What is a UVC camera?


USB Video Class (UVC) is a generic standard name for camera devices connected via USB. Current Linux and Windows systems already include drivers for UVC, so no additional driver installation is required.

This also refers to these cameras as installation-free cameras or driver-free cameras.

In contrast, many industrial cameras require manufacturer-specific drivers, which require the application to install driver software separately.

Below is a list of advantages and disadvantages of UVC cameras.


■ Features of UVC Camera

<Advantages of UVC cameras>


(1) On Linux and Windows, even between different camera brands, if you use a UVC camera, you can program with almost the same coding.

This eliminates the need to learn the SDK for each camera brand separately.


(2) There are very affordable models of UVC cameras, which make it possible to build a system at a low cost.


(3) In both Linux and Windows environments, you can easily acquire video using the VideoCapture class of OpenCV (OpenCV Sharp, OpenCV-Python).

<Disadvantages of UVC cameras>


(1) There are few UVC cameras that support external triggering, because the UVC standard does not take into account shooting with external triggers. This is especially true when you want to shoot with a signal from an external PLC (sequencer) or sensor.

*Shodensha has added a UVC camera that can be connected to an external trigger to its lineup. Please contact us for more information.


(2) For most UVC cameras, even if you set detailed settings such as brightness, color, and shutter speed, these settings will be reset when the power is turned off.

Therefore, these settings must be recorded separately by the program and reapplied when the camera restarts.

In contrast, many industrial cameras allow you to save the settings in the camera, and even after the power is turned off, it automatically returns to the previous settings when the power is switched back on.

*Shodensha offers a special UVC camera that allows users to precisely adjust and store the white balance. Please contact us for more information.


(3) UVC cameras have the advantage of being able to easily acquire images using OpenCV, but the current OpenCV (as of version 4.5.2) does not have a function to fine-tune the white balance.

This can be a major barrier, especially in tonal applications.

This is not a limitation of the UVC camera itself, but a problem caused by the lack of functionality of OpenCV.

*In order to meet these needs, Shodensha provides UVC cameras that can finely adjust the white balance and save the settings. Please contact us for more information.


(4) When multiple UVC cameras are used on one PC at the same time, it is possible to obtain the image output from each camera, but since it is not possible to distinguish between individual cameras, the image display position may change every time the PC is restarted.

For this reason, if you are considering the simultaneous use of several cameras, we recommend that you use a regular industrial camera.

Shodensha’s UVC camera


C-mount type low-cost UVC camera series (WA2 series)

There is no external trigger terminal, and although you can adjust brightness, color, and shutter speed using the Viewer software, these settings are reset when the power is turned off. This series is a cost-conscious choice.


C-mount type industrial UVC camera series (DN series)

It is equipped with an external trigger terminal and includes a tool program that allows detailed white balance settings and their storage using OpenCV.


This series has features that compensate for the typical limitations of UVC cameras and is designed for industrial applications.


C-mount type low-priced UVC camera series (WA2 series)
産業用UVCカメラシリーズ C-mount type industrial UVC camera series (DN series)


VC cameras are also called “driver-free cameras” or “installation-free cameras” because they utilize drivers built into the operating system. Its main advantage is ease of implementation.

However, on the other hand, there are drawbacks such as “the white balance cannot be adjusted and saved” and “it does not support external trigger signals.”

Shodensha offers UVC cameras that solve these problems. Please feel free to visit our homepage.