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Monochrome 4K USB 3.1 camera launches at $149

Jan 19, 2022 — by Eric Brown 422 views

E-con launched a 13MP, 4K, monochrome “See3CAM_CU135M” USB 3.1 camera for $149. Other recent E-Con products include an HD resolution, IP67-protected “STURDeCAM25” GMSL2 color global shutter camera, which is also available in a 6-cam rig for the Jetson AGX Xavier.

E-Con has unveiled a 4K resolution monochrome camera with a USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface called the See3CAM_CU135M. Available at a launch price discount for $149, the camera is based on an On Semiconductor 1/3.2-inch AR1335 monochrome CMOS image sensor. (Farther below, we also look at a recent STURDeCAM25 camera.)

Monochrome cameras offer higher quantum efficiency in both visible and NIR regions compared to cameras with RGB color filters. Combined with the 13MP sensor, this efficiency helps is well suited for capturing microscopic images. Applications include digital microscopes, automatic number plate recognition systems (ANPR), and quality inspections.



See3CAM_CU135M
(click images to enlarge)

The 13-megapixel camera offers Full HD @ 60 fps and 4K @ 30 fps with output formats of Y8 and Y16. It also features “advanced” 1.1µm pixel BSI technology, says E-Con.

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The See3CAM_CU135M provides a 2×2 and 4×4 pixel binning feature to enhance sensitivity. An auto exposure feature enables the camera to easily adjust to changing lighting conditions, says the company. Other specs include 37 dB SNR and a 69 dB dynamic range.

The fixed focus, S-mount lens camera offers plug and play support for USB equipped computers running all major operating systems. The camera provides a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port and is backward compatible to USB 2.0. Sample applications include QtCAM for Linux and e-CAMView for Windows. Other USB 3.1 cameras from E-Con include the Full HD, up to 120fps See3CAM_24CUG color global shutter camera.

 
STURDeCAM25

E-Con Systems recently announced a new STURDeCAM camera that supports multi-camera rigs. The $299 STURDeCAM25 differs from E-con’s earlier STURDeCAM20 in that is a global shutter camera, such as the USB 3.1 connected See3CAM_24CUG camera mentioned in the paragraph above. The STURDeCAM25 is similarly equipped with an On Semi AR0234 CMOS image sensor.



STURDeCAM25 (left) and with FAKRA-connected GMSL2 cable
(click images to enlarge)

Like the STURDeCAM20, the STURDeCAM25 provides Full HD (1920 x 1200 pixel) resolution, in this case at 65fps). The S-mount camera also similarly provides an IP67-protected enclosure and GMSL2 camera interfaces for transmitting uncompressed video data at 120 fps (at 720p) at up to 15 meters.

The STURDeCAM25 provides multi-camera synchronization support, including external trigger support and sensor fusion. The multi-camera sync “is suitable for 3D vision and depth mapping functionalities along with 360-degree view for proximity & obstacle detection,” says E-con. Applications include smart traffic systems, robotic arms, patrol robots, delivery robots, goods-to-person robots, agricultural trucks, and agricultural robots.

Like the STURDeCAM20, the new model is designed for out-of-the-box use with Nvidia’s Jetson AGX Xavier Developers Kit. It also works with other Jetson AGX Xavier and Xavier NX carrier boards (see farther below).

You can purchase a $599 STURDeCAM25_CUXVR kit to connect to the AGX Xavier dev kit. The CUXVR kit includes a single STURDeCAM25 along with a deserializer board equipped with 5x additional camera connectors for up to 6x simultaneous STURDeCAM25 cameras. The camera system connects to the Jetson via MIPI-CSI-2 with the help of the Linux-based V4L2 driver.



STURDeCAM25_CUXVR with six cameras (left) and with the default single-camera bundle
(click images to enlarge)

The STURDeCAM25’s large, 3.0μm pixel size and high, 38 dB signal-to-noise ratio help to produce clear and sharp images with minimal noise even in challenging lighting conditions, says E-Con. There is a dynamic range of 71.4 dB. An onboard Image Signal Processor (ISP) “is tuned to achieve the best quality image output from the sensor,” and the global shutter mechanism helps to capture sharp images of moving objects “without any shutter artifacts,” claims the company.

In addition to protecting the camera from water and dust, the IP67-rated enclosure also defends against temperature variations (-30 to 70°C), as well as shock and vibration. The camera provides anti-fog coating on the S-mount lens.


Rogue with
fan housing

The STURDeCAM25 has off-the-shelf support for the AGX Xavier kit and also supports Connect Tech, Inc.’s Rogue carrier board for the AGX Xavier. Support is also provided for CTI’s Rudi-NX platform, which is based on the Jetson Xavier NX.

 
Further information

The See3CAM_CU135M is available for $149 in a launch offer discount from the $209 retail price.

More information may be found in E-Con Systems’ See3CAM_CU135M announcement and product/shopping page.

The STURDeCAM25 is available for a $299 sample price, and the STURDeCAM25_CUXVR kit with one STURDeCAM25 camera sells for $599. More information may be found in the and STURDeCAM25 and STURDeCAM25_CUXVR product/shopping pages.
 

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