SVBONY is a Chinese brand manufacturing optical instruments for Astronomy and Hunting. They are famous for selling affordable equipment for telescopes on Amazon and eBay, and they have a lineup of astronomy cameras SV105, SV205, and SV305. In this article, we will take a closer look at SVBONY SV105 planetary camera.
SVBONY SV105 is the cheapest entry-level planetary camera on the market. The primary use for planetary cameras is capturing videos of the Moon and Plantes in our solar system. You can buy this camera under $50, so it is affordable for astronomy beginners to try some planetary and moon imaging. (check the current price on Amazon)
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For a long time, the cheapest option to do planetary imaging was using modified webcams with the telescope. I also wrote an article on how to use a webcam with the telescope. But manufacturers are building cameras that are the same price as webcams and without the need for modifications.
It is good because now you can just order the camera and use it out of the box. SVBONY SV105 is a 2M pixel 1080p webcam in a nice sturdy case ready for use for astronomy.
SVBONY SV105 Specifications
The most important specification for a planetary camera is the resolution and frames per second. When you are trying to capture an image of the planet, you need to record a video in the highest FPS possible and then process it in the astronomy software to create a nice picture.
SVBONY SV105 camera is capable of doing 30FPS in 1080p. It is adequate for the camera in this price range.
Here are the full specifications of the SVBONY SV105 telescope camera:
|Image Sensor||1/3” COMS color sensor|
|Image Resolution||2M pixels (1920*1080)|
|Pixel Size||3μm X 3μm|
|Shutter||Electronic rolling shutter|
|Maximum Frame Rate||30FPS(1920*1080)|
|Interface Type||Standard UVC protocol|
|Support Telescope||A telescope with 1.25” diagonal|
|Operating Temperature||0°C to +50°C|
|Storage Temperature||-10°C to +60°C|
SVBONY SV105 Drivers Download
SVBONY SV105 is a standard UVC device, and there is no need to download the drivers manually. After you connect the camera to your computer, the windows will recognize it, and it will start downloading the required drivers automatically. It will work with Windows 7, 8, and 10 with no issues.
But remember to use only the cable provided in the box. And this applies to any astronomy camera: don’t use any USB hubs or USB extension cables because you may encounter connection issues and even speed issues and transfer stability. Always connect your camera directly to your USB slot with the provided cable.
SVBONY SV105 camera is using USB2.0 type, so make sure you have at least USB2.0 available. Of course, it will also work in USB3.0 and USB3.1 slots.
Software For SVBONY SV105 Camera
It is not enough to have the camera connected, and all drivers installed. You have to control it with a dedicated astronomy software. Don’t use your standard webcam software. The SVBONY SV105 will come with ShaprCap installation CD.
SharpCap is one of the best astronomy capturing software, and it is free. You can use this CD to install the software, but I recommend downloading the latest version on sharpcap.co.uk. If you encounter any problems with the latest version, then install the version of SharpCap provided on the CD that came in the box.
This software is very important because it will allow you to control all the features on the camera. You will have to do some learning here, but it is easy. After a few sessions, you will get the sense of what you need to adjust and change to get the best picture.
It is important to adjust the exposure time, color saturation, and also FPS. All will depend on the seeing conditions and the object you are trying to capture.
For example, the Moon is a very bright object, so you will have to lower exposure time compared to planets. You can always ask on SharpCap forums for help or try to watch some guides on youtube to learn how to control it.
Can I Use SVBONY SV105 For Astrophotography?
SVBONY SV105 is exclusively a planetary camera. You can do only planetary and moon imaging with it, which is a part of astrophotography. The deep sky astrophotography is not possible with this camera.
To be able to capture the nebulas or galaxies, the camera needs to be capable of doing long exposure shots of at least a minimum of 30s. The maximum exposure of SVBONY SV105 is only 500ms, so it is impossible to do deep-sky astrophotography.
Astronomy cameras are always made for a specific purpose. So we have planetary cameras with high FPS and cameras for deep sky imaging capable of doing long exposures.
Common cameras for astrophotography are standard DSLR cameras. Maybe you have one at home, so if you are interested in deep-sky astrophotography, check my article about budget astrophotography with the DSLR and telescope.
SVBONY SV105 As Guide Camera?
So, if you can’t use this camera for deep sky astrophotography, can you use it as a guide camera? Well, no, and yes, it depends. The guiding camera is a secondary camera used in astrophotography that is attached to a guide scope on top of the primary telescope to help the motorized mount with tracking the object during very long exposures.
The major feature of the guiding camera is light sensitivity. The SV105 is not very sensitive. You have to see the stars through it to use with the guiding software. The key part here is also the guiding scope you are using because if it is big enough, it can provide enough light for the SV105 camera sensor to work as a guiding camera.
Some people were successful in using SVBONY SV105 as a guiding camera, but it is not an ideal solution. You will be better with a dedicated guiding camera (link).
I recommend the discussion in the Cloudynights forum thread about this camera.
Is SVBONY SV105 Worth It?
As the first camera for beginners diving in the planetary imaging, it is definitely worth it. But as a proper planetary camera, it is not.
The planetary imaging has a steep learning curve, and you will learn a lot even with this cheap camera. After you master the ShaprCap and processing software to create decent images, you can start looking into more expensive planetary cameras from ZWO.
They are making astonishing cameras for astronomy. But I always recommend to start with basic and cheaper equipment and see if this hobby is for you or not. Remember it is a very expensive hobby and you can learn a lot even with a cheap SVBONY SV105 telescope camera.