qhy vs zwo

QHY Vs ZWO: Which One Should You Buy?


Choosing the right camera kit is such a fact. QHY and ZWO are the two leading Astro camera manufacturers in the market. As a beginner, you might need clarification about which one to buy. 

Therefore, 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 the best. For deep-sky imaging, QHYCCD 168C will meet your choice. Imaging sensors and memory buffer systems make a silver lining between QHY and ZWO. 

There is a lot more to explore. Could you 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 and nebula photography. Some are either night deep-sky photography or planetary photoshoots. Both of these companies have the same camera models that satisfy your interest. 

And that’s why this comparison isn’t similar to Nexstar evolution eight 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 can 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 a major factor defining 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 light for single pixels. Therefore the higher the full well capacity, the brighter the object can be detected. 

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

In 10MP monochrome cameras, it captures more accurately than color cameras because it captures 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 three 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. Could you 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 are sensors that convert photons to electrons in a digital device. They create images in digital accessories like digital cameras, tv, etc. 

Contrarily, CCD is also a sensor that converts light into electronic signals. But it mainly works on 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. At the same time, 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. 

So we can show the important facts about this comparison. I hope it’ll help you figure out the perfect match. 

Final Verdict: Which One Is The Best 

As I said earlier, this discussion is not meant for the winner. It’s about figuring out the best one that suits you the most. 

After discussing it, you might have understood which one suits you best. However, it’s often heard that QHY has some issues with software maintenance. They often create problems while installing or connecting with computers. 

Also, ZWO monochrome cameras could be more beginner-friendly. You should use the color camera as a beginner. 

However, you can also search for the difference between PVS 7 and 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 for 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 also reduced. These 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. I hope you’ve understood the clear contrasts between QHY and ZWO. Now you can decide which camera will best suit your choice. 

Best of luck. Please post your thoughts in the comment section below.

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