I am reading the data sheet of this scan camera (mono version.) My aim is to process the data coming from this camera by programming a simple software (using either CPU or GPU.) I see that it uses a grabber and camera link interface. I assume for this question that the grabber or any other extra HW will not do any processing between the camera and PC.

How does this camera send the data? Does it send 2D frames at a rate or send scanned lines one after each other? If one wants to make his own program, what protocol should be used?

I'm confused because I have made programs communicating through serial protocol before where you set the baudrates, parity etc. and use a library and receive data etc. In this case I'm very confused since I don't know the protocol to be used and I also don't know what the incoming data represents - one scanned line or frame per data sent.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You don't have to buy the Camera Link version if you don't have capture cards. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jeroen3
    Dec 27, 2021 at 15:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ In my case scan rates might be between 10kHz up to 100kHz I still dont know. Do you mean a video capture card using USB3? \$\endgroup\$
    – floppy380
    Dec 27, 2021 at 15:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ here are the data sheets that will probably answer your question. Unfortunately you have to register to download them. \$\endgroup\$
    – StarCat
    Dec 27, 2021 at 15:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @StarCat Just registered and the info shows just some basic pecs already written in the link in my question. \$\endgroup\$
    – floppy380
    Dec 27, 2021 at 15:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_Link \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Dec 28, 2021 at 0:25

1 Answer 1


I've programmed a few Basler line scan cameras using Camera Link. Essentially the camera link cable gives you more or less the direct sensor output, and your capture card translates that into PCI/PCIe. You load in your camera link configuration (which specifies the camera properties like resolution, triggering, etc) and then pixels are streamed to the capture card.

From there what you see depends on the API for the capture card. These can vary, but for line scan cameras often the interface is programmed to look like a 2D array sensor, so you might configure 1000 lines of 1024 pixels, and get a 2D array of 1024x1000 lines.

Do you actually need to use camera link? Camera Link is popular in industrial applications in part due to the long cable lengths (don't need to have a PC right next to a big industrial device), but for a lot of applications USB is gradually displacing it. If this is a spectrometer or some scientific device, I would probably use USB if possible.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. I prefer as easy as possible(if USB3 works I would skip Camera Link). So what I understand from you is that I need to install a driver for that camera and then configure how I receive the data? And use the manufacturer's library functions? Let me ask to be sure. So on the programmer side he will receive 2D arrays for each data transfer or lines?(There is something called line rate as well) 2) If I use USB capture card or directly USB, I still need drivers and API from the manufacturer correct? I have experience only with serial port programming. \$\endgroup\$
    – floppy380
    Dec 27, 2021 at 16:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ You'll need to use the drivers and SDK for whatever you choose to use. The choice of interface doesn't change that. I'm not sure I understand the rest of your question, but reading through the SDK for your camera (or capture card) is a good idea. It will have programming examples from which you can see how the device works. I don't think serial port programming is relevant here. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 27, 2021 at 17:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks one last question. I guess some uses expensive frame grabbers to buffer the data first for processing fast? If I dont use that, I guess I need to buffer the incoming arrays to PC RAM and process from there. Anyway maybe it is too much questions but hard to find people have experience with such. Thanks \$\endgroup\$
    – floppy380
    Dec 27, 2021 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @floppy380 Vendor should recommend compatible capture cards with enough memory for your camera. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 27, 2021 at 18:05

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