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Scientific Camera Selection Guide


Scientific Camera Selection Guide
  • Zelux™ CMOS, Kiralux™ CMOS, Quantalux® sCMOS, and Scientific CCD Cameras
  • Models for Low Light, High Speed, UV, Visible, Near-IR, or Polarization
  • Versatile ThorCam™ Software with SDK and Programming Interfaces
  • Support for C, C++, C#, .NET, Python, LabVIEW, MATLAB, and µManager

Non-Cooled, Standard
Scientific CCD Cameras

Passively Cooled, Compact
Monochrome sCMOS Camera

CMOS Sensor Cameras
with Low Read Noise

Polarization-Sensitive CMOS
Sensor Camera

Hermetically Sealed, TE-Cooled
Scientific CCD Cameras

Hermetically Sealed, TE-Cooled
Monochrome sCMOS Camera

Ultra-Compact CMOS Cameras
with Low Read Noise



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Thorlabs offers four families of scientific cameras: Zelux™, Kiralux™, Quantalux®, and Scientific CCD. Zelux cameras are designed for general-purpose imaging and provide high imaging performance while maintaining a small footprint. Kiralux cameras have CMOS sensors in compact, passively cooled housings and are available with monochrome, color, NIR-enhanced, or polarization-sensitive sensors. The polarization-sensitive Kiralux camera incorporates an integrated micropolarizer array that, when used with our ThorCam™ software package, captures images that illustrate degree of linear polarization, azimuth, and intensity at the pixel level. Our Quantalux monochrome sCMOS cameras feature high dynamic range combined with extremely low read noise for low-light applications. They are available in either a compact passively cooled housing or a hermetically sealed TE-cooled housing. We also offer scientific CCD cameras with a variety of features, including versions optimized for operation at UV, visible, or NIR wavelengths; fast-frame-rate cameras; TE-cooled or non-cooled housings; and versions with the sensor face plate removed. The tables below provide a summary of our camera offerings.

Compact Scientific Cameras
Camera Type Zelux™  Kiralux™  Quantalux®
1.6 MP CMOS 1.3 MP CMOS 2.3 MP CMOS 5 MP CMOS 8.9 MP CMOS 2.1 MP sCMOS
Item # Monochrome:
CS165MUa
Color:
CS165CUa
NIR Enhanced: CS135MUN
Monochrome: CS135MU
Color:
CS135CU
Monochrome:
CS235MU
Color:
CS235CU
Monochrome:
CS505MU
Color:
CS505CU
Polarization:
CS505MUP
Monochrome:
CS895MU
Color:
CS895CU
Monochrome,
Passive Cooling: CS2100M-USB
Active Cooling: CC215MU
Product Photos
(Click to Enlarge)
Quantaluc Cameras
Electronic Shutter Global Shutter Global Shutter Rolling Shutterb
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS sCMOS
Number of Pixels
(H x V)
1440 x 1080 1280 x 1024 1920 x 1200 2448 x 2048 4096 x 2160 1920 x 1080
Pixel Size 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm 4.8 µm x 4.8 µm 5.86 µm x 5.86 µm 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm 5.04 µm x 5.04 µm
Optical Format 1/2.9"
(6.2 mm Diagonal)
1/2"
(7.76 mm Diagonal)
1/1.2"
(13.4 mm Diagonal)
2/3"
(11 mm Diagonal)
1"
(16 mm Diagonal)
2/3"
(11 mm Diagonal)
Peak Quantum Efficiency
(Click for Plot)
Monochrome:
69% at 575 nm

Color:
Click for Plot
NIR:
60% at 600 nm

Monochrome:
59% at 550 nm

Color:
Click for Plot
Monochrome:
78% (at 500 nm)

Color:
Click for Plot
Monochrome & Polarization:
72% (Over 525 to 580 nm)

Color:
Click for Plot
Monochrome:
72% (Over 525 to 580 nm)

Color:
Click for Plot
Monochrome:
61% (at 600 nm)
Max Frame Rate
(Full Sensor)
34.8 fps 92.3 fps 39.7 fps 35 fps 20.8 fps 50 fps
Read Noise <4.0 e- RMS <7.0 e- RMS <7.0 e- RMS <2.5 e- RMS <1 e- Median RMS,
<1.5 e- RMS
Digital Output (Max) 10 Bit 10 Bit 12 Bit 16 Bit
PC Interface USB 3.0
Available Fanless Cooling Passive Thermal Management 0 °C at 20 °C Ambient
Housing Dimensions
(Click for Details)
0.59" x 1.72" x 1.86"
(15.0 mm x 43.7 mm x 47.2 mm)
2.77" x 2.38" x 1.88"
(70.4 mm x 60.3 mm x 47.6 mm)
Passively Cooled sCMOS Camera
TE-Cooled sCMOS Camera
Typical Applications General Purpose Imaging
Brightfield Microscopy
Machine Vision & Robotics
UAV, Drone, & Handheld Imaging
Inspection
Monitoring
VIS/NIR Imaging
Electrophysiology/Brain Slice Imaging
Materials Inspection
Multispectral Imaging
Ophthalmology/Retinal Imaging
Vascular Imaging
Laser Speckle Imaging
Semiconductor Inspection
Fluorescence Microscopy
Brightfield Microscopy
Fluorescence Microscopy
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Machine Vision
Inspection
General Purpose Imaging
Monochrome & Color:
Fluorescence Microscopy
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Machine Vision & Inspection

Polarization:
Machine Vision & Inspection
Transparent Material Detection
Surface Reflection Reduction
Fluorescence Microscopy
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Large FOV Slide Imaging
Machine Vision
Inspection
Fluorescence Microscopy
VIS/NIR Imaging
Quantum Dots
Autofluorescence
Materials Inspection
Multispectral Imaging
  • These item numbers are representative of the Zelux family. These cameras are available with or without external hardware triggers.
  • Rolling Shutter with Equal Exposure Pulse (EEP) Mode for Synchronizing the Camera and Light Sources for Even Illumination
Scientific CCD Cameras
Camera Type Fast Frame Rate VGA CCD 1.4 MP CCD 4 MP CCD 8 MP CCD
Item # Prefix Monochrome:
340M
UV-Enhanced
Monochrome:
340UV
Monochrome: 1501M
Color: 1501C
Monochrome: 4070M
Color: 4070C
Monochrome: 8051M
Color: 8051C
Monochrome,
No Sensor Face Plate: S805MU
Product Photo
(Click to Enlarge)
Electronic Shutter Global Shutter
Sensor Type CCD
Number of Pixels
(H x V)
640 x 480 1392 x 1040 2048 x 2048 3296 x 2472
Pixel Size 7.4 µm x 7.4 µm 6.45 µm x 6.45 µm 7.4 µm x 7.4 µm 5.5 µm x 5.5 µm
Optical Format 1/3" (5.92 mm Diagonal) 2/3" (11 mm Diagonal) 4/3" (21.4 mm Diagonal) 4/3" (22 mm Diagonal)
Peak QE
(Click for Plot)
55%
(at 500 nm)
10%
(at 485 nm)
Monochrome: 60% (at 500 nm)
Color: Click for Plot
Monochrome: 52% (at 500 nm)
Color: Click for Plot
Monochrome: 51% (at 460 nm)
Color: Click for Plot
51% (at 460 nm)
Max Frame Rate
(Full Sensor)
200.7 fps (at 40 MHz
Dual-Tap Readout)
23 fps (at 40 MHz
Single-Tap Readout)
25.8 fps (at 40 MHz
Quad-Tap Readout)a
17.1 fps (at 40 MHz
Quad-Tap Readout)b
17.1 fps (at 40 MHz
Quad-Tap Readout)
Read Noise <15 e- at 20 MHz <7 e- at 20 MHz (Standard Models)
<6 e- at 20 MHz (-TE Models)
<12 e- at 20 MHz <10 e- at 20 MHz
Digital Output (Max) 14 Bitc 14 Bit 14 Bitc 14 Bit
Available Fanless Cooling Passive Thermal Management -20 °C at 20 °C Ambient Temperature -10 °C at 20 °C Ambient Passive Thermal Management
Available PC Interfaces USB 3.0 or Gigabit Ethernet USB 3.0
Housing Dimensions
(Click for Details)
Non-Cooled Scientific
CCD Camera
Cooled Scientific CCD Camera
Non-Cooled Scientific CCD Camera
No Face Plate Scientific
CCD Camera
Typical Applications Ca++ Ion Imaging
Particle Tracking
Flow Cytometry
SEM/EBSD
UV Inspection
Fluorescence Microscopy
VIS/NIR Imaging
Quantum Dots
Multispectral Imaging
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Retinal Imaging
Fluorescence Microscopy
Transmitted Light Micrsoscopy
Whole-Slide Microscopy
Electron Microscopy (TEM/SEM)
Inspection
Material Sciences
Fluorescence Microscopy
Whole-Slide Microscopy
Large FOV Slide Imaging
Histopathology
Inspection
Multispectral Imaging
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Beam Profiling & Characterization
Interferometry
VCSEL Inspection
Quantitative Phase-Contrast Microscopy
Ptychography
Digital Holographic Microscopy
  • Limited to 13 fps at 40 MHz dual-tap readout for Gigabit Ethernet cameras; quad-tap readout is unavailable for Gigabit Ethernet cameras.
  • Limited to 8.5 fps at 40 MHz dual-tap readout for Gigabit Ethernet cameras; quad-tap readout is unavailable for Gigabit Ethernet cameras.
  • Gigabit Ethernet cameras operating in dual-tap readout mode are limited to 12-bit digital output.

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