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Pentax Q, Q10 Astro IR Photography

Pentax-Q, Q10, the Most Sensitive BSI sensor

How could this small CostLess digicam's tiny sensor be so Sensitive ?
Pentax-Q, Q10 1/2.3" BSI vs Bigger-Cameras, then vs Astro-Cameras

Clic Image, Ctrl+ to Enlarge

From the Sony imx183 (SamsyNXmini) up to Sony imx078 (PentaxQ, Q10)
both Dima & Sony Calculation methods show a ~44% increase in Sensitivity,
a ~44% increase in Sensitivity is as opening Aperture from f/5 up to ~f/4.2.
For Q, Q10, Sony Calculations : 3574, 3354 are averaged to 3464 value.
~> Sensor's main page for Fully Detailed informations : SensorCompare.html
One can see that it's Not its Big Pixels that make the Sensitivity of a Sensor !
It's rather the Precision of 1st the Lithography process 2nd the Etching process,
down to 90nm for its brother imx118, that let Sony maximising their Fill-Factor.

~> Pentax-Q Preview :
~> Pentax-Q7 Review :
~> Pentax-Q10 Review :

Pentax-Q, Q10 for Astro-Photo, IR-Photography

~> Sony imx078cqk BSI Exmor Sensor Specification Sheets to DownLoad :
DownLoad the 2 Sony Specs Pages with *Digit Value zipped to
30 years ago, you'd have to be a Wealthy Professional Astronomer to get a
BSI CCD sensor with High Energy Waste, and High Dark Current level ! Worse,
Impossible to get the Signal Cleaned, nor Digitized "on chip" :
1990s, 1st CCDs for Astro-Photography
From '90 to 2010, years of Electronic Revolution :
1990s CCD sensor compared to 2010s CMOS BSI ones :
Signal is now Cleaned + Digitized "on chip" ; the Exmor Bonus :
2020s, the Best BSI CMOS Exmor-R sensors for Astro-Photography

Drawbacks of Pentax-Q, Q10, despite its 1/2.3" fabulous imx078 BSI sensor
~ Drawbacks in yellow could certainly be Fixed by a FirmWare Hack/Update
... Please read : Pentax-Q10 FirmWare-v1.03-Disassembly
~ Bulb + Manual Mode limited to 30 sec. Exposure w/ Pentax K2Q Adapter
~ ISO 1600 => Amp-Glow at the Bottom-Left of the frame + Random LENR
... 2-4 min. Long Exposures at ISO 800-400 to avoid Amp-Glow and LENR

... Please read : Samsung NX-mini Top-Astro-IR.html
~ No way to set the LENR, Long Exposure Noise Reduction, fully ON or OFF
~ Camera Temperature Not Recorded in EXIF Data for Exposure > ~10 sec.
~ IR Remote Control doesn't work with Bulb, nor Intervalometer
– Multi-Exposure Mode outputs a JPEG file, not a RAW file
– No Wired Remote Control Port on Pentax-Q, Q10, Q7, Qs1
– IRcut removed, the Auto/Manual-Focus doesn't work w/ 5-15 mm zoom lens
... except for subjects at (very) Short Distances. Ditto to expect from 15-45 mm
Tiny Pixels are in Love with the Highest Precision from Belt-Driven-Eq-Mount
... I only own an Old Black HEQ5, thus being forced to Trash ~50% of my subs
One, 1 arc-second = 1/1 296 000 of a Circle... IOW 1/3 600 of 1 Degree...
1 degree is ~half your thumb's nail width, your arm held out to the sky...
you'll have to draw 7 200 parallel fine lines on your thumb's nail !
... That is, looking from your arm's full length... Good luck !
Bill Claff's Photo Dynamic Range ranking : Sony 1" BSI, Pentax-Q10, Nikon 1"
- FSI, some older Classic APSc cameras, iphone7,
PDR tiny BSI CMos sensors
Clic Image, Ctrl+ to Enlarge

Right-Click, View-Image to enlarge these DSSO, Deep Sky Small Objects pics:
Q10-DSSO x3  pentaxforums/forums/136pentax-Q/212387-Astro-Q-club-p10
Q10-DSSO x1  pentaxforums/forums/136pentax-Q/212387-Astro-Q-club-p11
Q10-DSSO x3  pentaxforums/forums/136pentax-Q/212387-Astro-Q-club-p12
Q10-DSSO x2  pentaxforums/forums/136pentax-Q/212387-Astro-Q-club-p13
At the end of this p13: orio posted a nice Clownface Eskimo Nebula Ngc2392.
Honesty forces me to say that IR-cut Removal is Not a plus for that Blue Nebula.

More Advantages to the Pentax-Q, Q10 over other 1/2.3" BSI cameras
– Q, Q10 are unique 1/2.3" BSI ILCs to Support Interchangeable Lenses.
– K-to-Q Optional Adapters open the Q, Q10 to the whole 'K' Lens System
– Q, Q10 have 1000 mAh Battery to last 1 summer night in precise conditions
– the Q10 is a CostLess Camera : I bought mine for €170 in spring 2014
– the IR-cut filter inside the Q, Q10 is Easy to Remove (read next)

IR-cut filter Removal to increase Red + IR SNR

How to Remove the IR-cut filter from the inside of the Pentax-Q, Q10
Please, don't begin doing it if you don't feel able to achieve it...
It's Your Own Full Responsibility to do it... Or not to...

– 0) Remove the Battery and the Lens on a clean well lit clear surface...
– 1) Lock the IR-Filter-Box on 4 Sides with 4 Bent Paper-Pieces...
– 2) Draw 4 Lines at 1.2mm from 4 sides of the IR-Filter-Box...
... same as the dotted-lines seen on Q10cmosIRcut.png
– 3) Gently cut-off the Plastic following the 4 lines...
... it's ~1 mm thick and of Easy cutoff.
– 4) Separate and Remove the just cutoff Plastic Rectangle...
– 5) take the IR-cut filter, maybe you'll have to-cut a little More Plastic to free it...
– 6) the IR-cut filter + Bellows will jump out, to Store in a clean paper wallet...
– 7) free the IR-cut filter: cut-off its flexwire, it powers the Piezo element.
The Density of the IR-cut filter is about ~1.2 Ev.
Careful : No things on sensor !
Pentax-Q10 IR-cut
F11, Clic Image, Ctrl+ to Enlarge
For those who want to replace the original IR-cut filter with a Clear Glass or...
another IR-cut filter at 680 or 720 nm, here are its exact Dimensions :
- Thickness : 0.6 mm
- Height : 12.6 mm
- Width : 13.1 mm

– 8) Let's remount the Lens, the Battery and Power-on the Q...
– 9) Record a Custom-White-Balance setting from White Paper sheet...
–10) Shooting a landscape will show Pinkish Foliage...
Saving a Custom-White-Balance setting from Foliages, will show them Whitish.
IR-cut removed, the Auto/Manual-Focus doesn't work w/ 5-15 mm zoom lens
... except for subjects at (very)Short Distances. Same to expect from 15-45...
unless you thin their Bayonet Mount of 0.2 mm off : PentaxQLandscapeIR.html
Pentax-Q10 w/o its IRcut filter, note the x2 Flat-Wire that powers the Piezo.
Pentax-Q10 w/o IR-cut
F11, Clic Image, Ctrl+ to Enlarge
Bravo ! You've got a Full-Spectrum Pentax-Q, Q10 ! ;)
Ha-DSSO=IR-Deep-Sky-Small-Objects, will be way easier to shoot now...
IC-5146 Cocoon Nebula, perfect example, will remain invisible on your LCD
after 30 sec. at ISO 1600 w/o IR-cut : find its way among Surrounding Stars !
But, after 60 Exposures Stacked... and a Strong Push... You'll start to see it :
   © Dima Lootvoet 2010-2024

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