sCMOS cameras

Marana, Sona, Zyla and Neo from Andor Technology

The Marana, Sona, Zyla and Neo sCMOS cameras are an advancement of the well-known CMOS technology for scientific applications. Due to their special characteristics, they are suitable for many quantitative measurement problems in physics, astronomy and biology. As all Andor sCMOS cameras have extremely low noise and high sensitivity, they can often yield a better image than EMCCD cameras - even in low light conditions. Due to its vacuum enclosure, the sensors of the Marana, Sona and Neo can be cooled to industry-leading -45 °C and -40 °C, respectively, opening up possibilities for very demanding applications. Beside the typical use for imaging, the Marana and Zyla sCMOS cameras are very suitable for high-speed spectroscopy, especially for multi-track and hyperspectral imaging.

0.9 electron read noise (lower detection limit than any CCD camera)
Quantum efficiency up to 95%
Resolution 2.0, 4.2 and 5.5 megapixels with 6.5 µm and 11 µm pixels, respectively
Rapid frame rates of up to 101 frames/s sustained at full resolution
Dynamic range up to 53,000 : 1

The Marana, Sona, Zyla and Neo sCMOS cameras offer high speed, high sensitivity, and high resolution imaging performance – all at once. They can be integrated easily into research applications.

In a vacuum cooled platform, loaded with FPGA intelligence, the Marana, Sona and Neo sCMOS cameras are designed to drive highest possible sensitivity from this exciting and innovative technology development. Unlike any CMOS or CCD technology to come before it, Marana, Sona and Neo simultaneously deliver highest specifications in sensitivity, resolution, speed, dynamic range and field-of-view: true scientific imaging without compromise.

The Marana and Sona cameras employ back-illuminated sCMOS sensors with the highest available quantum efficiency of 95 %; an UV-optimized sensor delivers best sensitivity from 250 nm to 400 nm. The Marana and Sona 4.2 megapixel sensors (32 mm diagonal) offer the largest field of view of any sCMOS camera on the market.

The Zyla is ideally suited to many experiments that push the boundaries of speed and sensitivity, offering sustained performance of up to 101 frames per second with CameraLink interface - even faster with sub-images - and read noise down to 0.9 electrons. Zyla’s unique dark noise suppression technology ensures the low noise advantage is maintained over a wide range of exposure conditions. The 'plug and play' interface option offers industry leading USB 3.0 frame rate performance of up to 53 frames/s at 4.2 megapixel resolution. The unprecedented value and flexibility of the Zyla means it is also re-defining the concept of a 'workhorse' camera, rapidly displacing interline CCD cameras.

Choice of Rolling and Global (snapshot) exposure mechanisms ensure maximum application flexibility for the Zyla and Neo sCMOS cameras with the 5.5 megapixel sensor; the latter providing a 'freeze frame' capture capability that emulates that of an interline transfer CCD camera.

Overview of key specifications:

Marana-4.2 Sona-4.2 Sona-2.0 Neo-5.5 Zyla-5.5 Zyla-4.2
Resolution 2048 x 2048 x 11 µm 2048 x 2048 x 11 µm 1400 x 1400 x 11 µm 2560 x 2160 x 6.5 µm 2560 x 2160 x 6.5 µm 2048 x 2048 x 6.5 µm
Quantum Efficiency 95% 95% 95% 60% 60% 82%
Read Noise 1.6 e- 1.6 e- 1.6 e- 1.0 e- 0.9 e- 0.9 e-
Linearity 99.7 % 99.7 % 99.7 % 99% 99.8 % 99.8 %
Dynamic Range 53,000 : 1 53,000 : 1 53,000 : 1 30,000 : 1 33,000 : 1 33,000 : 1
Temperature -45 °C -45 °C -45 °C -40 °C -10 °C / 0° C -10 °C / 0° C
Cooling air and water air and water air and water air and water air or water air or water
Shutter Rolling Rolling Rolling Rolling and Global Rolling and Global Rolling
Interface USB 3.0 USB 3.0 USB 3.0 3-tap CameraLink USB 3.0 / 10-tap CameraLink USB 3.0 / 10-tap CameraLink
Full Frame Rate 48 48 70 30 (100) 40 / 100 53 / 101


Videos about key specifications and typical applications:

Fluorescence microscopy
Imaging with scintillation screens
Plasma- and fusion research
Quantum physics
Particle image velocimetry (PIV) and particle tracking velocimetry (PTV)
Title Author(s) Institute Year Spectrograph/
Microscopy of LEDs and phosphors in practical exercises for students S. Bock,
D. Berben
Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology,
South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Hagen, Germany
2017 Neo-5.5-CL3
Fluorescence microscopy of semiconductor nanowire arrays S. Rahimzadeh-Kalaleh Rodriguez1,
D. van Dam2,
J. Gomez Rivas1,2
1Surface Photonics, AMOLF, c/o Philips Research Laboratories, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
2COBRA Research Institute, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
2014 Neo DC152 QC-FI1
Detection of electrochemically generated peroxide and superoxide by fluorescence microscopy C. Dosche,
S. Dongmo
Institute of Chemistry, University of Oldenburg, Germany 2013 Neo DC152 QC-FI1
Imaging with scintillation screens
Phase transitions in 1T-TaS2 mapped by ultrafast LEED S. Vogelgesang, G. Storeck,
S. Schäfer,
C. Ropers
IV. Physical Institute, Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany 2017 Zyla-5.5-CL10
Application of the sCMOS camera Andor Neo for X-ray and neutron imaging N. Kardjilov1,
S. Williams1,2,
F. Wieder1,
A. Hilger1,
I. Manke1
1Helmholtz-Zentrum-Berlin, Berlin, Germany
2Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
2014 Neo DC152-QF-FI3
Polarization dependent photoelectron emission with high lateral resolution T. Wagner Institute of Experimental Physics, University of Linz, Austria 2012 Neo DC152-QC-FI1
Plasma- and fusion research
Evaluation of the Zyla sCMOS imaging camera for IMSE diagnostic O. P. Ford,
C. Biedermann
Wendelstein 7-X, Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, Greifswald, Germany 2014 Zyla-5.5-CL10
Measuring ion temperatures and helium densities in the hot core of a nuclear fusion reactor using sCMOS and EMCCD cameras R. J. E. Jaspers Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands 2014 Neo DC152 QC-FI1
iXon DU888 DC-EX
Real-time characterization of plasma evolution by diffraction imaging N. K. Rothe,
A. V. Svanidze,
C. Schuster,
M. Lütgens,
S. Lochbrunner
Institute of Physics, University of Rostock, Germany 2013 Neo DC152 QC-FI1
High-speed imaging and its applications:
Beating down the scintillation noise
P. Ioannidis, J.H.M.M. Schmitt Hamburg Observatory, Physics Department,
University of Hamburg, Germany
2017 Zyla-4.2-CL10
Active optical debris detection: Highly accurate position determination of space debris orbits W. Riede,
D. Hampf,
P. Wagner,
L. Humbert,
F. Sproll,
A. Giesen,
Institute of Technical Physics, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Stuttgart, Germany 2016 Zyla-5.5-CL10

Quantum physics
Real- and momentum-space imaging of plasmonic waveguide arrays F. Bleckmann, S. Linden Physikalisches Institut,
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Germany
2016 Zyla-5.5-USB3
Particle image velocimetry (PIV) and particle tracking velocimetry (PTV)
Redesign of a 3D PTV system with ANDOR’s Neo sCMOS P. Steinhoff,
M. Schmidt,
D. Müller
E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Energy Efficient Buildings and Indoor Climate (EBC), RWTH Aachen University, Germany 2013 Neo DC152 QFR-FI2
Photoluminescence spectroscopy of metal nanoantennas
coupled to the atomically thin semiconductor WS2
J. Kern, R. Bratschitsch Institute of Physics and Center for Nanotechnology, University of Münster, Germany 2015 Neo-5.5-CL3
Shamrock SR-303i-B-SIL
Using a surface-forces-apparatus to measure force-distance profiles across confined ionic liquids T. Utzig,
H.-W. Cheng,
M. Valtiner
Department of Interface Chemistry and Surface Engineering, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung, Düsseldorf, Germany 2014 Zyla-5.5-CL3
Shamrock SR-500i-B2-SIL

New part number of DC152 QC-FI: Neo-5.5-CL3
Neo DC152 QFR-FI replaced by Neo-5.5-CL3-F
3New part number of DC152 QF-Fi: Neo-5.5-CL3-F


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