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8.9 MP CMOS Compact Scientific Cameras

  • Monochrome and Color CMOS Cameras
  • High Quantum Efficiency, Low <2.5 e- Read Noise
  • 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm Pixel Size
  • C-Mount Compatible with 1" Optical Format

Three-channel immunofluorescence image of a mouse brain
acquired using the CS895MU Camera.
Click here for the TIF composite.

(Sample prepared by Lynne Holtzclaw of the
NICDH Microscopy and Imaging Core Facility, NIH, Bethesda, MD)


Monochrome CMOS Camera

DAPI (405 nm)

GFAP (488 nm)

s100B (555 nm)

Monochrome TIF Images:
(Shown with False Color)

Related Items

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Scientific Camera Selection Guide
(Smallest Profile)
Kiralux™ 1.3 MP CMOS
Polarization Sensitive
(<1 e- Read Noise)
2.1 MP sCMOS
1.4 MP CCD
VGA Resolution CCD
(200 Frames Per Second)


  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Brightfield Microscopy
  • VIS/NIR Imaging
  • Imaging Quantum Dots
  • Autofluorescence Imaging
  • Materials Inspection
  • Multispectral Imaging


  • Monochrome or Color CMOS 4096 x 2160 Pixel (8.9 Megapixel) Sensor
  • High Quantum Efficiency (72% Over 525 to 580 nm for Monochrome Version)
  • Fan-Free, Passive Thermal Management Reduces Dark Current without Adding Vibration and Image Blur
  • <2.5 e- RMS Read Noise
  • Triggered and Bulb Exposure Modes
  • Global Shutter
  • USB 3.0 Interface
  • ThorCam™ Software for Windows® 7 and 10 Operating Systems
  • SDK and Programming Interface Support:
    • C, C++, C#, Python, and Visual Basic .NET APIs
    • LabVIEW, MATLAB, and µManager Third-Party Software
  • SM1-Threaded (1.035"-40) Aperture with Adapter for Standard C-Mount (1.000"-32)
  • Compatible with 30 mm Cage System
  • 1/4"-20 Tapped Holes for Post Mounting

Thorlabs' Kiralux™ Cameras with CMOS sensors offer extremely low read noise and high sensitivity for demanding imaging applications. The compact housing has been engineered to provide passive thermal management for the sensor, reducing dark current without the need for a cooling fan or thermoelectric cooler. These features make our CMOS compact scientific cameras ideal for low-light imaging applications such as fluorescence microscopy. The global shutter captures the entire field of view simultaneously, allowing for imaging of fast moving objects.

Sample Image of Plant Rhizome
Click here to view the full-resolution image.

This image of Convallaria majalis rhizome with concentric vascular bundles was acquired using the CS895CU Color Camera. 16-bit images like the full-resolution image above may be viewed using ThorCam, ImageJ, or other scientific imaging software. They may not be displayed correctly in general-purpose image viewers.
Jason Mills
Jason Mills
General Manager,
Thorlabs Scientific Imaging

Need a Quote?

Contact TSI

These cameras are available with either monochrome or color CMOS sensors. The approximate position of the sensor is indicated by the engraved line on top of the camera body. Each camera includes a USB 3.0 interface for compatibility with most computers and can be controlled with our ThorCam software for use with Windows 7 and 10 operating systems. Developers can leverage our fully featured API and SDK.

The camera aperture has SM1 (1.035"-40) threading for compatibility with Ø1" Lens Tubes; an adjustable C-Mount (1.000"-32) adapter is factory installed for out-of-the-box compatibility with many microscopes, machine vision camera lenses, and C-Mount extension tubes. Each monochrome camera features a clear window, while each color camera features an IR blocking filter. This optic can be removed and replaced with another Ø25 mm or Ø1" optic up to 1.27 mm thick when using the camera's C-mount adapter. Without this adapter, the maximum filter thickness is 4.4 mm.

Four 4-40 tapped holes provide compatibility with our 30 mm cage system. Two 1/4"-20 tapped holes on opposite sides of the housing are compatible with imperial Ø1" pedestal or pillar posts. The combination of flexible mounting options and compact size makes these CMOS cameras the ideal choice for integrating into custom-built imaging systems as well as those based on commercial microscopes.

Camera Mounting Features

Compact CMOS camera
Click to Enlarge
Removing the C-Mount adapter and locking ring exposes the SM1 (1.035"-40) threading that can be used for custom assemblies using standard Thorlabs components.
Low Noise CMOS Camera
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A compact scientific camera with an MVL50M23 Machine Vision Lens installed.
Low Noise CMOS Camera
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An SM1 Lens Tube installed using the SM1-threaded aperture.
Low Noise CMOS Camera
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Four 4-40 tapped holes allow 30 mm Cage System components to be attached to the camera. Pictured is our CP13 Cage Plate with
C-Mount Threading.
CMOS Microscope Camera
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A compact scientific CMOS camera installed on a Cerna® Microscope using the WFA4100 Camera Tube.
Item #a CS895MU CS895CU
Sensor Type Monochrome CMOS Color CMOS
Effective Number of Pixels (Horizontal x Vertical) 4096 x 2160
Imaging Area (Horizontal x Vertical) 14.131 mm x 7.452 mm
Pixel Size 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm
Optical Format 1" (16 mm Diagonal)
Max Frame Rate 20.8 fps (Full Sensor)
ADCb Resolution 12 Bits
Sensor Shutter Type Global
Peak Quantum Efficiency 72% Over 525 to 580 nm
(See Graph Below)
Read Noise <2.5 e- RMS
Full Well Capacity ≥10 650 e-
Exposure Time 0.036 ms to 22795 ms in ~0.022 ms Increments
Pixel Clock Speed 198 MHz
Vertical and Horizontal Hardware Binning 1 x 1 to 16 x 16 1 x 1
Region of Interest (ROI) 260 x 4 Pixelsc to 4096 x 2160 Pixels, Rectangular
Dynamic Range Up to 71 dB
Lens Mount C-Mount (1.000"-32)
Mounting Features Two 1/4"-20 Taps for Post Mounting
30 mm Cage Compatible
Removable Optic Window, Ravg < 0.5% per Surface (400 - 700 nm) IR Blocking Filterd
USB Power Consumption 3.7 W @ 20.8 fps (Full Sensor ROI)
Ambient Operating Temperature 10 °C to 40 °C (Non-Condensing)
Storage Temperature 0 °C to 55 °C
  • The specified performance is valid when using a computer with the recommended specifications listed on the Software tab.
  • ADC = Analog-to-Digital Converter
  • When Binning at 1 x 1
  • Please see the graph below and to the right for more information.
Example Frame Rates at 1 ms Exposure Timea,b
Region of Interest Frame Rate
Full Sensor (4096 x 2160) 20.8 fps
Half Sensor (2048 x 1080) 40.8 fps
~1/10 Sensor (410 x 216) 175.4 fps
Minimum ROI (260 x 4) 922 fps
  • 1 x 1 Binning, Frames per Trigger = Continuous
  • The specified performance is valid when using a computer with the recommended specifications listed on the Software tab.
Compact Scientific CMOS Camera Mechanical Drawing
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Mechanical Drawing of the Kiralux™ Camera Housing
Quantum Efficiency Plot
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Click for Raw Data
This curve shows the quantum efficiency for the monochrome camera sensor.
Relative Sensitivity Plot
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Click for Raw Data
These curves show the relative response for the color camera sensor's red, green, and blue pixels. This data does not take into account absorption from the installed IR blocking filter. The shaded blue region above 650 nm represents wavelengths blocked by the filter, which is removable.
IR Filter Transmission
Click to Enlarge

Click for Raw Data
The IR blocking filter can be removed from the camera; instructions are provided in the manual. If the filter is removed, it can be replaced with a user-supplied Ø1" (Ø25 mm) filter or another optic up to 4 mm thick.

Camera Back Panel Connector Locations

Compact Scientific Back Panel
For the I/O connector pin assignments, please see the Auxiliary (I/O) Connector section below.

TSI-IOBOB and TSI-IOBOB2 Break-Out Board Connector Locations

TSI-IOBOB and TSI-IOBOB2 Connector 8050-CAB1 Connectors Camera Auxiliary (I/O) Port
6 Pin Mini Din Female Connector
Female 6-Pin Mini Din Female Connector
6 Pin Mini Din Male Connector
Male 6-Pin Mini Din Male Connector (TSI-IOBOB end of Cable)
12 Pin Hirose Male Connector
Male 12-Pin Hirose Connector (Camera end of Cable)
12 Pin Hirose Female Connector
Female 12-Pin Hirose Connector (Auxiliary Port on Camera)

Auxiliary (I/O) Connector

The camera and the break-out boards feature female connectors; the camera has a 12-pin Hirose connector, while the break out boards have a 6-pin Mini-DIN connector. The 8050-CAB1 cable features male connectors on both ends: a 12-pin connector for connecting to the camera and a 6-pin Mini-DIN connector for the break-out boards. Pins 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 are each connected to the center pin of an SMA connector on the break-out boards, while pin 4 (ground) is connected to each SMA connector housing. To access one of the I/O functions not available with the 8050-CAB1, the user must fabricate a cable using shielded cabling in order for the camera to adhere to CE and FCC compliance; additional details are provided in the camera manual.

Camera I/O
Pin #
Pin #
Signal Description
1 - GND The electrical ground for the camera signals.
2 - GND The electrical ground for the camera signals.
3 - GND The electrical ground for the camera signals.
An LVTTL output that is high during the actual sensor exposure time when in continuous, overlapped exposure mode. It is typically used to synchronize an external flash lamp or other device with the camera.
An LVTTL input used to trigger exposures. Transitions can occur from the high to low state or from the low to high state as selected in ThorCam; the default is low to high.
Refers to "Line Valid." It is an active-high LVTTL signal and is asserted during the valid pixel period on each line. It returns low during the inter-line period between each line and during the inter-frame period between each frame.
This is an optically isolated output signal. The user must provide a pull-up resistor to an external voltage source of 2.5 V to 20 V. The pull-up resistor must limit the current into this pin to <40 mA. The default signal present on pin 7 is the STROBE_OUT signal, which is effectively the Trigger Out signal as well.
8 - OPTO I/O_RTN This is the return connection for the OPTO I/O_OUT output and the OPTO I/O_IN input connections. This must be connected to the pull-up source for OPTO I/O_OUT or the driving source for the OPTO I/O_IN signals.
This is an optically isolated input signal used to trigger exposures. The user must provide a driving source from 3.3 V to 10 V. An internal series resistor limits the current to <50 mA at 10 V.
10 4 GND The electrical ground for the camera signals.
11 - GND The electrical ground for the camera signals.
Refers to "Frame Valid." It is a LVTTL output that is high during active readout lines and returns low between frames.
Scientific Camera, Cables, and Accessories
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Scientific Camera with Included Accessories

The following accessories are included with each Compact Scientific Camera:

  • USB 3.0 Cable (Micro B to A)
  • Wrench to Loosen Optical Assembly (Item # SPW502)
  • Lens Mount Dust Cap
  • CD with ThorCam Software
  • Quick-Start Guide
  • Manual Download Information Card


ThorCam is a powerful image acquisition software package that is designed for use with our cameras on 32- and 64-bit Windows® 7 or 10 systems. This intuitive, easy-to-use graphical interface provides camera control as well as the ability to acquire and play back images. Single image capture and image sequences are supported. Please refer to the screenshots below for an overview of the software's basic functionality.

Application programming interfaces (APIs) and a software development kit (SDK) are included for the development of custom applications by OEMs and developers. The SDK provides easy integration with a wide variety of programming languages, such as C, C++, C#, Python, and Visual Basic .NET. Support for third-party software packages, such as LabVIEW, MATLAB, and µManager* is available. We also offer example Arduino code for integration with our TSI-IOBOB2 Interconnect Break-Out Board.

*µManager control of Zelux and 1.3 MP Kiralux cameras is not currently supported. When controlling the Kiralux Polarization-Sensitive Camera using µManager, only intensity images can be taken; the ThorCam software is required to produce images with polarization information.

Recommended System Requirementsa
Operating System Windows® 7 or 10 (64 Bit)
Processor (CPU)b ≥3.0 GHz Intel Core (i5 or Higher)
Memory (RAM) ≥8 GB
Hard Drivec ≥500 GB (SATA) Solid State Drive (SSD)
Graphics Cardd Dedicated Adapter with ≥256 MB RAM
Motherboard USB 3.0 (-USB) Cameras: Integrated Intel USB 3.0 Controller
or One Unused PCIe x1 Slot (for Item # USB3-PCIE)
GigE (-GE) Cameras: One Unused PCIe x1 Slot
Connectivity USB or Internet Connectivity for Driver Installation
  • See the Performance Considerations section below for recommendations to minimize dropped frames for demanding applications.
  • Intel Core i3 processors and mobile versions of Intel processors may not satisfy the requirements.
  • We recommend a solid state drive (SSD) for reliable streaming to disk during image sequence storage.
  • On-board/integrated graphics solutions present on Intel Core i5 and i7 processors are also acceptable.


Version 3.4.1

Click the button below to visit the ThorCam software page.

Software Download

Example Arduino Code for TSI-IOBOB2 Board

Click the button below to visit the download page for the sample Arduino programs for the TSI-IOBOB2 Shield for Arduino. Three sample programs are offered:

  • Trigger the Camera at a Rate of 1 Hz
  • Trigger the Camera at the Fastest Possible Rate
  • Use the Direct AVR Port Mappings from the Arduino to Monitor Camera State and Trigger Acquisition
Software Download

Click the Highlighted Regions to Explore ThorCam Features

Thorcam GUI Window

Camera Control and Image Acquisition

Camera Control and Image Acquisition functions are carried out through the icons along the top of the window, highlighted in orange in the image above. Camera parameters may be set in the popup window that appears upon clicking on the Tools icon. The Snapshot button allows a single image to be acquired using the current camera settings.

The Start and Stop capture buttons begin image capture according to the camera settings, including triggered imaging.

Timed Series and Review of Image Series

The Timed Series control, shown in Figure 1, allows time-lapse images to be recorded. Simply set the total number of images and the time delay in between captures. The output will be saved in a multi-page TIFF file in order to preserve the high-precision, unaltered image data. Controls within ThorCam allow the user to play the sequence of images or step through them frame by frame.

Measurement and Annotation

As shown in the yellow highlighted regions in the image above, ThorCam has a number of built-in annotation and measurement functions to help analyze images after they have been acquired. Lines, rectangles, circles, and freehand shapes can be drawn on the image. Text can be entered to annotate marked locations. A measurement mode allows the user to determine the distance between points of interest.

The features in the red, green, and blue highlighted regions of the image above can be used to display information about both live and captured images.

ThorCam also features a tally counter that allows the user to mark points of interest in the image and tally the number of points marked (see Figure 2). A crosshair target that is locked to the center of the image can be enabled to provide a point of reference.

Third-Party Applications and Support

ThorCam is bundled with support for third-party software packages such as LabVIEW, MATLAB, and .NET. Both 32- and 64-bit versions of LabVIEW and MATLAB are supported. A full-featured and well-documented API, included with our cameras, makes it convenient to develop fully customized applications in an efficient manner, while also providing the ability to migrate through our product line without having to rewrite an application.

Thorcam Software Screenshot
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Figure 1: A timed series of 10 images taken at 1 second intervals is saved as a multipage TIFF.
Thorcam Software Screenshot
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Figure 2: A screenshot of the ThorCam software showing some of the analysis and annotation features. The Tally function was used to mark four locations in the image. A blue crosshair target is enabled and locked to the center of the image to provide a point of reference.


Performance Considerations

Please note that system performance limitations can lead to "dropped frames" when image sequences are saved to the disk. The ability of the host system to keep up with the camera's output data stream is dependent on multiple aspects of the host system. Note that the use of a USB hub may impact performance. A dedicated connection to the PC is preferred. USB 2.0 connections are not supported.

First, it is important to distinguish between the frame rate of the camera and the ability of the host computer to keep up with the task of displaying images or streaming to the disk without dropping frames. The frame rate of the camera is a function of exposure and readout (e.g. clock, ROI) parameters. Based on the acquisition parameters chosen by the user, the camera timing emulates a digital counter that will generate a certain number of frames per second. When displaying images, this data is handled by the graphics system of the computer; when saving images and movies, this data is streamed to disk. If the hard drive is not fast enough, this will result in dropped frames.

One solution to this problem is to ensure that a solid state drive (SSD) is used. This usually resolves the issue if the other specifications of the PC are sufficient. Note that the write speed of the SSD must be sufficient to handle the data throughput.

Larger format images at higher frame rates sometimes require additional speed. In these cases users can consider implementing a RAID0 configuration using multiple SSDs or setting up a RAM drive. While the latter option limits the storage space to the RAM on the PC, this is the fastest option available. ImDisk is one example of a free RAM disk software package. It is important to note that RAM drives use volatile memory. Hence it is critical to ensure that the data is moved from the RAM drive to a physical hard drive before restarting or shutting down the computer to avoid data loss.

Pixel PeekVertical and Horizontal Line ProfilesHistogramCamera Control IconsMeasurement and Annotation FunctionsMeasurement and Annotation Functions

Triggered Camera Operation

Our scientific cameras have three externally triggered operating modes: streaming overlapped exposure, asynchronous triggered acquisition, and bulb exposure driven by an externally generated trigger pulse. The trigger modes operate independently of the readout (e.g., binning) settings as well as gain and offset. Figures 1 through 3 show the timing diagrams for these trigger modes, assuming an active low external TTL trigger.

Camera Timing Diagram
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Figure 1: Streaming overlapped exposure mode. When the external trigger goes low, the exposure begins, and continues for the software-selected exposure time, followed by the readout. This sequence then repeats at the set time interval. Subsequent external triggers are ignored until the camera operation is halted. For the definition of the TTL signals, please see the Pin Diagrams tab.
Timing Diagram
Click to Enlarge
Figure 2: Asynchronous triggered acquisition mode. When the external trigger signal goes low, an exposure begins for the preset time, and then the exposure is read out of the camera. During the readout time, the external trigger is ignored. Once a single readout is complete, the camera will begin the next exposure only when the external trigger signal goes low.
Camera Timing
Click to Enlarge
Figure 3: Bulb exposure mode. The exposure begins when the external trigger signal goes low and ends when the external trigger signal goes high. Trigger signals during camera readout are ignored.

Camera Specific Timing Considerations

Due to the general operation of our CMOS sensor cameras, as well as typical system propagation delays, the timing relationships shown above are subject to the following considerations:

  1. The delay from the external trigger to the start of the exposure and strobe signals is typically 270 ns for all triggered modes (standard and PDX/Bulb).
  2. For PDX/Bulb mode triggered exposures, in addition to the 270 ns delay at the start of the exposure, there is also a 13.72 µs integration period AFTER the falling edge of the external trigger. This is inherent in the sensor operation. It is important to note that the Strobe_out signal includes the additional 13.72 µs integration time and therefore is a better representation of the actual exposure time. Our suggestion is to use the Strobe_out signal to measure your exposure time and adjust your PDX mode trigger pulse accordingly.

External Triggering

Camera Triggering in ThorCam Software
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Figure 4:
The ThorCam Camera Settings window. The red and blue highlighted regions indicate the trigger settings as described in the text.

External triggering enables these cameras to be easily integrated into systems that require the camera to be synchronized to external events. The Strobe Output goes high to indicate exposure; the strobe signal may be used in designing a system to synchronize external devices to the camera exposure. External triggering requires a connection to the auxiliary port of the camera. We offer the 8050-CAB1 auxiliary cable as an optional accessory. Two options are provided to "break out" individual signals. The TSI-IOBOB provides SMA connectors for each individual signal. Alternately, the TSI-IOBOB2 also provides the SMA connectors with the added functionality of a shield for Arduino boards that allows control of other peripheral equipment. More details on these three optional accessories are provided below.

Trigger settings are adjusted using the ThorCam software. Figure 4 shows the Camera Settings window, with the trigger settings highlighted with red and blue squares. Settings can be adjusted as follows:

  • "Hardware Trigger" (Red Highlight) Set to "None": The camera will simply acquire the number of frames in the "Frames per Trigger" box when the capture button is pressed in ThorCam.
  • "Hardware Trigger" Set to "Standard": There are Two Possible Scenarios:
    • "Frames per Trigger" (Blue Highlight) Set to Zero or >1: The camera will operate in streaming overlapped exposure mode (Figure 1).
    • "Frames per Trigger" Set to 1: Then the camera will operate in asynchronous triggered acquisition mode (Figure 2).
  • "Hardware Trigger" Set to "Bulb (PDX) Mode": The camera will operate in bulb exposure mode, also known as Pulse Driven Exposure (PDX) mode (Figure 3).

In addition, the polarity of the trigger can be set to "On High" (exposure begins on the rising edge) or "On Low" (exposure begins on the falling edge) in the "Hardware Trigger Polarity" box (highlighted in red in Figure 4).


Example Camera Triggering Configuration using Scientific Camera Accessories

Camera Triggering with TSI-IOBOB2 Shield for Arduino
Figure 5: A schematic showing a system using the TSI-IOBOB2 to facilitate system integration and control.
While the diagram shows the back panel of our Quantalux™ sCMOS Camera, our Scientific CCD cameras can be used as well.

As an example of how camera triggering can be integrated into system control is shown in Figure 5. In the schematic, the camera is connected to the TSI-IOBOB2 break-out board / shield for Arduino using a 8050-CAB1 cable. The pins on the shield can be used to deliver signals to simultaneously control other peripheral devices, such as light sources, shutters, or motion control devices. Once the control program is written to the Arduino board, the USB connection to the host PC can be removed, allowing for a stand-alone system control platform; alternately, the USB connection can be left in place to allow for two-way communication between the Arduino and the PC. Configuring the external trigger mode is done using ThorCam as described above.

TSI Logo

About Thorlabs Scientific Imaging

Thorlabs Scientific Imaging (TSI) is a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to solving the most challenging imaging problems. We design and manufacture low-noise, high performance scientific cameras, interface devices, and software at our facility in Austin, Texas. 

A Message from TSI's General Manager

As a researcher, you are accustomed to solving difficult problems but may be frustrated by the inadequacy of the available instrumentation and tools. The product development team at Thorlabs Scientific Imaging is continually looking for new challenges to push the boundaries of Scientific Cameras using various sensor technologies. We welcome your input in order to leverage our team of senior research and development engineers to help meet your advanced imaging needs.

Thorlabs' purpose is to support advances in research through our product offerings. Your input will help us steer the direction of our scientific camera product line to support these advances. If you have a challenging application that requires a more advanced scientific camera than is currently available, I would be excited to hear from you.

We're All Ears!

Jason Mills
Jason Mills
General Manager
Thorlabs Scientific Imaging

Posted Comments:
Luc Duempelmann  (posted 2020-06-02 22:40:57.637)
Hi Thorlabs support, when trying to use the camera with python I could not import the .dll even though I followed exactly your documentation. I figured out that this was an issue with the new python version > 3.8, which does not allow to use the PATH directly for this purpose, see e.g. I made a quick work around by including following lines in the example code: import sys if sys.version_info[0] > 3.8: import os os.add_dll_directory('C:\Program Files\Thorlabs\Scientific Imaging\ThorCam') Would it be possible to include this in the camera library directly? Many thanks.
YLohia  (posted 2020-06-03 01:50:30.0)
Hello Luc, thank you for your feedback. We are aware of the issues with Thorcam when being used with Python 3.8. We are currently working on a fix and hope to correct this in a future Thorcam update.
Steven Jones  (posted 2020-03-16 07:11:52.613)
Dear Thorlabs, Since the dark current is not specified, please could you cover the camera and make a measurement of the noise as a function of exposure time (per pixel, mean, variance)? I would like to see exposure times from 10 ms to 1 s. This type of plot would be useful for choosing between your cameras. Thanks!
nbayconich  (posted 2020-03-17 02:13:52.0)
Thank you for contacting Thorlabs and thank you for your feedback. At the moment we cannot provide this information. Our cameras have an automatic compensation for the mean dark current, but we cannot provide noise as a function of exposure time at the moment. We can offer loan units of these cameras if interested to test out first before finalizing a purchase. A techsupport representative will reach out to you directly with more details.
Reed Standley  (posted 2020-01-21 13:57:52.147)
My company is trying to measure 0.125mm squares on pieces of thermal receipt paper. Is it possible to program a script for this camera that will automatically detect, measure, and populate a spreadsheet with the measured values? Which model would be ideal for this?
YLohia  (posted 2020-01-22 08:27:14.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. Application-specific recommendations can be discussed by contacting our Applications Engineers at We have already reached out to you directly to discuss your needs further.
Jin Xiang  (posted 2019-11-19 15:17:46.377)
Dear Mr./Ms. I'm a Phd in university of wisiconsin-maidison. Now I want to know information about the CS895MU camera. In particular, can this camera be used to image Raman scattering? The official website says it can be used for fluorescent imaging, but Raman will be even weaker. thanks! jin
YLohia  (posted 2020-01-02 12:09:51.0)
Hello Jin, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. One of our engineers had reached out to you directly at the time of your original post to discuss your requirements in more detail.
bryan.hennelly  (posted 2019-02-15 15:55:47.2)
I just purchased one of the color and one of the mono cmos cameras but was disappointed to learn that only the mono one has a micromanager adapter. Integration with micromanager was one of the reasons I made the purchase. Do you know is there a plan to release a micromanager adapter for the color camera and if so when can we expect this? Thanks
YLohia  (posted 2019-02-15 04:38:35.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. We are in the process of developing uManager support for the color version (CS895CU) and hope to release it in about 4 weeks (as of 02/15/19). Please note that as this is still a work in progress, this date may be changed in order to provide the best possible support.
bryan.hennelly  (posted 2018-12-31 08:35:02.33)
I also want to know the mean dark current in electrons/pixel/second. This is an important specification and should be listed.
nbayconich  (posted 2018-12-31 10:57:36.0)
Thank you for contacting Thorlabs. The sensors used in both the monochrome and color 8.9 Megapixel cameras are made by Sony however Sony does not provide a dark current specification for these particular sensors at the moment.
user  (posted 2018-11-06 16:22:48.77)
What is the dark current noise of this camera at 25°C please?
YLohia  (posted 2018-11-07 03:10:31.0)
Hello, thank you for contacting Thorlabs. Could you please clarify what you mean by "dark current noise"? I'm not sure if you are using it as an informal name for dark current shot noise. If that's the case, this quantity for non-defective pixels is very small. Or are you referring to the "dark current," which is expressed as a mean value in electrons/pixel/second? Please note that the mean dark current is internally compensated, and measurement would be difficult and would not provide much insight into the performance of the camera. If you're referring to the read noise, it is specified to be <2.5e- RMS. If you have further questions, please contact us at since you did not leave you email.
Scientific Camera
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Camera Housings of Our Compact Scientifc and Scientific CCD Cameras

Camera Selection Overview

  • Versions Available:
    • Zelux™ CMOS 1.6 MP Monochrome or Color Sensor
      • Models Available With or Without External Trigger Inputs
    • Kiralux™ CMOS Sensors:
      • 1.3 MP, 2.3 MP, 5 MP, or 8.9 MP
      • Monochrome, Color, NIR Enhanced, or Polarization Sensitive
    • Quantalux® sCMOS 2.1 MP Monochrome Sensor
    • Scientific CCD:
      • Fast Frame Rate VGA, 1.4 MP, 4 MP, or 8 MP
      • Monochrome or Color Sensor
      • 8 MP Monochrome CCD Model with Sensor Face Plate Removed
  • High Quantum Efficiency
  • Low Read Noise
  • Software-Selectable Pixel Clock Speed
  • Region-of-Interest (ROI) and Binning Modes
  • 32- and 64-Bit Windows® 7 or 10 Support
  • Asynchronous, Triggered, and Bulb Exposure Modes
  • SDK and Programming Interface Support:
    • C, C++, C#, Python, and Visual Basic .NET APIs
    • LabVIEW, MATLAB, and µManager* Third-Party Software

Thorlabs offers four families of scientific cameras: Zelux™, Kiralux™, Quantalux®, and Scientific CCD. Zelux cameras are designed for general-purpose imaging and provide high imaging performance while maintaining a small footprint. Kiralux cameras have CMOS sensors in compact, passively cooled housings and are available with monochrome, color, NIR-enhanced, or polarization-sensitive sensors. The polarization-sensitive Kiralux camera incorporates an integrated micropolarizer array that, when used with our ThorCam™ software package, captures images that illustrate degree of linear polarization, azimuth, and intensity at the pixel level. Our Quantalux monochrome sCMOS cameras feature high dynamic range combined with extremely low read noise for low-light applications. They are available in either a compact passively cooled housing or a hermetically sealed TE-cooled housing. We also offer scientific CCD cameras with a variety of features, including versions optimized for operation at UV, visible, or NIR wavelengths; fast-frame-rate cameras; TE-cooled or non-cooled housings; and versions with the sensor face plate removed. The tables below provide a summary of our camera offerings.

*µManager control of Zelux and 1.3 MP Kiralux cameras is not currently supported. When controlling the Kiralux Polarization-Sensitive Camera using µManager, only intensity images can be taken; the ThorCam software is required to produce images with polarization information.

Compact Scientific Cameras
Camera Type Zelux™  Kiralux™  Quantalux®
Item # Monochrome:
NIR Enhanced: CS135MUN
Monochrome: CS135MU
Passive Cooling: CS2100M-USB
Active Cooling: CC215MU
Product Photos
(Click to Enlarge)
Quantaluc Cameras
Electronic Shutter Global Shutter Global Shutter Rolling Shutterb
Number of Pixels
(H x V)
1440 x 1080 1280 x 1024 1920 x 1200 2448 x 2048 4096 x 2160 1920 x 1080
Pixel Size 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm 4.8 µm x 4.8 µm 5.86 µm x 5.86 µm 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm 5.04 µm x 5.04 µm
Optical Format 1/2.9"
(6.2 mm Diagonal)
(7.76 mm Diagonal)
(13.4 mm Diagonal)
(11 mm Diagonal)
(16 mm Diagonal)
(11 mm Diagonal)
Peak Quantum Efficiency
(Click for Plot)
69% at 575 nm

Click for Plot
60% at 600 nm

59% at 550 nm

Click for Plot
78% (at 500 nm)

Click for Plot
Monochrome & Polarization:
72% (Over 525 to 580 nm)

Click for Plot
72% (Over 525 to 580 nm)

Click for Plot
61% (at 600 nm)
Max Frame Rate
(Full Sensor)
34.8 fps 92.3 fps 39.7 fps 35 fps 20.8 fps 50 fps
Read Noise <4.0 e- RMS <7.0 e- RMS <7.0 e- RMS <2.5 e- RMS <1 e- Median RMS,
<1.5 e- RMS
Digital Output (Max) 10 Bit 10 Bit 12 Bit 16 Bit
PC Interface USB 3.0
Available Fanless Cooling Passive Thermal Management 0 °C at 20 °C Ambient
Housing Dimensions
(Click for Details)
0.59" x 1.72" x 1.86"
(15.0 mm x 43.7 mm x 47.2 mm)
2.77" x 2.38" x 1.88"
(70.4 mm x 60.3 mm x 47.6 mm)
Passively Cooled sCMOS Camera
TE-Cooled sCMOS Camera
Typical Applications General Purpose Imaging
Brightfield Microscopy
Machine Vision & Robotics
UAV, Drone, & Handheld Imaging
VIS/NIR Imaging
Electrophysiology/Brain Slice Imaging
Materials Inspection
Multispectral Imaging
Ophthalmology/Retinal Imaging
Vascular Imaging
Laser Speckle Imaging
Semiconductor Inspection
Fluorescence Microscopy
Brightfield Microscopy
Fluorescence Microscopy
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Machine Vision
General Purpose Imaging
Monochrome & Color:
Fluorescence Microscopy
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Machine Vision & Inspection

Machine Vision & Inspection
Transparent Material Detection
Surface Reflection Reduction
Fluorescence Microscopy
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Large FOV Slide Imaging
Machine Vision
Fluorescence Microscopy
VIS/NIR Imaging
Quantum Dots
Materials Inspection
Multispectral Imaging
  • These item numbers are representative of the Zelux family. These cameras are available with or without external hardware triggers.
  • Rolling Shutter with Equal Exposure Pulse (EEP) Mode for Synchronizing the Camera and Light Sources for Even Illumination
Scientific CCD Cameras
Camera Type Fast Frame Rate VGA CCD 1.4 MP CCD 4 MP CCD 8 MP CCD
Item # Prefix Monochrome:
Monochrome: 1501M
Color: 1501C
Monochrome: 4070M
Color: 4070C
Monochrome: 8051M
Color: 8051C
No Sensor Face Plate: S805MU
Product Photo
(Click to Enlarge)
Electronic Shutter Global Shutter
Sensor Type CCD
Number of Pixels
(H x V)
640 x 480 1392 x 1040 2048 x 2048 3296 x 2472
Pixel Size 7.4 µm x 7.4 µm 6.45 µm x 6.45 µm 7.4 µm x 7.4 µm 5.5 µm x 5.5 µm
Optical Format 1/3" (5.92 mm Diagonal) 2/3" (11 mm Diagonal) 4/3" (21.4 mm Diagonal) 4/3" (22 mm Diagonal)
Peak QE
(Click for Plot)
(at 500 nm)
(at 485 nm)
Monochrome: 60% (at 500 nm)
Color: Click for Plot
Monochrome: 52% (at 500 nm)
Color: Click for Plot
Monochrome: 51% (at 460 nm)
Color: Click for Plot
51% (at 460 nm)
Max Frame Rate
(Full Sensor)
200.7 fps (at 40 MHz
Dual-Tap Readout)
23 fps (at 40 MHz
Single-Tap Readout)
25.8 fps (at 40 MHz
Quad-Tap Readout)a
17.1 fps (at 40 MHz
Quad-Tap Readout)b
17.1 fps (at 40 MHz
Quad-Tap Readout)
Read Noise <15 e- at 20 MHz <7 e- at 20 MHz (Standard Models)
<6 e- at 20 MHz (-TE Models)
<12 e- at 20 MHz <10 e- at 20 MHz
Digital Output (Max) 14 Bitc 14 Bit 14 Bitc 14 Bit
Available Fanless Cooling Passive Thermal Management -20 °C at 20 °C Ambient Temperature -10 °C at 20 °C Ambient Passive Thermal Management
Available PC Interfaces USB 3.0 or Gigabit Ethernet USB 3.0
Housing Dimensions
(Click for Details)
Non-Cooled Scientific
CCD Camera
Cooled Scientific CCD Camera
Non-Cooled Scientific CCD Camera
No Face Plate Scientific
CCD Camera
Typical Applications Ca++ Ion Imaging
Particle Tracking
Flow Cytometry
UV Inspection
Fluorescence Microscopy
VIS/NIR Imaging
Quantum Dots
Multispectral Imaging
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Retinal Imaging
Fluorescence Microscopy
Transmitted Light Micrsoscopy
Whole-Slide Microscopy
Electron Microscopy (TEM/SEM)
Material Sciences
Fluorescence Microscopy
Whole-Slide Microscopy
Large FOV Slide Imaging
Multispectral Imaging
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
Beam Profiling & Characterization
VCSEL Inspection
Quantitative Phase-Contrast Microscopy
Digital Holographic Microscopy
  • Limited to 13 fps at 40 MHz dual-tap readout for Gigabit Ethernet cameras; quad-tap readout is unavailable for Gigabit Ethernet cameras.
  • Limited to 8.5 fps at 40 MHz dual-tap readout for Gigabit Ethernet cameras; quad-tap readout is unavailable for Gigabit Ethernet cameras.
  • Gigabit Ethernet cameras operating in dual-tap readout mode are limited to 12-bit digital output.

Kiralux™ 8.9 MP CMOS Compact Scientific Cameras

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Imperial Price Available
CS895MU Support Documentation
CS895MUKiralux™ 8.9 Megapixel Monochrome CMOS Camera, USB 3.0 Interface
5-8 Days
CS895CU Support Documentation
CS895CUKiralux™ 8.9 Megapixel Color CMOS Camera, USB 3.0 Interface

Scientific Camera Optional Accessories

TSI-IOBOB2 Diagram
Click for Details

A schematic showing a TSI-IOBOB2 connected to an Arduino to trigger a compact scientific camera.

These optional accessories allow for easy use of the auxiliary port of our compact scientific (sCMOS & CMOS) or scientific CCD cameras. These items should be considered when it is necessary to externally trigger the camera, to monitor camera performance with an oscilloscope, or for simultaneous control of the camera with other instruments.

For our USB 3.0 cameras, we also offer a PCIe USB 3.0 card and extra cables for facilitating the connection to the computer.

Auxiliary I/O Cable (8050-CAB1)
The 8050-CAB1 is a 10' (3 m) long cable that mates with the auxiliary connector on our scientific cameras* and provides the ability to externally trigger the camera as well as monitor status output signals. One end of the cable features a male 12-pin connector for connecting to the camera, while the other end has a male 6-pin Mini Din connector for connecting to external devices. This cable is ideal for use with our interconnect break-out boards described below. For information on the pin layout, please see the Pin Diagrams tab above.

*The 8050-CAB1 cable is not compatible with our former-generation 1500M series cameras.

Interconnect Break-Out Board (TSI-IOBOB)
The TSI-IOBOB is designed to "break out" the 6-pin Mini Din connector found on our scientific camera auxiliary cables into five SMA connectors. The SMA connectors can then be connected using SMA cables to other devices to provide a trigger input to the camera or to monitor camera performance. The pin configurations are listed on the Pin Diagrams tab above.

Interconnect Break-Out Board / Shield for Arduino (TSI-IOBOB2)
The TSI-IOBOB2 offers the same breakout functionality of the camera signals as the TSI-IOBOB. Additionally, it functions as a shield for Arduino, by placing the TSI-IOBOB2 shield on a Arduino board supporting the Arduino Uno Rev. 3 form factor. While the camera inputs and outputs are 5 V TTL, the TSI-IOBOB2 features bi-directional logic level converters to enable compatibility with Arduino boards operating on either 5 V or 3.3 V logic. Sample programs for controlling the scientific camera are available for download from our software page, and are also described in the manual (found by clicking on the red Docs icon below). For more information on Arduino, or for information on purchasing an Arduino board, please see

The image to the right shows a schematic of a configuration with the TSI-IOBOB2 with an Arduino board integrated into a camera imaging system. The camera is connected to the break-out board using a 8050-CAB1 cable that must be purchased separately. The pins on the shield can be used to deliver signals to simultaneously control other peripheral devices, such as light sources, shutters, or motion control devices. Once the control program is written to the Arduino board, the USB connection to the host PC can be removed, allowing for a stand-alone system control platform; alternately, the USB connection can be left in place to allow for two-way communication between the Arduino and the PC. The compact size of 2.70" x 2.10" (68.6 mm x 53.3 mm) also aids in keeping systems based on the TSI-IOBOB2 compact.

USB 3.0 Camera Accessories (USB3-MBA-118 and USB3-PCIE)
We also offer a USB 3.0 A to Micro B cable for connecting our cameras to a PC. Please note that one USB3-MBA-118 cable is included with each USB 3.0 camera except the CC215MU cooled Quantalux camera. The CC215MU camera ships with an appropriate USB 3.0 cable and should not be used with the USB3-MBA-118. The USB3-MBA-118 cable measures 118" long and features screws on either side of the Micro B connector that mate with tapped holes on the camera for securing the USB cable to the camera housing. When operating USB 3.0 cameras it is strongly recommended that the Thorlabs-supplied USB 3.0 cable be used, with the retention screws securely fastened. Due to the high data rates involved, users may experience problems when using generic USB 3.0 cables.

Cameras with USB 3.0 connectivity may be connected directly to the USB 3.0 port on a laptop or desktop computer. USB 3.0 cameras are not compatible with USB 2.0 ports. Host-side USB 3.0 ports are often blue in color, although they may also be black in color, and typically marked "SS" for SuperSpeed. A USB 3.0 PCIe card is sold separately for computers without an integrated Intel USB 3.0 controller. Note that the use of a USB hub may impact performance. A dedicated connection to the PC is preferred.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal Price Available
8050-CAB1 Support Documentation
8050-CAB1I/O Cable for Scientific CCD and Compact Scientific Cameras
TSI-IOBOB Support Documentation
TSI-IOBOBI/O Break-Out Board for Scientific CCD and Compact Scientific Cameras
TSI-IOBOB2 Support Documentation
TSI-IOBOB2Customer Inspired! I/O Break-Out Board for Scientific CCD and Compact Scientific Cameras with Shield for Arduino (Arduino Board not Included)
USB3-MBA-118 Support Documentation
USB3-MBA-118USB 3.0 A to Micro B Cable, Length: 118" (3 m)
USB3-PCIE Support Documentation
USB3-PCIEUSB 3.0 PCI Express Expansion Card
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