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In our article “How to select an industrial camera interface (USB3, GigE, 5GigE, 10GigE Vision” we discuss the industrial camera interfaces, the pro and cons. Below you can find a summary of the article. If you need further support with selecting an industrial camera, please contact us.


TOP 5 industrial camera interfaces

There are many industrial camera interfaces available. The following table shows a summary of all interfaces and we will discuss the 5 industrial camera interfaces that we offer further.
 
  USB2 USB3 FireWire GigE CameraLink Coaxpress 5GigE 10GigE
Bandwidth
(Megabyte/s)
40 400 80 100 Base = 250
Medium = 500
Full = 750
1 lane = 750
2 lanes = 1500
3 lanes = 2250
4 lanes = 3000
500 1000
Cable length
(maximum)
5m 4.6m 10m 100m 7m 100m 100m 100m
Power + data
on one cable
Yes Yes Yes Only if PoE PoCL Yes Only if PoE Only if PoE
Frame grabber
mandatory
No No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes
Cable costs Low Low Medium Low High Low Low Low
Camera costs Very low Low Low Low High High Medium High
CPU usage Medium Low Low Medium Low Low Medium Medium
Customer
acceptance
Fair Good Fair Good Declining Growing Growing Growing
Multiple
cameras
Fair Excellent Excellent Good Fair Excellent Excellent Excellent
 
  • USB2 Industrial Camera

The USB2.0 camera interface is the cheapest and easiest to use of all 3 options. Nevertheless, bandwidth and cable length are limited. USB2.0 industrial cameras are ideal for applications which require a maximum of 1.3MP at 30fps or 5MP at 7fps, with a cable length that does not exceed 5 meters.
  • USB3 Vision Industrial Camera

The USB3.0 Vision industrial camera interface is the fastest interface with the highest bandwidth we support, and it uses the least amount of computer processor power out of the 3. Therefore, it is ideal for high resolution and high-speed imaging. The cable length on the other hand, is limited to 4.6 meters. More information about the USB3 Vision industrial camera protocol is available in our blog.
  • GigE Vision Industrial Camera

The GigE Vision industrial camera interface is often used in machine vision applications, which require longer cable lengths (>5m). Bandwidth is average (between USB2.0 and USB3.0). This makes it ideal for most machine vision applications. Both 20MP sensors with low framerates as low-resolution cameras with high framerates are available with GigE.
  • 5GigE Vision Industrial Camera

The 5GigE Vision industrial Camera interface is a new interface that we become available in 2019. It is using the same infrastructure as GigE, however the industrial camera sends the images compressed (without losing image quality) to the PC. The PC will uncompressed this data. As a result the bandwidth is increased and is approx. the same as USB3. This interface is very interesting for industrial camera applications where long cable lengths and high frame rates with high resolutions are required.
  • 10GigE Vision Industrial Camera

10GigE Vision Industrial cameras require a 10GigE infrastructure. It has the highest bandwidth. However the interface is also relative expensive. For most of the industrial camera applications, GigE, 5GigE and USB3 will deliver sufficient bandwidth.

Industrial camera technology

Industrial cameras, also known as Vision Cameras or Machine vision cameras are designed for industrial and medical applications. The main differences between an industrial camera and a security or consumer camera are:
-    An industrial camera gives out the RAW information, without image compression.
-    Very low latency between image capture and image received by the PC
-    Option to exact trigger the moment that the image should be captured
-    Longevity, industrial cameras have a minimum life time cycle of 5-7 years (as most of the time even longer), while security and consumer cameras have a life time cycle of 1-2 years
-    Sensitivity, industrial cameras have larger and therefore more light sensitive sensors. As a result the images are better during low light conditions or short exposure times
-    With a industrial camera you have access to more features, for example LUT tables, Region of Interest, triggering, pixel binning etc.
These are the mean reasons to select an industrial camera

Industrial camera applications

In almost every market industrial cameras are used. Some example are:
-    Pharmaceutical; inspecting products like capsule, injection, bubble cap, label of the package and etc.
-    Traffic and transportation; industrial cameras for inspection of railways, Automatic Number Plate Reading (ANPR), Speed control, inspection of roads, 360 degree imaging (street view),
-    3D scanners; these have industrial cameras inside to generate a 3D point cloud. It is used to determine height of an object, distance of an object or checking for defects (missing parts) on a product. It can also be used for making 3D models or even scanning complete persons to integrate them digitally into movies and games
-    Industrial; inspection of glass bottles, carpet, industrial printing machines, etc.
-    Logistics; barcode reading, DMC reading, check size of package
-    Automations; Robots, palletizers, optical guidance systems, quality inspections, position recognition etc.
-    Medical; Devices that include industrial camera technology like Endoscopes, Ophthalmology, overview camera during MRI scans, robot surgery, digital microscopes etc.
-    Research, Laboratory; Industrial cameras on existing microscopes, digital microscopes etc.
-    Sports; tracking movement of sportsmen, animals (horses), objects (golf simulator) etc. using and industrial camera


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