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This post I want to be a quick review of the ZWO ASI 715MC, the latest addition to the ZWO’s line of planetary cameras. Featuring the smallest pixel size in the ZWO family, this camera is designed to elevate your planetary imaging experience.

The ZWO ASI715MC is equipped with an IMX715 CMOS sensor, providing a high image resolution of 3864×2192 and a pixel size of just 1.45μm. This compact pixel size is a standout feature, especially for telescopes with shorter focal lengths. The camera’s capability of shooting at 45 FPS at full resolution is particularly beneficial for lunar mosaics. While planetary imaging typically uses a fraction of the sensor, the high FPS ensures superior image capture. The camera also offers a 12-bit depth, aligning with industry standards for planetary cameras, though 8-bit depth remains the norm for most planetary imaging needs.

I’ve been using the Sky-Watcher 150PDS, a 6-inch reflector with a 750mm focal length, for my planetary imaging. Previously, I used the SvBony SV705c with its 2.9 micron pixel size, ideally coupled with a 4x Barlow lens. With the 715MC, however, I can achieve the same image scale using just a 2x Barlow Lens – a significant improvement in terms of ease and convenience.

During my initial experiences in December 2023, I encountered a minor hiccup with Firecapture not recognizing the camera. However, this was quickly resolved by updating the software. Despite variable seeing conditions, I managed to capture some nice images of Jupiter. One particularly exciting session involved capturing Venus in the early morning, with the Sun already above the horizon. The small pixel size of the 715MC allowed me to reveal intricate details on the lunar surface, including numerous small craters as well. For those interested, I have uploaded unprocessed raw images to Google Drive, allowing you to experiment with processing these captures.

The ZWO ASI 715MC is a robust tool for astrophotographers using telescopes with shorter focal lengths, eliminating the need for high-power Barlow lenses. Its small pixel size necessitates careful consideration of sampling, especially with high focal length telescopes. The binning feature is a practical solution, effectively transforming the 715MC into a camera with a larger 2.9-micron pixel size, ideal for certain setups. Priced at $179 at the time of this review, it offers excellent value for its capabilities.

In conclusion, the ZWO ASI 715MC stands out as a significant breakthrough in planetary imaging, offering a remarkable 1.45-micron pixel size and unmatched versatility. It caters to a diverse range of telescopes and astrophotography techniques. If you’re in the US and considering adding this high-performance camera to your astrophotography toolkit, consider using this affiliate link to purchase it from AgenaAstro. This link supports this site at no additional cost to you, as I receive a small commission for each purchase made through it. Your support is invaluable and greatly appreciated!

Until next time, clear skies and happy imaging!