ZWO ASI294MC Pro Camera Review


Another in the line of excellent, affordable ZWO astronomical cameras is the ZWO ASI294MC Pro cooled color CMOS astrophotography camera. This camera boasts the Sony IMX294CJK sensor, with a 4144 x 2822 resolution with 4.63-micron pixels. This results in a diagonal measurement of 21.6mm, which is slightly smaller than an APS-C sensor found in many DSLR cameras. This matches well with telescopes of focal lengths 400mm to 1500mm, depending on the chosen target. The back-illuminated sensor has a 75% quantum efficiency (The higher the better).

Like all color cameras, it uses a color matrix of red, green, and blue pixels to achieve a color image in one shot without the use of filters. The advantage is that you can take a single color image, and you don’t need to take separate images of red, green and blue to achieve this. The downside is the loss of resolution that comes with combining a matrix of pixels into one color pixel. But the 11.7-megapixel sensor has plenty of resolution so this is not a significant issue.

Like many astrophotography cameras, the ASI294MC Pro uses a thermoelectric (TEC) cooling system to lower the sensor temperature to -35C below ambient to minimize electronic noise. Although the camera itself can be powered by a USB 3.0 cable, the TEC requires a 12V power supply, which is not included. This can be achieved with the ASIAir (ZWO integrates its equipment very well) or a separate external 12V power supply.

Its 14-bit electronics allows up to 13 stops of dynamic range. The USB interface allows video up to 16 fps at full resolution. The camera head also has a USB 2.0 port for communication with other ZWO or compatible equipment. The camera weighs only 410g (14.5 oz). It also comes with a number of standard thread adapters for connecting to telescopes.

ZWO ASI94 MC Pro Camera Head


  • Lightweight
  • Strong TEC
  • CMOS sensors tend to have low noise
  • Versatile mid-range sensor size
  • Reasonable price
  • Single shot for color


  • Separate power supply for TEC (no problem if you have ASIAir already or Pegasus Power Box)
  • Relatively slow video capacity

Verdict 4.5/5 stars*

*I would give it 5 stars except for the lack of a 12v power supply. Almost all reviews on are 5 stars.

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