Battle of the Image Sensors – Sony IMX174 Vs CMOSIS CMV2000


Sony Pregius imaging sensors with a newly advanced pixel design provide unsurpassed high dynamic range, quantum efficiency and excellent signal to noise (SNR) ratios.  With a Dynamic range of 73 dB and a quantum efficiency of 76% (@ 525nm), this sensor will become a major work horse in the industrial imaging market.  Comparing these data points however can be mind boggling and leave you asking, “What’s the end result?” 1st Vision put the CMOSIS CMV2000 and new Sony Pregius IMX174 into the ring to battle it out!   
The old phrase of “A picture is worth a thousand words” definitely stands true in comparing sensors and reviewing images.  In our battle, we compared the CMOSIS CMV2000 (2MP CMOS)  sensor to the new Sony Pregius IMX174 (2.3MP CMOS) sensor.  We reviewed several of the key sensor aspects and are as follows. 

From the specification standpoint, the IMX174 provides better values across the board.  (Refer to the SonyPregius Sensor page for detailed information on the terms)

   Comparison Data:

Round 1:  Saturation Capacity & Dynamic Range

Saturation Capacity or “well depth” is analogous to a bucket of water, however in lieu of water, we have electrons.  Given a larger bucket, we can pour more water in the bucket without it overflowing.  The water overflowing is analogous to “saturation”.  In turn, a sensor that has a larger saturation capacity (bigger bucket) can hold more electrons (water) without saturating (overflowing).  This would relate to the sensors overall dynamic range in that it will not saturate quickly in a given image, allowing us to see darker and lighter areas. 

The example below shows images comparing the CMV2000 and IMX174.  These were captured with the same lens, camera manufacturer and set at the identical exposures.  

Looking at these images, which one is the better sensor?  We would want to quickly say, “The brighter one!”, however brighter does not always mean better!

On the left CMOSIS image, we see a noticeable difference as it is starting to saturate especially on the lower right corner.  The colors are reaching peak levels in which they are close to saturating (brighter image).  For this given light level, our small “buckets” are getting full!

On the right IMX174 image, we can see similar brightness levels in the upper left corners, but the bottom right part of the image is NOT saturating, as well as the markers are not reaching peak values.  In essence, we have a small bucket with the CMV2000 and will overflow much faster than the larger bucket with the IMX174.  Relating back to our values in the chart, saturation capacity and dynamic range are much greater on the IMX174 and can be visibly seen in the images!  Sony Pregius wins round 1.

(Knowing this.. the brighter image does not always mean its a better sensor! )

Round 2:  Quantum Efficiency (Sensitivity)
In comparing the Quantum Efficiency values, we see the IMX174 is 13% higher.  This relates to the conversion of photons to electrons and in turn providing a higher numeric value in our image.  The images below were taken in very low light with a 10uS exposure.  The IMX174 provides a brighter image due to this added efficiency.

Sony Pregius IMX174 wins round 2 with a Knock Out!

The Sony Pregius pixel architecture is being expanded into many resolutions and will implemented into many industrial cameras.  

For a complete list of cameras with Sony Pregius sensors click HERE.  Keep an eye on this link as it continues to expand.  Need more technical information on the Sony Pregius sensors?  Click HERE

Contact us for a quote on cameras with the Sony Pregius sensors and to discuss your application!  1st Vision can provide a complete solution including lenses, cables and lighting.  

Ph:  978-474-0044  

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Advanced Infrared Camera for Affordable Price

Allied Vision lowers entry barrier into short wave infrared image processing. The new Goldeye G-008 SWIR camera suits high requirements and small budgets.

Allied Vision has released a new entry-level Goldeye model for the short wave infrared spectrum (SWIR).  Packed with all the features and benefits of the current Goldeye camera family, the new model for SWIR applications is equipped with a smaller resolution sensor. As a result, the price for the camera could be significantly reduced so that infrared imaging becomes affordable for many cost-sensitive applications in which the lower resolution is enough to do the job.

Small sensor for a small price
The Goldeye G-008 SWIR is fitted with a QVGA InGaAs sensor (320 x 256 pixels, 30 µm pixel size) making it sensitive in the short wave infrared spectrum ranging from 900 to 1,700 nm.  Many cost-sensitive applications can benefit from the excellent price to performance ratio, for example hyperspectral imaging applications such as plastics sorting for recycling purpose or environmental analysis, high-temperature thermography in the steel and glass industries or laser beam profiling.

High image quality and ultra-high dynamic
Users of the Goldeye G-008 SWIR won’t have to trade off quality or speed for the low price. The new model has all the qualities of the popular Goldeye family. With frame rates up to 344 fps at full resolution, versatile application fields can be addressed and processes can be sped up strongly. Thanks to its ultra-high intra-scene dynamic range of 75 dB, the camera is ideally suitable for applications requiring to capture simultaneously bright and dark portions of a scene, such as outdoor and surveillance imaging at night or specific industrial applications like laser welding.

The camera’s industrial-grade housing is extremely robust and compact (55mm x 55 mm x 78 mm) to fit into the smallest machines. Various mounting possibilities, extensive I/O functionalities and a large choice of lens mount options ensure an even easier integration.

The Goldeye G-008 SWIR relies on the GigE Vision industrial standard as an interface. Thanks to its GenICam compatibility, the camera can easily be used with the most popular image processing libraries. With Allied Vision’s powerful software development kit Vimba, which is available free of charge to Allied Vision customers, users can program their application across various platforms (Windows, Linux, etc.).

The Goldeye G-008 SWIR also features all image correction and optimization functionalities of the Goldeye family such as advanced image correction algorithms and fan-less sensor cooling using a thermoelectric module (TEC 1) for low-noise images.

For full specifications on the G-008, click HERE.

What can SWIR camera technology do for you?  Learn more in this white paper!

Contact us for a quote and to discuss your application!  1st Vision can provide a complete solution including lenses, cables and lighting.  

Ph:  978-474-0044  

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Imaging Basics – Calculating Lens Focal length

In any industrial imaging application, we have the task of selecting several main components to solve the problem at hand.  The first being an industrial camera and second,  a lens to acquire the given image.  In many cases, our working distance of our lens is constrained and may have to mount the camera closer or further from the object plane.  Once set, this defines our working distance (WD) for the lens.  In addition, we have a given field of view (basically the dimension across the image) of the desired object.  

In order to select the correct focal length lens which is denoted in millimeters (i.e 25mm focal length), we need additional information on the camera sensor.  Camera sensors come in various “Image formats”.  The chart below indicates some common formats which relate to the sensor size.  The sensor size can be found on the actual sensor datasheets if not available in a given chart.  

For this exercise, we want to image an object that is 400mm from the front of the lens to the object and desire a field of view of 90mm.  

We have selected a camera with the Sony Pregius CMOS IMX174 sensor.  This uses a 1/1.2″ format which measures 10.67mm x 8mm.  

We have the following known values at this point: 

Field of View (FOV)  =  90mm
Working Distance (WD) = 400mm   
Sensor Size = 10.67mm – We will calculate for a 90mm horizonal FOV, in turn use the horizontal sensor dimension

The basic formula to calculate the lens focal length is as follows: 

FL = (Sensor size * WD) / FOV

Using the values from our application, 

FL = ( 10.67mm * 400mm ) / 90mm 
FL = 47.4mm

Lenses are only available off the shelf in various focal lengths (i.e 25mm, 35mm, 50mm), so this calculate is theoretical and may need an iteration to adjust working distance. Alternatively, if your application can have a slightly smaller or larger FOV, the closest focal length lens to your calculation may be suitable.

1st Vision has made calculating your lens focal length a bit easier!  As in engineering, its good to know the background formulas, but in practicality, like to simplify life with tools

You will find our lens calculator HERE.  Alternatively as select a camera, you will find an icon to the right which will automatically populate the calculator.  Below is a short video showing how to use this resource from the camera pages.  

A few additional considerations when selecting a lens:

  • Lenses have minimum working distances (MOD), so this should be considered when reviewing a lens setup.  MOD’s can be found on the lens page for the given lenses.
  • Lenses need to be paired with the appropriate sensor.  For example, if you have a 1/2″ sensor, you need to ensure you are using a 1/2″ format lens or larger.
  • In selecting a lens, you need to ensure the lens has enough resolution (in lp/mm) to resolve the pixels on your camera.  Be sure to review this data carefully once you ID the desired focal length.  Demystifying lens specifications provides further understanding. 

Related Blogs: 
Demystifying Lens Specifications
Understanding Lens MTF
Calculating Resolution for Machine vision

Contact us to discuss your application and help make a recommendation!  1st Vision can provide a complete solution including lenses, cables and lighting.  
Ph:  978-474-0044

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Teledyne DALSA Introduces Low-cost, Fast GigE cameras featuring TurboDrive and Sony Pregius sensor

Teledyne DALSA introduces its Genie Nano series of affordable, easy-to-use GigE Vision® cameras. The series combines industry-leading CMOS image sensors, including the Sony Pregius and On Semiconductor’s Python, with a fully optimized camera platform to deliver high frame rates and powerful features in a small, robust body.

The first four models in the Genie Nano series, the M1920, C1920, M1940 and C1940 are built around the Sony® Pregius 2 Megapixel IMX249 and IMX174 CMOS image sensors respectively. Available in monochrome and color with additional resolutions to follow, Genie Nano cameras help ensure high performance and reliability with their unique feature set. Designed for industrial imaging applications with Teledyne DALSA’s patent-pending TurboDrive™ technology, these latest Genies are capable of breakthrough data transfer at 2 or even 3 times the standard GigE Visionrates. The Genie Nano series also takes full advantage of the Sapera™ LT Software Development Kit (SDK) and field proven Trigger-to-Image-Reliability framework for full system-level monitoring, control, and diagnostics from image capture through transfer to host memory.
Key Features: 
  • TurboDrive allows fast frame rates and full image quality
  • Trigger-to-Image-Reliability
  • Small footprint for tight spaces – 44mm x 29mm x 21mm
  • Wide temperature range (-20 to 60c) housing for imaging in harsh environments
  • 2 inputs/2 opto-coupled outputs for easy integration and deployment
  • Light weight – only 46 grams

Video – Introducing Genie Nano:

Full Data Sheets & Manual

Genie Nano cameras are suitable for a wide range of inspection applications including intelligent traffic systems (ITS), entertainment, medical, food and beverage inspection, and electronics and printed circuit board (PCB) inspection, among many others. 

Dalsa Camera page features Genie Nano Product information including the full camera portfolio.

Turbo Drive Technology page provides additional resources such as Technology primers and FAQ’s

UPDATE:  Febraury 29, 2016 – See Dalsa’s new video on “Trigger to Image Reliability” below.  A great feature packed into the Nano cameras.  

Contact us to discuss your application and help make a recommendation!  1st Vision can provide a complete solution including lenses, cables and lighting.  
Ph:  978-474-0044

We also have Genie Nano’s in stock!

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