Industrial Color Cameras (USB 2.0)
16 year
I have designed a computer vision quality inspection system for my company and I require a rugged industrial color camera. I do not require a smart camera, just a rugged color camera for image acquisition to be interfaced with a Visual C++ application on a PC (through a USB port) and preferrably with VFW APIs.

Is it possible to purchase such a camera and use it directly on the computer without a frame grabber? Can it be accessed with acquisition APIs which are normally used by software to access webcams?
Anonymous 16 year

That would be a better question for a camera manufacturer. Perhaps one of the companies that produce security cameras as they often are built for rugged usage.

In terms of connecting it to a computer: if the camera says NTSC signal out then you would need a USB digitizer (which is a framegrabber but not internal to the PC) to get that signal into your computer. Most of the non-PC based cameras are NTSC out. But there are many inexpensive NTSC to USB digitizers that can convert the signal into something the computer can use.

If the camera has a USB connection in it (they will advertise this) or is know as an Internet/IP camera then you're all set with converting the signal into digital bits. Note that IP cameras are more difficult to get images from as they do not have a known standard.

From here you would need to be sure that the image can be accessed using VFW (older technique) or DirectX/DirectShow (newer, faster, but more complex) assuming you are using Windows. If you are a non-windows users things get a little harder and you will have to do a little more checking into VFL (Video for Linux) or other specific device drivers that can connect to USB imaging devices (they ARE out there).

16 year
Thanks for the info! I'll look into the matter and post any data I've collected on it..

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