Sunday, December 4, 2011

Surprising camera trends

The latest survey of trends in machine vision and industrial cameras is out, and I find some of the conclusions surprising.

Specifically, camera and sensor manufacturer Framos, who carried out the survey, concluded:
  • Almost half of all cameras in use are color
  • There is an increased trend towards analogue
  • Users and manufacturers share a clear preference for lower frame rates.
There were other findings too – download the survey and read it for yourself – but those listed above ran counter to my expectations. I rarely see a need for color, I much prefer a digital interface, and in many applications frame rate is a concern. Am I out of step or does this tell us something about the survey methodology?

I suspect it comes down to who was contacted and how the questions were worded. Speaking as a user, my camera purchases are driven by the applications I’m working on. Color adds complexity to the task, so I only use it if it’s absolutely essential. A similar argument applies to higher frame rates: I’ll only pay the premium if my application needs it. And as for analogue … the twentieth century called and wants its cameras back.

1 comment:

Spencer Luster said...

Interesting. I too am surprised by the color/monochrome skew among other things. I know that a large majority of our customers stick with monochrome unless forced into color.

On the other hand, our customers tend to be systems integrators and machine builders with high levels of expertise in machine vision. As such, they tackle a lot of difficult, varied and sophisticated applications. This is usually a considerably different animal than a company needing 200 "sensor"-type cameras performing the same basic task.