One of the most important decisions for a computer vision project is choosing the different equipment and sensors that will be used. Among them, the choice of hardware stands out, more specifically: optics and camera.

Light enters the lens, which sends it to the camera’s sensor for processing. The image captured by this method must be of sufficient quality so that when processed it is useful for the application being developed. And not only the image quality, the image capture speed also plays an important role, which is a determining factor in many Computer Vision applications.

Next, we tell you how to choose the most suitable camera and optics to develop an computer vision application.

 

Camera and optics features

In order to choose the right camera, we must define what characteristics we need from it for the application to be developed. This will be determined by various aspects of the vision system proposed: the connections that will need to be made or our preferences when developing the application:

  • Connectivity

    The type of connection of the camera is an important aspect since the form of communication with the camera from the computer where the images are managed will depend on this.

  • Image type

    The image characteristics we want to work with allows us to narrow down the camera options to choose from. The type of objects to be processed can make us prefer to use color or grayscale images, in addition to the resolution with which we want to work. Also another aspect that can influence is the space and form of storage since this can influence the amount of data that we want to save and therefore the image quality that is best to achieve.

  • Capture speed

    Frames per second that the camera can capture. This aspect can be very important depending on the type of application to be developed, since it may be necessary to process several objects in a short space of time.

  • Development language

    The type of language with which the application is to be developed is also of special interest. It is necessary to check if our preferred language is compatible with the camera and if there are libraries and drivers with which to control them. In recent years, this aspect has begun to be simplified thanks to the creation of the Genicam standard, a generic programming interface that is being used in the vast majority of industrial cameras.

  • Sensor compatibility

    Of course, among all these factors it is also decisive that both the optics and the camera are suitable for each other. The optics have to be able to capture the entire field of the sensor to avoid deformations in addition to having a sufficient resolution for the sensor itself. It is not only about meeting the requirements for the application, it is also important that the equipment elements complement each other correctly.

 

Project characteristics

First of all, to be able to choose any equipment in a project, it is necessary to define its characteristics as much as possible. These will be the ones that determine the equipment to choose, and in particular, the most suitable cameras and lenses. Above all, the most influential factors when choosing a computer vision project are those related to the object on which it is applied:

  • Focal Distance: The distance from the sensor to the objects of which we want to take images. It will be important that the chosen optics be able to focus in this range to obtain a quality image.
  • Resolution: Amount of details that can be seen in an image. It is important as it determines the size at which the smallest details that need to be processed will be seen. Very important, for example, for measurement applications.
  • Field of vision: Area to be captured in the image and in which the elements to be inspected by vision are located.
  • Range and depth of field: Size and volume of the objects to be observed in the image. Although it is possible to capture the entire field of vision with good quality, it is necessary to take into account this aspect of the objects to be inspected to ensure that they are always captured with sufficient quality for the application.

 

Importance of choosing the right camera and optics

As we have been able to verify, the choice of a camera and an optics for Artificial Vision systems is a decision that can condition the entire project. In this post, the most important factors when choosing both elements have been explained, which can be summarized in 2 points:

 

  • Application characteristics

    Obviously, the different factors of an application (distance, size of the object …) are decisive and are the main reference to choose the equipment.

  • Equipment compatibility

    For correct and optimal operation, it must be taken into account that both the camera and the optics have the characteristics that complement each other to help meet the requirements of the application. In the same way that a low resolution optics may be of no use to a high resolution sensor, the opposite can also be inefficient and even counterproductive for image acquisition.

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