Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 09:49 AM CDT

Cameras for Advanced Imaging: Low on Cost High on Performance


By Stacey Meacham

ORCA-R2 cooled CCD cameraHamamatsu (Bridgewater, N.J.) has introduced the new ORCA-R2 cooled CCD camera, which offers high sensitivity from visible to near-infrared (NIR) light, high dynamic range, fast readout speed, and low noise. This high-performance camera is ideal for a wide range of applications including fluorescence microscopy, red to NIR fluorescence, ratio imaging, failure analysis, semiconductor inspection, and others. The ORCA-R2 camera contains an ER-150 progressive scan interline CCD which is enclosed in a hermetic vacuum-sealed head. The ER-150 CCD has 1344 x 1024 pixels, and is capable of simultaneous exposure and readout. The camera has two readout speeds (normal and rapid) that deliver full-resolution images. The normal readout and rapid readout deliver frame rates of 8.5 frames/second and 16.2 frames/second, respectively. In addition, the ORCA-R2 also features low noise due to optimized circuit design and its two cooling systems. Depending on the cooling method chosen, the camera operates at the low temperature of -35°C (air-cooling method) or -40°C (water-cooling method). The ORCA-R2 camera is equipped with both a 12-bit and 16-bit A/D converters. Data output is via Firewire IEEE 1394b, which provides fast, easy, and reliable operation. Also included are an extended range of programmable trigger signal output options such as edge, level, start, and synchronous readout triggers.


BOBCAT seriesImperx Inc. (Boca Raton, Fla.) will introduces its new BOBCAT series of cameras. BOBCAT is a new line of compact (45mm x 45mm x 39mm), feature-rich Camera Link cameras designed to address the needs of a wide range of Machine Vision applications. The BOBCAT series offers a common platform for all of its camera models, regardless of speed and resolution. All models share the same size, features and command set, making it easier for end users to easily switch or upgrade BOBCAT models to meet the needs of new vision applications. With its compact size, field-upgradeable firmware, high-quality images and impressive set of features, the BOBCAT series is also an ideal choice for users who want to migrate to digital imaging, or to enhance the features of existing digital systems. The BOBCAT series initially includes the following sensors and frame rates: Kodak VGA @ 120 fps and 210 fps, Sony 1.4M @ 24 fps, Sony 2.0M @ 16 fps, and 5.0M @ 15 fps. Other BOBCAT models will follow, and will be announced at a later date.BOBCAT cameras come equipped with a robust feature set that includes:Horizontal and Vertical Binning at 2x, 3x and 4x; Multiple Programmable Areas of Interest; Fully programmable 12-bit Look-up-Tables; Defective Pixel Correction and Flat Field Correction.


BM-500 Series camerasThe new BM-500 Series cameras from JAI (San Jose, Calif.) feature 5 megapixel resolution built around the Sony ICX625 2/3" CCD sensor (2448 x 2050 pixels). Four separate models are available, including monochrome and raw Bayer color models equipped with either Camera Link or GigE Vision digital interfaces. This versatile and flexible mid-range camera series offers superb thermal management and pre-processing to guarantee optimal sensor operation and high quality images. The camera's well-crafted analog front end design enables it to operate at a full 15 fps, an improvement over the 12 fps rate found in some 5 megapixel cameras. Partial scanning and binning modes are also provided for increased flexibility and performance. 12, 10 or 8-bit output is user selectable.In-camera pre-processing functions include automatic white balance, a look-up table (LUT) for dealing with difficult lighting conditions, and a blemish compensation function which eliminates pixels with extremely low or high output characteristics by interpolating the neighboring pixels.The BM-500 Series cameras include programmable general purpose input/output ports (GPIO) for flexible connection with external factory automation equipment such as PLCs, plus auto-iris lens control, making them ideal for outdoor applications with wide ranging lighting conditions, such as intelligent transportation systems (ITS) or surveillance.


Series 17The Age of Amorphous Silicon Driving the uncooled thermal imaging industry to new frontiers.

Full Description: Issue:L-3 Communications (Dallas) is proud to announce a new era in the advancement of uncooled thermal imaging technology. L-3's new product line, introduced as the "Series 17" product family, is based on its latest generation of 17?- pitched amorphous silicon focal plane arrays and includes 1024, 640, and 320 17?- technologies. Unlike other infrared detectors and microbolometers, L-3's silicon based product and processing methodology is the same used in high volume semiconductor manufacturing, thus providing the critical capability to further reduce pitch, form factor, weight, and power while increasing resolution.


Lm085Lumenera Corporation, (Ottawa, Canada) announces the release of the Lm085, its newest addition to the Lm family of small form factor cameras. The Lm085 mini USB 2.0 camera is well suited for challenging industrial applications with uncontrolled lighting conditions, tight space constraints, and those requiring industrial locking connectors. Built over a wide VGA CMOS sensor with 752 x 480 resolution, this cost-effective camera features a small form factor measuring 44x44x56mm, robust and durable enclosure, and high sensitivity. An ultra-wide dynamic range of up to 100dB provides excellent images in high light contrast conditions where blooming in the sensor would typically washout critical areas. Additional features include an electronic global shutter for image capture of fast motion events with no smear effect, fast frame rates for increased throughput, and an adjustable C or CS-mount to compensate for lens back focus tolerances. As with other Lm cameras, the Lm085 includes on-board image processing, industrial locking USB and GPI/O connectors, and 8 mounting holes. Both color and monochrome product models are fully supported by Lumenera Software Developer's Kit with an application programming interface compatible with C++ and Visual Basic.

Photonfocus AG Lachen, (Switzerland)is now offering its new high-performance CMOS camera series MV2-D1280-640 - a 1.3 megapixel camera that is capable of operating at 488 images per second at full resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels. The speed of the camera can further be increased by choosing smaller read out areas. Furthermore with defining Multiple Regions of Interest (MROI) only the required image information could be read out with additional gain in frame rate. The new CMOS camera MV2-D1280 from Photonfocus is targeting demanding applications in industrial image processing. They feature an exceptional high dynamic range of up to 59dB, a global shutter and a CameraLink® Full interface with an 8 or 10 tap mode. Photonfocus has implemented some advanced features on the new camera that can't be found in any other similar products on the market like decimation, constant frame rates (CFR), offset and gain correction (Shading correction)on camera and Multiple Region of Interest (MROI). The camera can be controlled via the included Photonfocus software package or the related SDK, which is the same software used to control all Photonfocus cameras.


The Ladybug3 spherical digital video systemThe Ladybug3 spherical digital video system, designed and manufactured by Point Grey (Vancouver, BC, Canada), is a complete hardware and software package that delivers 12 Megapixels of high resolution 360-degree visual coverage using six high quality Sony® CCD's. It is ideal for applications that require ultra-high resolution and a weather-resistant case, such as those in the GIS and surveillance and security industries. The Ladybug3 camera is pre-calibrated to enable high quality spherical image stitching, and uses an embedded JPEG compression engine and 800Mbit/s IEEE-1394b (FireWire) interface to stream full 12 MP images at 15 FPS to the host system. Each system, affordably priced at US$14,995, comes complete with a Ladybug3 camera, a license of the Ladybug software development kit (SDK), FireWire card and cable, and mounting system.



UC4 Ultrasonic SensorSICK (Minneapolis, Minn.), announces the UC4 Ultrasonic Sensor. The UC4 Sensor offers excellent detection of optically difficult targets, such as clear, shiny and dark materials... and provides perfect performance in optically challenging environments. The UC4 is the smallest ultrasonic sensor, so it fits in tight spaces. Applications include hopper and tank fill level detection (powders, ink, and clear liquids); bottling line presence detection of clear bottles and multi-colored caps; semiconductor industry to detect wafers, solar panels, glass, and PCBs; and woodworking and metal forming/fabricating machinery for product detection and to detect the positioning of internal parts on the machine (levers, arms, etc.).The UC4 Sensor enhances the company's existing line of ultrasonic products. The sensor's small size and big performance allow customers to install it in places that are too tight for most other ultrasonic sensors. The UC4 Sensor will solve customers' tough applications - where photoelectric sensors would not work, such as detecting transparent or mesh targets.The UC4 combines simple push-button setup with incredible detection performance - all in a compact housing. The UC4 has a single PNP or NPN output, capable of detecting virtually any target within its 250 mm range. The UC4 can be set up in three detection and output modes - Background Suppression (BGS), Window, and Reflection mode.


Smart CamerasSony (Park Ridge, N.J.) is expanding its Smart Camera line-up with the introduction of the four new models which are available in monochrome or color with options in both VGA and SXGA resolutions. These new Smart Cameras are equipped with enhanced processing power (x86 compatible 1GHz VIA Eden ULVs), built-in Windows XPe operating system and the highly capable 512MB SDRAM memory, and digital I/O and interfaces including two USB 2.0 interfaces as well as Gigabit Ethernet. They achieve high-speed-processing with low power consumption and can be used for high-speed network operation in 1000Base-T, as well as 100Base-TX and 10Base-T. In addition, these models are equipped with several key surveillance features: Support CS mount lenses, mounted Auto Iris Interface, AWB, AGC, and Wide D images. With their open architect, system integrators have the ability to utilize Sony hardware with 3rd party vision libraries, including Cognex's forthcoming VisionPro software, and programming assets to create turnkey solutions.


SVMonitorWhether for optimising a manufacturing process or for motion tracking in sports, often a standard camera cannot provide high resolution pictures of quick events. For such purposes SVS-VISTEK (Seefield, Germany) has designed the new high speed recording system SVMonitor. With our high speed digital image recorder we offer a system that is able to record and store videos with or without a time stamp. SVMonitor is compatible to cameras with all popular interface technologies like GigE, CameraLink, Firewire, and USB 2.0.Like for standard video-recorder, SVMonitor has also the possibility to display recorded sequences forward and reverse, and in a user defined speed (e.g. in slow motion). Both, the start and stop of a sequence recording as well as single pictures can be triggered through a large variety of external signals (by software, by hardware signals, by changes within a picture or by absolute and relative time), just according to the user's needs.A life mode for setup and focussing of the camera as well as a zoom function are alsoavailable. Depending on size and speed of the hard disk used, sequences up to a length of several hours can be recorded either compressed or uncompressed. Single pictures of a sequence can be stored for documentation purposes - if necessary also with a time stamp.


Toshiba Teli CleverDragon CSC12M25BMP19Toshiba Teli America, Inc., the North American subsidiary of the Toshiba Teli Corporation, introduces a CMOS-based machine vision camera boasting a proprietary and patented twelve-megapixel 1.9-inch CMOS monochrome progressive scan sensor. The new Toshiba Teli CleverDragon CSC12M25BMP19 establishes an optimal imaging platform to assist OEMs and system integrators in developing improved solutions for high-speed machine vision, parts inspection, robotics and medical applications. Users benefit greatly from the camera's CMOS sensor's 4096 (H) x 3072 (V) pixel resolution, along with its excellent 25-frames-per-second (fps) full-frame speed, and its low signal-to-noise ratio that is close to a traditional CCD. The development environment for the CSC12M25BMP19 is further enhanced by its Camera LinkTM standard interface (10/8 bit), allowing for immediate integration of the camera into new and existing systems without the need for special cables or frame grabbers.In keeping with Toshiba Teli's productivity-driven philosophy, the industrially rugged yet compact CSC12M25BMP19 features an electronic global shutter to capture clear images of parts on even the fastest moving assembly lines. In addition, the camera's Window of Interest (WOI) function can be programmed to display a maximum of 28 square windows within a single image and then allow the user to select via a PC only those windows that are to be read out, significantly increasing fps rate. Other key features include large square pixels (6.0µm x 6.0µm), an aspect ratio of 4:3, high sensitivity of 2000 lx (F5.6), wide dynamic range, and RDM trigger shutter.

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