PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera User's Manual

PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera User's Manual
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
Release 3.2
Copyright © 2000–2004 PixeLINK. All Rights Reserved.
PixeLINK
3030 Conroy Road • Ottawa, Ontario • K1G 6C2 • Canada • Tel: (613) 247-1211 • Fax: (613) 247-2001
Email: [email protected] • Web Site: www.pixelink.com
ii
PixeLINK™ Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
Copyright Notice
Release 3.2
Copyright © 2000–2004, PixeLINK. All rights reserved.
This document contains proprietary and confidential information of PixeLINK. The contents of this document may not be copied
nor duplicated in any form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent from PixeLINK.
By purchasing this product, the Purchaser(s) and/or any subsequent legitimate owner(s) of the product, henceforth referred to as
“the Purchaser,” agree(s) to abide by the terms of this Agreement and read and recognize the following set of definitions
appertaining to the intellectual-property items and trademark references as can be found throughout this User’s Manual.
PixeLINK provides the information and data included in this document for the Purchaser’s benefit, but it is not possible for PixeLINK
to entirely verify and test all of this information in all circumstances, particularly information relating to non-PixeLINK manufactured
products. PixeLINK makes no warranties or representations relating to the quality, content, or adequacy of this information. Every
effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this manual; however, PixeLINK assumes no responsibility for any errors or
omissions in this document. PixeLINK shall not be held liable for any errors or for incidental or consequential damages in
connection with the furnishing, performance, or use of this User’s Manual or the examples herein.
PixeLINK assumes no responsibility for any damage or loss resulting from the use of this User’s Manual, loss or claims by third
parties which may arise through the use of this product, any damage or loss caused by deletion of data as a result of malfunction
or repair, or any other damage related to the use of this product or associated documentation. The information in this document is
subject to change without notice.
Definitions of Intellectual Property and Trademark Attributions
This Section is intended to ensure proper attribution and honoring of any and all trademarks and intellectual-property items in
terms of attribution to their respective owners as mentioned in this User’s Manual. The reader is encouraged to consult this
Section whenever uncertainty presents itself as to the terms, their meaning within the User's Manual, and the trademarks and
intellectual-property items they stand to identify, whether by themselves or in conjunction with other terms and items.
PixeLINK is either a trademark or a registered trademark of PixeLINK in Canada and/or other countries; IEEE is a registered
trademark or service mark of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated in the United States and/or other
countries; FireWire is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries; Microsoft, DirectShow and
Windows are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries; TIFF
is a trademark or registered trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries; TWAIN is a
trademark or registered trademark of the TWAIN Working Group in the United States and/or other countries. All other products,
brand names, company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
Definition of Terms
This Section is intended to define certain terminology used in this User’s Manual, while ensuring proper attribution and
honoring of any and all trademarks and intellectual-property items in terms of attribution to their respective owners as
mentioned in this User’s Manual.
The Purchaser shall hereby recognize the following definitions set herein, as can be found throughout this User’s Manual:
Camera shall henceforth refer to a PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera or Imaging Module; Kit shall henceforth refer to a
PixeLINK Camera Kit; API shall henceforth refer to a PixeLINK Camera Application Programming Interface; FireWire and 1394
shall henceforth refer to the IEEE 1394a interface specification; DirectShow shall henceforth refer to the Microsoft DirectShow
multimedia software; Pentium shall henceforth refer to an Intel Pentium microprocessor; Windows shall henceforth refer to a
Microsoft Windows operating system.
The above Sections set forth Terms and Conditions, compliance with which constitutes a mandatory prerequisite for owning and/or
using the product for which the manual was created. It is the Purchaser’s responsibility to ensure that the information contained
within the Sections is maintained as a part of the User’s Manual at all times—should the Purchaser discover that the page(s)
containing the Sections is (are) missing, and/or was not provided with the User's Manual, and/or become illegible, PixeLINK should
be contacted as soon as possible and the Sections requested. PixeLINK shall not be held liable for any and all copyright violations
that may ensue in relation to its products and/or the consequences of their intended and unintended usage.
January 2004
Part Number: 03623-05
Release 3.2
Copyright © 2000–2004 PixeLINK
All Rights Reserved
PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
iii
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Statement
This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device,
pursuant to part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection
against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses and can
radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may
cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference
will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or
television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is
encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:
Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.
Connect the equipment into an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver
is connected.
Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.
Properly shielded and grounded cables and connectors must be used to meet FCC emission limits.
PixeLINK is not responsible for any radio or television interference caused by using other than
recommended cables or connectors.
Unauthorized changes or modifications to the equipment could void the user’s authority to operate the
equipment.
This device complies with part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two
conditions: (1) This device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any
interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.
European Community (CE) Statement
Directives:
2001/95/EC (General Product Safety Directive)—Self-declared
89/336/EEC (EMC Directive)
Standards to which conformity is declared:
EN55024: 1998
EN55022: 1998 For Class B
EN61000-3-2: 1995
EN61000-3-3: 1995
Manufacturer’s Name and Address:
PixeLINK
3030 Conroy Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 6C2, Canada
Type of Equipment:
PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera
Model Number:
Originally tested on PL-A642; also applies to models with no
material difference, that is, PL-A641, PL-A661, PL-A662
First Year of CE Conformity:
2001 (PL-A642)
This is to certify that the PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera meets or exceeds the standards for CE
compliance per the Council Directives noted above. Pertinent testing documentation is available for
verification.
PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
Release 3.2
Copyright © 2000–2004 PixeLINK
All Rights Reserved
TABLE OF CONTENTS
iv
Table of Contents
1
2
3
4
5
Introduction
1
1.1
The PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera ................................................................ 1
1.2
Topics Covered in this Manual................................................................................. 2
1.3
System Requirements ............................................................................................. 2
1.4
OEM Customizability ............................................................................................... 3
1.5
Third-Party Applications .......................................................................................... 3
1.6
Camera Accessories................................................................................................ 3
1.7
Related PixeLINK Documentation ............................................................................ 4
Installation
5
2.1
Notes on Connecting the PixeLINK Camera .............................................................. 5
2.2
Installation Procedure............................................................................................. 6
2.2.1 Installing the FireWire Adapter Card (Desktop Computers)........................................ 6
2.2.2 Installing the PixeLINK Camera Software ................................................................. 7
2.2.3 Installing the PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera .................................................. 8
2.3
Uninstallation of the PixeLINK Camera Software....................................................... 9
Camera Hardware
10
3.1
PixeLINK Camera Hardware Overview.....................................................................10
3.2
FireWire Connectors ..............................................................................................12
3.3
Power...................................................................................................................12
3.4
Attaching Lenses and Tripods.................................................................................12
3.5
IR Filter ................................................................................................................13
PixeLINK Capture
14
4.1
Introduction ..........................................................................................................14
4.2
Camera Models .....................................................................................................14
4.3
Starting PixeLINK Capture ......................................................................................14
4.4
Using PixeLINK Capture .........................................................................................15
4.5
Viewing the Image ................................................................................................17
4.6
Adjusting the Image ..............................................................................................17
4.6.1 Selecting the Image Size........................................................................................17
4.6.2 Adjusting the Control Settings ................................................................................18
4.7
Capturing an Image...............................................................................................23
4.7.1 “Save As”..............................................................................................................23
4.7.2 “Settings” .............................................................................................................23
4.7.3 "Snapshot" / "Start"...............................................................................................27
4.8
Capturing a Video Clip ...........................................................................................27
4.9
Status Bar.............................................................................................................28
4.10
Menu Bar..............................................................................................................29
4.10.1 File Menu..............................................................................................................29
4.10.2 Options Menu........................................................................................................29
4.10.3 Tools Menu ...........................................................................................................31
4.10.4 Help Menu ............................................................................................................33
4.11
Keyboard Shortcuts ...............................................................................................36
Using the Camera with TWAIN
37
5.1
Introduction ..........................................................................................................37
5.2
Using the Camera..................................................................................................37
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PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
TABLE OF CONTENTS
5.3
Appendix A.
Appendix B.
Appendix C.
C.1
C.2
C.3
Appendix D.
D.1
D.2
v
Capturing an Image .............................................................................................. 37
Glossary
39
PixeLINK Capture Presets and Defaults
40
Troubleshooting
42
Installation Error ................................................................................................... 42
Control of a Camera by Multiple Applications .......................................................... 42
Camera Not Detected Properly by Windows ............................................................ 42
PixeLINK Imaging Module and Camera Models
44
Functional Relationship Between PixeLINK Imaging Modules and Cameras ............... 44
Relating Imaging Module Models to Camera Models ................................................ 44
TECHNICAL SUPPORT
45
INDEX
46
PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
Release 3.2
Copyright © 2000–2004 PixeLINK
All Rights Reserved
LIST OF FIGURES
vi
List of Figures
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
Figure
2.1 Installation Screen.................................................................................................................. 8
2.2 Digital Signature Not Found .................................................................................................... 8
3.1 The PixeLINK Camera ............................................................................................................10
3.2 Camera Features, Top View ...................................................................................................11
3.3 Camera Features, Bottom View ..............................................................................................11
4.1 Selecting a Camera................................................................................................................15
4.2 PixeLINK Capture Quick Reference (PL-A662 options shown) ...................................................16
4.3 The Full Field of View and the Displayed Image.......................................................................17
4.4 Exposure Controls .................................................................................................................19
4.5 Exposure Controls with “AE On” .............................................................................................19
4.6 Presets .................................................................................................................................22
4.7 Focus Meter and Status Bar ...................................................................................................22
4.8 Image Capture Controls .........................................................................................................23
4.9 Select File to Capture to.........................................................................................................24
4.10 Capture Settings..................................................................................................................25
4.11 Video Clip Capture ...............................................................................................................28
4.12 Select White Point Color.......................................................................................................30
4.13 Select File to Use as Bitmap Overlay .....................................................................................32
4.14 About PixeLINK Capture.......................................................................................................35
5.1 PixeLINK TWAIN Preview and Settings Windows .....................................................................38
List of Tables
Table
Table
Table
Table
Table
1.1
3.1
4.1
4.2
4.3
PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera Models ............................................................................ 1
Tripod Mount Selection Table. .................................................................................................12
Image Controls.......................................................................................................................18
Examples of Maximum Exposure Time, PL-A641 and PL-A642 Cameras only ..............................19
Video Preview Acceleration Settings.........................................................................................31
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PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION
PAGE 1
1
Introduction
1.1
The PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera
PixeLINK 1.3 Megapixel FireWire (IEEE 1394) Cameras offer a fast and affordable
means of viewing and capturing high quality color or monochrome images on a desktop
or laptop computer. With a single FireWire cable, the camera receives power and
communicates with the computer, providing real ease of use.
Included with each camera is PixeLINK Capture, a software package that provides
snapshot image capture and video capture button along with easy-to-use graphical
controls for adjusting the camera’s imaging parameters, such as exposure, white balance
and Region of Interest (ROI).
Images can also be captured directly into popular third-party software packages that use
TWAIN—applications such as Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop and CorelDRAW—as well
as packages that have been customized specifically for PixeLINK cameras.
Table 1.1 PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera Models
Camera Type
Cameras
Color
PL-A661
PL-A662
PL-A641
PL-A642
Monochrome
PixeLINK Imaging Modules
Most sections of this User's Guide also apply to PixeLINK Megapixel Imaging
Modules (Board-Level Cameras). See Appendix D (page 44) for more information.
PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
Release 3.2
Copyright © 2000–2004 PixeLINK
All Rights Reserved
SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION
PAGE 2
1.2
Topics Covered in this Manual
This manual describes the functionality of the PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera
hardware and the PixeLINK Capture software application.
Users should consult this manual
… before installing the Camera hardware or software
… as a guide when using PixeLINK Capture
… for tips on using the camera with TWAIN-enabled third-party software
Sections include:
Installation of the camera hardware and software—Section 2
Features of the camera hardware—Section 3
Features and operation of PixeLINK Capture—Section 4
An overview of PixeLINK Capture TWAIN compatibility—Section 5
References in the PDF version of this manual are hyperlinked for easy navigation and
access.
1.3
System Requirements
One of the following Microsoft Windows operating systems must be installed:
Windows 98 Second Edition (SE)
Windows 2000, with Service Pack 1 (SP1) installed
Windows XP, with Service Pack 1 (SP1) installed
Service Packs are available for download from the Microsoft Web Site,
http://www.microsoft.com/
Hardware requirements:
Microprocessor:
Recommended—Pentium® 4 or equivalent, 1.5 GHz
Minimum—Pentium® III or equivalent, 450 MHz
Memory:
Recommended—128 MB RAM
Minimum—64 MB RAM
Desktop resolution:
Recommended—1280 × 1024
Minimum—VGA (640 × 480)
30 MB of hard drive space
A video card with 24-bit or 32-bit True Color graphics capability, at least 8 MB of
video memory and the latest vendor driver installed
An installed FireWire OHCI compatible interface or one empty PCI slot.
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Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION
PAGE 3
Laptop Computers Only
Because of the specialized hardware configurations of laptop computers, they require
additional installation considerations:
A preinstalled FireWire Cardbus card or a built-in FireWire port
An external 12 V DC power supply—Check the connectors on the FireWire
Cardbus card or built-in FireWire port. If the connectors have six pins, the
FireWire cable may be able to supply the necessary power to the camera (refer
to the computer’s documentation for confirmation). If the connectors have four
pins, the Camera will need an external power supply.
PixeLINK provides accessory kits for both FireWire enabled laptops (product number
PL-1394-LAPTOP-ACC) and laptops without FireWire ports (product number
PL-LAPTOP-ACC). Please contact your local PixeLINK dealer for more information.
1.4
OEM Customizability
Custom applications can be created for the camera by using the PixeLINK Camera
Application Programming Interface (API). This API is available in all PixeLINK Megapixel
FireWire Camera Developer's Kits and as a standalone Software Development Kit (SDK).
Please contact your local PixeLINK product vendor for more information on pricing and
availability of PixeLINK Developer’s Kits and SDKs.
The camera can also be controlled by some Microsoft DirectShow applications.
1.5
Third-Party Applications
PixeLINK Cameras can be used with a variety of third-party applications.
Specialized Applications: Several manufacturers have designed their software
specifically to work with the unique features of PixeLINK cameras. For a current list
of these applications, visit the PixeLINK Web site at http://www.pixelink.com/.
Home and Office Applications: Many popular programs, such as Microsoft Word,
Adobe Photoshop and CorelDRAW, use a TWAIN interface to allow basic camera
control and image capture from within the application software. For more
information, See Section 5 (on page 37).
Multimedia Applications: PixeLINK cameras can be controlled by some custom
applications using Microsoft DirectShow.
1.6
Camera Accessories
Accessories such as tripod mounts, lenses, laptop accessory kits and foot-switches are
available from PixeLINK. For a current list of accessories, visit the PixeLINK Web site at
http://www.pixelink.com/ or contact your PixeLINK vendor.
PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
Release 3.2
Copyright © 2000–2004 PixeLINK
All Rights Reserved
SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION
PAGE 4
1.7
•
Related PixeLINK Documentation
PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera System Guide
This Guide provides a reference for the hardware and system properties of the
PL-A661 and PL-A662 cameras and related imaging modules (PL-A653 and PL-A654).
Users should consult this Guide …
… when mounting a camera within a system or enclosure
… before using the enhanced features of an imaging module, such as a flash or
trigger
… to gain a basic understanding of the relationship between the camera and the
operating system
Sections include:
• A description of the camera (and imaging module) hardware
• An overview of selected host software and architecture
• An explanation of Video and Still Modes
•
PixeLINK Camera API Reference, Release 3.2
This manual provides a reference for the PixeLINK Camera API and related software.
Sections include:
• Basics principles of using the PixeLINK Camera API
• A summary of the PixeLINK Camera API functions
• Descriptions of individual API functions
Release 3.2
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Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
SECTION 2: INSTALLATION
PAGE 5
2
Installation
2.1
Notes on Connecting the PixeLINK Camera
If you have never installed a FireWire device, read these guidelines before
connecting the PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera.
•
Install the software before connecting the camera for the first time.
•
You do not need to power down the computer to connect or disconnect a FireWire
device, nor do you need to reboot after this is done.
•
Do not make more than one connection between the camera and the computer. If
you duplicate a connection, the equipment will not be able to communicate properly
and the system may crash.
•
If you connect more than two FireWire devices, make sure that you do not create a
functional loop. This will have the same consequences as making a duplicate
connection between a single camera and the computer. For example, if you connect
device A to device B and device B to device C, you should not connect device A
directly to device C. [Note that PixeLINK Capture will not control multiple cameras
through a single control window. Other FireWire devices can be used at the same
time as the camera, up to the capacity of the FireWire bus.]
•
The computer’s FireWire bus can supply power to the camera if the computer has a
six-pin FireWire connector and the total power demand on the bus does not exceed
the bus capacity. Note that some laptops have four-pin FireWire connectors; these
do not provide power to the camera from the computer. An external power supply
can be connected to the FireWire bus.
Note:
Do not connect the camera before the camera software is installed, or the
software will not install correctly.
PixeLINK
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User’s Manual
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SECTION 2: INSTALLATION
PAGE 6
2.2
Installation Procedure
The Kit is installed in this order:
1. FireWire Adapter Card (if required)—page 6
2. PixeLINK Camera Software—page 7
3. PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera—page 8
The entire procedure should take only a few minutes. To avoid problems, please read all
instructions before you start.
2.2.1
Installing the FireWire Adapter Card (Desktop Computers)
Note:
For Laptops that do not have FireWire capability, use the PixeLINK
Accessory PL-LAPTOP-ACC.
An OHCI PCI FireWire (IEEE 1394) adapter card is included in each PixeLINK Megapixel
FireWire Camera Kit. If your desktop computer already has a FireWire connector,
proceed to Section 2.2.2 (on page 7); otherwise, follow the directions below.
1)
Shut down Windows: Click the Windows Start button, then select Shut Down.
From the list of options, select “Shut Down”.
2)
When the computer has powered down, disconnect the power cord, keyboard,
mouse and monitor.
3)
Ground yourself by touching some grounded metal, using an antistatic mat,
grounding cord or other grounding device, then open the cover of the computer.
4)
Locate an available PCI slot and remove the corresponding slot cover (if present)
located at the back of the chassis.
5)
Insert the card into the selected PCI slot. Make
sure that the card is fitted securely. Replace the
cover screw to ground the card firmly to the PC
chassis.
6)
Replace the cover. Reconnect the keyboard,
mouse, monitor and power cord. Plug in the
power and switch on the computer
7)
Windows 2000 and XP only: Login to the computer, using an account with
administrator privileges.
8)
Windows will automatically detect the card and run the "Add New Hardware
Wizard". This wizard will search for a "Texas Instruments OHCI Compliant IEEE
1394 Host Controller". Click Next.
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SECTION 2: INSTALLATION
PAGE 7
9)
Select Search for the best driver for your device. Click Next.
10)
The wizard will then ask for locations to search for the drivers. Clear all of the
check boxes and click Next.
11)
When asked “What do you want to install?” select The updated driver. Click
Next.
12)
When the wizard finds the driver, check that the driver location is <Windows
path>\inf\1394.inf, where <Windows path> is the location of your Windows
program files. Click Next.
If the wizard does not find the driver, it will need to be installed from your
Windows CD. When prompted, insert the Windows CD and click OK. Note that
if you click too quickly, Windows will not be able to find the driver and it will ask
you to browse to find it. Find the driver, select it and continue with the
installation.
13)
Click Finish to complete the installation of the card.
14)
Proceed to Section 2.2.2 (below) to complete the installation of the Kit.
2.2.2
Installing the PixeLINK Camera Software
Windows 2000 and XP only: To install or uninstall a PixeLINK Camera Kit, you
must be logged in to an account with administrator privileges. This is not required
for usage of the camera. Contact your system administrator for details.
1)
Exit all applications.
2)
Load the PixeLINK software. Either:
• Insert the PixeLINK CD, or
• Download the PixeLINK camera software from http://support.pixelink.com/.
3)
The interactive installation program will run automatically (see Figure 2.1, on
page 8). Click Install This Product to install the software.
4)
Follow the instructions as they appear.
Note:
If you receive a message that the Microsoft digital signature was not
found (see Figure 2.2, on page 8), click Yes. This will not affect the
performance of the software or camera.
PixeLINK
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User’s Manual
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SECTION 2: INSTALLATION
PAGE 8
Figure 2.1 Installation Screen
Figure 2.2 Digital Signature Not Found
2.2.3
Installing the PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera
Because the camera uses a FireWire bus, the computer does not need to be switched off
during camera connection or disconnection.
1)
Login to the computer, if necessary. (Windows 2000 and XP only:
Administrator privileges are required for the first connection of a camera
(“initialization”).)
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SECTION 2: INSTALLATION
2)
PAGE 9
Connect the FireWire cable to the camera and the computer’s FireWire port. You
may use any available FireWire port on the computer or on the camera for the
installation. The operating system will detect the connection automatically.
Note:
• If Windows runs the "Add New Hardware Wizard" after you plug in
the Camera, you are probably running Windows 98 First Edition. Cancel the
current installation and install one of the supported Windows operating systems
listed in Section 1.3 (on page 2).
• If you receive a message that the Microsoft digital signature was not
found (see Figure 2.2, on page 8), click Yes.
3)
Windows will load the driver for the camera. (This driver was installed at the
same time as the PixeLINK camera software.) You might need to wait a few
seconds while Windows builds a driver information database.
Windows 2000 and XP only:
2.3
4)
Run the PixeLINK applications (PixeLINK Capture and PL-A6xx Application
(Developer’s Kits only)) briefly before logging out. This will ensure
initialization of the programs. It is not necessary to run them under
administrator privileges during subsequent sessions. For more information,
see Section 3.5 (on page 13).
5)
If you have more than one camera, initialize all of them while still using
Administrator privileges. Detach the FireWire cable from the current camera
and connect it to an uninitialized one. Repeat as required. Administrator
privileges are not required for subsequent use of a camera.
Uninstallation of the PixeLINK Camera Software
1)
Exit all applications.
2)
In Windows: Click Start, then select Programs
PixeLINK
the path selected in the installation procedure, if it is different).
3)
Select the Uninstallation option for the software and follow the instructions given.
PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
PL-A6xx (or
Release 3.2
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SECTION 3: CAMERA HARDWARE
PAGE 10
3
Camera Hardware
3.1
PixeLINK Camera Hardware Overview
Figure 3.1 The PixeLINK Camera
Camera Features:
1.3 Megapixel imager resolution (1280 × 1024)
8/10-bit RGB (color) or monochrome pixels
Integrated infra-red (IR) filter over the image sensor
Two FireWire connectors
Lens mount for a standard C-mount lens (1" × 32 tpi) [lens not included]
Mounting holes for a tripod or other mounting fixture (4–40 screws)
See Figure 3.2 and Figure 3.3 (on page 11) for locations of hardware features. Note that
outlines of the PL-A661 and PL-A662 cameras are shown in these figures; PL-A641 and
PL-A642 cameras differ in the configuration of the C-mount and infra-red (IR) filter.
Detailed drawings including dimensions are provided in the PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire
Camera Systems Guide: PL-A630 to PL-A660 Series Cameras.
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PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
SECTION 3: CAMERA HARDWARE
PAGE 11
Figure 3.2 Camera Features, Top View
Figure 3.3 Camera Features, Bottom View
PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
Release 3.2
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SECTION 3: CAMERA HARDWARE
PAGE 12
3.2
FireWire Connectors
Each PixeLINK camera has two FireWire connectors (ports), allowing several FireWire
devices to be daisy-chained.
The number of devices that may be managed
simultaneously depends on the total bandwidth and may be limited by the processing
capabilities of the host computer. [Note that PixeLINK Capture will control only one
camera at once.]
3.3
Power
The computer’s FireWire bus can supply power to the camera if the computer has a sixpin FireWire connector and the total power demand on the bus does not exceed the bus
capacity. Some systems—such as laptop computers or those with several FireWire
devices daisy-chained—require an external 12 V supply to power the camera.
An external power supply can be connected to the FireWire bus. (Imaging modules are
also capable of having an external power supply attached directly to a power header.)
3.4
Attaching Lenses and Tripods
The camera can be fitted with a standard C-mount lens or attached to a microscope with
a suitable coupler. Simply attach the lens or connect to the microscope using the
threaded lens mount indicated in Figure 3.2 on page 11.
The back of the camera has three 4–40 screw holes for the attachment of a mounting
fixture such as a tripod.
PixeLINK offers custom mounting fixtures for attaching a tripod with a standard ¼–20
screw threading at a 90° angle to the Camera. The tripod mounts are specific to the type
of camera.
Table 3.1 Tripod Mount Selection Table.
For this camera …
PL-A641, PL-642
PL-A661, PL-662
PL-A633, PL-634
PL-A653, PL-654
Use this tripod mount:
PL-640/660-CAMERA 1/4-20 MOUNT
PL-MODULE 1/4-20 MOUNT
For more information, contact your PixeLINK vendor or visit the PixeLINK Web site at
http://www.pixelink.com/.
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3.5
PAGE 13
IR Filter
The camera is fitted with an integrated IR filter.
Minor Cleaning of the IR Filter
1. Carefully apply puffs of dry, compressed air to move particles off the center of the
glass.
2. Remove oils with a swab moistened with reagent-grade isopropyl alcohol. The swab
should be damp but not dripping.
!
Caution:
Do not use acetone to clean the IR filter.
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4
PixeLINK Capture
4.1
Introduction
PixeLINK Capture is a real-time, interactive application for the PixeLINK Megapixel
FireWire Camera. Functions include:
Viewing a video image
Adjusting and setting imaging parameters
Capturing images and storing them as bitmap, TIFF, JPEG or raw image data files
Capturing AVI video clips
“What You See Is What You Get”
PixeLINK Capture works by streaming real-time, high-quality video to a preview
window in which the image size, color and exposure can be adjusted interactively
through an easy-to-use control window prior to image capture.
For the advanced user, PixeLINK Capture also offers options of more complex image
enhancements as the picture is being captured to disk, such as calculations that involve
several sequential frames.
4.2
Camera Models
Because PixeLINK Capture is backward-compatible, it works with all PixeLINK Megapixel
FireWire camera models PL-A631 though PL-A662. Options applicable to specific camera
types or models are noted.
4.3
Starting PixeLINK Capture
To launch PixeLINK Capture from Windows:
Click Start, then select Programs PixeLINK PL-A6xx
(or the path selected in the installation procedure).
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If only one camera is connected, PixeLINK Capture will select it automatically. If more
than one is connected, the program offers a list of available cameras (see Figure 4.1,
below). Select a camera from the list.
(Because a camera can be controlled by only one application at a time, any cameras that
are already in use by other applications are ignored.)
Figure 4.1 Selecting a Camera
When you first start PixeLINK Capture, the application opens a control window and a
preview window showing a 640 × 480 image.
Note:
PixeLINK Capture launches with the control settings that were in use when it (or the
PixeLINK Capture TWAIN interface) was last closed.
4.4
Using PixeLINK Capture
PixeLINK Capture allows the quick and easy adjustment and capture of digital images.
The most frequently used functions are easily accessible in the PixeLINK Capture control
window. These functions perform three major tasks:
Viewing the image (turning the preview image on and off)
•
See Section 4.5 on page 17
Adjusting the image properties, including applying and managing settings and presets
•
See Section 4.6 on page 17
Capturing a still image or video clip
• Still images—See Section 4.7 on page 23
• Video clips—See Section 4.8 on page 27
Figure 4.2 (on page 16) provides a quick reference for the functions in the control
window. Additional functions and options are available through the menu bar (see
Section 4.10 on page 29).
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Basic Procedure for Adjusting and Capturing a Still Image:
1) Adjust the exposure (near the top of the control window)
2) Correct the white balance or gain (middle of the window)
3) Capture the image (buttons on the bottom of the window)
/
Select Image Size
Stop/Start Video
•
•
•
320 × 240
640 × 480
640 × 512 (Full FOV)
•
•
•
800 × 600
1024 × 768
1280 × 1024
Set White Balance (Cool/Blue to
Warm/Red)
— Manually
— Based on Region
PL-A632, PL-A634
PL-A642 only
— Automatically
Set Exposure Time (ms)
— Manually
— Automatically
— Continuous Auto
(AE On)
Not Shown (Monochrome only)
Set Gain (Brightness, Dark to Light)
Store Camera Settings
To store settings, click Save
and create a setting name.
To apply settings, select from
the drop-down list
Set Saturation (Mono/0
to Full color/1.99)
Focus
Black vertical bar = Best recent focus
level
Red horizontal bar = Current focus level
Manually adjust the focus until the red bar
reaches the black bar.
Set Gamma (0.01 to 2.00)
To Capture Images
1
2
3
1 “Save As …”—Specify a name, location and type for the image file.
2 “Settings …”—Select the Capture Settings Options.
3 “Snapshot”/"Start"—Capture single/multiple image(s).
Figure 4.2 PixeLINK Capture Quick Reference (PL-A662 options shown)
Note:
• Not all options are available on all cameras. Figures show options for the
PL-A662 color camera/PL-A654 color imaging module.
• A camera can be controlled by only one application at a time
• PixeLINK Capture can control only one camera at a time.
• Other FireWire devices can be used at the same time as the camera, up to the
capacity of the FireWire bus. If you need to make multiple FireWire connections,
refer to Section 2.1 (on page 5) for guidelines.
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PAGE 17
Viewing the Image
/
Stop/Start Video (Toggle Button)
Click to Stop or Start the video display in the preview window.
The preview window opens when the video display is started and closes when the video
display is stopped. By default, the preview window is the same size as the image.
4.6
Adjusting the Image
4.6.1
Selecting the Image Size
The full field of view (FFOV) of the camera is 1280 × 1024 pixels. The image can be all
of this area or a selected portion of it, as shown in Figure 4.3, below.
(0,0)
(1280, 0)
Portion
displayed in
the preview
window
Full Field of View
(0, 1024)
(1280, 1024)
Figure 4.3 The Full Field of View and the Displayed Image
To select the image size: From the Size drop-down list, select the desired image size,
in pixels:
•
•
•
320 × 240
640 × 480
640 × 512 (Full FOV)
•
•
•
800 × 600
1024 × 768
1280 × 1024
To display the full field of view (FFOV), select:
• 640 × 512 (FFOV)—Display at quarter resolution (and a higher frame rate)
• 1280 × 1024—Display at normal resolution
All other settings represent a portion of the full field of view (see Figure 4.3, above).
Default: 640 × 480.
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To reposition the image in the full field of view: Go to the Options menu and
select Set Subwindow Position (see page 29). The current image location appears as
a red frame superimposed on the full field of view. Drag the frame to reposition the
image (subwindow), then click to set the new location. This simulates a digital pan-tilt
function.
This option is not available when the image size is 640 × 512 (Full FOV) or 1280 × 1024,
since these resolutions represent the full field of view.
Image size versus preview window size: By default, the preview window is the
same size as the image. However, the preview window can be resized using the usual
Microsoft window handles or by clicking its Maximize icon. This does not affect the
dimensions of the image generated by the camera, so resizing the preview window can
distort the appearance of the image or make it look pixilated (that is, it can look boxy,
chunky or jagged). It can also slow down the performance of the system. Resizing the
window has no effect on captured images.
To reset the preview window to the same size as the image, go to the Options menu and
select Reset Preview Window.
4.6.2
Adjusting the Control Settings
Table 4.1 Image Controls
Parameter
Camera Type
Mono.
Color
Exposure
AE On
White Balance
Gain (not shown)
Saturation
Gamma
4.6.2.1
Range
Min
Max
0 ms
Darker (1% sat.)
Cool (blue)
0.69
PL-A662: Mono (0)
PL-A642: Less color (0)
0.01
PL-A661/PL-A662: 300 ms
PL-A641/PL-A642: See Section 4.6.2.1 (p. 18)
Lighter (20% sat.)
Warm (red)
2.74
PL-A662: Full color (1.99)
PL-A642: Full color (1.99)
2.00
Exposure
(Refer to Figure 4.4 on page 19.) Increase or decrease the exposure time (in
milliseconds) by moving the Exposure slider or by entering the exposure time in the box
below the slider. (Default: PL-A661 and PL-A662 —50 ms; PL-A641 and PL-A642—25
ms). Valid values range from 0 ms to 300 ms for PL-A661 and PL-A662 cameras. The
maximum exposure time for PL-A641 and PL-A642 cameras depends on the size of the
image and the acceleration setting applied (see “Set Video Preview Acceleration to”, on
page 31). For these cameras, the maximum exposure time increases when the image
size is increased and acceleration is not applied (see Table 4.2, below).
A red triangle above the slider (shown in Figure 4.4, on page 19) appears for
PL-A661 and PL-A662 Cameras only. It indicates the maximum exposure time that can
be used without reducing the frame rate under the current settings.
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Table 4.2 Examples of Maximum Exposure Time, PL-A641 and PL-A642 Cameras only
Video Preview Acceleration Setting
Accelerated
Standard
Moderate
(24 MHz)
(16 MHz)
(12 MHz)
Image Size
640 × 480
33.3 ms
50.0 ms
66.6 ms
1280 × 1024
71.0 ms
106.5 ms
142.0 ms
Figure 4.4 Exposure Controls
Auto Exposure: Click Auto to set the exposure time automatically. PixeLINK Capture
adjusts the exposure time to improve the image intensity for viewing. This option is
available only while the video display is running.
AE On (Continuous Auto Exposure): Select AE On to adjust the exposure time
automatically to accommodate continuous changes in the video stream. This control is
similar to automatic gain control in analog cameras. This option is not available for
PL-A641 and PL-A642 Cameras.
Figure 4.5 Exposure Controls with “AE On”
As shown in Figure 4.5 (above), when AE On is selected, the exposure slider changes
from a time scale to an indicator of light intensity ranging from Darker to Lighter, and the
box below the slider indicates the percentage of saturation to be applied (valid values
range from 1 to 20%). Default: Off. This option is available only while the video display
is running.
Occasionally, due to certain lighting conditions and subject size compared with the
amount of background illumination, the exposure may cycle from too bright to too dark.
If this occurs, reduce the amount of background in the image by moving the subject,
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adjust the exposure slider to another value, or adjust the lens iris or microscope light
levels (if applicable).
Of special interest to microscopists: Continuous Auto Exposure is particularly
useful when viewing and capturing images with a variety of microscope objectives.
•
Setting the exposure slider to Darker (or 1%) typically gives good results for
bright field microscopy.
•
The exposure control ignores rapid changes in intensity (from bright to very dark)
for approximately three seconds, allowing the microscope operator plenty of time
to switch objectives.
•
When the light intensity is detectable again, the exposure control function
resumes. Typically, the correct exposure should be attained in less than one
second after the objective has been changed.
•
If the objective is covered or the illumination is turned off for more than three
seconds, the camera will attempt to use a longer exposure time. When the light
is turned back on, it can take up to four seconds for the camera to reset the
exposure.
4.6.2.2
White Balance (Color Cameras only)
About White Balance
White Balance is the ability of the camera to interpret the color of an object that is
illuminated with a particular type of light. Some light sources, such as sunlight or
florescent light, cast slightly colored hues
Recommendation: Adjust the image exposure and correctly set the light source type
(page 30) before performing a white balance.
Manual White Balance: Adjust the color levels of the image toward the Cool (more
blue) or Warm (more red) ends of the spectrum by moving the White Balance slider.
Default: Midpoint.
Automatic White Balance: Click Auto to calculate and set the white balance based
on the color content of the current image. This function detects portions of the image
that should be white (or light gray) but might be slightly off-colored. It then adjusts the
color balance of the entire image to optimize the colours of the image compared to those
seen by the human eye.. This option is available only while the video display is running.
For the PL-A662 camera, the Automatic White Balance function adjusts the colors based
on portions of the scene that are near-white. This gives a more accurate color balance.
To ensure that the colors can be balanced correctly, a small portion of the image should
be near-white.
For the PL-A642 camera, the Automatic White Balance function adjusts the colors based
on the average color of the entire scene. To ensure that the colors can be balanced
correctly, the entire image should be near-white when performing a white balance.
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Of special interest to microscopists:
•
In brightfield microscopy using transmitted light, if the background illumination is
visible, there is often enough of this illumination for an accurate color balance. If
the sample completely fills the image, move the sample to allow a small amount
of background illumination to show in the image. Otherwise, the automatic
white balance will not yield accurate results.
•
In reflected light microscopy, a small portion of the scene must be white for the
automatic white balance to be accurate. Place a piece of white paper in the field
of view when performing the white balance if there is no white present.
Manual White Point Selection: The “white point” is the off-white color that appears
where the image should be white. This color can be imparted for a number of reasons.
If this color can be readily identified visually, it can be selected manually for the white
balance function: Go to the Options menu and select Set White Point. (See page 30
for more information.)
Area White Balance: For the PL-A641 camera only: To calculate and set the color
levels of the entire image according the levels present in a small area, click the
“Area White Balance” button (shown at left) then click and drag the mouse in
the preview window to define the area. Recommended areas have an even
coloration consisting of light or gray pixels. This option is available only while
the video display is running.
4.6.2.3
Gain (Monochrome Cameras only)
Make the video stream appear darker or lighter by moving the Gain slider or entering a
value in the box at the end of the slider bar. Valid values range from 0.69 (dark) to 2.74
(light). Default: PL-A661 camera—1.0; PL-A641 camera—2.0
For monochrome cameras, this slider appears in place of the White Balance controls
shown in Figure 4.2 (on page 16).
4.6.2.4
Saturation (Color Cameras only)
Increase or decrease the saturation value by moving the Saturation slider or entering a
value in the box at the end of the slider bar. Valid values range from Mono/Less color
(PL-A662/PL-A642 cameras, respectively) (0) to Full color (1.99). Default: PL-A662
camera—0.76; PL-A642 camera —0.55.
Tip: To view a fully monochrome preview image with a PL-A642 camera, go to the
Options menu and select Set Preview Window, then choose Monochrome (see page
31).
4.6.2.5
Gamma
Increase or decrease the gamma correction value by moving the Gamma slider or
entering a value in the box at the end of the slider bar. Valid values range from 0.01 to
2.00. To turn off gamma correction, enter a value of 1. Default: 0.85.
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4.6.2.6
Presets
“Presets” are custom configurations of PixeLINK Capture settings. When a preset is
applied, the PixeLINK Capture controls change to the values stored in that preset. See
Figure 4.6, below.
Figure 4.6 Presets
Create a preset: With PixeLINK Capture settings adjusted as desired, click Save.
Specify a name for the preset and click OK.
Apply a preset:
Select the desired preset from the drop-down list. The factory
default settings can be applied by selecting Default.
Delete a preset: Go to the File menu and select Delete Presets. Choose the
preset to be deleted and click Delete.
Presets are shared with the PixeLINK Capture TWAIN interface (see Section 5, on page 37).
PixeLINK Capture launches with the control settings that were in use when it (or the
PixeLINK Capture TWAIN interface) was last closed.
4.6.2.7
Focus Meter
Of special interest to microscopists:
For scenes that have a shallow depth of field, such as microscope slides, the Focus
Meter located at the bottom of the PixeLINK Capture control window gives a general
indication of the quality of the current image focus level as compared to the focus
level of previous images. Use the Focus Meter to assist in manual focusing of the
image.
As shown in Figure 4.7 (below), the black vertical bar shows the best focus achieved
in recent images. The red horizontal bar shows the current focus level. To use the
Focus Meter for manual focus, slowly sweep the focal plane of the image from too
close to too far, and then adjust the focus until the red bar reaches the black bar.
Figure 4.7 Focus Meter and Status Bar
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To minimize the impact of the focus meter on the host processor, the focus meter only
measures differences in the contrast of vertical lines in the image. Images with only
horizontal lines or features may cause the focus meter to show erroneous indications.
Switching off the Focus Meter: To reduce the demand on the computer’s processor,
switch off the Focus Meter: Go to the Tools menu and deselect Enable Focus Meter.
4.7
Capturing an Image
Near the bottom of the PixeLINK Capture control window are the three buttons needed
to capture an image (see Figure 4.8, page below). Apply them in this order:
1. “Save As”—Specify a name, location and type for the image file (page 23).
2. “Settings”—Select the Capture Settings Options (page 23)
3. “Snapshot” / "Start"—Capture single/multiple image(s) (page 27).
Figure 4.8 Image Capture Controls
4.7.1
“Save As”
Click Save As, then specify a name, location and type for the image file (see Figure 4.9,
on page 24).
Four file types are available:
•
•
Windows Bitmaps (*.bmp) [default]
Tagged Image File Format (*.tif)
•
•
Raw data (*.raw)
JPEG File Format (*.jpg)
Click Save.
4.7.2
“Settings”
Click Settings to display the Capture Settings options shown in Figure 4.10 (on page
25). Select the desired options, described below. When finished, click Close.
Options:
Auto Increment File Name
Add a four-digit suffix to the file name and automatically increment the suffix
each time an image is captured (single or multiple frame capture).
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Figure 4.9 Select File to Capture to
Preview Image After Capture
Automatically display a captured image in a new, static window immediately after
capture.
Capture Full Frame (1280 × 1024)
Capture a full-frame image, regardless of the size of the preview image or the
location of the preview image in the full field of view.
Apply Overlay On Captured Images
Add a bitmap, such as a company logo or a timestamp, to the captured images.
To specify the bitmap location, go to the Tools menu and select Set Bitmap
Overlay (see page 32).
Selecting this option does not superimpose the bitmap overlay on the preview
window. To do this, go to the Tools menu and select Apply Overlay to Image
Preview (see page 31).
This option does not apply to images captured in JPEG (.jpg) format.
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Figure 4.10 Capture Settings
About Bitmap Overlay Images:
•
The bitmap must be a .bmp file in 24-bit RGB format.
•
The overlay image is placed in the upper left corner of the frame.
•
Any white areas (RGB 255,255,255) in the overlay image are treated as
transparent; that is, the preview image will show through them.
•
An overlay image will not be resized if the size of the preview image is changed.
However, if the PixeLINK logo supplied with PixeLINK Capture is used as the
overlay image, the application will replace the current overlay image with one
that is appropriately sized for the new preview image. User-defined overlay
images can be customized for each preview image size by using the same file
naming conventions as indicated in Figure 4.13 (on page 32).
Save Images With 10 Bits/Pixel
If the “Save As” file type is .tif or .raw, select this option to save the image in a
10-bits-per-pixel format. Otherwise, it will be saved in an 8-bits-per-pixel format.
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Image Enhancement
Histogram Stretch—This option improves the contrast of “muddy” images by:
1. Detecting the minimum and maximum pixel values in the input image,
2. Calculating a linear conversion that maps the minimum intensity value to
full black and the maximum intensity value to full white, and
3. Creating an enhanced image by converting all of the pixels of the input
image accordingly.
This has the effect of stretching out the pixel values to the widest possible
range, thereby increasing contrast in the image.
Multiple Frame Capture—This option allows the image to be enhanced by using
data from several sequential images. To be effective, image enhancements
involving multiple frame capture require that the subject be as still as possible
for the duration of the image capture.
If Multiple Frame Capture is selected, choose Sum or Average and the
number of frames to process.
Sum—Brighten and enhance contrast in an image taken in a dark
environment by adding the pixel values in several frames.
Average—Reduce the effects of noise in the image by averaging the pixel
values over several frames.
Number of Frames—Enter the number of frames to Sum or Average.
Valid values range from 1 to 99 frames.
Note:
Unlike other PixeLINK Capture settings, the effects of Image
Enhancement options are not viewable in the preview window. The
calculations required for these advanced functions would slow down a
real-time video preview. Instead, they are performed as the image is
captured to disk.
Time Lapse Capture
Enable Time Lapse—Select to capture a series of still frames.
When this option is selected, Auto Increment File Name is selected
automatically, allowing captured images to be stored in sequentially
numbered files.
To allow new time-lapse image to overwrite the previous image, deselect
Auto Increment File Name before capture. This feature may be useful
with a program that repeatedly polls a specific image file, such as a webcam
script.
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Auto Exposure Before Each Frame Capture—Select to apply Auto Exposure to
each frame individually in a time-lapse capture. This is useful when lighting
conditions will change during the period of time-lapse capture.
Capture One Frame Every—Enter the time period between captured frames
(minimum of 1 second, maximum of 1000 hours) and select a unit of time
(seconds, minutes or hours).
For—Enter the total time to run the capture (minimum of 1 second,
maximum of 1000 hours) and select a unit of time (seconds, minutes or
hours).
Note:
Latencies (delays) inherent in the computer system can cause variations
in the time periods between time-lapse captured frames.
4.7.3
"Snapshot" / "Start"
The button located at the bottom right of the control window is context-sensitive
depending on whether a single frame or a multiple frame image capture has been
specified.
“Snapshot”—Single Frame Capture
Click to save an image in the location specified in “Save As” (on page 23). If
Auto Increment File Name was selected in “Settings” (on page 23), the file
suffix will increment by one.
“Start”—Multiple Frame Capture
Click to save multiple images (or a repeatedly refreshed single image) in the
location specified in “Save As” (on page 23), according to the time options
specified in “Settings” (on page 23).
To switch the Snapshot sound on or off, go to the Options menu and select or deselect
Sounds.
4.8
Capturing a Video Clip
In addition to capturing still images as snapshots of the preview window, PixeLINK
Capture can capture AVI-format clips from the preview window video stream.
To capture a video clip:
1. Go to the File menu and select Capture AVI. This opens the Video Clip Capture
box (Figure 4.11, on page 28).
2. Specify the AVI filename, and either specify the number of frames to capture or
select Capture frames until told to stop. Note that the video data is not
compressed, so, depending on the number of frames captured, the AVI file could
be large.
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3. Click Start Clip Capture.
To stop a video clip capture already in progress:
Click Stop Clip Capture.
Figure 4.11 Video Clip Capture
About Video Clip Capture:
4.9
•
The capture process is performed in two stages:
In the first stage, raw video data is stored to disk in a temporary file as it
arrives from the camera.
Once the capture is complete, the temporary file is converted to AVI format.
•
No compression is performed in this process so image file sizes can be large.
•
The capture process will not start if there is insufficient disk space on the
computer to store the final results.
•
There is no capability within PixeLINK Capture to play back the AVI file. A thirdparty application will be required to do this.
Status Bar
The status bar runs along the bottom of the PixeLINK Capture control window (as shown
in Figure 4.7, on page 22). The name of the current capture file is shown on the left,
and the actual acquisition frame rate is reported on the right (provided that the preview
window is running). The frame rate is given in frames per second (fps). Note that the
actual frame rate displayed by the preview window depends on the system capabilities,
so for slower computers, the actual (displayed) frame rate may be less than the
theoretical maximum.
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4.10.1
PAGE 29
Menu Bar
File Menu
Save Capture File As
Set the name, location and type of the image capture file. This is the same
as clicking Save As in the control window. For more information, refer to
page 23.
Capture Settings
Change the image capture settings. This is the same as clicking Settings in
the control window. For more information, refer to page 23.
Capture
Capture a still image or images. This is the same as clicking Snapshot or
Start in the control window. For more information, refer to page 27.
Capture AVI …
Capture a video clip in AVI format. Select this option to specify the name of
the AVI file and the number of frames to be captured in the clip, and start the
clip capture. For more information, see Section 4.8 on page 27.
Delete Presets
Remove old or unused presets from list of available presets. For more
information about creating, applying and deleting presets, refer to page 22.
Exit
Shut down PixeLINK Capture.
4.10.2
Options Menu
Set Subwindow Position
Reposition the image within the full field of view. The current image location
(that is, the subwindow) appears as a red frame superimposed on the full
field of view from the camera. Drag the frame to reposition the image, then
release the mouse button to set the new location. (See Figure 4.3 on page
17.) Default: Center.
Moving the image in this fashion simulates a digital pan-tilt function.
This option is not available when the selected image size is 640 × 512 (Full
FOV) or 1280 × 1024, since these resolutions represent the full field of view.
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Set Light Source (Color Cameras only)
Correct image color according to the lighting conditions. Select the option
that most closely approximates the lighting conditions. Options are:
Incandescent,
Fluorescent
1,
Fluorescent
2,
Outdoors.
Default: Incandescent.
“Set Light Source” is independent of white balance correction. The light
source option is applied to the raw image data during translation of the data
to the correct format for display and capture (that is, RGB format). White
balance is applied after this translation.
Set Flip Mode
Reverse the image horizontally (“Horizontal Flip”), vertically (“Vertical Flip”) or
both. Default: Both off.
To rotate the image by 180 degrees, select both horizontal and vertical flip.
Set White Point (Color Cameras only)
Select an off-white shade to be corrected to white in the White Balance.
In “true” white, the colors red, green and blue are present in equal intensities
and at their maximum values. In an off-white shade, the intensities of these
colors are not equal, or are equal but not at maximum (that is, gray).
Manually selecting an off-white shade for the white point allows the red,
green and blue intensities to be specified with greater precision for the White
Balance color correction. (For more information about White Balance, refer
to Section 4.6.2.2 on page 20.)
On the displayed color bar (see Figure 4.12, below), the current white point
color is indicated by a red rectangle. The rectangle with the “W” has a lightgray background color with all three RGB components of equal intensity.
Default: Light Gray (RGB 242,242,242).
To select a new white point, click one of the color swatch boxes. Click
Okay to save the selection.
Figure 4.12 Select White Point Color
Restore Camera Defaults
Restore PixeLINK Capture to its default settings. See Appendix B (on page
40) for more information.
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SECTION 4: PIXELINK CAPTURE
PAGE 31
Set Preview Window to (PL-A642 Cameras only)
Select a Color or Monochrome display for the video preview. Since the
Saturation function in the control window does not remove all color for the
PL-A642 camera, use this option to view a fully monochrome preview image
with this model (see Section 4.6.2.4, on page 21). Default: Color.
Set Video Preview Acceleration to
Adjust the frame rate of the video preview by increasing or decreasing the
camera’s clock speed according to the settings shown in Table 4.3 (below).
On older computers, color bands may appear in the preview image due to
data lost as the computer tries to keep up with the higher speed of the
camera. To remove these bands, reduce the video preview acceleration rate.
Table 4.3 Video Preview Acceleration Settings
Clock Speed
Setting
Accelerated
Standard
Moderate
PL-A661 and
PL-A662 Cameras
16 MHz
12 MHz
8 MHz
PL-A641 and
PL-A642 Cameras
24 MHz
16 MHz
12 MHz
Reset Preview Window
Restore the preview window to its default location and reset the preview
window dimensions to correspond to the image size.
By default, the preview window is the same size as the image. However, the
preview window can be resized using the usual Microsoft window handles or
by clicking its Maximize icon. This does not affect the dimensions of the
image generated by the camera, so resizing the preview window can distort
the appearance of the image or make it look pixilated (that is, it can look
boxy, chunky or jagged). It can also slow down the performance of the
system. Resizing the window has no effect on captured images.
For more information about default values, see Appendix B (on page 40).
Sounds
Switch the Snapshot sound on or off. Default: On
Always On Top
Change the float setting of the control window. When this is switched on, the
control window remains on top of other windows on the computer desktop;
otherwise, other windows can overlap it. Default: Off.
4.10.3
Tools Menu
Apply Overlay to Image Preview
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Superimpose a bitmap, such as a company logo or a timestamp, on the
preview window. To specify the filename and location of the bitmap, use
“Set Bitmap Overlay” (also in the Tools menu—see below).
Selecting this option does not superimpose the bitmap overlay on captured
images. To do this, in the control window click “Settings”, then select
Apply Overlay On Captured Images (see page 23).
Set Bitmap Overlay
Specify the name and location of the bitmap overlay file (see Figure 4.13,
below).
About Bitmap Overlay Images:
•
The bitmap must be a .bmp file in 24-bit RGB format.
•
The overlay image is placed in the upper left corner of the frame.
•
Any white areas (RGB 255,255,255) in the overlay image are treated as
transparent; that is, the preview image will show through them.
•
An overlay image will not be resized if the size of the preview image is changed.
However, if the PixeLINK logo supplied with PixeLINK Capture is used as the
overlay image, the application will replace the current overlay image with one
that is appropriately sized for the new preview image. User-defined overlay
images can be customized for each preview image size by using the same file
naming conventions as indicated in Figure 4.13 (below).
Figure 4.13 Select File to Use as Bitmap Overlay
Create/Apply Flat Field Correction
Flat Field correction is used to correct for non-uniform lighting, optics, fixed
pattern noise and pixel response non-uniformity. The calibration process
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SECTION 4: PIXELINK CAPTURE
PAGE 33
involves two steps: capturing a dark image at the desired exposure time and
then capturing a bright image under the lighting conditions to be used but
where the sample has been removed and the image made as consistent as
possible.
To use flat field correction (FFC):
Create FFC:
Select Create/Apply Flat Field Correction and follow
the on-screen instructions. (You will be asked to turn the
illumination source off and on while sample images of the
background are being captured.) When finished, the flat
field correction will be on.
Turn off FFC:
Suspend the use of FFC by selecting Turn Off Flat Field
Correction (also in the Tools menu—see below). The
FFC is not destroyed and can be turned on again.
Turn on FFC:
Resume the use of FFC by selecting Turn On Flat Field
Correction (also in the Tools menu—see below).
Delete FFC:
Permanently disable the current FFC by reselecting
Create/Apply Flat Field Correction.
Turn Off (or Turn On) Flat Field Correction
Suspend or resume the current Flat Field Correction (FFC).
Note:
Flat Field Correction can cause artifacts in the image if:
• the background image is highly non-uniform, or
• the camera detects illumination while the dark frame is being captured.
Enable Focus Meter
Switch the Focus Meter on or off. For more information about the Focus
Meter, see Section 4.6.2.7 (on page 22).
4.10.4
Help Menu
View User’s Manual
Open this document in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Flat Field Correction Procedure
Display the instructions for applying Flat Field Correction. This option is
available in the Tools menu (see Section 4.10.3, on page 31).
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User’s Manual
Release 3.2
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SECTION 4: PIXELINK CAPTURE
PAGE 34
About PixeLINK Capture …
Display information about the camera and the software, as shown in Figure
4.14 (on page 35). For technical support or servicing queries, have this
information available.
Imager Type— The type of imager e.g. PixeLINK 1394 Camera (Color)
Serial Number—The serial number of the camera.
FPGA Version—The version of the FPGA hardware in the camera.
Firmware Version—The version of the firmware in the camera.
Driver Version—The version of the camera driver.
API Version—The version of the application programming interface (API)
used to create PixeLINK Capture.
GUI Version—The version of PixeLINK Capture.
GUI DLL—The version of the PixeLINK Capture DLL software
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SECTION 4: PIXELINK CAPTURE
PAGE 35
Figure 4.14 About PixeLINK Capture
Note:
PixeLINK Capture can control one camera at a time. However, multiple
cameras can be controlled simultaneously by other methods, such as
opening PixeLINK Capture once for each camera or by using custom
applications created with the PixeLINK Camera API (included in the
PixeLINK Megapixel FireWire Camera Developer’s Kits).
If several PixeLINK Capture control windows are open in a single
session, the values saved for the next session are those from the last
PixeLINK Capture control window to be closed in the current session.
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User’s Manual
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SECTION 4: PIXELINK CAPTURE
PAGE 36
4.11
Keyboard Shortcuts
Save time by using these Keyboard Shortcuts.
Action
Shortcut
Capture image
CTRL-C
or <space>
Auto exposure
CTRL-E
Auto
balance
CTRL-W
white
The shortcuts are enabled when the control window is the active window.
Release 3.2
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PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
SECTION 5: USING THE CAMERA WITH TWAIN
PAGE 37
5
Using the Camera with TWAIN
5.1
Introduction
Images can be captured directly from the camera into popular programs such as
Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop and CorelDRAW using the PixeLINK TWAIN Interface.
The image capture process with the PixeLINK TWAIN interface is simple, but the exact
steps necessary to open a TWAIN interface are specific to each application. Consult the
application manuals and help files for instructions. Often, applications regard TWAINenabled devices (such as PixeLINK cameras) as being distinct from digital cameras,
sometimes categorizing them as "scanners."
5.2
Using the Camera
Make sure that the PixeLINK camera software is installed (see Section 2 on page 5), then
follow the three steps listed below.
1. Set up
Connect the camera and open your application. Ensure no other program is
accessing the camera.
2. Open the PixeLINK TWAIN interface
This is specific to each application. Refer to the documentation and help for your
application.
3. Capture the image
Adjust image settings and capture the image (see page 37).
5.3
Capturing an Image
The TWAIN preview and settings windows open by default when the TWAIN interface is
activated (as shown in Figure 5.1, on page 38).
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SECTION 5: USING THE CAMERA WITH TWAIN
PAGE 38
1. Adjut the image settings: The functions accessible through the settings window
perform in the same way as those in PixeLINK Capture, with the following
exceptions:
•
No video clip (AVI) capture
•
Limited still image capture settings, with no time-lapse capture or image
enhancement
•
No overlays or flat-field correction
For a description of the functions, see Section 4 (on page 14). Note that presets
and the last-used configuration of settings are shared with PixeLINK Capture.
The keyboard shortcuts also work with the PixeLINK TWAIN interface.
To close the settings window, click Close. The settings window can be reopened
from the preview window by clicking Settings.
2. Click Capture to acquire the image.
In some applications (including Microsoft Word and CorelDRAW), the PixeLINK TWAIN
preview window closes automatically. In others (including Adobe Photoshop), the
PixeLINK TWAIN preview window remains open for further image captures and must be
closed manually by clicking Close.
Disable automatic display of settings panel: Select this option to prevent the
settings window from opening automatically each time the PixeLINK TWAIN interface is
activated. This is useful if many images are being captured with the same settings.
Preview Window
Settings Window
Figure 5.1 PixeLINK TWAIN Preview and Settings Windows
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User’s Manual
APPENDIX A. GLOSSARY
PAGE 39
Appendix A. Glossary
1394 Short for the IEEE 1394 digital bus protocol (also known as
FireWire, a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.)
.avi, AVI Microsoft Windows video file format (Audio Video Interleaved)
.bmp, BMP Bitmap file
CD Compact Disc
Enhanced Control A set of features of PixeLINK Imaging Modules related to electrical
control of the camera through a special connector
FireWire Apple Computer’s trademark for the IEEE 1394 digital bus protocol
FOV Field of View (FFOV—Full Field of View)
fps Frames Per Second
GUI Graphical User Interface
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
IR Infra-red
.jpg, JPEG Graphics file type/extension (lossy compressed 24-bit color image
storage format developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group)
MB Megabyte
MHz Megahertz
OHCI Open Host Controller Interface
PC Personal Computer
PCI Peripheral Component Interconnect
preview window The window used to display images on the screen. The default size
is the same number of rows and columns as in the image.
RAM Random Access Memory
RGB Standard for encoding color images (Red, Green, Blue)
ROI Region of Interest. The subwindow on the image sensor where
data will be collected.
ROM Read-Only Memory
sensor The Camera’s image sensing chip
subwindow The area exposed on the imager (not a window defined for viewing
the image on the screen)
.tif, TIFF Tagged Image File Format
TWAIN An image capture standard typically used as an interface between
image processing software and a camera or scanner
PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
Release 3.2
Copyright © 2000–2004 PixeLINK
All Rights Reserved
APPENDIX B. PIXELINK CAPTURE PRESETS AND DEFAULTS
PAGE 40
Appendix B. PixeLINK Capture
Presets and Defaults
Property: All of the Camera properties listed below are stored when a preset is created
(see Section 4.6.2.6, page 22) and applied when a preset is used.
Default Value: The value of the property when the camera is first installed, the preset
has not been set or the registry has been cleared.
Restore Camera Defaults: Selecting Options
Restore Camera Defaults will
restore the checkmarked properties to the default values, sometimes based on sensor
type. (See Section 4.10.2, page 29).
Reset Preview Window : Selecting Options
Reset Preview Window will restore
the checkmarked properties to the default values. (See Section 4.10.2, page 29).
Table B.1 PixeLINK Capture Presets and Defaults
Property
Control Window
State of the preview – stopped,
playing, or paused
Image size
Exposure (in milliseconds)
AE On (Continuous auto exposure)
White Balance Slider
White Balance Blue Gain Value
White Balance Green Gain Value
White Balance Red Gain Value
Gain (Mono)
Saturation
Gamma
“Save As” Dialog Box
Location of capture file
Name of capture file
File format
“Capture Settings” Dialog Box
Auto Increment File Name
Preview Image After Capture
Capture Full Frame
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Default Value
Restore
Camera
Defaults
640 × 480
PL-A661 and PL-A662 Cameras: 50 ms
PL-A641 and PL-A642 Cameras: 25 ms
No
Midpoint
PL-A662 Cameras:
1.96x
PL-A642 Cameras:
2.8x
PL-A662 Cameras:
1.0x
PL-A642 Cameras:
2.0x
PL-A662 Cameras:
1.09x
PL-A642 Cameras:
2.3x
PL-A661 Cameras:
1.0x
PL-A641 Cameras:
2.0x
PL-A662 Cameras:
0.76
PL-A642 Cameras:
0.55
0.85
Reset
Preview
Window
Playing
“My Pictures” folder
“data” + file format
.bmp
No
No
No
PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
APPENDIX B. PIXELINK CAPTURE PRESETS AND DEFAULTS
Property
PAGE 41
Default Value
Apply Overlay On Captured Images
Save Images with 10 Bits/Pixel
Image Enhancement:
Histogram Stretch
Multiple Frame Capture
Sum/Average
Number of Frames
Time Lapse Capture:
Enable Time Lapse
Auto Exposure Before Each Frame
Capture
Capture One Frame Every (Number of
seconds between captures)
“For” (Total duration of time lapse
captures, in seconds)
Options Menu
Set Subwindow Position:
Start Column
Set Subwindow Position:
Start Row
Set Light Source
Horizontal Flip
Vertical Flip
White point RGB value for Blue
White point RGB value for Green
White point RGB value for Red
Set Preview Window to
Set Video Preview Acceleration to
Always On Top
Tools Menu
Apply Overlay to Image Preview
Set Bitmap Overlay (Name of the
bitmap overlay file)
PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
Reset
Preview
Window
No
No
No
No
Sum
1
No
No
6
60
Centered
Centered
Incandescent
No flip
No flip
242
242
242
Color
Standard
(PL-A661 and PL-A662 Cameras: 12 MHz
PL-A641 and PL-A642 Cameras: 16 MHz)
Reset Preview Window:
Height
Width
Top
Left
Restore
Camera
Defaults
Image height
Image width
Same top position as control window
Just to right of control window
No
No
“PixeLINKLogo” (.bmp file of appropriate
size for the image)
Release 3.2
Copyright © 2000–2004 PixeLINK
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APPENDIX C. TROUBLESHOOTING
PAGE 42
Appendix C. Troubleshooting
When troubleshooting your camera, please follow these steps:
1. Disconnect the camera, wait five seconds, then reconnect it.
2. Review the relevant sections of the documentation, including the common
solutions listed in the sections below.
3. Check the PixeLINK Web site (http://www.pixelink.com/) for new software or
firmware, and for applicable technical information such as the Frequently Asked
Questions List or Application Notes.
4. Carefully document the problem you are experiencing, noting any warning or
error messages that may appear during operation
5. Have your camera's serial number and other identifying information at hand. The
serial number can be found on bottom of the camera; other information can be
found on the “About” screen in the PixeLINK Capture
6. Contact your PixeLINK reseller.
C.1
Installation Error
If you receive the error message shown in Figure C.1 (below), logout of the system and
login using an account with administrator privileges. Reinsert the Kit CD.
Figure C.1 Installation Error Message
C.2
Control of a Camera by Multiple Applications
A camera cannot be controlled by more than one application at once.
C.3
Camera Not Detected Properly by Windows
If you plugged in the camera before installing the Kit software, Windows might not have
detected the camera or the driver might not have been installed.
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User’s Manual
APPENDIX C. TROUBLESHOOTING
PAGE 43
To remedy this situation, disconnect the camera, wait five seconds, then reconnect it.
Windows should automatically detect the connection. The following procedure to check
the status in the Device Manager applies to Windows 2000. Other versions of Windows
have similar procedures. To check the status:
1)
Connect the camera.
2)
Click the Windows Start button. Select Settings
3)
Double click System.
4)
Choose the Hardware tab, then click Device Manager.
5)
One of the categories should be Imaging Device or Imaging Devices. Click
the plus sign to the left of the category name. If “PixeLINK FireWire Camera
Release 4” appears, the driver is installed correctly (see Figure C.2, below).
Control Panel.
If the above procedure does not work,
1)
Disconnect the camera.
2)
Uninstall the PixeLINK software according to the instructions in Section 2.3 (on
page 9). (If your PixeLINK Kit software does not appear in the program list, the
program is not installed properly and should be reinstalled.)
3)
Follow the installation directions in Section 2.2.2 (on page 7).
If the wizard informs you that it failed to install the new driver, verify that you are using
one of the supported Windows operating systems (see Section 1.3, on page 2).
Figure C.2 Checking the Imaging Device Driver
PixeLINK
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User’s Manual
Release 3.2
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APPENDIX D. PIXELINK IMAGING MODULE AND CAMERA MODELS
PAGE 44
Appendix D. PixeLINK Imaging
Module and Camera Models
Because PixeLINK software is backward-compatible, it works with all PixeLINK Megapixel
FireWire Imaging Module and Camera models PL-A631 though PL-A662.
D.1
Functional Relationship Between PixeLINK Imaging Modules and
Cameras
A PixeLINK imaging module (board-level camera) can perform all of the functions of the
equivalent model of PixeLINK camera (that is, a PL-A654 color imaging module can do
the same things as a PL-A662 color camera). However, certain models of imaging
module offer Enhanced Control functions not available in the cameras, such as shutter
and trigger controls.
For more information about PixeLINK imaging modules, including the Enhanced Control
header, please refer to the Megapixel FireWire Camera System Guide for PL-A630 to PLA660 Series Cameras or contact PixeLINK (see page 45).
D.2
Relating Imaging Module Models to Camera Models
Table D.1 PixeLINK Imaging Module and Camera Models
Imaging
Module
Model
Performs the
functions of
Camera Model
PL-A654
PL-A662
PL-A653
PL-A661
PL-A634
PL-A642
PL-A633
PL-A641
PL-A632
PL-A642
PL-A631
PL-A641
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Type
Color
Monochrome
Enhanced
Control
PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
TECHNICAL SUPPORT
PAGE 45
Technical Support
Tech Notes
Tech Notes on a variety of topics are available on the PixeLINK Support Site, at
http://support.pixelink.com/.
Download the Latest Software and Firmware
We recommend that you check http://support.pixelink.com/ regularly for the latest
versions of your PixeLINK software and firmware.
Technical Questions
Please follow these steps before contacting our technical support team:
•
Review the relevant sections of the documentation.
•
Check the PixeLINK Support Site for
o
new software and firmware;
o
applicable Tech Notes.
•
Carefully document the problem you are experiencing, noting any warning or
error messages that may appear during operation.
•
Have your camera's serial number and other identifying information at hand. The
serial number can be found on the camera and the “About PixeLINK Capture”
screen.
PixeLINK Customer Support
Email: [email protected]
PixeLINK Support Site: http://support.pixelink.com/
PixeLINK Main Site: http://www.pixelink.com/
PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
Release 3.2
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PAGE 46
INDEX
Index
Acceleration setting (clock speed)—18, 19, 31, 41
Accessories—3
Adobe Photoshop—1, 3, 37, 38
AVI file format—39
BMP files—39
Camera models—1, 14, 44
Continuous auto exposure—19, 20
CorelDRAW—1, 3, 37, 38
Exposure—1, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 27, 40
Exposure, automatic—19, 27, 41
FireWire connectors—iii, 5, 10, 12
Flip—30, 41
Focus meter—22, 23, 33
Full field of view (FFOV)—17, 18, 24, 29, 39
Gamma—18, 21, 40
Histogram stretch—26, 41
Image size—14, 17, 18, 19, 25, 29, 31, 32, 40
Image, repositioning in the full field of view—18, 29
Imaging Modules—1, 4, 12, 44
Installation—2, 5, 8, 42
IR filter—10, 13
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All Rights Reserved
JPEG files—14, 23, 24, 39
Lenses—3, 10, 12, 20
Microsoft Word—1, 3, 37, 38
Multiple frame capture—26, 27, 41
PixeLINK Capture defaults—30, 40
Power—1, 3, 5, 6, 12
Presets—15, 22, 29, 38, 40
Preview window—14, 15, 17, 18, 21, 24, 26, 27, 28,
31, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41
Saturation—18, 19, 21, 31, 40
Serial number—34, 42, 45
Snapshot sound, switching on or off—27, 31
Technical Support—45
TIFF files—14, 23, 25, 39
Time lapse capture—26, 41
Tripods—12
Troubleshooting—42
TWAIN—1, 2, 3, 15, 22, 37, 38, 39
Video compression—28
Video source—30, 41
White balance—1, 16, 18, 20, 21, 30, 40
PixeLINK
Megapixel FireWire Camera
User’s Manual
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