New from Thorlabs: 4 Megapixel Scientific-grade cameras for microscopy

Thorlabs 4 Megapixel scientific camera for microscopy

Scientific Camera integrated into 60mm Cage System

Thorlabs' new 4 Megapixel CCD Cameras, which offer up to 13 frames per second at 40 MHz dual-tap readout of the full sensor, are specifically designed for microscopy and other demanding scientific imaging applications. These monochrome cameras are ideal for multispectral imaging, fluorescence microscopy, and other high-performance imaging techniques that would benefit from a large field of view, high quantum efficiency, and low noise sensor.



  • 4/3" Format, 2048 x 2048 Monochrome CCD Sensor with 7.4 µm Square Pixels (Kodak / Truesense KAI-04070M)
  • Software-Selectable Readout
  • 20 MHz or 40 MHz
  • Single or Dual Tap
  • 52% Peak Quantum Efficiency at 500 nm (See Specs Tab for Details)
  • 14-Bit Analog-to-Digital Converter Resolution (Single Tap)
  • Low Noise of <10 e- at 20 MHz
  • Asynchronous, Triggered, and Gated Exposure Modes
  • Region-of-Interest (ROI) and Binning Modes
  • ThorCam GUI with 32- and 64-Bit Windows 7® Support
  • Third-Party Software Support
  • Matlab
  • µManager / ImageJ
  • LabVIEW
  • All Necessary Computer Hardware, Software, and Cables Included
  • API / SDK Available for Software Developers

These cameras are offered in two package styles: a compact, non-cooled standard package and a hermetically sealed package with a two-stage TEC that cools the CCD. The fan-free design limits image blur from vibrations. Cooling the camera will reduce the dark current; however, the total dark current is also a function of exposure time. For high light levels requiring short exposure times (less than 1 second), a non-cooled camera is generally sufficient. A cooled camera is only recommended for applications with low light levels requiring an exposure greater than 1 second. Please see the Camera Noise Tab for more details on the various sources of camera noise and how it impacts the choice between a standard and cooled camera.

Thorlabs' 4 megapixel cameras are offered with a Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) interface. GigE is ideal for situations where the camera must be far from the PC or there are multiple cameras that need to be controlled by the same PC. Each of these scientific cameras is provided with a GigE frame grabber card and cables, a power supply, and software. Your computer must have an empty PCI Express slot to install the GigE interface.

Thorlabs' cameras have three operating modes: streaming overlapped exposure, edge-triggered single-frame snapshot, and variable pulse width exposure driven by an externally generated voltage. Each mode may be operated at either 20 or 40 MHz and can support variable binning and region-of-interest (ROI) operation. Binning allows the camera to operate at higher frame rates than those supported by the full sensor (see the Specs tab for examples). External triggering enables these cameras to be easily integrated into systems that require the camera to be triggered by external devices or that require external devices to be triggered by the camera. It is necessary to have a connection to the auxiliary port of the camera for external triggering; we offer the 8050-CAB1 auxiliary cable below as an optional accessory.

Each camera comes with a user-removable IR filter; for details on the transmission please see the Specs tab. If the filter is removed, it can be replaced with a user-supplied Ø1" (Ø25 mm) filter or another optic up to 4 mm thick.

The cameras have standard C-Mount (1.000"-32) threading, and Thorlabs provides a full line of thread-to-thread adapters for compatibility with other thread standards, including the SM1 (1.035"-40) threading used on our Ø1" Lens Tubes. The front face also features 4-40 tapped holes for compatibility with our 60 mm Cage System. Four 1/4"-20 tapped holes, one on each side of the housing, are compatible with our Ø1" posts. These flexible mounting options make Thorlabs' cameras the ideal choice for integrating into home-built imaging systems as well as those based on commercial microscopes.


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