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A range of cameras from Stemmer Imaging uses a sensor based on solar-cell technology to allow imaging from scenes that contain both very light and very dark areas.

This makes them suitable for environments with a very high dynamic range, or where there are strong and unpredictable brightness fluctuations.

The FX4 HDR (High Dynamic Range) sensor from IDS produces a logarithmic signal output.

This enables fine differences in brightness to be imaged even in very bright scenes, without saturation, in a similar way to the human eye.

Most of the USB and all of the GigE versions (HE, RE and SE) of the IDS uEye family of industrial cameras feature an FX4 HDR sensor version.

The FX4 HDR sensor features a pixel structure that provides a truly logarithmic output with effective suppression of fixed noise and gives a dynamic range of 120db.

This equates to a 1,000 times greater brightness ratio compared to conventional linear CCD sensors, which typically have a dynamic range of 60db.

The logarithmic response means that large changes in brightness in light areas of a scene cause only small changes in image brightness and prevents saturation in the image and ‘blooming’.

High-dynamic-range applications include automotive/traffic, welding, paints/glossy finishes and payment kiosks.

In traffic applications the sensor may need to identify detail in the dark interior of a vehicle while the headlights are on.

In welding, details of a weld seam or the object being welded can be imaged even in the presence of the bright weld arc.

Reflections and glossy spots on reflecting surfaces such as paints require increased-dynamic-range sensors.

The sensor provides a full 12-bit colour depth output to take full advantage of its reduced noise characteristics.

This allows contrast to be adjusted to enhance the visual display of images in applications where the dynamic range of the scene is less than that of the sensor.

The sensor can be set to give a linear output similar to conventional sensors for conventional imaging.

The FX4 sensor does not use integration methods and so operates completely in real time at 30 frames/sec.

STEMMER IMAGING is Europe’s largest imaging technology provider with headquarters in Germany and subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland.

Image processing or Machine Vision is used in many different application areas – such as industrial automation, medical imaging, security and traffic technology – as a powerful and cost effective way of implementing automatic quality assurance. Even at high speeds and with stringent accuracy requirements, image processing allows 100% monitoring and thus strengthens the competitive edge of those companies using it.

STEMMER IMAGING customers have access to a wide variety of imaging products from the worlds leading manufacturers. These manufacturers represent the cutting edge of vision technology which is something that is unique in Europe. STEMMER IMAGING are the developers of the world’s leading image processing software platform, Common Vision Blox, and as a manufacturer of customer-specific products, we have a full range of in-house expertise to draw on, allowing us to supply the best possible service to our customers when choosing an imaging solution. STEMMER IMAGING does not produce turn-key solutions – instead, using our close partnerships with a large number of experienced system integrators, we can provide expert technical know-how for the planning, integration and realisation of complete solutions.

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