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Old 07-06-2012, 08:00 PM
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whzzz28 (Nathan)
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 346
KAF-8300 vs ICX694ALG

I am considering my choices for CCD to replace my DSLR.
The KAF-8300 is one of the more popular chipset used in a lot of the recommended cameras (QHY9, Sbig ST-8300 and QSI 538/638) but after doing some research i heard mixed reviews on the chip.
A lot of positives, but some negatives as well (such as QE).
So i wondered what the 8300's rival/next best chip was. The answer was: Not many rivals if any. Only one comes close to cost and mega pixels - the Sony ICX694ALG.

As i am still doing my research, i thought id ask some more seasoned people as to what they think of the Sony ICX694ALG. As far as i can tell it is Sony's newest CCD chip and only one manufacturer (Starlight Xpress) has released a camera based on the chip (one is in build from Atik i hear, but still 1year~ or more away).

The cost is so-so (~$3500 for the camera) but while most of the specs of the chip are better than the 8300, the 8300 does win over some areas.

Comparing the two, based on Starlight's details:

Kodak KAF-8300:
Pixels: 5.4uM, 3326 x 2504 (8 mega pixel)
QE: Max at 540nM (~56%), 48% at 470nM and 656nM
Readout noise: Less than 8 electron RMS - typically only 6.5
Full well capacity: 25,000 e- (unbinned)
Anti-blooming: overload margin greater than 100x
System gain: 0.35 electrons per ADU

Sony ICX694ALG:
pixels: 4.54uM, 2750 x 2200 (6 mega pixel)
QE: Max at 580nM (~77%), 50% roll-off at 360nM and 770nM
Readout noise: Less than 7 electrons RMS - typically only 5
Full well capacity: 20,000 e- (unbinned)
Anti-blooming: overload margin greater than 800x
System gain: 0.3 electrons per ADU

The Kodak has a larger well, which is important, but the QE of the Sony camera is much better than the Kodak.
The pixels are smaller which might rule it out for long focal lengths, and it is 2 less mega pixels (not that that is a huge concern). The Sony also appears to have better quality control on the chips as the acceptable defects list is much more stringent than the Kodak.

So how does the Sony chip look to others?
To me it looks to be much more sensitive than the Kodak chip, but the lower well capacity is concerning.

If you had a choice between the Kodak or Sony, which would you choose any why?
And secondly, how would you rate Starlight Xpress CCD's?

The CCD:

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