I originally placed an order for the ASI120MM-S camera at the beginning of April for the ZWO sale, but due to the fact that High Point sold out, it was put on back order. Needless to say, when the stock was replenished, I was not ready to re-order it.
Suffice to say, I am back at the drawing board and trying to decide which Monochrome camera I want to buy. I am polling the forum members for their advice.
My three choices are the ZWO:
ASI120MM-S Super Speed Mono camera
ASI178MM Mono camera
ASI290MM Mono camera
All are USB 3.0, different size chips, but all basically at or near 1/1.8 - 1/3. Exposure range is between 32us and 64us up to 1000s to 2000s. My goal is not long exposure imaging, but 15-30 second imaging of DSO's with Live Stacking and EAA or planetary avi's to stacked images.
My assumption is that the ASI290 is the big brother to the ASI224, but in mono form, since the 224 was never made as a mono camera. The ASI120MM-S is the same sized chip as the 224 and appears to be the little brother to the 224 and both the 120 and the 224 are 1.2 mega pixels.The ASI178MM has a slightly smaller chip at 1/1.8".
Full Well between the 120MM-S, the 290MM and the 178MM are 14.6K, 14.6K and 15K respectively. I have the ASI224MC camera and it's Full Well is 19.2K Full Well.
As I see it now, the ASI120MM-S camera seems to be on par with the 178 and 290, however, the 178 is 6.4mp, the 290 is 2.3mp and the 120 is 1.2mp.
So which one is better? My budget is $400. The ASI290 and the ASI178 are both $399 and the 120MM-S is $249. Based on available information, the 120MM-S looks to be the better deal, however, between the 290 and 178, which one is better than the other? The 178 appear to be better by resolution at 6.3 mega pixels compared to the 290 at 2.3 mega pixels. So which one would be the better deal? Is the better resolution of the 178 @ 6.3 better than the 290 @ 2.3 mega pixels? Will it really matter for details on the planets? Which resolution will produce more detailed images of the planets?
Please give me your advice and suggestions: I plan on buying this camera next Friday morning.