Friday, March 24, 2017

How to select the best SWIR camera for my application and understand applications it can solve.


Allied Vision has built up a strong portfolio of Short Wave Infra-Red cameras including new low cost models.  With 7 models to choose from, it can be difficult to understand which model is best for a given application.  

1stVision has made it a bit easier by breaking down the problem by reviewing several considerations which are identified below.  



If you are unsure what a SWIR camera can do for you, read this previous blog.  


The following considerations will help identify the models available

Resolution:  The first consideration is resolution which is available in VGA (640 x 480) or QVGA (320 x 256).  QVGA is only available in the low cost G-008 model and provides the highest frame rates.  

Pixel Pitch:  If attributes such as dynamic range, signal to noise ratios (SNR) and saturation capacity are main factors, larger pixels are better.  The G-008 with 30um pixels provide the highest values in these attributes.  Read our previous blog to learn more about these attributes

Cooling:  Cooled models employ an additional Thermal Electric Cooler (TEC) and fan which substantially reduces the the dark current and increases overall signal to noise ratios. If this is a factor, then the G-032 TEC2 Cool model is a good choice.  The chart below provides the thermal constant of the camera noted as DeltaTmax.  This is the temperature difference from the case to the sensor. In turn, any additional heat sinking will further reduce the temperature of the internal sensor and noise.    

Frame Rate:  Rates up to 344 fps can be achieved with the G/CL-008 QVGA model.  The faster G/CL-033 will still achieve 301 fps with VGA resolution, but at a higher price.  At a minimum, we can still achieve 100 fps with VGA in the G-032 models.  (refer to chart below) For the highest frame rates, use the G/CL-033 in QVGA modes which will provide close to 1000 fps!  

Model comparisons by a glance



















Interface:  GigE Vision along with Camera Link interfaces are available, however the TEC2 cool version is only available in GigE.  Camera link should be used if you need to be deterministic or if the full frame rate is needed at higher bit depths.    

GoldEye G-033 - GigE

The charts to the left indicate the achievable frame rates in 8, 12 and 14 bit modes using either GigE or camera link interfaces.




Goldeye CL-033  - Camera Link
As camera link provides a higher bandwidth, the full frame rate can be achieved in 12 bit mode versus a reduced rate using a GigE interface.




Sensitivity: The sensitivity chart below provides a good comparison between various models with the -033 model having the highest sensitivity. This is being driven by the image sensor in which the G/CL-033 has the highest quantum efficiency.    


Cost:  The -008 model is the most economical by a substantial amount providing an excellent entry point for SWIR camera vs G/CL-032 and G-CL-033 models.  The G/CL-033 is slightly less than G/CL-032 models in general. Contact us for pricing

Please do not hesitate to Contact us to discuss your SWIR applications.   1st Vision can provide a complete solution including cameras, lenses, lighting and cables.  We have over 100 years of combined experience we can put to work for you!

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Friday, February 24, 2017

What are the attributes to consider when selecting a camera and its performance?


We first need to start with some of the basic attributes of the camera such resolution, frame rate, color vs monochrome and interface.  From there, depending on the application, we may look at more advanced attributes such as dynamic range, sensitivity, dark noise and signal to noise ratios.  

The basic attributes are easy to understand, but the advanced attributes can be confusing and the data is not easily accessible.  The more advanced information can be found on EMVA 1288 reports from the camera manufacturers when available.  This is a standard which helps provide an apples to apples comparison on key camera sensor attributes.

Allied Vision has done a great job to help understand the attributes by defining the terms and putting them in a graphical format as seen below.  

The following is a graphic to help understand the
terminology along with the definitions  (Courtesy of Allied Vision!)



Definitions are as follows: 
  • Absolute Sensitivity Threshold:  The smallest detectable amount of light.  Expressed in number of electrons.  The point where signal equals temporal dark noise.  This is important to understanding low light performance!
  • Photon Shot Noise:  Signal noise equal to the square root of the incoming photons.  Due to the randomly distributed particle nature of light.
  • Temporal Dark Noise:  Noise when no light is hitting the sensor, also known as read noise.  Due to electric dark current, quantization noise, and other noise sources depending on the specific construction of the sensor and the camera electronics.  
  • Saturation Capacity:  The maximum number of electrons each pixel can hold before reaching non-linear response. 
  • Dynamic Range:  Ratio of maximum signal (saturation capacity) to the minimum signal (temporal dark noise)
  • Signal to Noise at Saturation:  Ratio of the maximum signal (saturation capacity) to noise (photon shot noise).  At saturation, temporal dark noise is insignificant compared to photon shot noise and can be ignored.  
The EMVA 1288 information is available for most cameras upon request.  Contact us to discuss and obtain this information.   

Need help on some of the basics in your camera selection?  We have many helpful blog ports ranging from Calculating camera resolutions to understanding interfaces.  


Please do not hesitate to Contact us!  to help in your selection.  1st Vision can provide a complete solution including cameras, lenses, lighting and cables.  We have over 100 years of combined experience we can put to work for you.  

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Are you drowning in the amount of new image sensors & cameras now available? Download our cheat sheet to keep your head above water!


With a slew of new sensors coming on like a fire hose from Sony and ON-Semi, the announcement of cameras has been overwhelming to say the least. Even for us distributors whose jobs are to keep up with this!

So we at 1stVision have created a “cheat sheet” with the pertinent sensor data: model number, size, pixel pitch etc. etc.


And since no sensor is good without the proper lens, see our information on making sure you have the right lens (performance and price) for the sensor you need!








Below is a snapshot of the data 

Sony Pregius image sensors





ON-Semiconductor Python image sensors  









Note:  Values are typical and vary slightly per camera manufacturer


All industrial cameras with the new Sony Pregius and ON-Semiconductor Image sensors can be found below - Contact us for a quote on any camera with these sensors




Selecting the best image sensors and camera for an application can be a challenging job in itself.  Improper selection of the lens to match the sensor can make your cameras selection useless!  The format and lens resolution must match the sensor to achieve the best image contrast and not cause vignetting.  We have published several blogs to help in lens selection which you can find below.... or just contact us and we can help you!

Helpful blogs to help with lens selections: 

Calculating lens focal length

Demystifying lens specs (MTF)

Our cheat sheets provide the "ideal lens resolution" in terms of line pairs / millimeter (lp/mm).  To help identify a lens, you can search all lenses which have the resolution in the last column HERE.  This is stated in lp/mm in center and edge (i.e 120 / 100 ) 

Please do not hesitate to Contact us!  1st Vision can provide a complete solution including cameras, lenses, lighting and cables.  We have over 100 years of combined experience we can put to work for you.  

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Product Release: New Models of the IDS USB3 uEye CP Series


As of now, there are four new USB 3.0 cameras available in the series, including two models with Sony's 3 MP global shutter.

The UI-3270CP with the Sony IMX265  global shutter CMOS sensor offers a resolution of 3.2 MP (2056 x 1542, 1/1.8”). At full resolution, the USB 3.0 camera delivers up to 57 fps (Full HD with up to 80 fps). 

It is particularly suitable for cost-oriented applications in the fields of machine vision, medical engineering or microscopy. 

For customers who are looking for a camera with more speed, we recommend our UI-3070CP with the faster Sony IMX252  sensor, up to 134 fps are possible (Full HD up to 187 fps).




It's worth taking a look at our models with Sony's fast and cost-effective rolling shutter sensors of the STARVIS series: the light sensitivity is so impressive!


The UI-3880CP model with the Sony IMX178 sensor offers a high resolution of 6.4 MP (3088 x 2076 px, 1/1.8") for high-resolution images at frame rates of up to 60 fps at full resolution. 

Due to its high speed and sensitivity, this camera is well suited for traffic monitoring (ITS). It is also perfect for visualization tasks in microscopy or quality assurance.


The UI-3860CP model equipped with the Sony IMX290 (2.1 MP) sensor is great for classic industrial applications like metrology or logistics. Good resolution, high speed, and high image quality at a low price.

Contact us for a quote on the IDS UI-3860CP and UI-3880CP camera 
Please do not hesitate to Contact us!  1st Vision can provide a complete solution including cameras, lenses, lighting and cables.  We have over 100 years of combined experience we can put to work for you.  

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From 12 to 71 MP, multi-megapixel industrial cameras has never been so cheap!


Multi-Megapixel imaging has come down significantly in price in the last few months. 

In comparison to previous multi-megapixel CCD image sensors, the price per pixel has been reduced by almost 50%!

This is being fueled by new CMOS image sensors from ON-Semiconductor and Sony and are now debuting in several camera lines.  





Additionally, Crowley has reduced the price on the 71MP USB3 camera making it extremely affordable for many applications.  With a resolution of 10,000 x 7,096 @ 3 frames per second, this camera is excellent for applications ranging from aerial surveillance to industrial machine vision applications.  



The new CMOS image sensors bring exceptional sensitivity, lower noise, increased speeds and best of all, lower prices!  

These multi-megapixel (high resolution) sensors are available in 12, 16, 25 and 71 megapixel resolutions with their specifications below along.

Specifications on multi-megapixel industrial cameras  
(click on camera for full specifications or sensor for specs)

12MP - AVT - Manta G-1236  (Sony Pregius IMX304)


16MP - Dalsa Nano XL-M4090  (On-Semi PYTHON NOIP1SN016KA)


25MP - Dalsa Nano XL-M5100  (On-Semi PYTHON NOIP1SN025KA)


71MP- Crowley - MACHCAM   (CMOSIS CHR70M  )  NEW low price just released!


Applications include: 
  • Aerial Surveillance
  • Metrology
  • Semiconductor, LCD / PCB  Inspection
  • Archival Scanning (Documents and Micrographics)
  • General Machine Vision and more

Remember, lens selection is as important as the camera selection.  Don't pay for a camera and throw away pixels due to lack of lens resolution.  1st Vision has experts on hand to help you in the lens selection!   

Please do not hesitate to Contact us!  1st Vision can provide a complete solution including cameras, lenses, lighting and cables.  We have over 100 years of combined experience we can put to work for you.  


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Friday, January 27, 2017

Product Release - Allied Vision expands the Manta product line with G-895 (8.9 MP) and G-1236 (12 MP) CMOS cameras


Allied Vision has expanded the versatile Manta product line using the latest CMOS image sensors from Sony.  Using the new Sony Pregius IMX267 (8.9 MP) and IMX304 (12 MP) sensors, these cameras bring high resolution with great image quality.  

Like all Sony Pregius sensors, they deliver unprecedented image quality for a CMOS sensor, equaling and even outperforming comparable CCD's.  Best yet, Allied Visions price points for these cameras are significantly lower than older CCD image sensors of comparable resolution!  



Highlights on the new cameras as follows:

Allied Vision Manta G-895 with 8.9 Megapixel Sony CMOS sensor

The Manta G-895 uses the Sony Pregius sensors with a 12 bit ADC, has high Dynamic range with very low temporal dark noise.

This camera provides extremely high sensitivity providing overall excellent performance. 

With a smaller sensor than older 8MP cameras (KAI-08050), lower cost and better performance, this is a great choice for new and existing upgrades in this resolution.  

















Allied Vision Manta G-1236 with 12.3 Megapixel Sony CMOS sensor

 Allied Vision is the first to market with the Sony Pregius IMX304 sensor!  


The Manta G-1236 incorporates the IMX304 CMOS Sony Pregius sensor with a 12 bit ADC, and has a Dynamic range of 71.9 dB with temporal dark noise of only 1.98 e-.  

As with the 8.9MP sensor, this camera also provides excellent low light sensitivity with excellent performance.

The IMX304 has a 1.1" image format with a 3.45 pixel pitch which requires an adequate lens.  We recommend Tamron's 1.1" format lenses for this sensor.  Read more here







Common Features in the Manta product line:
  • Auto-gain (manual gain control:  0 to 40 dB)
  • Auto exposure
  • Auto white balance settings (color cameras only ) 
  • Decimation
  • Gamma correction    
  • Trigger over Ethernet (ToE) 
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • Modular concept allowing for angled heads, optical filters, lens mounts and board level options on some models.  
  • Many other features including Auto-Iris (Video), IEEE1588 prcision timing protocol included.    
Contact us for a quote on the new cameras!

See the full specifications for the Allied Vison Manta series

Manta G-1236  4112 x 3088, 9.7 fps, Sony IMX304
Manta G-895  4112 x 2176, 13.4 fps, Sony IMX267
For all Allied Vision cameras click here now!
   
Please note:  For the larger sensors, its imperative to match up the proper lens to the sensor.  1st Vision carries many 1" and 1.1" format lenses.  (click on sort to see all 1" and 1.1" lenses together)

Please do not hesitate to Contact us!  1st Vision can provide a complete solution including cameras, lenses, lighting and cables.  We have over 100 years of combined experience we can put to work for you.  

Ph:  978-474-0044
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New High Resolution 1.1” Lenses are a perfect fit for the new Sony 1.1” 12 MP Sensor cameras


Sony's Pregius image sensor line has continued to expand to higher resolutions and sizes. 

The latest 12 megapixel, Pregius IMX304 sensor has a 3.45um pixel pitch which requires a 1.1" lens to prevent vignetting.

In order to obtain optimal contrast within an image using this sensor,  a lens supporting at least 145 line pairs / mm must be used.






The lenses are optimized for down to 3.1um pixel pitch images.  Use of state of the art optical technology enables high contrast and high resolution from the center to edges of the lens, despite the large lens aperture.   

Examples below






The image to the left demonstrates improper pairing of a lens without enough performance to adequately resolve the size of the pixels on the camera.  Zooming into the given areas shows lack of contrast






 





The image to the right demonstrates the performance of the Tamron 1.1" lens on the new 12MP, 3.45um pixel pitch image sensors.  Zooming into the given areas show high contrast in the center and edges of the lens.





Alternative solutions prior to now would be to use a 4/3" or F-mount lens which are very expensive.  If a 1" format was used, you will have vignetting on 5% of the edges of the lens. This lens is the best solution for the larger 1.1" sensors!


Key Features include

  • Compatible up to 1.1" C-mount cameras:  Compatible with image sensors up to 1.1" formats and image circle diameters of 17.4mm (effective image circle diameter to 17.6mm).  
  • Industrial leading high contrast and resolution:  Compatible with 3.1um pixel pitch image sensors, up to 1.1" sensors.  Perfect for Sony Pregius IMX304, 12 megapixel sensors.
  • Lens designed for High-Fidelity imaging:  Uniform high contrast and resolution from the corners to the center despite the large aperture size.  Provides 160 lp/mm in the centers.  
  • Combination of advanced coating technology:  Integration of advanced techniques such as broad band anti-reflection coatings are used, additionally allowing for high image quality at close distances. 
  • Enhanced Functionality and Utility:  Well tuned rotation torque of both focus and iris control rings facilities smooth adjustments.  Lock mechanisms on the rings can be positioned at a choice of tree lock positions.   





Interested in cameras using the new 
Sony Pregius IMX304 12 Megapixel image sensor?  

A list of current cameras with this sensor are below: 

Allied Vision cameras
Manta G-1236 - GigE, 4112 x 3008, 9.7 fps, 

Teledyne Dalsa cameras
Genie Nano M4020 / C4020  (Coming soon!)
  

Please do not hesitate to Contact us!  1st Vision can provide a complete solution including cameras, lenses, lighting and cables.  

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