GigE, HDMI, high speed and USB cameras – a brief overview of new products from Sentech:
GigE cameras – with and without customisable FPGA
Sentech GigE series cameras are available with five different resolutions, in colour or monochrome, as PowerPlus with customisable FPGA or standard without customisable FPGA. This means you can take advantage of twenty different models. High quality CCD sensors, robust construction, operation without external cooling as well as DC lens aperture control are important for use in practice. The PowerPlus models have a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) that is absolutely essential in many industrial imaging sectors today. Sentech is the first manufacturer worldwide to offer GigE cameras with a second fully accessible XILINX Spartan-3 FPGA with any function assignability. Image comparisons and analyses are therefore possible. As opposed to smart cameras, in which a processor is used for image processing tasks. FPGA is purely hardware logic so that processing is virtually in real time.
Favourably priced HDMI 720P cameras for microscopy and endoscopy Called the STC-HD133DV, Sentech has introduced 1/3” CCD board and boxed models that deliver a progressive video signal of 1280x720 pixels at up to 60 fps. They therefore provide outstanding pictures in the 720p HD standard, and its HDMI output allows interconnectivity to all current monitors and TVs with a HDMI port. This makes the cameras ideal for applications that do not need a PC, such as microscopy and endoscopy. The STC-HD133DV is available as a boxed or a board camera with OSD menu configuration over the software communication cable connector. In additional to their technical features, their attractive price of 599 euros (recommended retail price plus VAT and delivery) also makes the models impressive.
High speed CameraLinkTM cameras Even though the GigE interface is making further advances and can now cover many applications in image processing systems – the GigE data transfer rate is simply not high enough for real high speed applications with a simultaneously high image resolution. In this case, the answer is to fall back on the CameraLink TM interface, although it is somewhat old and technically very complex. Sentech has launched four new camera models. They all come with the same housing size of only 50x50x41 mm with two CameraLink ports and a C-mount lens adapter. What is new for Sentech is the integration of CMOS sensors. Whilst CCD technology won through for many years due to its better picture quality, the quality of many CMOS sensors today has caught up considerably over CCDs. The cameras are available in resolutions of 2048x1088 pixels (2 megapixels) and 2048x2048 pixels (4 megapixels), both in colour and monochrome. The maximum refresh rates are 340 fps (2 megapixels) and 180 fps (4 megapixels).
USB cameras with time exposure The Sentech USB camera family is not new. Although, what is now new is the time exposure capability without external cooling for the CCD sensor, which can be seen on the fair stand in a fluorescence microscopy application. The exposure time is specified by a start/stop trigger signal set in the software or hardware and can be virtually unlimited. However, a CCD sensor also generates noise that increases with the exposure time. The new function counters this by offering two different noise filtering options: The “easy” method does not need any previous calibration. It uses a median filter that compares neighbouring pixels and interprets and masks any small, sudden differences between the pixels. The filter is therefore the ideal choice for dealing with what is referred to as “white noise”. With the “complex” method the camera is previously “calibrated” with a black picture. The noise pattern then created is used afterwards for the calculation when a real picture is recorded. This method is the ideal choice for eliminating “hot spots”, as they are called – these are single pixels that become brighter or take on certain colours as time increases, and therefore act as interference on the image.