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Photometrics Launches Intelligent Scientific CMOS Camera with Signal Restoration Super Powers

publication date: Oct 28, 2015
author/source: Photometrics

Photometrics Prime™ goes beyond imaging by quantitatively restoring images hidden in photon shot noise

PRIME-sCMOS-CameraPhotometrics, a manufacturer of high performance scientific cameras for life science applications, today announces the release of its new sCMOS camera, the Photometrics Prime. Prime is the first 4.2 Megapixel scientific CMOS camera available for life science research that actively defeats the negative impact of Poisson noise in low light images.

The camera packs a formidable FPGA-based Embedded Signal Processing engine, ESP™, that enables powerful signal restoration and feature detection for localization based Super Resolution Microscopy. These revolutionary capabilities significantly increase low-light image clarity and provide new ways to address data glut, a common problem when imaging at high frame rates.

Prime’s intelligent features include:

  • PrimeEnhance™ that reduces the negative effects of photon shot-noise and provides a 3-5X increase in Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR), allowing for lower-light life science imaging, which extends cell lifetimes and enables capture of higher quality data.
  • PrimeLocate™ which solves a common problem in localization based super resolution data glut. Prime uses PrimeLocate to actively detect and transfer only those regions containing localization data, lowering data storage requirements on the host PC.

Incorporating the latest generation CMOS sensor in its design, Prime delivers state-of-the-art noise performance, combined with fast acquisition rates. Two interfaces are available on the camera—a native PCI-Express interface enabling 100fps imaging at full resolution, and a USB 3.0 interface for when convenience is essential. Combined with ESP, Photometrics delivers another industry first with the advancements made in the development of Prime.

“The touchstone in our 30 year corporate history has been preserving excellent photometric performance that’s required for scientific measurements,” noted Rachit Mohindra, Photometrics product manager. “Previously, our industry focused on building a more perfect camera, leaving the biggest imperfection, photon noise in the image, untouched. As a result of our collaboration with academic partners, we’ve been able to deliver the first scientific camera with state-of-the-art noise reduction, while maintaining the photometric accuracy that is so key to our heritage.”

Prime camera specifications include:

  • Prime camera specifications include:
    • 4.2 Megapixel
    • >72% QE
    • 1.5e- read noise
    • 100 frames per second
  • Combined Air Cooled/Liquid Cooled Design
    • -10C cooling with air
    • -25C cooling with ambient temperature liquid

See the difference


Additional information about Prime, including datasheet and technical notes, is available on the Prime product webpage on the Photometrics website.

About Photometrics

Founded in 1978, Photometrics is the world’s premier designer and manufacturer of high-performance CMOS, EMCCD and CCD cameras for life science research. The original architect of the world’s first scientific-grade microscopy EMCCD camera, Photometrics for decades has led the industry with state-of-the-art imaging instrumentation for the scientific community. Researchers around the globe rely on these cutting-edge imaging systems to meet their most demanding application requirements. Photometrics also offers comprehensive OEM support, including fully characterized, cost-efficient imaging systems and components. Photometrics is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona and additional information is available at




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