Top 3, what hardware is needed for image processing?

Image processing, also known as machine vision, is the ability of a computer to see, analyze the image and then make a decision. Image processing is applied in for example industrial or practical applications. For a computer to be able to see (image processing) the following hardware components are required as a minimum:
  1. Camera, preferably a Machine Vision camera
  2. Lens, this determines the field of view
  3. Cable, this connects the Machine Vision camera with the Computer

In addition, the following hardware components are also often used in image processing:
  • Lighting, for properly illuminating what the computer must see
  • Lens filters, for removing ambient light and specific colors
With the above hardware you can realize the perfect image processing application.

5 Steps for selecting image processing products

To select the right hardware products for image processing you must go through the following steps:

Step 1, how sharp should the image processing camera look?

The first choice to be made with an image processing application is how much detail the computer must see. This is determined by the field of view and the smallest detail that must be visible. Suppose you have an image processing application where you want to count marbles. Each marble has a diameter of 10mm. In total the field of view must be 2x2 meters, or 2000x2000mm. To stably detect the marble through image processing, each marble must have a size of at least 2x2 pixels. That means that a marble of 10x10mm corresponds to 2x2 pixels and 1 pixel = 5mm. If the field of view of the computer is 2x2 meters for image processing, then the minimum resolution for the eyes of the computer is (2000/5) x (2000/5) = 400x400 pixels. The resolution of the image processing camera must then be at least 400x400 = 0.16MP. For further support in selecting the right image processing camera, we recommend that you read this page carefully.

Step 2, how large is the field of view / field of view of the image processing camera?

The field of view of the image processing camera is determined by the sensor size and the focal length of the lens. These together determine the opening angle of the lens. For the sensor, the larger the sensor, the larger the field of view. The field of view of a 2/3 "sensor is twice as large as the field of view of a 1/3" image sensor.
For the lens, the lower the focal length, the larger the field of view. A lens with a focal length of 4mm gives a field that is twice as large as a lens with a focal length of 8mm.
For further support in choosing the right lens for an image processing camera, we recommend that you read this page carefully and make use of our lens calculator.

Step 3, how do I connect the image processing camera to the computer?

Use a cable to connect the image processing camera to the computer. Which cable you need depends on the camera interface. If you use a USB2 or USB3 image processing camera for image processing, we always recommend using the USB2 and USB3 cables that we offer. A high quality cable is required for a stable image transfer.
With a GigE image processing camera you can in principle use any standard Cat5e cable. The cables that we offer have the advantage that they are attached to the image processing camera housing by means of two screws. This creates a more stable connection in image processing applications where the image processing camera, for example, moves.
There are also special high-flex cables that are suitable for image processing applications where the cable bends regularly, as is the case with a robot.

Step 4, which lighting do I need for stable image processing?

For the application of image processing it is important that what one wants to see is well illuminated. In some cases the ambient light is sufficient. However, in many image processing applications the lighting is used to accentuate the object to be detected. If you need advice on which lighting is suitable for your image processing application, please contact us. We have a lot of experience in the field of lighting for image processing applications.

Step 5, do I need a lens filter for my image processing?

In image processing, lens filters are used to add more contrast to the image. This extra contrast is achieved because the lens filter only transmits specific light wavelengths (colors). Ambient light or specific wavelengths will be blocked and additional contrast is created. Typical examples in image processing are blue lighting with a blue lens filter and a red light with a red filter or an infrared light with an infrared filter. An overview of our lensfilters for image processing can be found on this page.