Camera sensor during production

Switching from CCD to CMOS Cameras

Sony has announced the closure of its CCD sensor factory. CCD camera users are now confronted with questions around switching to CMOS technology and the availability of current CCD camera models.

For us, the move toward CMOS technology doesn’t come as a surprise. We started our preparations some time ago and can offer a broad portfolio of CMOS products. 

Sony has scheduled the last delivery of the CCD sensors that are integrated into Basler cameras for the end of 2026. Basler will ensure a smooth transition from current Basler products with CCD sensors to CMOS sensor-based Basler products.

We’ve put together a list of answers to the most relevant questions around this transition and around suitable successors for your CCD sensor-based ace camera.

CCD’s been discontinued. Now what?

Experience together with Steve what Sony’s CCD discontinuation announcement means and how you can deal with it.

FAQs

When should I begin switching from CCD to CMOS?

In general, you could start any time. Switching quickly will let you benefit from a performance increase in your application and from lower camera costs. Therefore, a fast change makes sense. On the other hand, there’s no immediate rush if you’re using CCD-based cameras. They will be available for many years to come. We recommend taking the time to run the calculations on your application, to decide which option would be more advantageous.

What do I have to consider when switching?

Relatively little. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a camera with a suitable CMOS sensor. For an easy switch, choose a CMOS sensor with the same optical format as your current CCD cameras, and you’ll only have to perform minimal adjustments to your system design. Things are also kept simple if you stay with your standard interface, Gigabit Ethernet. Basler offers all new CMOS sensors within the 29 mm x 29 mm housing of its ace models which allows for easy replacement of nearly all existing camera designs. It also brings along improved performance in replacement scenarios of analog FireWire cameras, where space limits are a crucial concern.

What’s important when integrating the latest CMOS-based cameras?

Integrating a CMOS camera to replace CCD sensors is simpler than expected, especially when you choose standard-compliant hardware and software. Because camera manufacturers take care of the entire sensor integration including image quality optimization, all you need to do when choosing the right CMOS camera is to:

  • Determine the correct resolution of the camera: The required resolution depends on the details you need to make visible in your images.
  • Define the required camera interface: The choice of an interface depends on the required cable length, bandwidth, necessary frame rates and real-time capabilities and PC hardware availability. Our Interface Advisor helps you find the best interface for your application.
  • Choose lens and lighting: Changing the sensor format also involves changing the lens. Our Lens Selector  makes finding a new lens easy. Lighting must only be adjusted if the sensitivity of the new sensor is different from the previous one. 
  • Integration effort for software and camera control: Cameras complying with  common standards such as GenICam, for example, or interface standards like USB3 Vision or GigE Vision, offer uncomplicated integration.

Which CMOS successors does Basler‘s portfolio offer today?

Basler has anticipated the trend towards CMOS sensor technology in industrial cameras early on and offers a broad product portfolio of CMOS cameras with sensors from various manufacturers. Just recently, it equipped two ace GigE and two ace USB 3.0 models with Sony’s IMX174 CMOS sensor. With a resolution of 2.3 MP and frame rates of 50 fps (GigE) and 155 fps (USB 3.0), respectively, this powerful sensor is a recommended choice for demanding applications in the fields of traffic, microscopy and medicine.
  
Furthermore, several ace models were equipped with CMOS sensors of the PYTHON series from ON Semiconductor. These models reach speeds of up to 850 fps and impress with their outstanding image quality.

A comprehensive overview of all CMOS successors for the various Basler CCD cameras is available right here.

Overview of potential successor cameras

You’re operating a CCD camera and are looking for a suitable CMOS successor? The following table suggests good CMOS matches for CCD sensors with the corresponding camera models:

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