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Scientific Camera Selection Guide


Scientific Camera Selection Guide
  • Zelux™ CMOS, Quantalux® sCMOS, Kiralux™ CMOS, 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

Monochrome sCMOS Sensor
<1 e- Median Read Noise

CMOS Sensor Cameras
with Low Read Noise

Polarization-Sensitive CMOS
Sensor Camera

Hermetically Sealed, TE-Cooled
Scientific CCD Cameras

Scientific CCD Cameras with
No Sensor Face Plate

Ultra-Compact CMOS Cameras
with Low Read Noise



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Thorlabs offers four families of scientific cameras. Zelux™ cameras are designed for general purpose imaging and provide high imaging performance while maintaining a small footprint. Our Quantalux® monochrome sCMOS camera features high dynamic range combined with extremely low read noise for low light applications and is housed in a compact, passively cooled housing. Kiralux™ cameras have CMOS sensors in the same compact housing and are offered in monochrome, color, and polarization-sensitive versions. 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 scientific CCD cameras are available 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™ 1.6 MP CMOS Quantalux® 2.1 MP sCMOS Kiralux™ 2.3 MP CMOS Kiralux™ 5 MP CMOS Kiralux™ 8.9 MP CMOS
Item # Monochrome: CS165MUa
Color: CS165CUa
Monochrome: CS2100M-USB Monochrome: CS235MU
Color: CS235CU
Monochrome: CS505MU
Color: CS505CU
Polarization: CS505MUP
Monochrome: CS895MU
Color: CS895CU
Product Photos
(Click to Enlarge)
Electronic Shutter Global Shutter Rolling Shutterb Global Shutter
Sensor Type CMOS sCMOS CMOS
Number of Pixels (H x V) 1440 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1200 2448 x 2048 4096 x 2160
Pixel Size 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm 5.04 µm x 5.04 µm 5.86 µm x 5.86 µm 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm
Optical Format 1/2.9"
(6.2 mm Diagonal)
2/3"
(11 mm Diagonal)
1/1.2"
(13.4 mm Diagonal)
2/3"
(11 mm Diagonal)
1"
(16 mm Diagonal)
Peak Quantum Efficiency
(Click for Plot)
Monochrome:
69% at 575 nm
Color: Click for Plot
Monochrome: 61% (at 600 nm) 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
Max Frame Rate
(Full Sensor)
34.8 fps 50 fps 39.7 fps 35 fps 20.8 fps
Read Noise <4.0 e- RMS <1 e- Median, <1.5 e- RMS <7.0 e- RMS <2.5 e- RMS
Digital Output (Max) 10 Bits 16 Bit 12 Bit
PC Interface USB 3.0
Housing Dimensions
(Click to Enlarge)
2.77" x 2.38" x 1.88"
(70.4 mm x 60.3 mm x 47.6 mm)
0.59" x 1.72" x 1.86"
(15.0 mm x 43.7 mm x 47.2 mm)
Typical Applications General Purpose Imaging
Brightfield Microscopy
Machine Vision & Robotics
UAV, Drone, & Handheld Imaging
Inspection
Monitoring
Fluorescence Microscopy
VIS/NIR Imaging
Quantum Dots
Autofluorescence
Materials Inspection
Multispectral Imaging
Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH)
Fluorescence Microscopy
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Machine Vision
Inspection
General Purpose Imaging
Monochrome & Color Models:
Fluorescence Microscopy
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Machine Vision & Inspection
Polarization Model:
Machine Vision & Inspection
Transparent Material Detection
Surface Reflection Reduction
Fluorescence Microscopy
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Large FOV Slide Imaging
Machine Vision
Inspection
  • 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, Gigabit Ethernet, or Camera Link USB 3.0
Housing Dimensions
(Click to Enlarge)
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 In Situ Hybridization (FISH)
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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