CCD Question - QSI/SBIG


Hello all - I love SGP and I use it to control my Celestron CGEM mount, autoguiding, and Canon T3i camera in my current setup. I am, however, saving up for a better setup - a monochrome CCD with LRGB and narrowband filters. Autoguiding will still be through a separate guide scope because I have a short focal length and my guiding is solid.

I am considering two models - the SBIG STF-8300M and the QSI 683ws. When weighing the various differences between the cameras, I need to also consider whether the software I use - SGP - will actually work with them. Being popular cameras, it is my assumption that it will, but I wanted to hear from users that have actually used these cameras with SGP and find out how well they work, and if there are any special considerations that would make me want to consider one option over the other.

Thank you and clear skies!


I use the QSI683-wsg8 with integral OAG; I have no experience of the SBIG ccd to be able to comment.

The QSI works seemlessly and flawlessly with SGP and is a justifiably very popular ccd. I tick the option to pause guding when using AF as the guider focus changes as well as the ccd. No issues with using PHD2. Superb ccd, just look around the web and see how many highly regarded images are taken with the QSI683.


You shouldn’t have any problem with either camera. I used an STF-8300 for a while. Early on I had some disconnection problems, but that turned out to be a SBIG driver issue that has long since been resolved. After that it was smooth sailing with SGP.

Given the choice I would probably opt for QSI. I’ve not used one myself but I would be attracted to the more integrated package. The one issue I can see is if you don’t start out with an OAG package it may not be as easy to update later to the QSI OAG faceplate. Barry, can you shed some light on this?

Trust me, you will probably end up going the OAG route eventually. No matter how well tuned and tight my separate guide scope system was, there was always differential flexure to deal with. Just my 2c.


Thanks, Joel - One of the other considerations I’ve been thinking of is the ability to use camera lenses with the CCD I purchase. The SBIG works with an adapter. The QSI does as well, however, my understanding is that the “g” version does not because it is slightly deeper, thus throwing off the distance between lens and sensor.


Good point. I don’t know enough about QSI to know for sure. I used some
old Takumar lenses with my STF and it worked OK. It was a challenge to get
the right back focal distance for those old lenses, but I gather you’ll be
using Canon or Nikon lenses which should work much better.


I like my STF8300. It works well with SGP.


I had an SBIG ST-8300C and now I have a QSI 683ws-g. Both work
wonderfully with SGP.

The ST-8300C was my first CCD camera (I kept with film for a long time!)
and was really good to learn on. I didn’t have any problems with it; I
was just ready to move up to monochrome/filters.

The QSI is a wonderful camera. It’s cooling is fantastic and I the
internal guide port actually works! The captured frames are really good
as far as noise goes, especially when compared to the 8300C OSC chip. I
suspect the monochrome SBIG would be very good also.

  • Shane


I have the QSI 683wsg and bought the ws faceplate and adapter to use with my Canon Lens. Eight screws and it’s changed and could not be easier.



I started out with an ST-2000XCM and MaximDL. For a number of reasons, I did not find that package to my liking. I then moved to SGP and a QSI683wsg. I have been very happy with that combination.

When comparing SBIG cameras to QSI cameras, you have to be very careful to compare apples to apples, so to speak. If you look at configuring an STF-8300 with a filter wheel to the QSI683ws, you will find the SBIG is quite a bit more expensive. Additionally, I find the compactness of the QSI cameras very appealing.

The SBIG filter wheel, FW5-8300 requires 36mm filters, whereas the QSI683ws uses 1.25" filters and the 36mm filters (Astrodon LRGB) are more expensive than their 1.25" filters.

Having said all that, both camera brands are clearly excellent products and you should be happy with either one.



It should be noted that the QSI camera will pretty much require the 36mm filters if you scope is around f/4 or faster. Using 1.25" filters with fast scopes will result in fairly significant vignetting.


I’m using an Atik 380L+, it’s the same CCD as the QSI and SBIG cameras so should have the same vignetting issues. I see some minor vignetting at f/6.25 with 1.25" Baader filters but nothing that can’t be flat fielded.



Another option is 31mm unmounted filters, though it requires an extra bracket ($50) to hold them in. That’s the route I will likely be going.


You are correct in that you will also need to buy the non-OAG cover plus adapter to use a telephoto lens due to back focus. I have the both covers (wsg and ws). I switch covers when moving from telescope to lens. It takes about 15 minutes.


@ Scodavis
Might be a bit late on giving you info, I use an SBIG STF-8300M with StarlightXpress wheel. 36mm unmounted filtersl.
I have had no problems at all with SGP running the camera. I also use an separate guide scope rig ST80 scope and a brightstar guider. The 2 together work fine. Friends use the QSI 683 with 1.25" filters and get great results.
I suppose its down to choice, Cost and which filter size you wish to use.