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Exploring the benefits of AF-Zoom cameras with global shutters

March 13, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of imaging technology, autofocus-zoom cameras with global shutters stand out as valuable and flexible tools. These cutting-edge devices combine advanced AF-Zoom capabilities with the distinct advantage of global shutters, offering unparalleled performance in various applications.

How autofocus-zoom cameras with global shutters work

A camera sensor is a semiconductor chip that has a (usually rectangular) dense grid of tiny light detectors; each detector captures light and converts it into a pixel color value that can then be displayed on a screen or stored as an image file.

In a rolling shutter camera, the image is captured sequentially line by line across the grid. When the image capture starts, the camera sensor captures the light received by the first line of detectors, then it captures the light received from the second line of detectors, and so on until the whole image has been captured. As there is a slight time delay between the capture of the first and last line of the image there will be distortion of fast-moving objects in the captured scene.

A global shutter captures the entire frame simultaneously. This means that when the sensor captures the image, it does so for the entire frame all at once. Each pixel detector on the sensor captures the received light at the same time, ensuring simultaneous exposure across the entire image and hence no distortion with fast moving objects/scenes.

The autofocus functionality in these cameras uses software and sensors to continuously adjust the focus to maintain sharpness, even in dynamic environments. By analyzing the scene and optimizing the image sharpness, the autofocus system ensures optimal clarity and detail in every shot.

Advantages of global shutter cameras over rolling shutter cameras

Compared to rolling shutter cameras, autofocus-zoom cameras with global shutters offer some key advantages.

Elimination of rolling shutter distortion: Global shutters ensure uniform exposure across the entire frame, eliminating the rolling shutter distortion commonly seen in fast-moving scenes.

Improved image quality: The simultaneous capture of the entire frame results in sharper, more accurate images, especially in dynamic environments where motion is prevalent.

Enhanced autofocus performance: The advanced autofocus system continuously tracks subjects and adjusts focus in real-time, ensuring optimal sharpness and clarity in every shot.

Global shutters and CCD or CMOS sensors

Traditionally global shutter cameras used Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) sensors but are now commonly using Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor (CMOS) sensors.

CCD sensors use a specialized architecture that allows them to capture the entire image in a single exposure. CCD cameras were favored in applications such as scientific imaging, astronomy, and microscopy, where image quality and precise timing are critical.

While CMOS sensors have traditionally employed rolling shutters, advancements in technology have enabled the development of CMOS sensors with global shutter capabilities. These specialized CMOS cameras offer the benefits of global shutter technology while harnessing the advantages of CMOS sensors, such as lower power consumption and faster readout speeds. They find applications in areas such as industrial inspection, robotics, and high-speed photography.

Global shutter autofocus-zoom camera options

For in-motion applications requiring high resolution image capture and powerful autofocus-zoom functionality, the Harrier 36x AF-Zoom Camera with Global Shutter is a perfect choice. It provides real-time full HD LVDS video output and can be further enhanced with a Harrier camera interface board to provide HDMI, USB 3, HD-SDI, HD-VLC or Ethernet IP output.

These autofocus-zoom cameras have a Sony Pregius IMX392LQR-C CMOS sensor and feature Digital Image Stabilization, Noise Reduction, Intelligent Motion Detection, Day & Night mode and High/Back Light Compensation. They are ideal modules for high-speed industrial inspection, transport applications, and high-resolution surveillance; for example mounted on UAVs, where they excel in capturing clear and detailed images and video, even in low-light conditions or fast-moving scenarios.

Product image Harrier AF-Zoom 36x IP camera global shutter Ethernet

When size and weight matter, the Oriole 3x AF-Zoom HD-SDI Board Camera with Global Shutter has dimensions of just 42x42x15mm and weighs only 108g. This compact board-level camera features a Sony Pregius IMX265LQR CMOS sensor and supports Full HD real-time HD-SDI, EX-SDI and CVBS video output up to 1080p60. It’s perfect for UAVs and ROVs which require a very small payload. For aerial imaging, the global shutter minimizes distortion caused by the movement of the drone, while the autofocus ensures sharp images even during rapid maneuvers.

The Oriole global shutter board camera with SDI output is perfect for ROVs

AF-Zoom cameras with global shutters represent a significant advancement in imaging technology, offering unparalleled performance and versatility across diverse applications. These cameras continue to redefine standards for clarity, precision and reliability in imaging solutions. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect further innovations that push the boundaries of what’s possible in visual capture and analysis.

View our range of global shutter cameras and contact the team to see which one will be right for your application.