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Is My Camera Supported by National Instruments?



Hardware: Image Acquisition (IMAQ)

Problem:
I have or am looking to purchase a particular camera. How can I find out if this camera will work with National Instruments IMAQ products, and if National Instruments provides support for this camera?

Solution:
Camera compatibility is determined by a number of factors, but the first step to determining whether a particular camera is supported with National Instruments hardware and software is to determine the bus type.This can be any of the following:

If you are still considering what camera to purchase and would like to make sure that you choose the right bus, the White Paper Choosing the Right Camera Bus provides information about the important considerations, advantages and disadvantages of each.

 

USB 3.0 Vision


Recommended for New Applications: Yes
Driver Used: NI-IMAQdx 4.2 or later1
Frame Grabber: None. Images are acquired over the USB 3.0 bus.

NI hardware and software supports any camera that complies with the AIA USB3 Vision Specification version 1.0 or later. There are cameras that communicate over USB 3.0 but are not USB 3.0 Vision compliant, so care should be taken to ensure that the manufacturer’s documentation indicates compliance. 

 

GigE Vision


Recommended for New Applications: Yes
Driver Used: NI-IMAQdx1
Frame Grabber: None. Images are acquired over Ethernet.

NI hardware and software supports any camera that complies with the AIA GigE Vision Specification version 1.0 or later. There are cameras that communicate over Ethernet but are not GigE Vision compliant, so care should be taken to ensure that the manufacturer’s documentation indicates compliance. 

Camera Link


Recommended for New Applications: Yes
Driver Used: NI-IMAQ
Frame Grabber: NI 14XX Series Camera Link Frame Grabber

NI hardware and software supports Camera Link cameras that conform to the Camera Link standard (base, medium, full, and extended). In contrast to other standards however, Camera Link cameras require a camera file to tell the driver how the camera’s attributes are exposed, so not all Camera Link cameras are supported.

To verify if a specific camera is compatible, National Instruments recommends checking the Industrial Camera Advisor. If your camera is not found then National Instruments has not tested the camera and does not officially support it, but the following options are still possible:

  • Create a custom camera file using the NI Camera File Generator.
  • Check the Discussion Forums to see if another user has previously created a custom camera file.
 

IEEE-1394 (FireWire)

Recommended for New Applications: No
Driver Used
: NI-IMAQdx1 or NI-IMAQ IEEE-1394
Framegrabber
: None. Images are acquired over the FireWire bus.

National Instruments supports FireWire cameras that are fully IIDC (DCAM) compliant.

Firewire devices are now supported through IMAQdx. The NI-IMAQ IEEE-1394 driver is no longer recommended and is unsupported by National Instruments as it has been functionally replaced by NI-IMAQdx.

 

USB 2.0

Recommended for New Applications: No
Driver Used
: NI-IMAQdx 3.4 or later1
Frame Grabber
: None. Images are acquired with DirectShow over the USB 2.0 bus.

USB 2.0 cameras are not recommended for new applications, but NI hardware and software supports most USB 2.0 devices that are DirectShow compatible. Camera manufacturers will often create a LabVIEW API for their specific camera that supports additional features that DirectShow does not. It is recommended that you use the manufacturer's API when available.

USB 2.0 devices are now supported through the manufacturer's API or IMAQdx. 

Because USB 2.0 cameras use DirectShow for acquisition, the camera manufacturer’s driver must be installed and configured correctly for the camera to be supported when using IMAQdx.

 

Parallel Digital

Recommended for New Applications: No
Driver Used
: NI-IMAQ
Frame Grabber
: NI 14XX Series Parallel Digital Frame Grabber

Parallel Digital has been functionally replaced by the Camera Link standard. Parallel Digital cameras require a camera file to tell the driver how the camera’s attributes are exposed, so not all Parallel Digital cameras are supported.

National Instruments supports a subset of Parallel Digital cameras that send data in the following formats:

  • TTL
  • RS-422
  • LVDS (Low Voltage Differential Signal)

To verify if a camera is supported by National Instruments hardware and software use the Industrial Camera Advisor. 

 

Ethernet IP

Recommended for New Applications: No
Driver Used: NI-IMAQdx 3.5 or later1
Frame Grabber: None. Images are acquired over Ethernet.

Ethernet IP has been functionally replaced by GigE Vision, and National Instruments only supports Internet Protocol (IP) cameras manufactured by Basler and Axis. An IP camera typically sends a compressed image over an Ethernet connection, and the NI-IMAQdx driver only supports IP cameras that provide MJPEG images.

Axis IP cameras must have firmware version 2.0 (or later) to be supported.

 

Notes

[1] The NI-IMAQ driver is used with all NI framegrabbers and is free and available on ni.com (see related links section below).
NI-IMAQdx is used with all of the camera buses that do not require a framegrabber, and because of this you must purchase a license to use the NI-IMAQdx driver.
Both IMAQ and IMAQ dx are installed with Vision Acquisition Software (see related links below)

Related Links:
Industrial Camera Advisor
Drivers and Updates: Vision Acquisition Software
Example Program: Choosing the Right Camera Bus
Example Program: NI-IMAQ for USB Cameras

Attachments:





Report Date: 09/12/2008
Last Updated: 05/11/2016
Document ID: 4PB9L9QE

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