LABCam gets you the images you were afraid to ask for

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Article publication date: 1 September 2004



(2004), "LABCam gets you the images you were afraid to ask for", Sensor Review, Vol. 24 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

LABCam gets you the images you were afraid to ask for

LABCam gets you the images you were afraid to ask for

Keywords: CMOS, Cameras, Sensors

ELDIM of France has developed a scientific-grade CMOS sensor-based, low-cost digital camera: LABCam provides a genuine alternative to CCD systems for industrial imaging and optical metrology applications. This new initiative is set to comfort ELDIM's position as a leading developer of high-grade imaging tools worldwide (Plate 2).

CMOS image sensors have for a long time been limited to the lower tier of imaging applications, leaving the costly CCD systems the lion's share of the high-performance market. (Charge-coupled devices, or CCDs, are high-speed semiconductor devices that are used in image detection, among other applications.) Economic pressures and the emergence of high-volume markets for high-grade CMOS sensors have changed all this – and that is where the ELDIM solution fits in.

Plate 2 LABCam from ELDIM

Compact and low power, LABCam reduces costs without sacrificing image quality. Its one mega-pixel resolution, rapid data acquisition and wide measurement range make LABCam the ideal instrument for all types of quantitative imaging measurements – evaluation of screen uniformity, product quality control, as well as medical and microscopic imaging.

Using CMOS imaging technology, LABCam allows individual pixel addressing via a dedicated processor. The user can easily control sensor saturation and exposure and zoom on a region of interest while acquiring samples or full images. LABCam's 10-bit-per-pixel sensor provides rapid acquisition while the USB 2.0 interface speeds data transfer rates to 480 Mbits/s through a simple standard interface. LABCam comes complete with camera control and data processing software. Advanced users can easily modify the software's functions using the development kit provided. (Samples of computer code are supplied by the manufacturer.)

An optional photopic filter allows photometric measurements and, for applications requiring increased low-level sensitivity, a cooled sensor version is available. ELDIM has rounded off its imaging product line with the iSENSE and MURATest cameras, both of which rely on cooled, scientific-grade CCD sensors for superior performance.

ELDIM's LABCam technology can be used in a range of areas, including R&D; quality control; testing procedures as applied to LCDs, TVs and dashboards (on aircraft and in cars); luminosity testing (for shop-windows, conference halls, street environments and vehicles, among others) and reflection testing (for traffic lights, street signs, paint products, cosmetics, etc.). As a result, LABCam has applications in the automotive sector, in the pharmaceutical and bio-medical industry, in the field of automation and controls, in areas such as tele-surveillance and security, in avionics, in cosmetics, in IT, in optics and in telecoms.

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