Camera Comparison AND system requirements

Background

The development of new video cameras seams to newer stop. Every year there are new advancements, and image quality and video performance is at a level we couldn't dream about 10 years ago.

But this also raise the question about computer hardware and many other questions, we try to cover in this article.

Some Basic camera knowledge

All cameras are different (duuh) and there are so many parameters to look for. The less advanced user seems to focus on sensor resolution, but features like frame rate, chip size and connection technology might be equally important, as well as the the monitor and computer you are using.

Resolution

The greater resolution, the more details you can see. 
But observe, today's cameras have higher resolution than a typical desktop monitors. It makes very little sense having a camera with higher resolution than you monitor.

Pro tip: Make sure your monitor have higher resolution (in vertical direction) than your camera. For example, if you have a 5Mpix camera, you should have a 8K monitor.

Pro tip: If you have a 8K monitor and a 5MPix camera, you really need a powerful computer with a dedicated GPU Graphic board. If you don't, you will just have a slow, lagging and annoying system. If you don't have the money for this hardware, you better of with a cheaper camera.

Frame Rate

It might sound as this is not important, after all we are looking at dead samples. But this is utterly wrong.

Having a high framerate also mean low lag, and it's far more easy to focus or "find your area of interest". 
If you think you work better looking into the eye-pieces of your microscope, compared to looking at your screen, the most likely reason is lag and low refresh rate. Also with increased framerate, all Auto-functions such as Auto white and Auto Exposure works better and faster.

Pro tip: Use high framerate, at least 30 fps but even better around 60 fps. Make sure you have the proper hardware to accommodate these high settings without making your computer scream! Check the CPU and GPU consumption, it should not go beyond 70%.

Chip Size

The size of your chip should match the optics of your microscope. If the chip is to small, you will only see a fraction of the mage you see in the eye-pieces and this i quite annoying. If you have a to big chip for your optics, the edges will become dark and unevenly illuminated. 

System Suggestions

Budget

If you are on a budget, we strongly recommend you do not buy a to advanced camera, it will not work!

This is our proposal:

* IDS  USB 3.0 1280x1024  camera such as UI-3240CP Rev. 2,

* 27" 1920 x 1280 Monitor

* A standard PC or laptop with an i5 or i7 PC.

MID Priced

In the middle segment we recommend the following configuration

This is our proposal:

* IDS uEye USB 3.0 1600x1200 camera, such as UI-3250CP Rev. 2

* 27" 4K (2560 x 1440) Monitor 

* A desktop i7 Gen 7 equipped with a low cost GPU board such as Nvidia GT710 

ProfesSional

In the high range with recommend:​

This is our proposal:

* IDS uEye USB 3.0 5Mpx (2592 x 2048) camera, such as UI-3180CP-C-HQ Rev.2.1

* 32" 8K (3840 x 2160) Monitor 

* A desktop i7 Gen 7 or newer equipped with a high end GPU board that supports 8K