4K Monochrome USB 3.1 Gen 1 Camera

7 Key Parameters You Should Know Before Buying Near Infrared (NIR) Camera

Published on November 18, 2014

The increasing demand of product quality improvement and production rationalization in Night vision, Surveillance, Industrial image processing applications, spectroscopy, Medical devices, food inspection, etc. has led to the launch of Near Infrared (NIR) USB Camera. In our previous blog on NIR Camera, we focused on what is Near Infrared? The spectral sensitivity of the human eye lies between 380 nm – 700 nm. While the visible range can be covered by CCD and CMOS cameras, the NIR range of 850 nm – 1400 nm is roughly covered by e-con Systems™ Cameras.
If you are considering buying NIR Camera, you may have to look for 7 key parameters like:

  1. Sensor Type
  2. Spectral Efficiency of Sensor in NIR
  3. Sensor Resolution
  4. USB Interface
  5. Lens Type
  6. Flexibility
  7. Lens and filter options

Based on these 7 key parameters, we have compared e-CAM51_USBNIRFS with See3CAM_12CUNIR.

Nir camera lux meter
Illustration of e-CAM51_USB_NIRFS
Image captured at Zero Lux
Demo: Eye Tracking Using NIR Camera – See3CAM_12CUNIR




Sensor and type

OV5640 from OmniVision, 1/4 inch CMOS Color sensor.

AR0130CS from Aptina, 1/3 inch CMOS Monochrome sensor

Spectral efficiency of sensor in NIR

Not well optimized for NIR range.

Optimized for good sensitivity in NIR range with about 30% quantum efficiency in 850nm range.

Sensor resolution

5MP (2592×1944 pixel) color. The supported format is YUV422 (equivalent to 8bits per pixel).

1.3MP (1280×960 pixels) monochrome. The supported format is 12bits per pixel.

USB Interface

USB2.0 UVC. No USB3.0.

USB3.0 UVC, backward compatible with USB2.0

Lens Type

Similar to Autofocus cell phone camera with lens assembly. No interchangeable lens option. VCM Autofocus lens in mobile phone cameras. The NIR blocking filter of this camera is removed while assembling this camera.

Interchangeable lens option with M12 (S-mount) lens holder. Allows to use different lenses and filters.


Not much flexibility with respect to lenses or filters

Highly flexible to use any M12 lens and to use any lens filter.

Lens and filter options

Not possible to change the lens or lens filter. The e-CAM51_USBNIRFS camera has no IR cut-off filter and allows both the visible spectrum and IR spectrum.

Interchangeable M12 lens mount allows any kind of lens for meeting application requirements. There are variety of M12 lenses available off-the-shelf. There also lot of filters that can be used with: for example, visible-block & IR-pass, IR Band-pass, IR Narrow band filters etc.

e-con Systems™ offers you two near IR camera system to suit your needs. You may buy e-CAM51_USB_NIRFS and See3CAM_12CUNIR from our webstore

For further information, Please contact sales@e-consystems.com.

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