Deep Pockets Cameras

Are even SBIG's and Starlight's big chip cameras not big enough? Amateurs with money to spend and a desire for large chips can turn to several companies. Two of special note are Apogee and Fingerlake Instruments (FLI). These companies make professional grade cameras, but they also make less expensive ones, and they are used to dealing with amateur astronomers. On the lower end of its pro range, Apogee offers the U16M, which sports a 4096x4096 pixel 39mm x 39mm chip. It might be just the thing for the advanced imager dreaming of wide-field CCDshots who doesn't mind spending $10,000 for a camera. On the FLI side is the Proline 16000M, which features a 35mm format 4872 x 3248 CCD and many other advanced features and options—all for a mere $11,000. Yes, the prices are daunting, but some imagers find themselves working their way up the CCD ladder, buying and selling cameras, starting with a DSI, moving to an inexpensive SBIG or Starlight, and winding up in Apogee/FLI territory, which many astrophotogra-phers will say is CCD heaven.

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