on their site...a beginner would likely not even know Precise Parts existed, let alone know what to ask for.) I also had to do some digging on a few of the sites I know produce more obscure adapters at uncommon backfocus requirements to find all the necessary parts.
If a beginner was looking for an easy cooled camera to use, the ASI1600MC-Cooled (color) might do. That should be easier to adapt, as there wouldn't be any need to find and adapt a filter wheel to potentially limited backfocus (i.e. 55mm T-thread). They would simply need one of a couple different adapters, and then they could slap the thing onto most refractors with a T-thread, or any number of camera lenses (including some mirrorless, thanks to the 6.5mm minimum backfocus.)
As for the ASI1600 being a CCD killer. I don't think so. It's at a great price point for someone who doesn't want to spend many thousands of dollars, however it seems clear it doesn't quite have the quality of a well built CCD camera. There is an amp glow issue. I don't think it is extreme, certainly not as extreme as some other ZWO cameras. But it does have some amp glow. For those sticklers who want ideal quality, a CCD will still deliver better results there.
I have played with a number of bias and dark frames from people who are beta testing this camera, and I ran some DFT's on them. These cameras have very low noise, however the dark noise it is not purely gaussian. There is a bit of horizontal pattern, faint but it does show up a little in the DFT. Compared to a QSI or FLI dark, which show up as completely random and pristine. Personally, coming from a 5D III, the small pattern in the noise isn't a huge issue. I've had significantly worse with my 5D III, and I have also had significantly worse amp glow issues. Not to mention the lack of regulated cooling with a DSLR. However I could understand someone who is used to the quality of a well built CCD not wanting to deal with anything less than ideal.
So, I don't think the ASI1600 is a CCD killer either.
However, it is really tough to ignore the price point. Depending on exactly what filter wheel and filters you get, the delivered price could be half that of the next cheapest CCD camera, and many times less than the average CCD camera. For a fully capable monochrome camera with filters, the problems of a little bit of amp glow and less than perfectly gaussian noise seem a little more trivial. If you have to work on a tighter budget, it's a great option, IMO.
Edited by Jon Rista, 03 May 2016 - 02:27 PM.