MATRIX VISION - mvBlueFOX3 Technical Documentation
Sensor Overview

Image data flow

The following block diagrams show the data flow of the image data after being read from the sensor chip in the camera.

Figure 1: Block diagram

Output sequence of color sensors (RGB Bayer)

Figure 2: Output sequence of RAW data

Bilinear interpolation of color sensors (RGB Bayer)

For Bayer demosaicing in the camera, we use bilinear interpolation:

Figure 5: Bilinear interpolation
  1. Interpolation of green pixels: the average of the upper, lower, left and right pixel values is assigned as the G value of the interpolated pixel.
    For example:
              (G3+G7+G9+G13)
    G8     =  --------------
                    4 
    

    For G7:
                                (G1+G3+G11+G13)
    G7_new =  0.5 * G7 + 0.5 *  ---------------
                                       4
    
  2. Interpolation of red/blue pixels:
    Interpolation of a red/blue pixel at a green position: the average of two adjacent pixel values in corresponding color is assigned to the interpolated pixel.
    For example:
             (B6+B8)           (R2+R12)
    B7     = ------- ; R7    = --------
                2                 2
    

    Interpolation of a red/blue pixel at a blue/red position: the average of four adjacent diagonal pixel values is assigned to the interpolated pixel.
    For example:
             (R2+R4+R12+R14)             (B6+B8+B16+B18)
    R8     = --------------- ;  B12    = ---------------
                   4                           4
    

Any colored edge which might appear is due to Bayer false color artifacts.

Note
There are more advanced and adaptive methods (like edge sensitive ones) available if the host is doing this debayering.

CMOS sensors

Details of operation

The CMOS sensors offer two different modes of operation:

  • Free running mode (Overlapping integration and readout)
  • Snapshot mode (Sequential integration and readout)

Free running mode

In free running mode, the sensor reaches its maximum frame rate. This is done by overlapping erase, integration and readout phase. The sensor timing in free running mode is fixed, so there is no control when to start an acquisition. This mode is used with trigger mode Continuous.

Snapshot mode

In snapshot mode, the image acquisition process consists off several sequential phases:

  • Trigger
  • Erase, exposure and readout

Trigger

Snapshot mode starts with a trigger. This can be either a hardware or a software signal.

The CMOS sensors support the following trigger modes:

Description Setting in GenICam
Free running, no external trigger signal needed (formerly known as Continuous). "TriggerSelector = FrameStart"
"TriggerMode = Off"
Image acquisition triggered by command (software trigger; formerly known as OnDemand). "TriggerSelector = FrameStart"
"TriggerMode = On"
"TriggerSource = Software"
"ExposureMode = Timed"

To trigger one frame execute the TriggerSoftware@i command then.
Start an exposure of a frame as long as the trigger input is below the trigger threshold (formerly known as OnLowLevel). "TriggerSelector = AcquisitionActive"
"TriggerMode = On"
"TriggerSource = <desired Line>"
"TriggerActivation = LevelLow"
"ExposureMode = Timed"
Start an exposure of a frame as long as the trigger input is above the trigger threshold (formerly known as OnHighLevel). "TriggerSelector = AcquisitionActive"
"TriggerMode = On"
"TriggerSource = <desired Line>"
"TriggerActivation = LevelHigh"
"ExposureMode = Timed"

If an external trigger signal occurs (e.g. high or low), the sensor will start to expose and readout one image. Now, if the trigger signal is still available, the sensor will start to expose and readout the next image (see figure 12, upper part). This will lead to an acquisition just like using continuous trigger.

Figure 3: External Trigger with CMOS sensors

If you want to avoid this effect, you have to adjust the trigger signal. As you can see in figure 3 (lower part), the possible period is small.

Example

External synchronized image acquisition (high active)

  • Trigger modes
    • OnHighLevel:
      The high level of the trigger has to be shorter than the frame time. In this case, the sensor will make one image exactly. If the high time is longer, there will be images with the possible frequency of the sensor as long as the high level takes. The first image will start with the low-high edge of the signal. The integration time of the exposure register will be used.
    • OnLowLevel:
      The first image will start with the high-low edge of the signal.

Erase, exposure and readout

All pixels are light sensitive at the same period of time. The whole pixel core is reset simultaneously and after the exposure time all pixel values are sampled together on the storage node inside each pixel. The pixel core is read out line-by-line after integration.

Models

The CMOS sensor modules incorporate the following features:

Sony Pregius

Sensors 0.4 Mpix (-2004) 1.6 Mpix (-2016) 2.4 Mpix (-2024) 2.4 Mpix (-2024a) 3.2 Mpix (-2032) 3.2 Mpix (-2032a) 5.1 Mpix (-2051) 5.1 Mpix (-2051a) 7.1 Mpix (-2071) 7.1 Mpix (-2071a) 8.9 Mpix (-2089) 8.9 Mpix (-2089a) 12.4 Mpix (-2124) 12.4 Mpix (-2124a) 16.2 Mpix (-2162) 16.9 Mpix (-0169Z) 19.6 Mpix (-0196Z) 20.4 Mpix (-2204) 24.6 Mpix (-2246) 31.5 Mpix (-0315Z)
Sensor supplier Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony Sony
Sensor name IMX287 IMX273 IMX174 IMX249 IMX252 IMX265 IMX250 IMX264 IMX420 IMX428 IMX255 IMX267 IMX253 IMX304 IMX542 IMX387 IMX367 IMX541 IMX540 IMX342
Res. 728 x 544
gray scale / RGB
1456 x 1088
gray scale / RGB
1936 x 1216
gray scale / RGB
1936 x 1216
gray scale / RGB
2064 x 1544
gray scale / RGB
2064 x 1544
gray scale / RGB
2464 x 2056
gray scale / RGB
2464 x 2056
gray scale / RGB
3216 x 2208
gray scale / RGB
3216 x 2208
gray scale / RGB
4112 x 2176
gray scale / RGB
4112 x 2176
gray scale / RGB
4112 x 3008
gray scale / RGB
4112 x 3008
gray scale / RGB
5328 x 3040
gray scale / RGB
5472 x 3084
gray scale / RGB
4432 x 4432
gray scale / RGB
4512 x 4512
gray scale / RGB
5328 x 4608
gray scale / RGB
6480 x 4856
gray scale / RGB
Sensor size 1/2.9" 1/2.9" 1/1.2" 1/1.2" 1/1.8" 1/1.8" 2/3" 2/3" 1.1" 1.1" 1" 1" 1.1" 1.1" 1.1" 4/3" 4/3" 1.1" 1.2" APS-C
Max. FPS (in free-running full frame mode) 436.9 226.5 164 46.9 123 55 80 35 53.5 50.9 47 32 34 23 23.5 22.5 19.3 18.7 15.5 12.1
Frame rate exactness - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ADC resolution / Out 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8
SNRmax [dB]1/ 43.3 40.2 45.1 45.1 40.3 40.2 40.3 40.1 43.8 43.9 40.2 40.2 40.2 40.2 tbd 40.2 40.1 tbd 39.7 39.7
DR (normal / HDR) [dB]1/ 74.2 / 71.4 / 66.4 / 73.0 / 71.1 / 71.3 / 71.2 / 71.3 / 71.7 71.8 71.1 / 71.0 70.9 / 71.0 tbd 70.8 70.7 tbd 70.4 69.8
Rolling shutter - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Global shutter X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Global Reset - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Trigger (HW / SW) X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X
Pipelined global shutter in trigger mode X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Linescan mode - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
High color reproductivity (for color version) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Power consumption (since FW 2.5.146) [W] approx. 3.2 approx. 3.5 approx. 3.35 approx. 2.8 approx. 3.6 approx. 3 approx. 3.6 approx. 3 approx. 4.4 approx. 4 approx. 4 approx. 4 approx. 4 approx. 4 approx. tbd approx. 4.9 approx. 4.9 approx. tbd approx. 4 approx. 4.9 (mvBlueFOX3-4) | 5 (mvBlueFOX3-5M)2
More specific data mvBlueFOX3-2004 / BF3-5M-0004F (0.4 Mpix [728 x 544]) mvBlueFOX3-2016 / BF3-5M-0016Z (1.6 Mpix [1456 x 1088]) mvBlueFOX3-2024 / BF3-5M-0024ZG (2.4 Mpix [1936 x 1216]) mvBlueFOX3-2024a / BF3-5M-0024A (2.4 Mpix [1936 x 1216]) mvBlueFOX3-2032 / BF3-5M-0032Z (3.2 Mpix [2064 x 1544]) mvBlueFOX3-2032a / BF3-5M-0032A (3.2 Mpix [2064 x 1544]) mvBlueFOX3-2051 / BF3-5M-0024Z (5.1 Mpix [2464 x 2056]) mvBlueFOX3-2051a / BF3-5M-0051A (5.1 Mpix [2464 x 2056]) mvBlueFOX3-2071 (7.1 Mpix [3216 x 2208]) mvBlueFOX3-2071a (7.1 Mpix [3216 x 2208]) mvBlueFOX3-2089 / BF3-5M-0089Z (8.9 Mpix [4112 x 2176]) mvBlueFOX3-2089a / BF3-5M-0089A (8.9 Mpix [4112 x 2176]) mvBlueFOX3-2124 / BF3-5M-0124Z (12.4 Mpix [4112 x 3008]) mvBlueFOX3-2124a / BF3-5M-0124A (12.4 Mpix [4112 x 3008]) mvBlueFOX3-2162 / BF3-5M-0162A (16.2 Mpix [5328 x 3040]) BF3-4-0169Z / BF3-5M-0169Z (16.9 Mpix [5472 x 3080]) BF3-4-0196Z / BF3-5M-0196Z (19.6 Mpix [4432 x 4432]) mvBlueFOX3-2204 / BF3-5M-0204A (20.5 Mpix [4512 x 4512]) mvBlueFOX3-2246 / BF3-5M-0246A (24.6 Mpix [5328 x 4608]) BF3-4-0315Z / BF3-5M-0315Z (31.5 Mpix [6480 x 4856])

1 Measured accord. to EMVA1288 with gray scale version of the camera
2 Connection via Type C recommended VBUS>900mA

Sony Starvis

Sensors 6.4 Mpix (-064) 12.4 Mpix (-124r) 20.5 Mpix (-205)
Sensor supplier Sony Sony Sony
Sensor name IMX178 IMX226 IMX183
Res. 3096 x 2080
gray scale / RGB
4064 x 3044
gray scale / RGB
5544 x 3692
gray scale / RGB
Sensor size 1/1.8" 1/1.7" 1"
Max. FPS (in free-running full frame mode) 59 30.7 18.6
Frame rate exactness - - -
ADC resolution / Out 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8
SNRmax [dB]1/ 41.6 40.3 41.6
DR (normal / HDR) [dB]1/ 71.6 69.2 71.5
Rolling shutter X X X
Global shutter - - -
Global Reset - - -
Trigger (HW / SW) - / X - / X - / X
Pipelined global shutter in trigger mode - - -
Linescan mode - - -
High color reproductivity (for color version) X X X
Power consumption (since FW 2.5.146) [W] approx. 2.9 approx. 2.9 approx. 2.9
More specific data mvBlueFOX3-2064 / BF3-3M-0064Z / BF3-5M-0064Z (6.4 Mpix [3096 x 2080]) mvBlueFOX3-2124r / BF3-5M-0124R (12.4 Mpix [4064 x 3044]) mvBlueFOX3-2205 / BF3-5M-0205Z (20.5 Mpix [5544 x 3692])

1 Measured accord. to EMVA1288 with gray scale version of the camera

Sony Polarsens

Sensors 5.1 Mpix (-2051p)
Sensor supplier Sony
Sensor name IMX250_POL
Res. 2464 x 2056
gray scale / RGB
Sensor size 2/3"
Max. FPS (in free-running full frame mode) 80
Frame rate exactness -
ADC resolution / Out 12 / 12, 10, 8
SNRmax [dB]1/ 40.2
DR (normal / HDR) [dB]1/ 71.2
Rolling shutter -
Global shutter X
Global Reset -
Trigger (HW / SW) X / X
Pipelined global shutter in trigger mode X
Linescan mode -
High color reproductivity (for color version) X
Power consumption (since FW 2.5.146) [W] approx. 3.6
More specific data mvBlueFOX3-2051p (5.1 Mpix [2464 x 2056])

1 Measured accord. to EMVA1288 with gray scale version of the camera

Aptina, CMOSIS, e2v

Sensors 1.2 Mpix (-x012b) 1.2 Mpix (-x012d) 1.3 Mpix (-x013) 2 Mpix (-x020) 2 Mpix (-x020a) 3.1 Mpix (-x031) 10 Mpix (-x100) 14 Mpix (-x140)
Sensor supplier Aptina Aptina e2v e2v e2v Aptina Aptina Aptina
Sensor name MT9M031 MT9M034 EV76C560 EV76C570 EV76C570 AR0331 MT9J003 MT9F002
Res. 1280 x 960
gray scale / RGB
1280 x 960
gray scale / RGB
1280 x 1024
gray scale / RGB
1600 x 1200
gray scale / RGB
1600 x 1200
gray scale / RGB
2048 x 1536
RGB
3856 x 2764
gray scale / RGB
4384 x 3288
RGB Bayer mosaic
Sensor size 1/3" 1/3" 1/1.8" 1/1.8" 1/1.8" 1/3" 1/2.3" 1/2.3"
Pixel clock [MHz] 40 / 66 / 74.25 40 / 66 / 74.25 85 85 85 25 / 50 81.25 96.88
Max. FPS (in free-running full frame mode) 45.6 45.6 60 51 60 22.2 7 6
Frame rate exactness - - - - - - - -
ADC resolution / Out [bit] 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 10 / (12), 10, 8 10 / (12)(HW / SW), 10, 8 10 / (12), 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / 12, 10, 8 12 / (12), 10, 8
SNRmax [dB]1/ 37.4 37.7 39.9 39 38.9 38.9 37.2 35.1
DR (normal / HDR) [dB]1/ 54.3 / 63.4 / 51.5 / 50.5 / 50.7 / 50.5 / / 56 / 57.3 /
Many trigger modes (free-running, SW, HW)

X

Rolling shutter - X - - - X X X
Global shutter X - X X X - - -
Global Reset - - - - - X X X
Trigger (HW / SW) X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X X / X
Pipelined global shutter in trigger mode - - - - - - - -
Linescan mode - - available available available - - -
High color reproductivity (for color version) X X X X X X X X
Power consumption (since FW 2.5.146) [W] approx. 2.25 approx. 2.3 approx. 2.3 approx. 2.25 approx. 2.25 approx. 2.45 approx. 2.55 approx. 2.25
More specific data mvBlueFOX3-1012b (1.2 Mpix [1280 x 960]) mvBlueFOX3-1012d (1.2 Mpix [1280 x 960]) mvBlueFOX3-1013 (1.3 Mpix [1280 x 1024]) mvBlueFOX3-1020 (1.9 Mpix [1600 x 1200]) mvBlueFOX3-1020a (1.9 Mpix [1600 x 1200]) mvBlueFOX3-1031 (3.2 Mpix [2048 x 1536]) mvBlueFOX3-1100 (11 Mpix [3856 x 2764]) mvBlueFOX3-1140 (14 Mpix [4384 x 3288])

1 Measured accord. to EMVA1288 with gray scale version of the camera

Supported image formats

Gray scale version Color version
Mono8
Mono10
Mono12
Mono14
Mono16
  RGB8Packed
  BGR8Packed
  BGRA8Packed
  BGR10V2Packed
  YUV422Packed
  YUV422_YUYVPacked
  YUV444Packed
See also
For more details about the image formats, please have a look at the enums "TImageDestinationPixelFormat" and "TImageBufferPixelFormat" in the C++ developers section.
An example application about the pixel formats is also available.