Tuesday, August 21, 2018

IVSimaging Blog


Keep up to date on new products, as well as product updates.

ace with Sony's IMX174 or IMX249 Sensor - Which Camera is Right for your Application?

ace with Sony's IMX174 or IMX249 Sensor - Which Camera is Right for your Application?

ace with Sony's IMX174 or IMX249 Sensor – Which Camera is Right for your Application?Both the ace models with Sony's IMX174 and Sony's IMX249 offer the latest global shutter technology and outstanding image quality. Nevertheless there are significant differences between the models.

The ace models with Sony's IMX174 CMOS sensor help you achieve not just excellent image quality, but also high speeds up to 155 fps at a resolution of 2.3 MP.

The ace models with Sony's IMX249 are especially well suited for applications that do not require high-speed cameras, but which nevertheless need the excellent image quality of the CMOS sensors from Sony's Pregius series. With frame rates of up to 40 fps and 2.3 megapixels resolution, you'll have the right camera for your application at a lower cost.

An overview of our ace models with Sony's IMX174 CMOS sensor

An overview of our ace models with Sony's IMX249 CMOS sensor

You can find an overview of all our ace models here. You can also filter through the large selection of models based on resolution, frame rate or sensor.

Talk with our Sales Team at IVS Imaging for more information.

Digital Camera Interfaces for Machine Vision Applications

Digital Camera Interfaces for Machine Vision Applications

Digital cameras are now common because they do not have problems like transmission distortion, noise, or other signal degradations experienced when using analog cameras. With a digital output signal, little information is lost during the process of transmission, and the popularity of digital cameras has brought about the advancement in the use of many types of digital interfaces in machine vision applications. The most common interfaces in use today are Firewire, GigE, USB, Camera Link CoaXPress & HD options.

The user needs to select the most appropriate device for the application he is using. Deterministic or asynchronous transmission makes data transfer receipts to be possible, making the signal to be reliable, and as there is a two-way communication, delivery is placed over timing. For every 125μs, scheduled packet transfers is made possible in isochronous transmission, making timing to be guaranteed but making it possible to drop packets at high rates of transfer.

Capture Boards

Computers are needed during image processing. Capture boards are PCI cards which are used in acquiring and interpreting the data from digital camera interfaces, but not based on standard computer connectors. With capture boards, analog or digital camera signals can be sent into a computer for analysis, as a capture board has an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) which digitizes the signal for the image to be processed, and if the user desires, the real-time viewing of the signal can be enabled. The images are then captured and saved for printing or future use. Capture boards have basic capturing software that makes it possible for users to save, open, and view images.



FireWire (IEEE 1394/IIDC DCAM Standard)

IEEE 1394, also known as Firewire, is a popular isochronous, serial camera interface, and though it is one of the slower transfer rate interfaces, multiple cameras can be connected through both Firewire.a and Firewire.b, providing power through the Firewire cable. The use of hot-plugging/hot-swap is not a good idea, as the design of the connector may cause power pin shorting to signal pins, and this is likely to damage the device or the port. 



CameraLink is a high-speed serial interface explicitly developed for machine vision applications, especially the ones involving automated process control and inspection. A capture card is needed for CameraLink to work, and power must be separately supplied to the camera. A special cabling is needed by the user because full bandwidth is retained for data transmission through separate asynchronous serial communication channels. This is in addition to low-voltage differential pair LVDP signal lines.

About 255 MB/s transfer dedicated for video is made possible through the single-cable base configuration, and full configuration (dual outputs) allows for separate camera parameter receive/send lines for more data transfer space (680 MB/s) to be created when using certain high-speed applications.

CameraLink HS (High Speed) is the CameraLink interface extension which makes higher speed (up to 2100MB/s at 15m) to be possible when using more cables. In addition, CameraLink HS supports fiber optic cables which are as long as 300 m.


GigE Vision Standard (GigE)

GigE works with the ethernet internet protocol gigabit, and for a high-speed camera interface, makes use of standard Cat-5 and Cat-6 cables. Standard ethernet hardware like hubs, repeaters and switches can be used for multiple cameras, although it is necessary to consider the overall bandwidth whenever direct camera-to-card (non peer-to-peer) connections are used. In GigE Vision, the EMVA GenICam standard determines camera control registers, and though on some cameras optional, Link Aggregation (LAG, IEEE 802.3ad) needs many ethernet ports in parallel for data transfer rates to be increased, and for processor load to be distributed through multicasting. The network Precision Time Protocol (PTP), which is supported by some cameras, can help in synchronizing the clocks of multiple cameras in the same network connection, making a fixed delay relationship to be possible between their associated exposures.



Universal Serial Bus (USB)

A popular interface is USB 2.0 because it is common with computer users. It is not a high-speed device, but it is easy to use, and the maximum speed that can be achieved depends on the number of peripheral components of the USB, as there is a fixed rate of transfer of the bus at 480Mb/s. The plug-and-play benefits of USB 2.0 can also be enjoyed when using USB 3.0, and makes higher data transmission rates to be achieved.

iCube USB Cameras

High Definition

The need for high resolution, color fidelity, and frame rate is acute for industrial purposes to ensure that the quality of the video output is of an acceptable standard that can be used both for quality assurance, microscopy, medical or security purposes. These needs, however, must be balanced against the additional storage capacity required by HD video, unless it is for live viewing applications like some already mentioned. 

HD Interfaces for machine vision applications are similar to what we see in commercial cameras & some are specific to industrial applications. DVI, HDMI, HD-SDI & 3G-SDI are the most popular interfaces with advantages & disadvantages for each interface.



We will look further into new & upcoming interfaces for 2013 in our next segment. 

Types of Machine Vision Cameras: Analog & Digital

Types of Cameras and Their Benefits

Analog Cameras

Generally, there are two types of cameras: analog and digital. An electronic signal, which is continuously variable, is transmitted by analog cameras, and this is done in real-time, after which an analog output device then interprets the amplitude and frequency of the signal. The resulting video images are then influenced by the quality of the analog video signal and the way through which it is interpreted. In addition, there are advantages and disadvantages of this method of data transmission.

In most cases, analog cameras are cheap and are not as complicated as the digital ones, making it possible for users to save some money when working with common video applications. However, there are upper limits of analog cameras on both frame rate and resolution (number of TV lines). For instance, in the United States, NTSC, which is one of the most common video signal formats, is limited to about 525 TV lines in most cases, and 30 frames per second, while the PAL standard makes use of a frame rate of 25 frames per second for 625 TV lines. Electronic noise is another problem faced when using analog cameras; the noise usually depends on several factors which are commonly overlooked, some of which are connector type and cable length.

Digital Cameras

Digital cameras are the new set of cameras used today because of the features they have over their analog ones. Digital cameras can transmit a stream of ones and zeroes (binary data) in an electronic signal form, and although there is a continuous voltage corresponding to the intensity of light for a given pixel, the analog-to-digital conversion process assigns a grayscale value ranging from 0 (black) to 2N-1, where N is the number of the encoding bits. After that, the binary data can be converted into video information using output device. The basic features & benefits found only in digital cameras are:

  1. Easy integration of certain interfaces to computers, laptops and monitors (USB, GigE, Firewire, HD).
    1. Does not include Camera link which requires more hardware & integration but can give you very high frame rates.
  2. Digital cameras are much cheaper & have higher resolution due to CMOS technology strides in the last couple of years. It’s still more expensive than analog cameras at this time but we are seeing similar costs for 1 to 5 megapixel USB cameras vs. a VGA analog machine vision camera.
  3. There is no difference in the digital video signal when leaving the camera and when reaching an output device.
  4. Only one way can be used in interpreting the video signal.
  5. Thanks to the differences, due to the display of an output device, errors are eliminated in both transmission and interpretation of the signal.
  6. Unlike analog counterparts, digital cameras let you have higher resolution, less noise, higher frame rates, and lots of other features.

However, there is a trade-off that comes with those benefits – digital cameras are more expensive than their analog counterparts, and cameras having a lot of features are usually more difficult to set up (i.e. Camera link). In addition, digital cameras do not have long cable lengths compared to Analog set ups.

We will discuss the type of outputs next time on IVSblogs…

IVS Imaging is a distributor & manufacturer of machine vision cameras, lenses, cabling, monitors, filters, interface boards & more. IVS is your one stop shop for all your vision needs. IVS Imaging is known across the USA for carrying imaging products from leading manufactures, including Sony Cameras and Accessories, Basler Industrial Cameras, Hitachi Surveillance Cameras, Toshiba Network-based IP Cameras, and Sentech Advanced Digital and OEM cameras. Contact IVS Imaging for all your imaging products, parts, and accessories needs.

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