Discovery Astrophotography with ZWO ASTRO

What are the differences between ASI662MC and ASI462MC?

The ASI662MC and ASI462MC are both entry-level planetary cameras from ZWO that can meet the needs of beginner astrophotographers. They are cameras that you can easily use even if you don’t do too much research.

In fact, the ASI462MC has been discontinued and replaced by the upgraded ASI662MC, and the performance improvement is definitely worth the money.

First, compare these two cameras side by side to see the differences.

The ASI662MC has a compelling infrared light capture capability, super high sensitivity, and ultra-low readout noise, which makes it excellent in planetary, solar, and lunar photography. It also has anti-amp-glow characteristics, which is an excellent bonus for post-processing.

As an iteration of the ASI462MC, the ASI662MC has made upgrades in the following four areas, and its performance is becoming increasingly outstanding!

  • Dynamic range: the ability to detect bright and faint signals at the same time.

The ASI662MC uses SONY’s new technology, which has much lower readout noises and a larger full well capacity than the previous generation Sensor, making the camera’s dynamic range greatly improved. The ASI662MC has more than three times the full well capacity of the ASI462MC, which can effectively avoid overexposure and allow for long exposures.

Compared to the ASI462MC, the images taken with ASI662MC have significantly better brightness and contrast. Even in low light conditions, ASI662MC can capture very clear celestial images.

  • Anti-amp-glow technology: reducing the burden on post-processing.

In images, the most typical form of amp-glow is a bright spot, which often appears at the edge of the image. Amp-glow comes from false signals from the CCD/CMOS external circuit and components (such as amplifiers and ADCs).

After the external circuit and components are powered on, they may generate various electromagnetic interferences or emit certain wavelengths of light (such as infrared light), among which the most significant is amplifier glow. It needs to be deducted through calibration frames in post-processing, which increases the difficulty for novice users.

The ASI662MC adopts anti-amp-glow technology, which maximizes the camera’s photography performance, and the image is clean whether you are using long exposures or high gain values.

  • Quantum efficiency: an important parameter that describes the photon-to-electron conversion ability of the image sensor.

The quantum efficiency of the ASI662MC is higher. Under the same gain conditions, the required exposure time can be shorter, which means the camera has higher sensitivity.

The peak quantum efficiency of ASI662MC is about 91%
The peak quantum efficiency of ASI462MC is about 81%
  • Appearance: more user-friendly structure.

Finally, let’s take a look at the product’s appearance. The structure designs of the two planetary cameras are similar, but the ASI662MC has four more screws than the ASI462MC to securely lock the M42 adapter ring and avoid unscrewing the M42 adapter ring when removing the OAG or T-tube. Overall, the outer structure of the ASI662MC camera is more user-friendly.

The appearance of the ASI662MC is similar to that of previous planetary cameras, with the ZWO’s iconic red color, ST4 interface, and USB 3.0 interface. The ST4 combined with the ASIStudio software’s guiding function is a great tool for amateurs to help correct polar alignment errors.

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