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Color camera

It is easy at first glance: Color cameras take color images and they look nicer than black and white ones. But, paradoxically, the product spectrum offered by manufacturers of industrial cameras, such as The Imaging Source, is full of black and white cameras (also called "monochrome cameras"). Is the machine vision industry really behind its times? Not at all!

Color cameras are at the heart of visualization applications

Actually, black and white cameras are usually more suitable for machine vision applications than color cameras. This is due to the fact that these applications are based on the automated analysis of the differences in light intensity. This behavior fits perfectly to the basic behavior of CCD sensors and CMOS sensors.

One of the main application area of machine vision is industrial automation. Today, we also consider visualization applications in industry, medicine and science as "machine vision". In this context, the industrial camera is only the "extended eye" of a human observer. The analysis of the image is the task of the observer's brain. A typical example for this is microscopy.

However, CCD sensors and CMOS sensors are color blind by nature. The article Color cameras - What is the origin of the colors? shows how we can obtain color images nevertheless and describes the constrains of color cameras.