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ORCA-Flash 4.0

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Hamamatsu ORCA-Flash4.0 Hamamatsu ORCA-Flash4.0 Hamamatsu ORCA-Flash4.0

Hamamatsu’s brilliantly designed ORCA-Flash4.0 is truly a game changer in the world of scientific imaging. Built on a revolutionary new Gen II sCMOS detector, the ORCA-Flash4.0 is the first sCMOS camera that challenges the performance of all CCD, EM-CCD, and Gen I sCMOS cameras. With its combination of low noise and high quantum efficiency, the ORCA-Flash4.0 delivers unprecedented sensitivity as well as high dynamic range, blazing fast speeds, large field of view, and excellent resolution—all at once.

For an in-depth analysis read more below or review the following documents (pdf format):

Scientists have used EM-CCDs for very low-light, often high-speed imaging such as TIRF or spinning disk confocal, while they have relied on cooled CCDs for other fluorescence applications such as GFP or multichannel imaging. But the ORCA-Flash4.0 is changing all of that. Now one camera covers a wide range of imaging needs—including localization microscopy, TIRF microscopy, live cell GFP, high-speed calcium ion imaging, FRET, real-time confocal microscopy, and many more.

ORCA-Flash4.0 Range

Image A (left), HeLa cells labeled with d2EosFP. Left: reconstructed PALM image. Right: single TIRF imagefrom data used for reconstruction. (Images courtesy of Prof. Zhen-li Huang, Britton Chance Center for Biomedical Photonics, Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology.)
Image B (middle), Ins-1 cell MARCS-DsRed (Image courtesy of Dr. Hideo Mogami, Hamamatsu University.)
Image C (right), HEK293 cells stained with Fluo8-AM, Yokogawa CSU Spinning Disk Confocal

ORCA-Flash4.0 features:

  • Exceptional sensitivity:  over 70% quantum efficiency at 600 nm
  • Low noise:  1.3 electrons at 100 frames per second
  • High speed:  100 frames per second at full resolution
  • High resolution:  4.0 megapixels with 6.5 x 6.5 µm pixel size

Quick guide to ORCA-Flash 4.0 camera

To help you determine if the ORCA-Flash4.0 is suitable for your imaging needs, wavelength sensitivity and other important parameters are summarized in the table below.

Parameter ORCA-Flash4.0 camera
Image sensor type 4.0 megapixel scientific CMOS
Wavelength sensitivity Visible
Intensity of signal Low light
Frame rate at full resolution 100 frames per second
Exposure time 9.7 microseconds to 10 seconds
Spatial resolution (pixel size) 6.5 x 6.5 microns

The main features and benefits of the ORCA-Flash4.0 camera are summarized below. For more info, download datasheet or contact us by completing the form.

Features Benefits
High sensitivity: high QE (over 70% at 600 nm) and low noise (1.3 electrons) Extreme versatility
100 fps readout at full resolution and up to 25,600 fps with a small region of interest Able to capture fast events such as high-speed calcium ion imaging
4.0 megapixels 2.5X larger field of view than that of a standard EM-CCD camera
6.5 x 6.5 µm pixel size Much finer details can be resolved
Multiple external trigger and timing output functions Synchronization with peripheral equipment

Special features

High QE + Low Noise = High Sensitivity

The ORCA-Flash4.0’s high sensitivity results from its high quantum efficiency (QE) and low noise. The camera’s Gen II sCMOS sensor provides high QE across the range of wavelengths most commonly used in fluorescence microscopy, with QE values over 70% at 600 nm and 50% at 750 nm. Add the low read noise of 1.3 electrons at 100 fps without EM-CCD multiplicative noise, and you have an extremely sensitive and versatile camera. You can detect signal at low light levels, compare small changes in intensity, and discriminate small signals amid large backgrounds—with ease.


High speed

The ORCA-Flash4.0 features 100 frames per second imaging at full resolution. For those experiments that need even more temporal resolution, the ORCA-Flash4.0 delivers even higher speeds with a smaller region of interest.

Readout Method Number of Pixels Readout Speed
at center position (frames/s)
Full Resolution 2048 x 2048 100
Sub-array readout
(Typical examples)
2048 x 1024 200
2048 x 512 400
2048 x 256 800
2048 x 64 3200
2048 x 8 25,600

Wide field of view and high resolution

With 4.0 megapixels at 6.5 x 6.5 µm each, the ORCA-Flash4.0 offers a field of view 2.5 times larger than a standard EM-CCD. In addition, this camera’s smaller pixels can resolve much finer details than the larger pixels on an EM-CCD camera.

Comparison of field of view

Field of view is 2.5 times larger than that of a standard EM-CCD camera.

Comparison of resolution

The 6.5 μm × 6.5 μm pixels of the ORCA-Flash4.0 enable much finer detail to be resolved when compared to the 16 μm × 16 μm pixels of an EM-CCD camera.

Sample:FluoCells Prepared Slide #1 Objective lens:S Plan Fluor 100x

Other features

The ORCA-Flash4.0 is a solid piece of camera engineering. It has optimized cooling and outstanding image uniformity across the entire sensor compared to cameras based on Gen I sCMOS technology. Other features include 16-bit A/D converter and multiple external trigger and timing output functions.


  • Localization microscopy
  • TIRF microscopy
  • Live cell GFP
  • Time lapse fluorescence
  • Ratio imaging
  • FRET
  • High-speed calcium ion imaging
  • Real-time confocal microscopy
  • Light sheet microscopy
  • Morphology
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)
Information kindly supplied by Hamamatsu Photonics

More in this category: « ORCA-Flash2.8 ORCA-R2 »

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