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Scientific CCD Cameras: 8 Megapixel


8 Megapixel Scientific-Grade Cameras for Microscopy

  • 8 Megapixel CCD Cameras
  • Monochrome Scientific-Grade Cameras with <10 e- Read Noise
  • Up to 8.5 Frames per Second for the Full Sensor


  • 4/3" Format, 3296 x 2472 Monochrome CCD Sensor with 5.5 µm Square Pixels (Kodak / Truesense KAI-8050)
  • Software-Selectable Readout
    • 20 MHz or 40 MHz
    • Single or Dual Tap
  • 50% Peak Quantum Efficiency at 500 nm (See Specs Tab for Details)
  • 14-Bit Analog-to-Digital Converter Resolution
  • Low Noise of
  • Asynchronous, Triggered, and Gated Exposure Modes
  • ThorImageLS GUI
    • Region-of-Interest (ROI) and Binning Modes
    • 32- and 64-Bit Windows 7® Support
  • Third-Party Software Support
    • Matlab
    • µManager / ImageJ
  • All Necessary Computer Hardware, Software, and Cables Included
  • API / SDK Available for Software Developers


  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Transmitted Light Microscopy
  • Whole-Slide Microscopy

Thorlabs' 8 Megapixel CCD Cameras are specifically designed for microscopy and other demanding scientific imaging applications. These cameras offer up to 8.5 frames per second at 40 MHz dual-tap readout of the full sensor. 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.

Our 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 of our cameras limits image blur from vibrations. Cooling the camera will reduce the dark current; 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' 8 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 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. External triggering requires a connection to the auxiliary port of the camera; we offer the 8050-CAB1 auxiliary cable below as an optional accessory.

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.


Item #8050-GE8050-GE-TE
Sensor Type Kodak / Truesense KAI-8050 Monochrome CCD
Resolution (Horizontal x Vertical) 3296 x 2472
Pixel Size 5.5 µm x 5.5 µm
Optical Format 4/3" Format (22 mm Diagonal)
Frame Rate (Full Sensor) 8.5 Frames per Second
(At 40 MHz Dual-Tap Readout)
Number of Taps (Software Selectable) Single, Dual
Peak Quantum Efficiency 50% at 500 nm
Exposure Time 0 to 1000 s in 1 ms Incrementsa
CCD Pixel Clock Speed 20 or 40 MHz
ADC Resolutionb 14 Bits (Single Tap) / 12 Bits (Dual Tap)
ADC Gainb 0 to 1023 Steps (0.036 dB/Step)
Optical Black Clamp 0 to 1023 Steps (0.25 ADU/Step)c
Vertical Hardware Binning Continuous Integer Values from 1 to 10
Region of Interest 1 x 1 Pixel to 3296 x 2472 Pixels, Rectangular
Read Noised  
Digital Output Single Tap: 14 Bit
Dual-Tap: 12 Bit
Cooling No Yes
Host PC Interface Gigabit Ethernet
Lens Mount C-Mount (1.000"-32)
  • Exposure Time Varies with Operating Mode
  • Analog-to-Digital Converter
  • ADU = Analog-to-Digital Unit
  • If your application is read-noise limited, we recommend using the lower CCD pixel clock speed of 20 MHz.

Scientific Camera Optional Accessories

These optional accessories allow for easy use of the auxiliary port of the scientific camera. They should be considered when it is necessary to externally trigger the camera or to monitor camera performance with an oscilloscope.

Auxiliary I/O Cable (8050-CAB1)
The 8050-CAB1 is a 10' (3 m) long cable that mates with the auxiliary connector on our 8 megapixel  or VGA resolution CCD cameras and provides the ability to externally trigger the camera as well as monitor status output signals. One end of the cable features a male 12-pin connector for connecting to the camera, while the other end a male 6-pin Mini Din connector for connecting to external devices.

Interconnect Break-Out Board (TSI-IOBOB)
The TSI-IOBOB is designed to "break out" the 6-pin Mini Din connector found on our scientific CCD camera auxiliary cables into five SMA connectors. The SMA connectors can then be connected using SMA cables to other devices to provide a trigger input to the camera or to monitor camera performance.


Our Mission is to accelerate the advancement of optical technology for precision measurements and their applications from the table tops of research laboratories to standard use in communication and high technology industries. Our aim is to serve our customers. Our hope is to create a place for highly skilled people in an open environment

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