Advanced Imaging

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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

How To... Use IEEE-1394 and DCAM Format 7 to Optimize Your Imaging Configuration

Format 7 provides users with precise control over the imaging pipeline allowing them to select the exact resolution required for their application.
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The 1.3MP Dragonfly2 (DR2-13S2) is the latest addition to the popular Dragonfly2 line. Like other Dragonfly2 models, it is an IEEE-1394a camera that conforms to the IIDC 1394-based DCAM standard version 1.31. This standard defines the camera interface. Features such as gain, shutter, gamma and white balance are controlled through a set of registers. Imaging pipeline parameters, such as resolution, pixel format and frame rate, are configured through a series of eight Formats, each with their own 8 Modes.

In contrast to the other Formats which are designed primarily for 'standard' imaging configurations, Format 7 was designed to provide precise control over the entire imaging pipeline; image size, binning, color configuration, and bandwidth consumption.

Selecting Image Size, Mode and Color Format

Format 7 provides a mechanism to control both the resolution and method by which pixels are extracted from the image sensor. For example, the DR2-13S2 allows users to configure the camera to transmit images as small as 8x2 and as large as 1296x964 in 8x2 pixel increments. Thus, users interested in extracting the largest possible square images from the camera can simply configure the camera to transmit 964x964 images. Decreasing the number of rows generally increases the maximum frame rate.

Format 7 defines 8 different modes. These modes provide control over how pixels are clocked off of the sensor. The DR2-14S3 supports four different modes including 1x1, 1x2, 2x1, and 2x2 pixel binning. Enabling any of the binning modes will result in increased sensitivity and image quality and a decrease in accessible image resolution.

Finally, Format 7 provides control over the format of the streamed pixel data. The color DR2-13S2 supports 8 different color modes including 8- and 16-bit raw sensor data, 8- and 16-bit mono, a variety of YUV modes, and full color processed 24-bit RGB.

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