Sunday, March 27, 2011

Better to be fast or good?

At the beginning of 2011 Point Grey launched 2 cameras based on the CMOSIS global shutter CMOS sensor. These were both christened Gazelle and one offered 2MP while the other had a 4MP sensor.

Now what’s really interesting about these cameras is their speed. I was fairly blown away when I read that the Gazelle GZL-CL-22C5M-C will serve up 2MP images at the rate of 280 frames per second. And that’s for a list price of $1,695. If you were to cost out bytes per second per dollar that has to be an unbeatable bargain. (I make that 0.36MB per second per dollar, by the way.)

Fast forward to March and Basler announce that from the end of Q2 they will be selling 4
ace-CMOSIS cameras based on the same sensor. That’s 2 and 4MP in monochrome and color.

Now according to the specs, the 2MP Basler camera will run at a truly astounding 340 fps. Unfortunately, unlike Point Grey, Basler are too shy to publish the prices of these little babies, so I have a suspicion they’re a little pricier than the first-to-market Canadians, although the MV4U bytes per second per dollar metric may say that they Basler is the better value.

The other difference between the Point Grey and Basler offerings, ignoring that the former is monochrome only, is the size of the package. The Canadians use a box measuring 44mm x 29mm x 58mm while the Germans squeeze everything into a volume of 42mm x 29mm x 29mm.

So Basler appear to be bringing out a technically superior product, probably at a slight price premium, BUT it isn’t yet on sale.

Hmmmm. I like the sound of the Basler camera but I can’t buy it yet, so I guess I’ll have to go with Point Grey.

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