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QSI CCD Camera Reviews

QSI CCD Camera Reviews

QSI cameras cooled CCD cameras are designed for extremely wide dynamic range, excellent linearity and exceptionally low noise. See what these imaging experts have to say about how the truly scientific imaging performance of QSI cameras helps you make the most of your dark time -- whether your goal is great pictures of deep sky objects or precise photometry in the search for exoplanets.

We are very proud of the fact that every reviewer who has evaluated a QSI camera was so impressed with the performance that they subsequently purchased a QSI camera for themselves. Read on to find out why you should choose QSI for your next astronomical or scientific camera purchase.

You can also see images from each of these reviewers on the QSI Gallery page>>


Sky & Telescope selected the QSI 583 as a Hot Product for 2010.
Sky & Telescope Hot Product 2010

S&T Senior Editor Dennis DiCicco had this to say about the QSI 583:

"No CCD sensor in recent memory has generated as much excitement as the 8.3mp Kodak KAF-8300 with tiny 5.4 micron pixels. All the major manufacturers of astronomical CCD cameras offer models with this detector, but those from Quantum Scientific Imaging caught our eye, because the built-in filter wheel is so close to the sensor that it works with standard 1 1/4" filters. This can save hundreds of dollars compared to cameras that use external filter wheels and, by necessity, larger filters."

Of course being able to use standard 1.25" filters in the built-in filter wheel is just one of many benefits of QSI cameras, including true scientific image quality with exceptionally low noise, unmatched build quality, and being able to guide with light from in front of the filter wheel using the Integrated Guider Port of the WSG -- all in one compact package.

And visit this page for more information on why the true scientific image quality of QSI cameras allows you to capture higher signal to noise ratio images producing smoother, better looking final images in less time. Why QSI? Click for more details>>


AstroPhoto Insight Magazine awared the QSI 583 as the Stellar Performer for 2009.
AstroPhoto Insight

Throughout the year AstroPhoto Insight Magazine salutes products, services and industry leaders which have helped to advance the science and art form of astrophotography with the AstroPhoto Insight Stellar Performer Award. Through technical innovation, scientific contribution and industry advancing design, award recipients have provided their expertise to benefit of astrophotography hobbyists. The Stellar Performer Award honors their mentorship and contributions. The final selection is made by AstroPhoto Insight Magazine editors and advisors.

Also in the December issue is an article by QSI's Kevin Nelson, titled,
"Kodak KAF-8300 - 8.3mp of Stellar Performance."

Visit the AstroPhoto Insight web site>> and download the December 2009 issue to read the Stellar Performer announcement
and the article on the Kodak KAF-8300 CCD image sensor


AstroPhoto Insight Magazine takes a "First Look" at the QSI 583
AstroPhoto Insight

Kevin Dixon reviewed the QSI 583 in the Aug./Sept. 2009 issue of AstroPhoto Insight Magazine.

Here are some of the reviewer's comments:

"Features of the camera that I found to be quite remarkable were its compact size (4.5 x 4.5 x 2 inches), light weight (2.5 pounds), and build-quality. Clearly, the camera design was well thought out and incorporated high quality materials."

"First, the signal associated with the image was very strong considering that the subexposure duration... Second, the camera held the temperature within 0.1 degrees of the setting (-20 degrees C) throughout the imaging session, which continued through the entire night. Finally, mechanically, the camera performed simply and flawlessly."

"Easily, these were the cleanest bias frames that I have ever experienced when compared against the other CCD cameras that I have owned..."

And lastly:

"I look forward to many years of imaging with the 583ws. In addition to being a fine piece of equipment, it is just plain old fun to use under the stars. If you are in the market for a high quality, reasonably priced CCD camera, the QSI 583 should be at the top of your list."

To read Kevin Dixon's full review of his QSI 583ws,
visit the AstroPhoto Insight web site>>
to download the Aug./Sept. 2009 issue.


Sky & Telescope reviewed the 540wsg and declared, "With its big chip and guider port, this camera delivers high performance and high elegance."
Sky & Telescope Hot Product 2009

Richard Fienberg, former editor of Sky & Telescope magazine, reviewed the QSI 540wsg in the June 2009 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine.

Here are some of Mr. Fienberg's comments about the QSI 540wsg:

"It’s obvious that QSI’s electronics squeeze every ounce of signal from the CCD, adding almost no noise or dark current and delivering the utmost in performance. This makes it an ideal camera for deep-sky and scientific imaging."

"The QSI’s pick-off prism is a generous half-inch square, well suited to the larger chips now standard in dedicated autoguiders like the Orion StarShoot. I never had any trouble finding a usable guide star."

"When I started taking images with the 540wsg, I was at first confused by how clean they were. After all, I hadn’t yet set up any image calibration — no dark frames, no flat fields. How could the images look so good? The answer is simple: QSI’s electronics are nearly noise free!"

"It took only a few minutes for the camera to cool by 30°C from ambient temperature, and once it reached the set point, it stayed there with not so much as a 0.1°C variation.

Download the full Sky & Telescope review of the QSI 540wsg>>


Craig Stark Reviews the QSI 520ci for AstroPhoto Insight Magazine
AstroPhoto Insight

Craig Stark, Ph.D., is a researcher into the neural bases of human long-term memory and founder of Stark Labs. Stark Labs is the developer of Nebulosity and the highly regarded PHD Guiding application. Craig did a thorough technical review of the single-shot color QSI 520ci and did some head-to-head comparisons with his own camera from another manufacturer that uses the identical sensor.

Here are some of Craig's conclusions:

"To me, something that is brilliantly engineered is a work of art. In this respect, the QSI 500 series is a work of art... The camera is engineered and built like a racecar and performs like one too."

"When isolating the read noise component (one frame subtracted from a large stack), we see an ideal frame with no evidence of any systematic noise."

"Quite simply, I could not find any faults in the camera’s performance. Were I looking for a camera to serve as a reference standard, the QSI 500 series would be it.
Yes, the performance was that good."

And the comment that we think says the most :

"Probably the most telling statement I can make about the 500 series cameras is that when I reviewed one, I didn’t own one. After reviewing one, I do.

To read Craig Stark's full review of the QSI 520ci, visit the AstroPhoto Insight web site>> to download the June/July issue.


Astronomy Now Hot Product

Astronomy Now Awards the QSI 532ws a "Hot Product">>

Nik Szymanek, a highly regarded astrophotographer from the U.K., reviewed the QSI 532ws for Astronomy Now magazine. We think Nik's conclusion says it all.

"In summary, I can honestly say that this is the best CCD camera I’ve ever used."

"Highly recommended!"

Read Astronomy Now's complete review of the QSI 532>>


Richard Berry Reviews the QSI 532>>Astronomy Technology Today

Richard Berry wrote an in-depth review of the QSI 532ws which was published in the February 2008 issue of Astronomy Technology Today. Richard Berry is the author or co-author of numerous astronomy books including, The Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing, Build Your Own Telescope, and Discover the Stars. Mr. Berry was also a former Editor of Astronomy magazine and helped popularize amateur CCD astronomy in the 1990's with The CCD Camera Cookbook.

Here are a couple highlights pulled from his review.

“After working with the evaluation QSI 532ws for another ten weeks,
I ordered one for myself

“What impressed me in looking over the mass of data I collected is that the QSI 532ws’ images are exceptionally clean and free of readout artifacts.… the QSI 532ws’ bias frames looked so close to ideal that I was amazed… I can say that for all practical intents and purposes, the test QSI 532ws bias frames are textbook perfect.”

“I was impressed with the high sensitivity, the clean bias frames, the low dark current, the uniformity of the CCD’s response to light, and the smooth, reliable operation of the shutter and filter wheel.  My overall assessment is that QSI 532ws is a laboratory-quality camera that’s an outstanding value for amateur astronomers who demand top-notch imaging performance.”

Download Richard Berry's complete review of the QSI 532>>
Note: The PDF is over 8mb so give it a minute to download

AstroPhoto Insight Review of the QSI 516ws >>AstroPhoto Insight Magazine

The online imaging pubilcation AstroPhoto Insight published a "First Look" review of the QSI 516ws by Alan Smallbone. Alan is an active amateur astrophotographer and trustee of the Orange County Astronomers (OCA). He was one of the first amateur astromers to use a QSI camera under the stars. He subsequenty purchased a camera for a his own use and started the Yahoo! discussion group QSI-ccd for people interested in QSI cameras.

“I was immediately impressed with the bias frames from this camera.
Such low noise, wow!

The results speak for themselves... QSI's claim that these are 'Scientific Grade Cameras' is one that is very true”

Read Alan's complete review of the QSI 516ws>>

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