High-Resolution USB CCD Cameras
|Resolution||1024 x 768 Pixels||1280 x 1024 Pixels|
|Pixel Clock Range*||5-30 MHz|
|Frame Rate||78 fps||43 fps|
*The max possible pixel clock depends on the computer used.
**Function increases the frame rate.
- 1024 x 768 or 1280 x 1024 Pixel Color and B&W Versions Available
- 1/3" or 1/2" Image Sensor with Square Pixels
- Choose from 30 fps or 15 fps (Full Frame Mode)
- C-Mount Lens Mount for use with our Standard C-Mount Camera Lenses and High-Magnification Zoom Lenses
- Global Shutter
- Universal Trigger Input
Sensors and Functionality
TThese ultra compact, lightweight CCD cameras feature USB connections, making them extremely versatile for a wide range of applications including industrial automation, quality control, medical imaging, microscopy, and security technology. The DCU223 models are equipped with a high-quality SONY 1/3" CCD sensor with XGA resolution (1024 x 768) and provide a full frame repetition rate of 30 fps. The DCU224 models have a 1/2" CCD sensor with SXGA resolution (1280 x 1024) and provide a full frame repetition rate of 15 fps.
SM1 Thread Compatibility
Compatibility of the CCD Camera with Thorlabs' SM1 Internal or External Threadings via the Included SM1 (1.035"-40) Adapters
For all models, higher frame rates can be achieved by using the Area of Interest (AOI) or Binning functions; the former increases the frame rate by only reading a selected area of the sensor, whereas the latter increases the frame rate by combining pixel readings before transferring them to the PC, but in this case, image resolution is sacrificed. The computer can communicate digitally with the camera through the USB 2.0 interface, thus enabling the user to transmit images and control camera settings seamlessly.
Each CCD camera comes with an extensive Windows compatible software package on CD. Standard drivers like Direct Show (WDM), Active X, and TWAIN are provided. In addition, over 20 demo programs (including source code) are supplied. A USB cable for connecting the camera to a PC is also included. These cameras can be used with the latest release of µManager to obtain monochrome images (this includes the color USB CCD cameras).
The DCU223 CCD cameras are fully compatible with our standard C-Mount Camera Lenses and High-Magnification Zoom Lenses, which are sold separately. Our standard lenses include fixed focal lengths of 3.5 mm - 75 mm with maximum apertures of up to f/0.95, as well as an 18 - 108 mm f/2.5 zoom lens. Our high-magnification zoom lenses are a modular system that features magnification from 0.07 - 28.
Included Mounting Adapters
The C-Mount threading of the CCD camera can be easily connected to components with Thorlabs' standard SM1 (1.035"-40) threadings via one of the two included SM1 adapters, as shown in the photo to the right. Additional adapters may be purchased below. A mounting adapter plate is also provided with the CCD camera; by using the included M4 x 10 mm or 8-32 x 3/4" cap screw, the camera can be threaded onto Thorlabs' TR series Ø1/2" posts. Every unit also ships with four M3 x 6 mm screws for mounting the adapter plate to the camera.
The optional CAB-DCU-T1 and CAB-DCU-T2 series USB and trigger cables allow to using the additional trigger input and output ports (T1 and T2) of these cameras together with the USB2.0 connection. Via input trigger the exposure and readout/transfer events of the camera can be initiated. Via output trigger external events like strobe lights can be triggered by the camera. The trigger configuration, i.e. the source of the input trigger and the timing for the output trigger can be set via the provided software or the LabVIEW drivers. Please click here for more details about the cables and the ordering information.
|Exposure Mode||Electronic Global Shutter|
|Read Out Mode||Progressive Scan|
|Resolution||1024 x 768 Pixels||1280 x 1024 Pixels|
|Optical Sensor Class||1/3"||1/2"|
|Exact Sensitive Area||4.76 mm x 3.57 mm||5.95 mm x 4.76 mm|
|Exact Optical Sensor Dimension (Diagonal)||6.0 mm (0.24")||7.6 mm (0.30")|
|Pixel Size||4.65 µm x 4.65 µm|
|Sensor Name ||Sony ICX204AL||Sony ICX204AK||Sony ICX205AL||Sony ICX205AK|
|Minimum Opt. Power Density Required||1.4 nW/mm²||1.2 nW/mm²|
|A/D Converter Resolution ||8 Bit|
|S/N Ratio ||≥38 dB|
|Pixel Clock Rangea||5 - 30 MHz|
|Frame Rate, Freerun Modeb||30 fps||15 fps|
|Frame Rate, Trigger Mode, |
1 ms Exposure Timeb
|27 fps||14 fps|
|Exposure Time in Freerun Mode||66 µsb - 1040 msc||83 µsb -1460 msc|
|Exposure Time in Trigger Mode||66 µsb- 10 minc||83 µsb - 10 minc|
|Factor, Maximum Resolution, Frame Rate||2x, 1280 x 384 Pixel, 53 fps||2x, 1280 x 512 Pixel, 23 fps|
|Factor, Maximum Resolution, Frame Rate||4x, 1280 x 192 Pixel, 85 fps||4x, 1280 x 256 Pixel, 31 fps|
|AOI||Horizontal, Vertical d|
|Frame Rate at 320 x 240 Pixel (Cif)||78 fps||43 fps|
|Absolute Image Width, Step Width||16 - 1024 Pixel, 16||16 - 1280 Pixel, 16|
|Absolute Image Height, Step Width||120 - 768 Pixel, 1||120 - 768 Pixel, 2||120 - 1024 Pixel, 1||120 - 1024 Pixel, 2|
|Position Raster Horizontal||1||2||1||2|
|Position Raster Vertical||1||2||1||2|
|Monochrome Model||Master||Master, RGB||Master||Master, RGB|
|Offset Control, Mode||Auto, Manual, Additive|
|Trigger Delay With Rising Edge, Jitter||43.2 µs, ±4 µs|
|Trigger Delay With Falling Edge, Jitter||61.5 µs, ±4 µs|
|Additive Trigger Delay To the Sensor||0 or 15 µs-4 s|
|Sensor Delay To the Exposure Start||<100 µsb|
|Trigger Low Levele||0 V Min, 2 V Max|
|Trigger High Levele||5 V Min, 24 V Max|
|Power Consumption||150 - 230 mA at 5 V||190 - 290 mA at 5 V|
|Protective Window, Removable||Uncoated Glass |
|IR Filter D263 |
with HQ coating
|Uncoated Glass |
|IR Filter D263|
with HQ coating
|Power Supply||< 1.5 W, via USB|
|Operating Temperature||32 to 122 °F (0 to 50 °C)|
|Security Labels||CE, FCC, Class B|
|Dimention (H x W x D)||1.59" x 1.26" x 1.35" (40.35 mm x 32 mm x 34.4 mm)|
|Weight||0.21 lbs (96 g)|
Pixel Sensitivity of the CCD Camera
Pixel sensitivity versus wavelength plots are shown at the right for the monochromatic and color versions of these CCD cameras. The color model incorporates a removable IR filter that blocks the spectral region marked by the pink background. For this model, the popular Bayer color filter array is used to acquire digital color images. The filter is based on the repeating 2 x 2 pattern shown to the left; half of the total number of pixels are green (G), and the remaining pixels are equally divided between red (R) and blue (B).
Due to this arrangement, each pixel is only sensitive to one color, and as a result, the overall sensitivity of the color image is three times lower than that achievable with a monochromatic sensor. Thus, B&W CCD cameras are preferred in low-light situations. Even though only one third of the color information is obtained at each pixel, a full-color image can be achieved through the use of various demosaicing algorithms that interpolate a set of red, green, and blue B G B G values at each point.
Software for the CCD Camera
Each CCD camera comes with an extensive Windows compatible software package. Standard drivers like Direct Show (WDM), ActiveX™, and TWAIN are provided. In addition, over 20 demo programs (including source code) are supplied. The cameras can be used with the latest release of µManager to obtain monochrome images (this includes our color USB CMOS cameras).
The entire software package can be downloaded here:
When choosing a camera for your application, the selection process may seem daunting. Many questions arise concerning the differences between Charge Coupled Devices (CCD) and Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) sensors. Each sensor type has advantages and disadvantages that will help you determine which is most appropriate for your application.
The advantages listed here have been generalized to the sensor type. When purchasing a camera, it is always important to check the specifications of the device to ensure that it is suitable for your application.
|Sensor Advantages Comparison|
|High Dynamic Range|| |
|High Uniformity|| |
Responsivity - Advantage CMOS
While both CCD and CMOS sensors have similar responsivity, CMOS sensors typically have an advantage over CCDs as each pixel has its own amplification electronics.
Dynamic Range - Advantage CCD
Dynamic Range refers to the maximum signal strength divided by the smallest signal. A high dynamic range correlates to a camera that is capable of imaging the widest range of intensities of light. CCDs can have dynamic ranges twice as great as similar CMOS sensors. Furthermore, CCDs have less noise, which is ideal for low-light imaging.
Uniformity - Advantage CCD
The construction of CCD and CMOS sensors differs substantially. Each pixel on a CCD collects light and typically transfers charge to one output node. This charge is then converted to a voltage and buffered. As each pixel uses the same charge-to-voltage converter, the camera is highly uniform. Alternatively, each pixel of a CMOS camera has its own charge-to-voltage converter and amplification electronics are built onto the sensor. The uniformity of CMOS cameras is thus constrained by the uniformity of the charge converters and amplification electronics.
Shuttering - Advantage CCD
CCDs have more uniform shuttering than CMOS sensors, making them superior for imaging objects in motion. To achieve a uniform shutter with CMOS cameras, a rolling shutter is used, which only exposes a portion of the sensor at any given time. This improves fill factor of the sensor, but is typically not suitable for imaging objects in motion as they may appear blurry.
Windowing - Advantage CMOS
Windowing refers to the ability to read only a portion of the signal from the sensor. When imaging a smaller area of the sensor, higher imaging speeds are capable. CMOS sensors are well-suited for windowing as the signal can be read from only a portion of the whole sensor, rather than sequentially as with CCDs. The increased imaging speeds of cameras based on windowing will refer to an Area of Interest (AOI) in pixels, which will be a portion of the full sensor.
Antiblooming - Advantage CMOS
When a region of the sensor is overexposed, it is highly desirable to limit the effect the overexposure has on neighboring pixels. An overexposed pixel on a CCD may cause nearby pixels to appear overexposed, too. To limit this, CCDs may have larger buffers between pixel rows, but this will reduce the fill factor of the sensor. As CMOS sensors convert charge to voltage at each pixel, they are not susceptible to blooming.