CentralDS has released the Astro D850, a redesigned version of the Nikon D850, specifically designed for astrophotographers. The Astro D850’s key design features include a CMOS sensor behind the body and a hybrid cooling system that delivers high-quality images with minimal noise.
The cooling system is built around a thermoelectric Peltier element TEC and performs two basic functions, cooling the sensor during shooting and dissipating heat from the heated part of the thermoelectric element. A special large area cooling unit is used to cool the CMOS sensor, which, together with the sensor, is mounted on the cold surface of the TEC module.
Dissipating heat from the thermoelectric cell is accomplished by a massive aluminum outer heatsink and a fan that sits between the camera body and the outer heatsink. The fan is part of an active cooling system that also includes a guide baffle to separate airflow and an additional heatsink on the back of the TEC module.
Effective cooling of the sensor leads to the problem of condensation on its surface. The solution: install a clear Clear Window with O-Ring in front of the sensor to prevent air from sucking in from the outside environment. In addition, the sensor’s cooling unit is designed to absorb vapor particles before they condense on the surface of the sensor. Although Clear Window glass has a protective function, it also contributes to the concentration of moisture on its surface. The elimination of condensation from the surface of the Clear Window glass is achieved through partial transfer of heat from the external heat sink.
t.Since the sensor in the Astro D850 is located behind the camera body, it imposes a restriction on the use of a mechanical shutter and optical viewfinder. In this case, a screen is used for framing, and an electronic shutter is used to control shutter speed. However, this arrangement isolates the sensor from unwanted interference from electronic components inside the camera, leading to unwanted noise. The sensor is shielded from external interference by an aluminum heatsink housing.
Another feature of the camera is the Drop-In filter mounting system. It allows you to install 2″ astro filters between the sensor and lens in a special cage, without removing the lens itself. The working distance of the Astro D850 is 46.5 mm, which corresponds to the standard Nikon F mount.
For more information about the camera, visit the CentralDS website – see
Price and availability
The Astro D850 is available to order from CentralDS for $4950
Comparing the capabilities of the Astro D850 with a regular Nikon D850 at low light and slow shutter speeds:
Nikon D850, ISO12800, 300 sec, indoor temperature 20℃
Astro D850, ISO12800, 300 sec, 20℃ indoor temperature