Wow, this is a challenge to fully understand. Are the specs and results a good direction?
I think it depends just a little on your perspective, but if your question is whether this IMX294 sensor appears to be a great one for astronomical imaging the answer appears to be a resounding "yes"!
You still need to consider how the rest of your equipment will interact with the sensor/camera but otherwise there is very little I see about this sensor/camera which I don't like a lot!
Hiten is using a sensor which has more bad pixels than one would hope to find but his sensor may not be a production-quality sensor and I think ZWO will likely be changing out his camera for another without that issue. I think his images (and those of the others) are still amazingly good considering the acquisition times.
If I had money for a camera sitting around right now and I had an optical train which yielded an image circle I considered suitable for the 4/3" IMX294 camera and I had a computer with the horsepower to handle the data - I'd have to consider an IMX294 camera.
I'd have just a little concern about under-sampling with an extremely short focal length scope/reducer but I think I've only two optics where that might be a real issue (and they are extreme). It is conceivable that you might have some issues if you were trying to crop down an image for framing purposes but practically speaking I don't see that ever being an issue for me.
Overall it is an amazingly good sensor. I have some optics which I do think are pretty suitable for use with it and I will likely try to accumulate the funds to get an IMX294 camera at some point. I have an Orion XX12g which I think would be awesome for use with this sensor - fast optics, my relatively aberration-free image circle may be big enough even without a coma corrector and I could keep subs short enough to where I could get some great views and images of some really faint fuzzies!
I think I'll be waiting, however, to see what QHY does as well. I think this sensor is good enough that I just don't think there will be one coming on the market which I will generally like better for quite a number of years so I don't intend to be an early adopter - I'll wait and get the camera which appears to be the better implementation of that camera (QHY, ZWO, Atik, I don't know which that will be).
If you want to do monochrome work this is not the sensor for you, however.
Since most of my optics give an image circle more appropriate for an APS-C sized sensor I think the ASI071 is not going away any time soon. I like the wide FOVs and I am not going to give up that larger sensor unless and until they have an APS-C sized sensor with substantially better characteristics.
Since the IMX294 looks to me like an attempt to test/expand the idea of surveillance equipment using larger sensors and it is not clear to me that Sony will find the sensor to be successful, it may be that they will not choose to implement this kind of tech in an APS-C sized sensor in the near future. But that is the doubting version. There is some reason for doubt about the use of this kind of sensor for surveillance.
Admittedly I know more about a somewhat higher-end segment of the surveillance market than I do about the low-end (and effectively nothing about what I assume to be the highest-end). (Note that I'm not claiming great/immense knowledge, just more than about other segments.) In the segment I know something about one the biggest issue is often handling the data more than it is collecting it. So that bigger sensor means I am going to be using more storage and more bandwidth in order to make that surveillance data actually useful. Data compression is a very big deal for improving this issue and the rumbling is that there is at least one very significant improvement on the way for some applications but it is not available in volume at this time so who knows how that will sort out?
I also have some fear that if the compression solution is broadly adopted that sensor manufacturers might be able to license the tech and might be able to implement it in SoC and that would be irritating. I suspect, however, that the compression will be sufficiently power-intensive that the sensor manufacturers won't want to try that any time soon.
Well, that was a long-winded way of saying that from what I've seen so far the IMX294 sensor is amazing for NRTV and/or more conventional astrophotographic applications if the sensor size is suited to the optics. I would also not hold my breath for the APS-C sized sensor with similar characteristics although there is tech coming on the market which just might make an APS-C sized sensor sufficiently attractive to a large enough sector of the surveillance market to where they might develop and sell that sensor in sufficient quantity to make it affordable to us.
Edited by OleCuss, 20 October 2017 - 05:13 AM.