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New Product Announcement April 10, 2002

The New ST-2000XM
Dual sensor
2 Megapixel
CCD Camera


st_2000_trifidback3.jpg (90,749 bytes)

Production begins in June 2002, Deliveries August 2002*

*Company Seven does not often publish preliminary information about new products.
However, since the credibility of the management and of the products at SBIG are so well regarded,
we believe it is worthwhile to make this interesting information available to our customers

SBIG's customers have been invaluable sources of inspiration and direction.  It was in direct response to customer inquiries that SBIG developed the ST-2000XM.  Now those casual imagers who wanted something bigger and better but not at such a high price as the ST-8 or ST-10 CCD systems have got what they asked for.  The ST-2000XM has been developed to meet the needs of the astro imager looking for:
  • A relatively large CCD with a generous field of view
  • Lots of pixels - more than a megapixel
  • Good sensitivity
  • Low noise
  • Antiblooming protection
  • High resolution on smaller telescopes
  • Flexibility of binning 2x2 on larger scopes with good image size
  • Self-guiding
  • High speed download
  • Professional software
  • Easy to use
  • Full compliment of optional custom accessories
  • Lower price
  • SBIG quality and support

A first for SBIG, the new model ST-2000XM  (X=high speed USB, M=microlens) uses an high quality interline CCD from Kodak.  The KAI-2000M CCD is a 2 megapixel progressive scan detector with an active image area of 1.92 million pixels.   The active image area is 1600 x 1200 pixels at 7.4 microns.  This array is 75% larger than the Sony CCD used in competitors' "megapixel" cameras and ST-2000XM is a self-guiding camera, utilizing SBIG's patented dual sensor design.  The imaging CCD is nearly the same size as the KAF-1602E used in the ST-8XE but due to the smaller pixel size it contains nearly half a million more pixels than the ST-8XE.  Full frame download time is approximately 4.5 seconds with our new high speed USB electronics.   This camera is also fully compatible with all of our existing SBIG accessories including the CFW-8 filter wheel and the innovative AO-7 adaptive optics device.  The ST-2000XM has antiblooming protection, and the quantum efficiency is comparable to the Anti-Blooming Gate enabled (ABG) versions of the new enhanced full frame "E" detectors used in the ST-7XE cameras with a shift in the peak sensitivity toward the blue.  Compared to the ABG versions of the full frame "E" series cameras, the ST-2000XM is more sensitive in the blue and green, and slightly less sensitive in the red.  Moreover, because the ST-2000XM has two CCDs (a guiding CCD as well as an imaging CCD) in the same camera head, it is capable of self-guiding without any compromise in the quantum efficiency of the imaging CCD.  In other words, not only CAN it self-guide, it can do so without having to double the exposure time to compensate for the guiding feature. 

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qe_2000_v_sony.gif (9,238 bytes)

The ST-2000XM is equipped with SBIG's new cooling design. This includes a new a heat exchanger ready for water circulation as standard equipment.  For the vast majority of applications the water circulation feature will not be needed.  This design will typically cool to -35o below ambient (-30o minimum) without water or typically down to -45o C from ambient (-40o minimum) with water circulation.  Cooling is also regulated to 0.1 degrees.  The ST-2000XM has an electronic shutter and, unlike competing models, a mechanical shutter as well.  It can therefore not only take very short exposures for high resolution planetary imaging, it can also automatically take and subtract dark frames without having to cover the telescope or remove the camera.

st2000_vs_sony.JPG (7363 bytes)

2 megapixels
7.4 microns
High speed USB
5 second downloads
Self-guiding CCD

What you get with the ST-2000XM Feature ST-2000XM
Megapixels High Pixel Count 2 million
(1.92 million image area)
Good pixel resolution on small scopes Small pixels 7.4 microns
Big field of view on small and medium scopes Large CCD Array 1648 x 1214
(1600 x 1200 image area)
High blue response QE at 400 nm 37%
Mechanical shutter for dark frames Auto dark frames Yes
Second CCD included Self-guiding Yes
Regulated cooling to 0.1 degrees Reuse Dark Frames Yes
Improved cooling capability Water cooling available Included (up to -45C delta)
Premium software: CCDSoftV5 and TheSky Extra Software Included at no additional cost
Fast electronics High Speed A/D ~425,000 pixels / sec
Fast Full Frame Downloads High Speed USB ~4.5 sec
Big Bang for your Buck Introductory Price $3495.00


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The size of the CCD determines the field of view through a given optical system


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The pixel size should be matched to your optical system for best performance.
Smaller pixels will generally improve resolution on

smaller scopes (and on larger scopes during best seeing)


st2000_image_size2.jpg (29,150 bytes)

The pixel array determines how large the image size appears on your monitor
(This has nothing to do with field of view - see CCD size above)
At this scale an ST-10XME image would nearly fill the white background in the box.

Standard Accessories for the ST-2000XM:

cfw8_carousel1.jpg (50748 bytes) cfw8_filters_carousel2.jpg (60,765 bytes) cfw8_on_camera.jpg (30,160 bytes)
CFW8A Color Filter Wheel with custom
RGB dichroic filters for color imaging
Extra carousel available for additional
specialty filters or UBVRI sets
Integrated CFW8A design mates
to camera housing to form single unit
accessory_ao7a.jpg (46144 bytes) accessory_waterpump.jpg (37,402 bytes) accessory_relaybox.jpg (37,864 bytes)

AO-7 adaptive optics accessory uses the
tracking CCD built-in to the ST-2000XM

Optional submersible water pump and
tubing for additional cooling performance

Relay Adapter Box uses signals and power
from camera to operate mechanical relays

ST-2000XM First Light Images:

m13aa.jpg (197,640 bytes)

M3.   ST-2000XM "First Light" image.
A single 240 second self-guided exposure through a 5" F/6 refractor from the patio of a light polluted apartment complex.
The camera was uncooled for this exposure (cooling was OFF).  Dark frame and log scaled with CCDOPS.
(Log scaling caused halos around brighter stars).  Image reduced 50%.   Michael Barber / SBIG


m51ddp3c.jpg (176,286 bytes)

M51 and IC4263.   ST-2000XM "First Light" image.
A single 600 second self-guided exposure through a 5" F/6 refractor from the patio of a light polluted apartment complex.
The camera was uncooled for this exposure (cooling was OFF).  Dark frame and DDP with CCDOPS.
Image reduced 50%.  Magnitude 15.1 IC4263 is seen near the lower left corner.     Michael Barber / SBIG



M63_ddp_add.jpg (169,942 bytes)

M63 and UGC8313 .   ST-2000XM test exposure.
Two 600 second self-guided exposures through a 5" F/6 refractor from the patio of a light polluted apartment complex.
DDP applied to each image and co-added with CCDOPSImages were binned 2x2.
Magnitude 14.7 UGC8313 is seen near the lower right corner.     Michael Barber / SBIG


m106a.jpg (183,501 bytes)

M106, NCG4248 and UGC7356.   ST-2000XM test exposure.
A single 600 second self-guided exposure through a 5" F/6 refractor from the patio of a light polluted apartment complex.
Dark frame and DDP with CCDOPS.  Image was binned 2x2.
NGC4284 at mag 13.6 is below and to the right of M106.  UGC7356 at mag 15.1 is left of center. Michael Barber / SBIG



m51_med_full_rw.jpg (115,616 bytes)

M51.   ST-2000XM.
This LRGB test shot was taken by Ron Wodaski through a 6" refractor using a CFW8A filter wheel.
The Luminance frame was 7x3 minutes and four sets of RGB frames were 3:3:3 minutes.
The full field of view is shown above reduced 50% to 600 x 800.  The central portion at high resolution is shown below.



m51_high_cropped_rw.jpg (114,138 bytes)

M51.   Same as above.  Cropped central portion at full resolution.

The ST-2000XM is a complete camera system.  There is no need to add in the additional cost of an interface or an autoguider or a nosepiece or better software to make these cameras actually operate as they should.  Everything that is needed to make the camera operational is included in the base price.  Company Seven and SBIG even include some non-essential, but desirable, items such as a custom hard carrying case and extra nosepiece.

Each ST-2000XM camera system INCLUDES at no additional cost:

  • Rugged camera body with imaging and autoguiding CCDs and new analog and digital electronics
  • 2 Megapixel KAI-2000M imaging CCD
  • Built-in TC-211 CCD autoguider with 10X the sensitivity of an ST-4
  • High speed USB interface (up to 421,000 pixels per second)
  • New I2C bi-directional expansion port
  • Standard accessory / telescope port
  • User rechargeable desiccant plug (no need to return the camera to the factory for frosting problems)
  • "Dummy" desiccant plug for dust prevention during recharging procedure
  • Internal shutter
  • 2 Nosepieces (1.25" and 2")
  • Cooling Fan - on/off controlled by software
  • New heat exchanger design with water cooling capability
  • Tripod mount 1/4-20 threaded side plate
  • T-thread ring
  • 15 foot USB cable (third party USB extenders available for up to 500 meters!)
  • Adapter plug for telescope interface cable (for autoguiding)
  • Telescope interface cable (for autoguiding)
  • Universal 90-240VAC power supply with remote on/off switch
  • SBIG's CCDOPS version 5 camera control software
  • Software Bisque's CCDSoftV5 camera control and image processing software
  • Software Bisque's TheSky version 4, level II
  • Operating Manual
  • Custom design hard carrying case with pre-cut foam for your camera


Model ST-2000XM CCD

CCD Kodak KAI-2000M
+ TI TC-211
Pixel Array 1600 x 1200 pixels,
11.8 x 8.9 mm
Total Pixels 1.92 million
Pixel Size 7.4 x 7.4 microns
Full Well Capacity (Unbinned) ~45,000 e-
Full Well Capacity (Binned) ~90,000 e-
Dark Current 0.35e/pixel/sec at 0 C
Antiblooming Standard



Shutter Electromechanical
Exposure * 0.01 to 3600 seconds,
10ms resolution
Correlated Double Sampling Yes
A/D Converter 16 bits
A/D Gain Unbinned = 0.72e-/ADU
Binned = 1.4 e-/ADU
Read Noise 15e- RMS
Binning Modes 1 x 1, 2 x 2, 3 x 3, and
1 x N, 2 x N, 3 x N
Digitization Rate ~ 425khz
Full Frame Acquisition ~ 4.5 seconds

* Note:  The shortest exposure time with current software drivers is 0.12 sec.  Future software updates, available for free from our web site, will reduce this to 0.01 seconds.


Optical (8" f/10)

Field of View 20 x 15 arcminutes
Pixel Size 0.75 x 0.75 arcseconds
Limiting Magnitude (est.) Magnitude 14 in 1 second
(for 3 arcsec FWHM stars) Magnitude 18 in 1 minute



Cooling - standard Single Stage Thermoelectric, Active Fan with Water Assist
-35 C from Ambient Typical without water
-45 C from Ambient Typical
with water
Temperature Regulation 0.1C
Power 5 VDC at 1.5 amps, 12 VDC at 0.5 amp desktop power supply included
Computer Interface USB
Computer Compatibility Windows 95/98/2000/Me/NT/XP
Guiding Dual CCD Self-Guiding


Physical Dimensions

Optical Head 5 inches diameter x 3 inches 12.5 cm diameter x 7.5 deep 2 pounds/0.9 Kg
CPU All electronics integrated into Optical Head, No CPU
Mounting T-Thread, 1.25" and 2" nosepieces included
Backfocus 0.92 inches


Introductory Price: $3,495.00

Production begins in June, 2002.
  Company Seven is now accepting orders.

Go to Price List
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