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© May 2020   skoopia

Industrial cameras

skoopia develops, engineers, produces and markets industrial and medical cameras. Each industrial camera has unique features, but it all starts with the video format the camera outputs. skoopia focuses on six types of OEM cameras:


Use the underneath selection table to directly access the OEM camera overview with the required video output or find out more about the different video outputs by clicking the Why XX industrial cameras? link. 

14mm x 14mm AHD camera
22mm x 26mm AHD camera

Why industrial
AHD cameras ?

Best technology to make the transition from CVBS to Full HD.

All cable types

Lowest bandwidth

Cameras support CVBS for smooth transition and maintenance 

Why industrial
SDI cameras ?

Best technology for no-latency
digital video 

HD-SDI / EX-SDI  from
Full HD up to 4K

Cameras support CVBS for smooth transition and maintenance

Why industrial
IP cameras?

42mmx42mm board size for all cameras:  2 MP -  12 MP

Products support  H.265/H.264
Single SDK for entire line

Cameras support Onvif-S and miniumum three video streams

Why industrial
Block cameras ?

Optical zoom 10x, 20x, 30x, 36x

Full HD, Quad HD and 4K

LVDS, SDI, AHD, CVBS

ideal replacement for Sony FCB

Cameras support VISCA, Pelco, 
meet Sony block camera form factor 

Why Full HD CVBS cameras  ?

Why Global-shutter cameras?

 

Industrial AHD camera

AHD camera stands for Analog High Definition camera. At this very moment, AHD is merely scratching the surface in industrial applications, while first medical applications are still to be implemented. 

AHD as video signal has several huge advantages, and is considered to be the 'de facto' replacement of CVBS video signals (PAL camera / NTSC camera) if higher resolution is required. 

Key advantages of AHD:

  • Low latency (alike CVBS)

  • Low bandwidth (approximately 30 times less than uncompressed Full HD)

  • Long distance Full HD transmission without amplification (> 500 meter)

  • High image quality (contemporary status (2020) up to 4K / 8MP AHD video solutions exist)

  • Flexible cabling (twisted pair, CAT cabling, coax cabling)

  • Plural options at the receiver side (also see Industrial DVR or Industrial Monitor)  

  • Support of Up the Coax - A smart cabling solution allowing power as well as camera control signals to use the same wires as the video transmission. 

  • Very affordable 

Next to AHD, also TVI and CVI exist. Where CVI has lower quality and starts to vanish, TVI is an equally good alternative to AHD. The key reason skoopia markets primarily AHD has to do with the origine of the standard.  

TVI is a video standard set by HikVision. AHD is a video standard set by NextChip. All skoopia cameras supporting AHD also support TVI. 

skoopia has generated several unique cameras on the base of special features developed in collaboration with NextChip, factual providing unique firmware to support e.g. VISCA protocol for AHD cameras next to the Pelco-D protocol which is found in AHD and TVI. 

Consider AHD industrial cameras whenever you want to transfer to higher resolution, while keeping the benefits of CVBS camera implementations. The vast majority of skoopia AHD cameras support CVBS next to AHD and TVI, making the transition even smoother.  

 

Industrial SDI camera

At this very moment, SDI is vastly adopted in the medical and broadcast industry, and adoption in other industry is growing fast. However, it is still at its infancy in adoption compared to the medical and broadcast industry. Because of the near-identical technical features, this camera category is described in the Medical camera section. 

 

Industrial IP camera 

Industrial IP cameras as well as Medical IP cameras are found in numerous applications. Particularly if latency is less of an issue, IP cameras often provide the most pragmatic approach to implement a vision solution. 

 

If latency is less important / acceptable, IP as video signal has several advantages over other digital transmission techniques.

Key advantages of IP:

  • Each camera has a unique address (IP address), making cabling (network) significantly easier if multiple cameras are involved (other video solutions need a dedicated peer to peer connection)

  • High compression rates via Codec (H.265 /H.264 / MJPEG)

  • Multiple streams possible 

    • Multiple viewing and storage locations of the video

    • Multiple streams (resolution, frame rate, etc) 

  • Functions as stand alone unit, no need for (local) receiving end. Local storage (often on SD card) possible.

  • PoE support, allowing camera operation merely using standard CAT cable 

skoopia industrial IP cameras and medical IP cameras are based on the best in class components (Sony Starvis sensors) and Hi Silicon DSPs (Digital Signal Processors). 

The standard range of skoopia IP cameras the 1/2.8" sensor size of Sony Starvis Exmor R sensors. 

The super senstive range of industrial IP cameras and particularly medical IP cameras are using Sony Starvis Exmor R sensors with 1/1.8" sensors. 

skoopia industrial IP cameras and medical IP cameras are ONVIF-S compliant, making discovery and integration easy in all relevant camera management platforms (e.g. Milestone). 

skoopia industrial IP cameras are all 42mm by 42mm single board, with resolutions ranging from 2MP up to 12 MP. Moreover, skoopia provides an API (Application Programming Interface) which is identical for all Industrial IP cameras and Medical IP cameras, making your engineering investment adopting a skoopia IP OEM camera future proof. 

 

Industrial Block camera 

 

Block cameras or zoom blocks are a special type of industrial camera or medical camera. Although they could have all types of video output, making it an AHD camera, CVBS camera, Global Shutter camera, SDI camera or an IP camera, the differentiating aspect of a block camera or zoom block is the fact that it comes with a lens system that allows for automatic focus and optical zoom. 

The industrial block camera or medical block camera market has long been dominated by larger corporations, providing Sony block cameras, Hitachi block cameras or Samsung block cameras to the market. However, these companies have completely stopped production or only focused on high resolution section, neglecting the need for CVBS, HD or Full HD optical zoom cameras. 

 

Digital zoom vs. Optical zoom

Zooming in offers the advantage to the human eye that objects at a distance can be represented at a larger visible size. Zoom can be done digitally. However, digital zoom is merely a partial representation of the full information set. An image displayed and stored having digital zoom implies information loss of the image or video captured outside of the zoomed-in area. 

 

Optical zoom -in contrast- makes use of a system of lenses allowing you to zoom in without losing any resolution. The optical lenses allow you to enlarge an object at a specific distance without resolution loss. 

skoopia 23Z36L-LL block camera

Industrial block camera versus industrial OEM board camera

If only limited zoom is required, board cameras can provide a viable alternative to zoom blocks. Particularly if the resolution required is significantly lower than the sensor resolution, digital zoom can provide benefits. This effect is most often used in environments where an analog signal (CVBS, PAL, NTSC) is used, and the resolution of the sensor allows for significantly more information. 

Advantages of industrial board camera over industrial block camera:

  • more robust, as there are no moving parts (block camera mechanically changes the position of the lens system inside)

  • significantly smaller size, as only a single board with a lens is required. 

Advantage of industrial block camera over industrial board camera:

resolution of the block camera remains intact using optical zoom, while the resolution of the output image decreases for a the industrial board camera.

industrial block cameras provide auto-focus, industrial block cameras will require either an auto-focus lens (so moving part) or a distance change of the OEM board camera to the lens, in both cases requiring the introduction of moving parts*.

* To avoid this, OEM board cameras requiring a large Depth of Field (i.e be in focus from near (e.g. 10 mm) till infinity are using lenses with a very small aperture (e.g. F8.0)). The negative impact of this is the introduction of more noise in the image and a significant lower amount of light for generating the video (smaller aperture allows less light to enter the camera sensor). 

So, as soon as resolution loss is not acceptable, and/or zoom factor is significant, the only (affordable) zoom alternative is optical zoom. Underneath table provides you an indication of the required signal resolution, an example sensor resolution, and a maximum digital zoom that is possible without resolution loss.

Required signal                 Sensor resolution              Max Digital zoom *

NTSC (640x480)                 Full-HD (1920x1080)             2.2x | 3.0x (V | H)   

PAL (756x576)                    Full-HD (1920x1080)             1.9x | 2.5x (V | H)    

HD (1280x720)                   4K (3820x2160)                     4.0x | 4.0x (V | H) 

Full HD (1920x1080)          4K (3820x2160)                     2.0x | 2.0x (V | H)
                                                             
      * Difference in (V | H) vertical versus horizontal is caused by the fact that CVBS (NTSC/PAL)
                                                                                                                   is a 4:3 format, while higher resolutions (HD and above) have an aspect ratio of 16;9. 

For larger zoom requirements with a good resolution, it can be easily seen that sensor resolution goes beyond the contemporary capabilities**. 

Required signal                 Required Zoom                   Min. Sensor resolution 

NTSC (640x480)                          10x                                         30 MP      

Full HD (1920x1080)                    10x                                       200 MP

Full HD (1920x1080)                    20x                                       400 MP

Full HD (1920x1080)                    36x                                       720 MP

                                                                           ** at realistic price points compared to pricing of optical zoom cameras

Finally, a combination of optical and digital zoom without resolution loss can be ideal for settings in which only a CVBS signal is required, but e.g. previous models of analog block cameras (Sony FCB block cameras are the most common) offering e.g. 18x optical zoom and analog output. Although a 20x optical zoom block camera could be selected, this block camera (now using a 1/3" sensor instead of the common 1/4" sensor is too large in size. Using a 10x optical zoom block (e.g. skoopia 20Z10S-NF) in combination with 2.5x digital zoom, without resolution loss could provide an adequate solution. The industrial block camera is small enough to fit the existing housing, and offers the relevant zoom wihtout resolution loss. 

 

Sony Block Camera 

 

Sony VISCA 


skoopia block cameras for industry and medical are replacing Sony FCB block cameras as well as Hitachi and Samsung zoom blocks.

Productivity of the person working / relying on the video provided by the block camera is crucial in any medical or industrial application. Although the block cameras from skoopia support Pelco-D (the most common control protocol to setup a camera), in industrial block camera and medical block camera business, direct control buttons are required. Here, Sony introduced VISCA, a control language that allows operators to directly access the registers of the block camera and drive commands via a single button. 

All skoopia cameras are pin-compatible and to a large extend (cannot be 100% as we are using more contemporary DSP (digital signal processing) chips sets) factual registry commands. 

skoopia also offers VISCA compatible OEM board cameras. The reason is exactly the same as for the block cameras. Provide direct access tot he registry of the OEM board camera. Although industrial AHD board cameras or medical SDI board cameras will require less operator steered commands (no optical zoom is an obvious command not present), the benefits of direct commands are providing operator productivity improvements are substantial. 

 

 

Industrial CVBS camera

Industrial PAL camera

 

Industrial NTSC camera

CVBS cameras are still widely in use, particularly in industrial and medical environments. Often, frame grabbers and/or specific overlays are embedded in an integrated systems, making the transition to higher resolution and/or other aspect ratio (4:3 CVBS to 16:9 Full-HD) difficult. 

Although all skoopia cameras have a Full-HD or higher resolution, the vast majority supports CVBS, as skoopia understands that a transition to higher resolution impacts not just camera, but also cabling, overlays, monitors and storage. 

If you consider a replacement CVBS camera, but want to be future proof, please check our portfolio of CVBS cameras that -next to CVBS (always PAL/NTSC selectable)- will support your preferred Full -HD video transmission for the future (whether it is an industrial or medical AHD camera, TVI camera or you prefer an SDI OEM camera. And even industrial IP cameras, with ever lowering latency or for areas where latency is no issue could be a solution direction.  

Next to board cameras, skoopia also offers a broad range of block cameras with CVBS (NTSC and PAL output).  

skoopia offers CVBS cameras with true CVBS output, ie. PAL (756 x 576 i50) and NTSC (640 x 480 i59,94). Although NTSC is often indicated as 480i60, it is important that you udnerstand that we support the true NTSC standard on all relevant block cameras, SDI cameras or AHD cameras, even though such modules work with digital formats, requiring an exact number of frames per second. 

Also note that all skoopia cameras are based on a Full-HD sensor, and offer the ability to make use of digital zoom without compromising resolution in CVBS mode up to 2.x times (click here to sensor resolution versus digital zoom comparison table)

 

Industrial Global Shutter camera 

All skoopia cameras are CMOS (Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) based. CCD (Charged Coupled Devices) production for sensors has been abandoned, as it provides inferior performance compared to CMOS (production wise, reliability wise etc). 

 

Therefore, CMOS as technology is found in near 100% of all sensors used for cameras, also for industrial cameras and medical cameras. 

CCD had one advantage over CMOS, as it intrinsically provided Global Shutter. To overcome this phenomenon, CMOS global shtuter sensors have been developed. 

For your application, it is crucial that you check if you require global shutter, which is likely if you are looking at fast moving or fast rotating objects. 

Why is this important: Global Shutter sensors, and therefore global shutter cameras are significantly higher priced if compared to Rolling shutter cameras. Rolling shutter is the default mechanism for CMOS sensors.

Global Shutter camera explained

In Global Shutter mode, every pixel is exposed simultaneously at the same instant in time (see picture below). This is particularly beneficial when the image is changing from frame to frame. As such, Global Shutter cameras are primarily useful capturing fast moving objects.

Global shutter contrasts with Rolling Shutter. Rolling Shutter is a method of image capturing not by taking a snapshot of the entire scene at single instant in time but rather by scanning across the scene rapidly, either vertically or horizontally (see picture below). In other words, not all parts of the image of the scene are recorded at exactly the same instant.

This produces predictable distortions, which are primarily seen imaging fast-moving objects or rapid flashes of light. This phenomenon is not seen with "global shutter" cameras in which the entire frame is captured at the same instance.

Rolling Shutter camera 

CMOS global shutter versus CCD global shutter

Most CCD cameras are global shutter. The CCD however has an inherent disadvantage when it comes to frame rate and/or resolution.

When a CCD camera's exposure is complete, the signal from each pixel is serially transferred to a single Analog-to-Digital Converter (A/D). The CCD’s frame rate/resolution is limited by the rate that individual pixels can be transferred and then digitized. The more pixels to transfer in a sensor, the slower the camera. Therefore, global shutter CCD cameras typically have a low resolution. 

With lowest sensor resolution in Mass Production already being 1080p (Full-HD), CCD sensors, and as a consequence CCD cameras are only available for very special areas of applicaiton. CMOS has won the battle and conquered the world, even for Global Shutter applications.