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ZWO ASI120MM MINI USB2.0 Monochrome Small Format CMOS Camera with Autoguider Port


Quick Overview


The ZWO ASI120MM MINI USB2.0 Monochrome Small Format CMOS Camera with Autoguider Port - a smaller format low cost camera, utilising the AR0130CS(Mono) sensor - ideal as an autoguider or solar system imager.
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The NEW ZWO ASI120MM MINI or ASI120MINI is an excellent choice for an affordable planetary and deep sky camera for those who have just started in astro photography, but cannot spend a fortune on a specialist astro photography camera or want to replace a modified webcam or a cheaper planetary imager. It replaces the extremely popular ASI120MM, but offers wider compatibility with various guiding solutions, guidescopes and off axis guiders as it comes in a more compact, 1.25" format body.

It also comes with an AUTOGUIDER PORT so you may use it for planetary imaging or when you take images of deep sky with another camera (a dSLR or a cooled ZWO) you may use this camera for guiding!

With the ZWO ASI120MM MINI camera you can achieve better results than with those beginner cameras. We are not saying that anything is wrong with those cameras, or some converted webcams, but this is just simply better for a still affordable price.

According to customer feedback, these cameras worth every penny invested.
Mostly used for planetary imaging, it can also be used for deep sky imaging up to a certain level. This monochrome version is recommended for L-RGB or narrow band deep sky photography if you want to get out the best data from your camera and achieve sharp, contrasty deep sky images or planetary images, although you might also consider the USB3.0 version of the ASI120MM, the ASI120MM-S, that is slightly more expensive, but offers higher frame rates. 

However if you don't want the hassle of using filters and stacking LRGB images into a colour image or cannot spend much time and happy to go for a compromise, simply choose the colour version, the ZWO ASI120MC-S.
With this monochrome version, you might also need a filter wheel and a set of L-RGB filters or H-alpha and OIII filters, and maybe even H-beta and SII filters as well for narrow band astro photography...) or you can use it just as it is as a very affordable guide camera.

Features of the ZWO ASI120MM Mini
Recommended for guiding and imaging the Sun, Moon and some deep sky objects.
(To image the Sun you'll have to use a proper front solar filter or Herschel wedge depending on your telescope. Please contact us if not sure! For imaging deep sky, you should also consider buying a filter wheel, LRGB and narrow band filters as well.)
Resolution: 1280X960 at up to 30fps
Long time exposure up to 1000s! (although depending on the focal ratio of your telescope and whether you use another camera for guiding or not, you might need to limit it to a much shorter time...please ask.)
Autoguider Port
Built-in RAW mode and Grey mode output support. Only about 30% storage space required compared to the Color data format!
Peak Quantum Efficiency: 75% (better than ICX618)
No fixed pattern noise (FPN)!
Full aluminum housing with standard 1.25" interface
M28.5 internal thread.


This camera is widely used for autoguiding. Monochrome cameras are more frequently used for guiding due to the higher sensitivity, but if you are going to use it as a guide camera as well as a planetary imager, then you might consider buying a colour version or alternatively you can use a monochrome camera with a filter wheel and LRGB filters for imaging the planets. Bear in mind that due to the fast rotation of Jupiter, you will have to take very short single videos in each colour, i.e. 60-90 sec each colour then combine the stacks into a colour image.


Please note, this camera features a Micron branded chip and thus it might produce Newton's rings (an interference pattern in imaging) when used with H-alpha solar telescopes. ZWO ASI CMOS cameras with a Sony chip or Celestron Skyris or Moravian Instruments G0 and G1 CCD cameras might be a better choice for solar imaging. From the ZWO range we'd recommend the ASI174MM or ASI174Mini for solar imaging. Never-the-less, there are quite a few customers who use an ASI120MM camera successfully for solar imaging.


The ASI174MINI and ASI290MINI are alternative guide cameras that you might consider. Whilst the ASI120Mini is the cheapest of all the three cameras of the MINI series, the ASI290Mini is the small brother of ZWO's ultimate planetary imager that can be successfully used as a high precision guide camera, so the ASI290Mini is recommended for medium to long focal length imaging telescopes. We use one of these in our observatory on a 80mm/400mm refractor as guidescope for guiding a C11 SCT and we also use a ASI174Mini with the telescope's original 8x50 finderscope as a very wide field pointer (practically a digital finderscope). Otherwise the ASI174Mini would serve well as a guide camera on really large telescopes when coupled with a comparatively long focal length guidescope or through an OAG (off axis guider).

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