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A Review of Imaging Devices - Part 2, Standard Machine Vision Cameras

A 'standard machine vision camera' could be defined as follows; A medium resolution sensor in a small housing, with a C-mount for accommodating a lens and with an external trigger function. 

A longer description would define a standard machine vision camera for factory automation (for example) as a device built to a high specification, with instant image generation after trigger, no lag and no image compression. Quality is key, as is a very long MTBF number. And a good software development kit.

We have installed vision systems that are still running over a decade later with the same hardware and with very little downtime. Image acquisition reliability is probably just as important as image quality and of course, longevity. The three pillars of a factory automation camera perhaps?

So, we know machine vision cameras and we supply a very broad range, extending from very low cost, low resolution products to high speed camera products.

The following is a selection of our machine vision cameras, starting with the simple and ending with the sophisticated. In all cases, product performance and reliability is expected. Please note, costs are a guide only and can be negotiated based on volume.

£95
OK. So it's not a true machine vision camera as per the above definition as it is lacking certain features, namely; a housing, a lens mount and a lens. But at £95 it represents great value for money and for a straightforward factory automation application such as object verification, which could include a high speed measurement or a sorting system, it could fit the bill. Particularly if you are looking for an OEM solution to build into your own machinery.
£230
This camera represent the latest technology in a very small package from The Imaging Source. If are looking for a very high framerate at a low cost, this little device can run at over 500fps, courtesy of it's modern Sony IMX287 sensor. A feature of CMOS sensors is that the framerate can be further increased by reducing the region of interest. However, as this is only a VGA camera, that may not be practical and so there are other options available.
£390
This camera, with its 2.3MP Sony IMX 1/1.2" Global Shutter Sensor is by far our most used camera in our machine vision applications. It has a good cost versus feature value and is good for most of the factory automation applications in which we are involved. We assume the IMX249 is currently one of the biggest selling sensors and therefore there is an economical benefit from the scale of volume manufacturing which has brought the cost of these superb sensors down to commodity levels.
£530
This camera has everything, for a price. A large 2/3" sensor, A USB3 interface to support the out of the box 35 fps that is available at maximum ROI. It exploits the latest Sony sensor technology with a good low noise to signal ratio and quantum efficiency. A C-Mount for interchangeable lenses and a trigger/IO connector for advanced and high speed imaging applications.
PoA
10 x GigE Cameras have become available in the last couple of years with Pixelink as one of the leading brands. The latest Sony CMOS sensors for the higher performance imaging applications are larger - in excess of 1" and with lots of pixels and of course a good frame rate. This all equates to a large bandwidth requirement. Something that exceeds the capability of USB3 and GigE Vision. Enter 10GigE, faster than Gigabit ethernet by a factor of 10. This potentially merges the realms of machine vision with broadcast applications, with all the benefits that brings.


As ever, we have stock of all these brands and can offer sale or return for trials and demonstrations. Please call for a confidential discussion about your potential application.