sCMOS Camera Selection
sCMOS cameras are ideal for imaging applications in which it is important to acquire high quality (high SNR) images under low-light images conditions.
Understanding the key camera parameters(s) that have the most impact on an application ensures the targeted allocation of a user’s budget towards features that are most relevant to image quality and workflow. To this end, it can be a very useful exercise to review the prioritized list that our experts have put together for this purpose. Please contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members about the specifics of your application.
The Selection Criteria below are intended to help users with a key first step in the process: to determine whether a cost-effective non-cooled sCMOS camera will suffice in their application, or if a TE-cooled sCMOS camera is needed.
** Peak QE is shown for monochrome versions of each camera series. Interactive QE curves for sCMOS cameras are shown their respective pages. Visit "QE Curves for sCMOS Imagers" to view the QE curves of all these sCMOS cameras on a single interactive graph. This can be helpful in comparing the QEs of different sCMOS cameras at specific wavelengths of interest.
* The Max Frame Rate shown in the above table for each camera is the maximum frame rate achievable at full-frame readout.
How Do I Choose?
Selection criteria & guidance for non-cooled & cooled sCMOS cameras.
Non-Cooled sCMOS Cameras
Non-cooled sCMOS cameras are an ideal and cost-effective choice for fast, low-light imaging under conditions in which long camera exposures are not required, or not possible due to relatively fast-changing conditions in the field of view. The pco.panda series of sCMOS cameras are not actively cooled, but these cameras are designed with a cost-effective, passive, thermal management to manage the temperature profiles within a compact 65mm x 65mm x 65mm size. The pco.panda series leverages new developments in sCMOS technology, in a compact enclosure, making them ideal for challenging applications in microscopy and life science.
TE-Cooled sCMOS Cameras
For low-light applications in which the field of view is relatively static, both in terms of spatial movement and changes in the luminous flux, longer exposures can provide a significant benefit. As exposures exceed 1sec, the effect of dark current i.e. the dark shot noise starts to become a significant factor. Since the dark current doubles for every 6~7 degrees Centigrade rise in temperature, cooling the imager has the effect of reducing the dark current and thus lowering the dark shot noise in the image. TE-cooled sCMOS cameras are recommended for low-light, longer exposure applications and for applications in which the luminous flux from sample to sample may vary from very low to relatively high.
The pco.edge series is recommended for low-light imaging with long exposures when using lenses or microscope optics between 1” and 4/3”. If larger pixels and a large Field of View are desirable, then the Tucsen Dhyana 95 V2 camera is an ideal choice.