Case Study of 1000+ Scientific and Industrial Cameras

Table of Contents

Introduction
CMOS Sensors
Camera Interface Distribution
Conclusion

Introduction

Presently, Imaging.market is hosting nearly 1100 line scan, area scan and smart cameras as well as camera modules from the manufacturers Tattile, Tamron, Sony, Smartek Vision, Pixelink, Mikrotron, Matrix Vision, Lumenera, Kaya Instruments, Baumer and FLIR Systems (formerly Point Grey).

The cameras are delivered with their individual user benefits, videos, educational content, user manuals, descriptions, specifications and matching accessories like frame grabbers, cables and lenses. Each of the 1000 area scan cameras are characterized by a standardized, widespread set of commercial and technical attributes, which has been exclusively designed by machine vision experts.

This enables users to both filter the portfolio based on their requirements and to compare chosen products side by side – and also to carry out insightful statistics on the present camera market.

CMOS Sensors

In the later stage of 2013, Sony introduced their first Pregius™ CMOS sensor IMX174 with GS (global shutter). This was when the experts realized that the ubiquitous CCD technology would extensively fade away in the long run. However, the long run turned out to be quite short: Today, more cameras with CMOS global shutter sensors are promoted than with any other sensor technology (see Figure 1). Out of Imaging.market's 1000 area scan cameras, 613 are CMOS based.

Share of industrial and scientific area scan cameras by sensor technology.

Figure 1. Share of industrial and scientific area scan cameras by sensor technology.

As a result of the pixel architecture with integrated digitization, CMOS sensors can be read out even faster and it is easier to scale their size with less negative effects on the image quality than analog CCD sensors. Thus, additional cameras with high resolution and high frame rates enrich modern camera portfolios. The distribution of cameras over frame rate and resolution is shown in Figure 2. While each bubble indicates a set of cameras with the same characteristics, the size of the bubble stands for the number of cameras in the set.

Distribution of industrial and scientific area scan cameras by resolution and frame rate.

Figure 2. Distribution of industrial and scientific area scan cameras by resolution and frame rate.

A cluster of 112 cameras with CMOS as well as CCD sensors has resolutions around 0.4 MP (VGA). Frame rates of up to 400 fps can be achieved using CMOS cameras of this resolution. However, the majority of 470 cameras offer resolutions between 1.2 and 3 MP, mainly with frame rates between 25 and 60 fps. Due to advances in high-speed CMOS sensors, as offered by Alexima, Full HD resolution can be recorded at 2400 fps, for instance, with the KAYA JetCam 19.

With the widely adopted 5 MP CCD sensors ICX655 and ICX625 as well as, for instance, the Python 5000 from ON Semi, Sony’s first sensors of the second Pregius generation IMX250 / IMX264, and CMOS GS sensors CMV4000 from Cmosis, the 4 to 5.5 MP range is effectively covered at rates between 7 and up to 563 fps.

Almost 50% of Imaging.market’s scientific and industrial area scan cameras utilize image sensors from Sony and 133 of them utilize CMOS GS sensors of the Pregius series. ON Semiconductor (including Aptina) branded sensors can be seen in 35% of the cameras, where 131 are CMOS GS based, while Cmosis has a share of 11%. (Figure 3)

Share of industrial and scientific area scan cameras by sensor brand.

Figure 3. Share of industrial and scientific area scan cameras by sensor brand.

On Imaging.market, users can also filter their cameras according to the sensor format as this is usually decisive for the optical design of a vision system. As shown in Figure 4, the cameras are roughly evenly distributed over four major categories, today. Image sensors larger than 2/3”, in particular, are much more widespread and accepted in the age of CMOS GS, where high resolutions are needed but pixels have to be maintained at a certain size for a wide dynamic range and high sensitivity.

Share of industrial and scientific area scan cameras by sensor format.

Figure 4. Share of industrial and scientific area scan cameras by sensor format.

Camera Interface Distribution

The distribution of camera interfaces is also affected by the trend towards higher frame rate and resolution. Whilst Gigabit Ethernet is still leading, a minimum of at least USB 3.0 is needed for bandwidth requirements of most CMOS GS models in order to accomplish their maximum performance. As a result, USB 3.0 can now already be found with 29% of the cameras. However, for high-speed sensors from Alexima (e.g. AM41, LUX19HS), Cmosis (e.g. CMV20000, CMV12000, CMV4000, CMV2000), ON Semiconductor (e.g. Python 25k, Python 5000), and Sony (e.g. IMX252, IMX250), interfaces like 10 GigE, Camera Link, CoaXPress or proprietary technologies as the KAYA Optical Fiber interface are necessary. Until now, these interfaces can be found at 48 cameras out of 1000 (see Figure 5).

Share of industrial and scientific area scan cameras by interface.

Figure 5. Share of industrial and scientific area scan cameras by interface.

Conclusion

It is possible to perform these statistical analyzes and much more comprehensive statistics through the continued effort of Imaging.market and its suppliers to combine the specification of frame grabbers, lenses, cameras and other accessories in a standardized set of commercial and technical attributes.

In addition to market studies, these efforts mainly support vision system developers, purchasers and other users of imaging components with their difficulty in searching, selecting and purchasing the appropriate vision products for their applications. Those who use the free-of-charge online platform www.Imaging.market can rapidly filter the competitive portfolio for products, which meet their requirements.

Thanks to the standardized specification, it is now easy to compare the features of selected products side by side. Above all, with few clicks alone, the platform users can ask for best-price quotations from each manufacturer of their selected vision products thereby speeding up their complete development and purchasing processes.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Imaging.Market.

For more information on this source, please visit Imaging.Market.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this article?

Leave your feedback
Submit