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Scientific CCD Cameras: Fast Frame Rate


Scientific Cameras for Microscopy: Fast Frame Rate

  • VGA Resolution CCD Cameras
  • Monochrome Scientific-Grade Cameras with <15 e- Read Noise
  • Up to 200.7 Frames per Second for the Full Sensor


  • 1/3" Format, 640 x 480 Pixel (VGA) Monochrome CCD Sensor with 7.4 µm Square Pixels (Kodak / Truesense KAI-340)
  • Up to 200.7 Frames per Second (fps) for the Full Sensor 
  • Software-Selectable Readout
    • 20 MHz or 40 MHz
    • Single or Dual Tap
  • 53% Peak Quantum Efficiency at 500 nm for Standard Version 
  • 10% Peak Quantum Efficiency at 485 nm for UV Version
  • 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 Provided for Software Developers


  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Ca2+ Imaging (UV Version)

Thorlabs fast frame rate scientific CCD cameras are specifically designed for microscopy and other demanding scientific applications. These cameras offer up to 200.7 frames per second at 40 MHz dual-tap readout of the full sensor with VGA resolution. These monochrome cameras are ideal for fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry applications. For applications such as Ca2+ imaging, we offer a UV version of the camera, that features a quartz faceplate and a microlens array to enhance the quantum efficiency of the sensor at UV wavelengths (see the Specs tab for details).

These scientific cameras have 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. These cameras features two output taps and the included software package can be used to select the number of taps used during readout. Your computer must have an empty PCI Express slot to install the GigE interface.

We offer our VGA cameras in our standard, non-cooled package. Since these cameras are designed for high frame rates and short exposures, cooling the sensor is not required. For applications with low light levels and exposures longer than 1 second, we recommend our 1.4 Megapixel or 8 Megapixel scientific-grade CCD cameras.

Our scientific 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 feature 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 has 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' scientific cameras the ideal choice for integrating into home-built imaging systems as well as those based on commercial microscopes.


Item #340M-GE340UV-GE
Sensor Type Kodak / Truesense KAI-340 Monochrome CCD
(Horizontal x Vertical)
640 x 480
Pixel Size 7.4 μm x 7.4 μm
Optical Format 1/3" Format (5.92 mm Diagonal)
Max Frame Rate 200.7 fps (at 40 MHz Dual-Tap Readout)
Peak Quantum Efficiency 55% at 500 nm 10% at 485 nm
Exposure Time 0 to 1000 seconds in 1 ms Incrementsa
CCD Pixel Clock Speed 20 MHz or 40 MHz
ADCb Resolution 14 Bits (Single Tap) / 12 Bits (Dual Tap)
ADCc Gain 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 640 x 480 Pixels, Rectangular
Read Noised  
Digital Output Single Tap: 14 Bit
Dual Tap: 12 Bit
Cooling None
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. This cable is ideal for use with our TSI-IOBOB interconnect break-out board described below. For information on the pin layout, please see the Pin Diagrams tab above.

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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