I need a black and white camera. Since the cameras in the market, the ones available for astro-photography are quite costly, I am thinking of converting a digital camera to black and white. I see that the CCTV cameras are quite cheap and they tend to be black and white, but are they pure(no bayer filter attached) black and white cameras?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it appears to be an XY problem. We cannot answer a question that has not been asked. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/66377/what-is-the-xy-problem \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 22:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might consider asking that question of the manufacturer of a camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stan
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 22:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Usually manufacturers make color cameras adding a bayer filters to B/N sensors and changing electronics or software that processes the images to synthesize colors from grayscale data. So, strictly speaking, any camera has a grayscale sensor. For example ZWO sells several B/N and color astro cameras that are based on the same sensors, as you can see here. Removing bayer filter and changing camera inner workings may require more work and money (for the tools) than buying a plain B/N camera. So, why don't you just buy a b/n camera? \$\endgroup\$
    – gerlos
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 1:35

1 Answer 1


If you want to do "astro-photography" , spend your money on the telescope and tracking gear. The camera is almost incidental by comparison.

While a grayscale CCTV camera may be cheap, it'll also have crappy resolution and lousy signal/noise ratio. Even with the loss due to the color filter, almost any consumer digital camera will be better. it'll be better even if you just take color pix and flatten to greyscale in processing.

If you can collect RAW images and simply sum the RGBG pixels' signals by block, you'll get a nice boost in SNR per final pixel.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't want to do astro-photography, it's for a project I just need to ensure that the CCTV camera has a CCD image sensor which is the same as in a digital camera and that there is no bayer filter attached. SNR and resolution are not of much concern \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 20:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the point probably still stands. Can you explain your project? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 20:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EkdeepSinghLubana The vast majority of digital cameras do not have CCD image sensors, they have CMOS image sensors. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 19:02

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