user manual
In this manual you find instructions for the pco.1400
scientific camera.
Target Audience:
This camera is designed for use by
technicians, engineers, and scientists.
In case of any questions or comments, please contact us at PCO.
+49 (0) 9441 2005 50
+49 (0) 9441 2005 20
postal address
[email protected]
Donaupark 11
93309 Kelheim, Germany
The cover photo shows an exemplary PCO camera system.
The lens is sold separately.
Copyright © 2010 PCO AG (called PCO in the following text), Kelheim,
Germany. All rights reserved. PCO assumes no responsibility for errors
or omissions in these materials. These materials are provided "as is"
without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but
not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a
particular purpose, or non-infringement. PCO further does not warrant
the accuracy or completeness of the information, text, graphics, links or
other items contained within these materials. PCO shall not be liable for
any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including
without limitation, lost revenues or lost profits, which may result from the
use of these materials. The information is subject to change without
notice and does not represent a commitment on the part of PCO in the
future. PCO hereby authorizes you to copy documents for noncommercial use within your organization only. In consideration of this
authorization, you agree that any copy of these documents, which you
make, shall retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained
herein. Each individual document published by PCO may contain other
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document. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by
implication or otherwise any license or right under any patent or
trademark of PCO or any third party. Except as expressly provided,
above nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any
license or right under any PCO copyright. Note that any product,
process, or technology in this document may be the subject of other
intellectual property rights reserved by PCO, and may not be licensed
Updated August 2010 © PCO AG
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Introduction .....................................................................4
The advantages of the pco.1400 for your success
Safety Instructions ..........................................................5
Save money, reduce stress, stay healthy
System Components.......................................................6
What’s in the Box?
Installation .......................................................................7
Get your camera and computer ready for start.
Quick Start .......................................................................8
How to get an image fast and easy
Camera Control for the pco.1400...................................9
The main interface for all camera settings
The “Camera Control” window ...............................................................9
The Timing sheet ..................................................................................10
The Sensor (Size) sheet ........................................................................11
The Sensor (Misc.) sheet ......................................................................12
The CamRam sheet ..............................................................................14
The Recording sheet ............................................................................14
Camware Features ........................................................15
Software for image acquisition and archiving
If no camera is connected ....................................................................15
Overview ..............................................................................................16
The File Menu.......................................................................................17
The Camera Menu................................................................................21
The Acquisition Menu...........................................................................22
The View Menu.....................................................................................23
The Window Menu................................................................................25
The Help Menu .....................................................................................26
The Local Menu....................................................................................27
Additional Features...............................................................................28
Technical Data ................................................................30
Mechanical Dimensions ..................................................31
Pinout of 15pin DSUB Connector ...................................32
Image File Formats..........................................................33
Service and Maintenance................................................35
Customer Service and Trouble Shooting ........................36
Firmware Update.............................................................37
Digital Camera Tools CD-ROM .......................................38
About PCO..............................................................................39
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
1 Introduction
1 Introduction
pco.1400: when you need a scientific grade camera with a compact design
for system integration as well as end-user applications.
This versatile high performance 14 bit CCD camera system has an
extraordinary quantum efficiency of up to 62%. At the heart of the camera is
a FPGA processor allowing for sophisticated control and accurate timing of
the CCD and associated electronics. In addition, a proprietary offset control
algorithm has been developed which provides very high offset stability,
regardless of ambient temperature or signal changes, ensuring accurate
and repeatable quantitative data over long periods of time.
The camera’s main features are:
• excellent resolution (1392 x 1040 pixel)
• superior quantum efficiency up to 62%
• 14 bit dynamic range
• superior low noise of 6e- rms @ 12MHz
• no glow functionality at long exposure times
• excellent DSNU at long exposure times
• optimal offset stability and control (<1count)
• hot pixel correction integrated
• standard IEEE1394a interface
Areas of Application
scientific imaging
combustion imaging
luminescence spectroscopy
particle image velocimetry (PIV)
bioluminescence / chemoluminescence
low light level imaging
high resolution microscopy
quality control
fuel injection
scintillation recording
material testing
flow visualization (hydrodynamics)
machinevision/industrial applications
imaging of bio markers (e.g. green fluorescent protein, GFP)
Red and NIR fluorescence applications
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
2 Safety Instructions
2 Safety Instructions
Never operate the camera in humid or dusty environments or in places with
high amounts of X-ray radiation. Humidity, dust or X-rays could damage
the camera.
To avoid the risk of water condensation, protect the camera against
extreme changes of ambient temperature. If condensation enters the
camera, there is the risk of electric shock.
To prevent damage to the camera, the system must be kept stable and
protected against strong jolts or vibrations. The socket at the bottom of
the camera is to be used for mounting purposes only.
Electric shock warning – Never slide any items through the slits into the
camera because of the risk of electric shock if the voltage parts inside are
Each time the camera is used, check the power cable for any damage.
Never position the cable in a way that it could become a tripping hazard.
Do not force the lens onto the camera. To protect the lens connector thread
from damage, use minimal force when attaching a lens to the camera.
If any of the following conditions apply, immediately switch off the camera,
separate it from the power line and contact our customer support:
If the power cable or the power plug seems to be worn or
If liquids have penetrated the device.
If, after thoroughly reviewing the instruction manual, the device is
still not operating properly.
If the camera has been dropped or the casing is damaged.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
3 System Components
3 System Components
The camera system includes the following parts.
Camera Head
C-mount optical connection:
The distance between the front edge of the c-mount and the
sensor is 17.52 mm. For standard c-mount lenses and adapters.
15pin DSUB connector for power and trigger input (connect to
power supply)
IEEE1394a FireWire connector (connect to PC)
LEDs indicate camera status
The LED lights flash during initialization.
LED status
camera busy
1/4-20 UNC thread for mounting
Serial Number tag
Trigger & Power Connection
Proprietary combined DSUB/BNC connector.
DSUB: for pinout see appendix A3
BNC: external exposure trigger in (TTL) (see chapter 6.2)
Power Supply
12V AC adapter with proprietary DSUB/BNC connection cable
Power Plug Adapter
Standard adapters for various countries
FireWire Cable (optional)
IEEE1394 FireWire cable 6pin/6pin (1.8m)
FireWire PC Card (optional)
32bit and 33MHz IEEE 1394 FireWire host adapter
Digital Camera Tools (CD-ROM)
The accompanying CD contains (see appendix A8):
• Camware: software for camera control & image acquisition
• camera driver & tools
• software development kit (SDK) and demo programs in C and C++
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
4 Installation
4 Installation
You will find all necessary files on the accompanying CD.
You may also download the newest versions of our software, camera
drivers, and third party software drivers from our website (support section).
Your pco.1400 is a special modification of a
Minimum system requirements:
• Clock speed > 1.6GHz
• RAM > 512MB
• Windows XP/ Service Pack 2 or Win2000/ Service Pack 4
• 1280 x 1024 pixel resolution display
• 32-bit-graphics card (16.7 million colors)
FireWire 400 (IEEE1394a)
Please insert the FireWire host adapter into the PCI expansion slot of your
computer, if not already installed!
The drivers for FireWire interfaces or cards are part of Windows XP or part
of the board manufacturer package. The installation of an additional
hardware driver for the interface is not necessary.
Camera Driver
The first time the camera is connected via FireWire to the computer,
Windows will notify the user that a new device has been detected.
Afterwards, the typical Windows hardware drivers’ installation process will
begin. At this point, you are asked for the location of the corresponding *.inf
file. Please click on the drive where the CD has been inserted or to the
directory where the installation software has been downloaded. Windows
will perform any further installation and system registration automatically.
The Camware 32-bit Windows application software enables you to control
every camera parameter or setting. Images can be displayed on a monitor
and may be downloaded and stored.
The CD runs automatically (if not: please begin the installation manually by
double clicking on the setup.exe file). The installation software copies all
necessary DLL files into the corresponding Windows directories. While
doing this, older versions of these files will be replaced, if present. All
required Windows registration entries will be made automatically. After a
successful installation, you will find the program file ’Digital Camera
Toolbox’ in your program directory. Other helpful tools are also installed in
the same file (see appendix A8).
To uninstall the Camware program, please use the Software feature under
Window’s System Control.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
5 Quick Start
5 Quick Start
Note: In order to get familiar with your new camera & software it might be
helpful, if you first aim at an object that is easy to focus and that can be
seen at standard light conditions.
installation is finished (see chapter 4)
an appropriate lens is attached (remove cap!)
or the camera is attached properly to the microscope,
spectrograph or other scientific device
camera is connected to the PC
computer is on
camera is connected to the power supply and ready (LEDs off)
start Camware
open view window
- if not already open -
start “live preview”
apply “auto range peak”
you may adjust aperture and focus
You should now clearly see the object in the
If you need to change exposure time (e.g. the image is still either
too dark or too bright), please go to chapter 6!
If you want to record and save images, please see chapter 6 and
chapter 7 for detailed information!
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
6 Camera Control for the pco.1400
6 Camera Control for the pco.1400
The 'Camera Control' window in Camware is the main interface for all
camera settings.
For further Camware features please see chapter 7!
The “Camera Control” window
The camera control window can be opened by selecting the proper
command in the "Camera"-Menu or by the corresponding button in the
The camera control dialog always adapts to the camera type connected.
For the pco.1400 the camera control settings are spread over five property
sheets 1, which will be explained below.
Changes to the camera control sheets must be completed by pressing the
“Accept” button 2.
If the "Accept" button is not pressed, these changes will be ignored and lost. If the
changes are within the allowed condition limits of the camera, a message is sent to the
computer, the button disappears and the green lamp will be highlighted. If an illegal
change was attempted, the camera will not accept the change and the red lamp will be
In the information field 3 you can view some information about the
camera. Click into the info field in order to scroll through the values.
Power Temp. not applicable for pco.1400.
Estimated recording time (est. rec. time) not applicable for pco.1400.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
6 Camera Control for the pco.1400
The “Timing” sheet
Trigger Mode
[Auto Sequence] The camera will optimize the image recording to achieve
the best possible frame rate.
In the [auto sequence] exposure control mode, the camera determines
the fastest possible image uptake rate depending on the adjusted
exposure time and the required readout time. After a start command is
given, the sequential recording is started until a stop command is given.
[Soft Trigger] Single images can be recorded with Camware control. The
single image can be acquired by pressing the "Single Trigger" button. This
button appears after pressing the “Start Record” button (see 7.2). Other
signals cannot influence this operating mode.
[External Exp. Start] The image acquisition is triggered by an external
signal. It is also possible to force a software trigger for a test image with the
"Single Trigger" button.
In the [External Exp. Start] exposure control mode, single image
recording is started by the falling or rising edge of the voltage signal at
the BNC input (see chapter 3).
pixel clock
12 MHz
25 MHz
intrinsic + system delay
5.6 µs
5.6 µs
[External Exp. Ctrl] not available for pco.1400
The exposure time (delay time is not available for pco.1400) can be adjusted
in steps of 1µs.
exposure time
1µs … 60s
The jitter of the actual exposure start edge: < 13ns
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
6 Camera Control for the pco.1400
The “Sensor (Size)” sheet
Binning combines neighboring pixels (in either the horizontal or vertical
direction) to form super pixels. It increases the light signal of the resulting
pixels and decreases the spatial resolution of the total image, which is
recorded. Vertical binning (x2) will also double the speed.
Region of Interest
The ROI (region of interest) selects only a part of the sensor to be read out,
in order to speed up the frame rate and to save memory (not available for
the pco.1400).
Sensor Format
This sensor implementation provides the option to either readout the
standard size (effective pixels recommended by the sensor manufacturer) or
an alternative size of 800 x 600 pixel (center mode).
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
6 Camera Control for the pco.1400
The “Sensor (Misc.)” sheet
The pixel clock sets the clock frequency and therefore the image sensor
readout speed. At 12 MHz the image quality will be higher due to very low
readout noise (read out at a lower bandwidth). At 25 MHz the image sensor
is read out with nearly double speed, achieving higher frame rates.
1392 x 1040
800 x 600
12 MHz
7.3 fps
11.7 fps
25 MHz
13.5 fps
21.6 fps
maximum frame rate: 62 fps (25 MHz, 800x600, V4 binning)
AD Converter
Feature not available for pco.1400.
Double Image
This feature is widely used for particle image velocimetry (PIV)
measurements. The first exposure time texp1 can be any exposure time of the
available range of the pco.1400 camera. The second exposure time texp2 can
not be directly adjusted. The length of the second exposure is exactly
determined by the readout time of the first image. The interframing time titf
denotes the transition time between end of exposure #1 and start of
exposure #2.
12 MHz
5.6 µs
25 MHz
5.6 µs
1µs … 60s
1µs … 60s
137 ms
74 ms
1 µs
1 µs
td + tid
td: trigger acknowledge delay
tid: intrinsic delay
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
6 Camera Control for the pco.1400
IR Sensitivity = Low Light Mode
This feature uses a special image sensor control method, allowing greater
sensitivity in the near infrared spectral range (red line in graph), in most
cases at the expense of decreased anti-blooming performance.
The integrated hot pixel correction is only active for standard mode. If you
need to correct hot pixel in IR mode, please follow instructions under
chapter 7.4 (Create Hot Pixel List).
Offset Control
Offset control is done automatically for optimal results. User control is
B/W Noise Filter
In the pco.1400 an optimal hot pixel correction is already integrated.
For exposure times > 1s you might need extra Hot Pixel List (see page 21).
Conversion Factor
Using the values from the dropdown list, the corresponding conversion
factor can be selected. The conversion factor defines how many charges
(electrons), which have been generated by light in the image sensor in each
pixel, are necessary to generate one count (one intensity level) in the digital
image. Therefore, the conversion factor describes the gain that is applied to
the signal before it is converted into a digital value.
pco.1400 binning 1x1
pco.1400 binning 2x2
full well capacity
16 000 e24 000 e-
applicable conversion factor
Electronics Temperature
A digital temperature compensation is integrated instead of a space
consuming thermo-electrical cooling unit.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
6 Camera Control for the pco.1400
The “CamRam” sheet
Feature not available in the pco.1400.
The “Recording" sheet
Feature not available in the pco.1400.
Recording with the pco.1400
The Camware will use free disk space on your computer. The recorded
images will be temporally saved as a 16bit multi TIFF under
documents&settings\user\local\temp\PCO\cam0. Therefore, the camera
runs in a virtual ‘Sequence’ Recorder Mode. The maximum number of
images depends solely on the disk size of the computer.
Every new recording or shut-down of Camware will delete this temporary
folder (including images)!
For further details on recording and saving images see the following
chapters: 7.2; 7.3; 7.5!
Note: Multiple cameras can be connected with Camware, but only one
pco.1400 camera can record! You may run two cameras simultaneously,
but record with one after another.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
7 Camware Features
PCO’s renowned software for camera control, image acquisition, and
archiving of images in various file formats.
You will find an online help under the common Help menu.
Note: There are some features explained in the online help that are not
applicable for this camera version.
7.1 If no camera is connected
When Camware is started, it automatically recognizes the camera type,
which is connected to the computer and switched on.
If Camware is started with no camera
connected to the PC or with cameras
switched off, it starts in demo mode.
In this mode all image processing
features are available. The user only
has to tell Camware which type of
images will be opened. For that
purpose, the "Demo Mode Setup"
window opens and asks for the
corresponding input.
Need Help? If this window pops up
because you have trouble running the
camera, please see instructions in
appendix A6.
The drop down list offers the existing image sensor spatial resolutions of all
PCO camera systems. Please select the specific resolution and bit depth of
the images to be opened! If double shutter images have been recorded and
should be opened, “Double Shutter Mode” should be checked.
With the radio buttons, the user can specify whether the image type is
monochrome or color.
These two radio buttons adjust whether MSB aligned ("upper") or LSB
aligned ("lower") images have been stored (see page 18, “File Settings”).
Settings to view the b16 files of the pco.1400:
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
7.2 Overview
Menu Bar
See chapter 7.3 - 7.8.
Local Menu
The “mouse right-click” is explained in chapter 7.9.
prints the currently displayed image or comment window
opens a b/w | color display window
opens the camera control window
opens the convert control
auto range peak/crop (see chapter 7.6 under “Convert Control BW”)
live preview: useful for fast and easy camera adjustment and focusing
This command disables the camera control window if it is opened!
soft trigger: captures a single image (see chapter 6.2)
Cursor display
cursor: pixel position and intensity value
continuous “auto range crop" scaling
record START / STOP / PLAY
opens the recorder settings window
replay navigation
The 'Recorder Browser' gives an overview of the
recorded images.
A click on the desired image makes it the current
image in the Black/White or Color window.
‘Skip #images’ allows for convenient overview at
large numbers of images.
With the "Multi Frame Window" it is possible to
view all active camera images in one window. The
user might select between "time" oriented or
"camera number" oriented order.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
7.3 The File Menu
Open Raw File (single image only)
This command should be used to import a single image into the currently
active image window. Only files with the extension and format of "*.b16"
(PCO proprietary binary image format) and "*.tif" (TIFF image format) can be
imported. If the recorder is enabled, each imported image will be transferred
to the buffer shown in the picture number. The image itself will be fitted to
the current image size. If the recorder is disabled, the current image sizes
will be set to the parameters of the imported image.
Open Raw File Set (for hsfc pro camera)
This command is used to open a set of images, previously saved with the
‘Save Raw File Set’ command. The corresponding windows will be opened
automatically. Additionally a comment window will be opened, which shows
the settings of the channel and a comment. This option is not accessible in
case of the recorder is switched on.
Open Recorder Sequence (image sequence from one camera)
This command is used to import a sequence of images. If more than one
camera is connected and an image window is currently open, the sequence
will be loaded to the active window. If no image window is open, the images
will be loaded to camera #1. This command opens the "Open file" dialog
box. Only files with the extension and the format of "*.b16" and "*.tif"
(TIFF16) can be imported.
Save Raw File (single image only)
The "Save" command should be used to save the image, which is displayed
in the active window. The command opens the "Save file" dialog box. The
image file can be saved in 16bit "*.b16" and ".tif" format.
If more than one camera is connected, it is possible to save all current
images by selecting "Export all images" in the "Save file" dialog box. With
this feature it is possible to save one image of each active camera within
one process step (it is not necessary to repeat the save process for each
camera). The "Save" command will not be available, if there is no image
window open. See 6.5 for further information!
Save Raw Set (for hsfc pro camera)
To save one image of each active camera within one single b16 file.
Save Raw Recorder (image sequence from one camera)
The "Save Recorder" command should be used to save or export image
records. If more than one camera is connected and an image window is
currently open, the record of the active window will be saved. The
command opens the "Save file" dialog box. If another image format than
"*.b16" or "*.tif" (16bit) is chosen, image content will be lost, and it will be
impossible to reload the images. The "Save Recorder" command will not be
available, if there is no image window open. See 6.5 for further information!
Export File (not reloadable!)
Use this command to export the image in the active image window. This
command will open the Save file dialog box. Files with the extensions "fts",
"tif", "bmp", "asc", “jpg”, and “jp2” can be exported. This item will be not
visible, if there is no image window open.
Note: be aware of the different storage abilities of the formats, for example
"*.bmp" - the bitmap format only allows for 8bit values to be stored and
therefore the image content of a 12 or 14bit image is reduced, if stored as
Export Recorder Sequence (not reloadable!)
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
Use this command to export a sequence of images. If more than one
channel is connected and an image window is currently open the record of
the window which has got the input focus will be saved. If no image window
is open the images of channel 1 will be saved. This command will open the
Export image dialog box. Files with the extensions "fts", "tif", "bmp", "asc",
"avi", "mpg", “jpg”, “jp2”, and “wmv” can be exported.
If you export recorder files you will not be able to reload them into
Print Setup
The "Print Setup" command opens the Windows "Print Setup" dialog box
for adjustments and settings of the connected printer(s).
Print Preview
The "Print Preview" command opens a "Print Preview" window.
Opens the Windows "Print" dialog box for the currently displayed image or
comment display.
This command opens the "Options" dialog, allowing special settings.
Options: File Settings
Tiff Bit Alignment
Here you can select the alignment of the pixel value. If this item is checked
each pixel value is shifted from bit 12-1 to bit 16-5. This removes the 'dark
image effect' inside other image applications.
Tiff RAW
Here you can select whether the 16bit RGB tif file is saved with 16bit raw or
white balanced data. If this item is checked, each 16bit RGB pixel value is
saved as raw 16bit RGB (48bit) value, without white balancing. Saving to
16bit RGB can be done by selecting the color display window, export
recorder, selecting 8bit-tif (!) and checking 'Save 16bit RGB'.
ASCII file separator
Here you can select an appropriate separator for the ASCII file format.
Jpeg High Quality
Here you can select the quality of the saved jpeg/jp2 files. High quality
saves images with 100% quality. Unchecking this option will create jpeg
files with 85% quality.
Preserve Last Record
If checked, a message box will pop up in case the user may overwrite or
loose data.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
Options: View Settings
Image Browser
Here you can select between showing all image tiles inside the browser
window either b/w or color. Setting b/w will result in a faster refresh. (valid
only for color CCD).
Use this command to display a cross in the centre of each image.
Convert (Min/Max) (“Continuous Auto Range Crop”, see chapter 7.6 under
“Convert Control BW”)
This option enables the automatic min/max function during record and
replay. Disable this feature if the application stops responding during this
mode (due to operating system capacity problems).
Double Shutter:
This option enables the update of both double shutter images during record
and replay. Disable this feature if the application stops responding during
this mode (due to operating system capacity problems).
Options: Toolbar
Opens the corresponding toolbars (see 7.2)
Math. Functions
With the math window you have the ability to build the difference between a
reference image and the actual image. If you activate math every new image
acquired will be subtracted from the reference image or vice versa.
last acquired image will be copied to reference buffer
a reference picture will be acquired and copied to reference buffer
add offset here to avoid negative values, which would not be visible
enable / disable math function
Replay Speed Bar
The faster replay speed is useful if large sets of image data need to be
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
Options: Misc
Use this command to show or hide the start-up information dialog box.
Synchronous Scrolling
If this item is checked all opened image windows will be scrolled at the
same time and in the same manner.
View Embedded Image Info (for pixelfly and sensicam models)
If this item is checked an embedded text will be shown inside the image.
See chapter 7.6.
Multi Win Picture Order
With the 'Multi Window' you have the ability to view the images of all active
cameras in one window. You can select between 'time' oriented or 'camera
number' oriented order. 'Time' oriented means that the sequence of images
depends on the individual time stamp of each image. 'Camera number'
oriented means that the first image shown is from camera 1, then camera 2
and so on.
This option enables the logging of errors and system info. Enable this
feature in order to create a support file, which can help to find out troubles
with the cameras (see A6 “Customer Service and Trouble Shooting”).
Load lookup Table (for monochrome cameras)
With the Pseudo LUT feature you can load any LUT with one of four
different formats and you can view the result in the color view window.
Use one of the attached predefined LUTs or define your own.
Direct Record To File
This command is intended for cameras with internal memory. In case of the
pco.1400 images are recorded directly onto hard disk by default. With this
command you can preset a certain number of images to be stored. If the
camera captures images faster than the computer can save to disk, then
you will loose images. The displaying of the images doesn't interfere with
the record process.
Record with ‘Flowfile’ (for pixelfly and sensicam models)
This command exits the program and closes all channel dialog windows.
Window positions, settings and sizes are stored in the windows registry and
will be loaded again at next start-up.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
7.4 The Camera Menu
Camera Control
Use this command to open the camera control window (see 6.1).
Load Camera Settings
With this command you can reload camera settings which have been
previously saved. You can reload only a file which has been made with the
same camera configuration as it was found by the application at start-up.
Save Camera Settings
This command saves the actual camera settings of all existing cameras.
Create Hot Pixel List
Use this command to create a 'Hotpixel-File'. Some pixels tend to become
very bright during a long exposure. These pixels are called hot pixel. To
remove hot pixels from the image you have to create a hot pixel file first. If
you have already a hot pixel file you only have to enable hot pixel
correction. The new value of the hot pixel will be calculated from the values
of the neighbour pixels. You only can create a hot pixel-file if the last
exposure was longer than 5s.
This command will open the hot pixel dialog.
You have to type in the desired count of hot
pixels first. Then press the 'Get Hotpixel'
button. After this the hot pixel list will be
created, using the last acquired image.
Now you have the possibility to save the hot
pixel list for later use. All list box items with a
checkmark will be saved to the hot pixel file.
You can select or deselect a group of items by
highlighting a group and pressing the
checkmark in front of one of the highlighted
items. Additionally you can open a local menu inside the list box by
pressing the right mouse button. You can verify your selection by scrolling
through the list and by a comparison to the average value shown in the
Hotpixel Correction
You can enable or disable the hot pixel correction. If hot pixel correction is
disabled, a file dialog will be opened, in which you have to select the correct
hot pixel file for the corresponding camera. If you have more than one
camera connected you have to select the correct camera number first. If hot
pixel correction is enabled this feature will be switched off.
Auto Exposure
Starts some exposures and tries to find an exposure time that captures
images with grey values between 1400 and 1500. It re-adjusts the lookup
tables in order to display the images with the new settings best.
In case the software is not able to calculate an
appropriate setting, this message will be displayed.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
7.5 The Acquisition Menu
Live Preview
The 'Live Preview' is useful for fast and easy adjusting and focusing of the
camera. The active window will be updated. To see another window, simply
click on the window. This option is not available in double shutter mode.
Acquire Picture
Records single images in case of pixelfly and sensicam cameras.
Acquire Sequence
Starts recording images into the system memory according to Trigger Mode
selection (see 6.2). During the recording, the camera controls are locked.
Rec. Memory Settings
(for pixelfly and sensicam models)
Recorder Settings
This command opens
Settings dialog window.
The Play Settings are referred to the
camera. If more than one camera is
connected, the camera number is
retrieved from the image window that has
received the input focus (is active). If no
image window is opened, the dialog is
referred to camera 1. If the 'Set to all'
checkbox is checked the settings apply to all connected cameras.
The Global Settings are valid for all connected cameras.
If in the "Avg." dropdown list a value not equal to 1 is selected, the
corresponding number of images is averaged in the buffer, reducing the
statistically independent noise.
Another option to reduce the noise is the activation of the "IIR lowpass" IIRfilter: Image(act) = Image(act - 1) * 0.5 + Image(new) * 0.5
Replay Speed Slider
The slider can be used to adjust the sequence replay speed, from slow
(turtle) to fast (rabbit).
Seq. Wrap Rec
Sequential Wrap Recording sets Recorder Mode (6.6) to “Ring Buffer”.
Seq. Wrap Play
The play button starts the display for a sequence as defined by the first
image/last image fields and will loop until the stop button is pressed.
Reverse Play
If the "Reverse Play" box is checked, it is possible to play the recorded
images in reverse.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
7.6 The View Menu
B/W Window
Use this command to open a b/w display window.
Color Window
Use this command to open a color display window.
Convert Control BW
switch tab/histogram
hide the histogram
of original data
of original data
The user can influence how the 14 bit intensity values (x-axis) of the original
image are converted into 8 bit values (y-axis) in different ways.
Green sliders in histogram
- left slider = 'Min' controller (corresponds to value "0" of the 8 bit display)
Values below that mark are set to "0", i.e. displayed as black.
- right slider = 'Max' controller (corresponds to value "255")
Values above that mark are set to "255", i.e. displayed as white.
The values in-between are converted into a value between "0" and "255"
according to Contrast and Gamma settings. See the small graph, which
reflects the calculation.
of converted data
How the Auto Range applies:
Auto Range Peak searches for the minimum and maximum 14 bit
intensity values of the image. Given these number the converter scales the
8 bit display (256) within these two values.
Auto Range Crop sets the converter to ignore the extreme intensity
values of the image and scales the display in a smaller range. Thus dark or
bright light spots, reflections, etc. are cut off.
Min/Max (Automatic) = Continuous Auto Range Crop
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
GPU Processing
In order to benefit from all of Camware’s advanced processing features, we
highly recommend a NVIDIA CUDA-enabled graphics processing unit
(GPU). AMD's ATI graphics processing units are not yet enabled, but will
follow soon.
Camware Image Processing
Pre Processing
Noise Reduction
Bayer Processing
Bayer Demosaicing
Refine Process
Chroma Blurr
Post Processing
Offset, Gain (Min/Max)
Color Correction
Saturation, Vibrance
Color Temperature, Tint, White Balance
Gamma, Contrast
enable GPU processing
‘non local means’ algorithm
Convert Control Color
This display will be shown only when you connect a color camera to one of
your channels.
The 'Recorder Browser' gives an overview of the images in the Recorder,
and helps you in an easy way to select a new current image. Simply click on
the desired image to make it the current image. It may then be viewed in the
Black/White and Color Window.
The Browser window can show up to 40 pictures per page, thus enabling
easy printing of the Browser window. You can switch between the single
pages by double clicking inside the Browser window or with the local menu
(right mouse button).
‘Skip #images’ allows for convenient overview at large numbers of images.
Multi Window
View the images of all active cameras in consecutive order in one window.
'Time' oriented means that the sequence of images depends on the
individual time stamp of each image. 'Camera number' oriented means that
the first image shown is from camera 1, then camera 2 and so on.
Embedded Image Info (only for pixelfly and sensicam models)
see Timestamp feature in chapter 6.6
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
7.7 The Window Menu
Show all windows overlapped.
Tile windows vertically or horizontally.
Arrange Icons
Rearranges all minimized topic icons on the desktop.
Close All
Close all windows.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
7.8 The Help Menu
Opens the main page of the online program help.
Search for Help on
Opens an index list for help.
This window shows program information
and contains helpful support links. In
case of a camera problem, support files
(see 7.3 Options/Misc/Logfile) may be
generated, which can be automatically
attached to the email. The support files
contain relevant hardware information,
the log files and the PCO related registry
entries. These files are moved into a ziparchive called “”, which
can be found in the application folder.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
7.9 The Local Menu
The local menu is opened by clicking the right mouse button
inside the client area of an image window.
Image Properties
Opens an information bubble with main image properties.
Camera Control
Opens the Camera Control window (see chapter 6).
Convert Control BW/Color
Opens the corresponding Convert Control windows (see 7.6).
Changes the zoom used to display the image.
Auto Range Peak/Crop
Displays the image in a predefined scaling (see 7.6).
Auto Balance Color
The white balance feature for color cameras.
Auto Exposure
Auto Exposure feature (see 7.4)
The image will be flipped before display.
The selected the image will be mirrored before display.
The image will be rotated by 90° clockwise (right) or counterclockwise (left)
before it is shown in the image window.
Line Tool
Select 'Line Tool' to show a graph, which shows the intensity of the pixels
under the red line shown in the image window. The selection of this menu
item determines the location of the first point. After this you can move the
mouse to the second point, which can be selected by a 'left click'. Now a
'Line Diagram' opens and the length of the line (unit: pixel) is shown in a
bubble and displayed in the window.
Copy To Clipboard
Copies the active image to clipboard.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
7 Camware Features
Additional Features
Setting Contrast Area by Mouse
You can control the minimum and maximum values used for the conversion
from 12 to 8 bit with the mouse. Move the mouse cursor into a region which
should be shown with maximum contrast. Press the shift and the left mouse
button. Hold down the mouse button while increasing the size of the rubber
band window with mouse moves. After releasing of the mouse button the
coordinates of the rubber band window act as a border for calculating the
minimum and maximum values.
Setting a new ROI by Mouse
In the same manner you can setup a new region of interest (see ROI in
Camera control) for the camera. You only have to press the CTRL (Strg)
button instead of the shift button. The coordinates of the rubber band
window are used for calculating a new region of interest. You can reset the
ROI to maximum by pressing the CTRL (Strg) button and the right mouse
White Balance by Mouse
In the same manner you can change the ‘white balance’. You only have to
press the CTRL (Strg) and the shift button at the same time. The pixel
values within the coordinates of the rubber band window are used for
calculating a new ‘white balance’.
For best results we recommend to use the white balance button in the
‘Convert Control Color’ (see 7.6) or the ‘Auto Balance Color’ in the Local
Menu (see 7.9) respectively.
Fold Up Window
The Convert Control windows can be minimized/folded up. Just move the
pointer over the bar and the window will unfold again.
fold up window
move pointer
over bar to unfold
Time Elapse Window
If an image is acquired with an exposure time longer than 5s, the time
elapse window will appear to show the remaining time of the current
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
Technical Data
resolution (hor x ver)
pixel size (hor x ver)
sensor format
sensor diagonal
quantum efficiency (peak)
full well capacity
dark current
image sensor
maximum dynamic
dynamic range A/D
read out noise
imaging frequency
(frame rate)
A/D conversion factor
spectral range
exposure time
e-/pixel s
e-/ count
anti-blooming factor
optical input
trigger, auxiliary signals
binning (hor x ver)
normal mode
center mode
500nm typical
full frame
23 °C typical
45 °C typical
full frame
2x2 binning
12 MHz
25 MHz
12 / 25 MHz full frame
12 / 25 MHz center
25 MHz center V4 bin
standard / binning
standard light mode
low light mode
(100 ms expos. time)
internal / external
power supply
power consumption
mechanical dimensions
(w x h x l)
ambient temperature
operating humidity
storage temperature
data interface
CE certified
1392 x 1040
800 x 600
6.45 x 6.45
16 000
24 000
typ. 5 …7 (max 10)
typ. 6 …8 (max 12)
7.3 / 13.5
11.7 / 21.6
1.0 / 1.5
290 … 1100
1 µs … 60 s
> 400
< 0.002
software / TTL
1x1 … 4x4
10 … 28 V
12 V
100 x 100 x 50
+10 … +45
10 … 80
-20 … +70
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
Mechanical Dimensions
All dimensions given in millimeter.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
Pinout of 15pin DSUB Connector
Exp Trig
Exp Acquire
do not connect
3.3VDC/10mA out
do not connect
do not connect
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
Image File Formats
There are different file formats available for saving camera images with
The “b16” 16 bit format is similar to the bmp format. However, 16 bit pixel
values are used instead of 8 bit pixel values. The 16 bit pixel values
represent "unsigned integer values", where the camera (12 bit values) sets
the higher 4 bits to zero.
The file format consists either of a "Basic Header" (6 Long-parameter) or of
an "Extended Header" (32 Long-parameter), the latter of which is optionally
for additional information. There might follow a variable comment field
(ASCII code). Finally, there is the actual data set that is saved linearly (as in
the case of BMP files).
With the exception of the first value, all parameters are "Long Integers" (4
Byte). The first 6 parameters must always exist. The rest of the parameters,
as well as the comment field, are optional.
file size
header length
image width
image height
extended header
color mode
b/w min
b/w max
b/w linlog
the first 4 byte are the characters “PCO-“
file size in byte
header size + comment filed in byte
image width in pixel
image height in pixel
-1 (true), extended header follows
0 = black/with camera, 1 = color camera
black/white LUT-setting, minimum value
black/white LUT-setting, maximum value
black/white LUT-setting,
0 = linear, 1 = logarithmic
red LUT-setting, minimum value
red LUT-setting, maximum value
green LUT-setting, minimum value
green LUT-setting, maximum value
blue LUT-setting, minimum value
blue LUT-setting, maximum value
color LUT-setting, 0 = linear, 1 = logarithmic
red min
red max
green min
green max
blue min
blue max
color linlog
internal use
Comment file in ASCII characters with variable length of 0…XX.
The length of the comment filed must be documented in the “header length” field.
16 bit pixel data
line 1, pixel 1
value of the first pixel
line 1, pixel 2
value of the second pixel
We recommend that all images should be saved first in the b16 or TIFF
format. The advantage is to have the b16 or tiff images available all the
time. You will always have the maximum 12 bit information. Please note that
not all image analysis programs can accommodate 16 bit data. The 8 bit
format saves only the information displayed on the monitor screen. The 12
bit information will be lost and cannot be displayed later.
Tag Image File Format, version 6.0 and lower. There is a 16bit monochrome
and color image format.
Windows Bitmap Format, b/w or color 8 bit format-images, which have
been saved in BMP format can be loaded later only as 8 bit images, i.e. part
of the original information (10bit, 12bit or 14bit) is lost.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
Flexible Image Transport System, Version 3.1. There is a 16 bit image
format. The NASA/Science Office of Standards and Technology (NOST) has
defined this format. Some programs use the FIT extension for this format.
16 bit format, some mathematical programs prefer ASCII data.
JPEG (named after the Joint Photographic Experts Group who created the
standard) is a commonly used method of lossy compression for
photographic images. The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing
a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality.
JPEG 2000 is a wavelet-based image compression standard and coding
system. It was created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group committee
in the year 2000 with the intention of superseding their original discrete
cosine transform-based JPEG standard (created 1992).
Audio Video Interleave is a multimedia container format introduced by
Microsoft in November 1992 as part of its Video for Windows technology.
MPEG-1, similar to JPEG, is a standard for lossy compression of video and
audio developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).
Windows Media Video (WMV) is a compressed video compression format
for several proprietary codecs developed by Microsoft. The original video
format, known as WMV, was originally designed for Internet streaming
applications, as a competitor to RealVideo.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
Service and Maintenance
The camera is designed to operate with no need of special adjustments or
periodic inspections.
Unplug the camera from any power supply before cleaning it.
Use a soft, dry cloth for cleaning the camera.
Do not use liquid cleaners or sprays.
The lens is best cleaned with pressurized air or with liquid cleaners such as
pure alcohol or with special optical cleaners that are available at high quality
photo stores.
Never use aggressive cleaning liquids such as gasoline, acetone,
spirits or nitro cleanser.
Every time the CCD window is cleaned, there is the possibility of surface
damage. Do not clean the CCD window unless it is absolutely necessary.
Be careful and avoid scratches and damage to the CCD window surface.
Use a cotton swab dipped in pure alcohol or optical cleaning liquid and
wipe only on the glass surface. Do not get any cleaning liquid on the
metallic parts such as the lens thread, because tiny detached particles may
scratch the surface.
Always store the camera with the protective cap or with a lens
mounted to avoid dust and dirt on the input window!
Camera Disposal
The camera includes electronic devices, which can contain materials
harmful to the environment. If the camera is to be discarded, please dispose
of it in an environmentally responsible manner and use recycling facilities,
where available.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
Customer Service and Trouble Shooting
If you have a question, which is not adequately addressed in this manual,
please contact PCO or your local dealer.
To speed your request, we need the following information:
• Short description of the problem
• Description of your application
• Camera settings
• Type and version of camera software being used
• Camera serial number
• Power supply serial number (pco.power)
• Operating system (PC)
• Processor type (PC)
• Memory
• Graphic card
• Graphic card setup
Please use the email options under the Help menu (see 7.8),
or go to our website:
Before sending the camera for repair, first contact your local dealer or
PCO respectively.
When shipping the camera for repair, be certain to carefully pack the
camera with proper shipping materials. If possible use the original
packaging. Use the protection cap to protect the camera on the lens thread.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
Firmware Update
Please contact our support team for further information and assistance!
mailto:[email protected]
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
Digital Camera Tools CD-ROM
You find all necessary and some additional software and drivers on the
accompanying CD. For the pco.1400 models please select “”.
For the latest versions please check our website:
Image Converter
Use the PCO file converter to
• convert 16 bit tif and b16 images
to various formats
• display file information
• show thumbnail images
Third Party Image Viewer for PCO b16 images
We recommend the free XnView (, an efficient multimedia
viewer, browser and converter. Please enable “all formats”.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
About PCO
PCO AG was founded in 1987. The company headquarters in Kelheim
employs more than 50 specialists in the development and production of
optimized, fast, sensitive camera systems for scientific applications. PCO’s
range of products includes digital camera systems featuring high dynamics,
extremely high sensitivity, high resolution, high speed, and extremely low
noise, which are sold in industrial and scientific markets all over the world.
Cameras for every point of view.
The systems produced by PCO AG are cameras and scientific measuring
instruments at the same time. Our high-tech systems are mostly the result
of manual labor: over 50 highly specialized employees handle development
and production at the Kelheim site. We deliver roughly 4.000 cameras a
year to customers all over the world. As in every cutting edge technology,
dialogue with the user is the main focus of PCO’s approach. Worldwide
representatives, in cooperation with the in-house marketing division and
technical support team, ensure that PCO camera systems are developed in
step with the individual requirements of our customers.
pco.1400 User Manual V1.00 © PCO AG, Germany
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