qhy vs zwo

QHY Vs ZWO: Which One Should You Buy?


Choosing between the right camera kit is such a fact. QHY and ZWO are the two leading Astro camera manufacturers in the market. And as a beginner, you might be baffled about which one to buy. 

Therefore, you might ask, which one is better: QHY vs ZWO?

Well, primarily your interest will decide the respective brands. If you’re interested in planetary photography, the ZWO ASI-MC series is best. For deep-sky imaging, QHYCCD 168C will meet your choice. Imaging sensors, memory buffer systems make a silver lining between QHY and ZWO. 

There is a lot more to explore. Complete our entire tutorial to get every nook and corner of this comparison.

So, let’s spill the beans-

QHY Vs ZWO: Basic Discussion

Both of these cameras are used to capture faint images of the universe. Therefore their paper specification is almost the same. They differ mainly based on their camera models. 

This comparison is almost similar to HEQ5 and HEQ5 Pro. It means the contrast is between two specific models. We’ve presented a model-wise overview in that section for better comprehension.

The model we’ve chosen for depicting the overview is QHY268M and ZWO ASI 2600MM. It’ll resemble the common discrepancies between QHY and ZWO. 

Features QHY ZWO
Imaging Sensor CMOS and CCD CMOS
Full Well 51000e 50000e
DDR3 1000MB 256MB
Connection M54/M48 M42
Length 102.8mm 97mm
Weight 855g  700g
Read Out Noise 1.1e HG/ 3.5e LG 1.0e HG/ 3.3e LG 
Price Low High

These short overviews might not quench your thirst for queries. You might want to know how they differ. 

That’s why we’ve gathered a detailed discussion on some parameters to define the winner. 

QHY Vs ZWO: In-Depth Discussion

QHY and ZWO are both astronomy camera manufacturers. They come in a variety of models depending on your various photography interests. 

Someone might be interested in stars, nebula photography. Some either night deep-sky photography or planetary photoshoots. Both of these companies provide respective camera models satisfying your interest. 

And, that’s why this comparison isn’t similar to Nexstar evolution 8 or 8hd. This comparison is like asking which one is better. A boat or a ship. It entirely depends on what you need. 

In this article, we’ll focus on some specified parameters that are a must for beginners. After reading those points you’ll be able to determine which camera is best for you. 

So, without any further talking let’s jump into the business.

Full Well Capacity

The full well capacity is one of the major factors to define an Astro camera. It denotes the measurement of light a camera’s photosite can absorb before it gets saturated. 

Here photosite means a part of the sensor that collects lights for single pixels. Therefore the higher the full well capacity the brighter the object can be detected. 

According to the above table, you might notice QHY has a higher full well capacity. Though it’s not too high for ZWO to consider. However, it comes to the discussion while choosing between monochrome and color cameras. 

In 10MP monochrome cameras, it captures more accurately than color cameras. Because it captures both 10MP of luminance and color (Red, Green, Blue) at a time. 

Whereas a 10MP one-shot color camera (OSC) takes 10MP of luminance. But only 2.5MP of color data is captured at a time. However, monochrome cameras need extra memory. As it takes 3 color versions of a photo (RGB) to make color images. 

The above comparison might seem QHY is better but it’s not true for all. ZWO ASI533MC Pro is such a model with a huge full well capacity. 

Also, the higher your demand the higher the price. So check the specification carefully as a balance of capability and money is important. 

Imaging Sensors

CCD and CMOS are the most commonly used sensors in Astro cameras. CMOS is those sensors that convert the photons to electrons in a digital device. They create images in digital accessories like digital camera tv etc. 

Contrarily, CCD is also a sensor that converts light into electronic signals. But it mainly works in analog devices. 

As the definition suggests, CMOS is comparatively better than CCD. CMOS permits a higher frame rate, less voltage, and current, higher dynamic range, etc. That’s why CMOS has been the top choice for a long time. 

From the following table, we observe QHY comes in both categories. While ZWO comes only in the CMOS category. 

For high-resolution solar imaging, CMOS is comparatively better than CCD. As CMOS is better in handling short exposure, high readout speed, and noise factors. 

Contrarily CCD takes the lead if you’re interested in scientific works. They are good at scientific measurement using microscopes. 

Thus we can illustrate the important facts about this comparison. Hope it’ll help you to figure out the perfect match for you. 

Final Verdict: Which One Is The Best 

As we’ve mentioned earlier, this discussion is not for sorting the winner. It’s about figuring out the best one that suits you the most. 

After having a discussion you might have understood which one will suit you best. However, it’s often heard that QHY has some issues with software maintenance. They often create issues while installing or connecting with computers. 

Also, ZWO monochrome cameras are not beginner-friendly. We recommend you use the color camera as a beginner. 

However, you can also search for the difference between PVS 7 and PVS 14. The contrasts between these night vision cameras might add some points to ponder. It’ll also enlighten you to look deeper into the specs of Astro cameras.

In case you’re looking for one, we’ve provided some of our suggestions here for your convenience-

Product 1 Product 2


Question: What is ZWO ASIStudio?

Answer: A software package of astronomy developed by ZWO. It aims to build a full-featured astronomy ecosystem. Also, it includes imaging and post-processing work of faint astronomy images. 

Question: Can ZWO cameras cool their sensors by themselves?

Answer: Yes. They contain TECs (thermoelectric coolers) that reduce sensor temperature. And thus the noise is reduced also. These cameras are called cooled cameras with a tag named ‘-Cool’ on the shaft. 

Question: Does any of the QHY models have a one-shot sensor?

Answer: Yes. QHY10 is a one-shot color camera with Sony’s APS-C sensor. It also has 10 megapixels with thermal noise activation technology. This sensor is also known as a trigger sensor. 


Our discussion ends here. Hope you’ve understood the clear contrasts of QHY vs ZWO. Now you can decide which camera will best suit your choice. 

Best of luck. Be sure to post your thoughts in the comment section below.

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