New Full-Color Video Camera Captures Sharp Underwater Images in Extreme Low Lighting Conditions

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Toshiba’s new IK-1000ME full-color video camera delivers sharp full-color images even with the poor lighting conditions available underwater. The camera allows users to capture color video images in light as low as the equivalent of moonless overcast (10-4 lux). The camera features Toshiba’s breakthrough imaging system based on their proprietary electron-multiplying CCD technology.

Toshiba’s new IK-1000ME full-color video camera delivers sharp full-color images even with the poor lighting conditions available underwater. Available from Scientific Vision Systems, the camera allows users to capture color video images in light as low as the equivalent of moonless overcast (10-4 lux). The camera features Toshiba’s breakthrough imaging system based on their proprietary electron-multiplying CCD technology.

The electron multiplying CCD enhances the incoming signal by a factor of one thousand. As a result, the camera delivers maximum full color video reproduction in absolutely minimum illumination. The Electron Multiplying CCD (EMCCD) architecture differs substantially from a conventional CCD. The EMCCD features a “gain register” that has two phases with independent electrodes. Each electrode holds a different voltage potential which results in an intense electric field. This field causes the incoming electrons to experience impact ionization. This process generates new electrons that manifest themselves as dramatically increased sensitivity at very fast speeds. The technology eliminates the readout noise common with traditional CCD’s. The result is a virtually noiseless 30 frames per second in near total darkness.

When comparing the IK-1000ME with other types of CCD’s and image intensifiers, a conventional CCD only captures images in direct sunlight or daylight overcast, the equivalent of 102 lux and 101 lux, respectively. A low light CCD only captures images in light conditions equivalent to a nighttime quarter moon, equivalent to 10-2 lux. Although a camera with an image intensifier can capture images in 10-4 lux conditions, the images are not in color, the camera is bulky, and requires maintenance. Likewise, a thermal imaging camera does not capture color images and is also bulky. Thus, the IK-1000ME outperforms all other low-light color video technologies in a compact, maintenance free design.

The EMCCD in the camera is one thousand (1,000) times more sensitive than a conventional color CCD. The ½ inch EMCCD features a high resolution 658 x 496 pixel sensor, a built-in electronic shutter adjustable to 1/2000 sec., and accepts C-Mount lenses.

The IK-1000ME’s compact design and maintenance free construction make it ideal for underwater applications. Customer demand for a camera that could reproduce color images in starlight conditions, underwater, and other low light conditions spurred the product’s development. Applications include surveillance and security, underwater photography, biomedical, and industrial inspection. The camera measures 2.28” (W) x 2.3” (H) x 5.24” (D).

Scientific Vision Systems is one of the largest distributors of medical, industrial, and security video equipment featuring industry-leading brands.

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