Datalogic 3CCD Color Camera Review

To better understand color cameras, i did some testing of a typical machine vision camera and a new 3 chip color camera, each from Datalogic, but the standards apply to almost every machine vision product available.

Below shows an image of a larger 3CCD Color Camera from Datalogic running on their MX40 Controller and the M150 Camera, which is smaller in the far ground.

Datalogic 3CDD Color Camera

Below shows The Bayer arrangement of color filters on the pixel array of an image sensor. Each two-by-two cell contains two green, one blue, and one red filter.  Click on the image for more detail info...

With our 3 chip color camera there is a Dichroic coating on the prism surfaces separate the incoming light into red, green, and blue wavelengths which are directed to three precisely-aligned CCDs.   This technology results in more accurate per-pixel color values than those derived from interpolation routines associated with typical Bayer color cameras. In addition, because there is no interpolation, 3-CCD images offer more precise spatial resolution, enabling more accurate edge detection and the ability to resolve smaller details such as fine print or 2D barcodes.  

Below is a video explaining the differences.

Mainly the 3 chip color cameras run slower (15-30 frames per second) than a single chip Bayer style (90 FPS).  But the 3CCD camera acquire more light than Bayer cameras and have less crosstalk (color blur) between colors.  Bayer cameras also has very poor edge definition because of the Spatial Interpolation, which is groups of pixel averaging.  

The big take away is... when looking at color cameras remember that you will loose 1/2 your resolution and your edge definition for barcodes are blurry unless you use a 3 chip color camera.
— Mark Ermatinger

Great  3CCD app note from JAI

Visit this link for a great technical vision 101 document.