Microscope Systems Limited, Microscopes UK UK Microscope Supplier: Olympus - Yenway - Motic - CoolLED - Micropix
Olympus Microscopy Yenway Microscopes Motic MicroscopesCoolLEDMicropix Microscope Cameras
Tel: 01360 660 572 | Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Microscope Systems Limited, Microscopes UK

Tel: 01360 660 572
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Rate this item
(3 votes)
 Hamamatsu ORCA R2

High Sensitivity + High Speed + Low Noise

All three…plus more…in a compact and versatile camera, the ORCA-R2. Its ER-150 CCD image sensor is responsive to a wide spectral range, with especially high sensitivity in the visible and near-infrared regions. The CCD is encased in a maintenance-free, hermetic vacuum-sealed chamber which ensures efficient camera cooling by either air or water. Thanks to this cooling structure and an advanced external circuit design, the ORCA-R2 offers rapid readout with minimal noise.

In its normal scan mode, the ORCA-R2 provides 8.5 frames per second at full spatial resolution. In fast scan mode, frame rates range from 16.2 to 115.1 frames per second at varying levels of resolution. 

Quick guide to ORCA-R2 camera

To help you determine if the ORCA-R2 is suitable for your imaging needs, wavelength sensitivity and other important parameters are listed in the table below.

Parameter ORCA-R2 camera
Image sensor type 1.3 megapixel cooled interline CCD
Wavelength sensitivity UV to NIR
Intensity of signal Low light
Frame rate at full resolution 8 or 16 frames per second
Exposure time 10 microseconds to 70 minutes
Spatial resolution (pixel size) 6.45 microns

The main features and benefits of the ORCA-R2 camera are summarized below. For more info, download the technical note or contact us by completing the form.

Features Benefits
ER-150 chip: 1.37 million pixel interline CCD with peak QE over 70% High resolution and short exposure times combined
14 MHz and 28 MHz readout modes included Choice of very low noise or very fast readout to suit applications
12-bit and 16-bit digitizers are included and software selectable Choice of bit depth to suit data and precision needs
Air and water cooling capabilities are standard Long exposures with very low dark current and no vibration

Special features

Dual light modes

The ORCA-R2 has a “high light mode” for handling most applications, and a “low light mode” for when increased quantum efficiency (QE) in the spectrum between visible and near-infrared is required. Within these regions, the image sensor’s QE peaks at over 70%, which is the highest level for interline CCDs.

Dual scan modes

In normal scan mode, the ORCA-R2 provides a readout speed of 14 MHz. This translates to 8.5 frames per second at full resolution, and is similar to the scan speed of the ORCA-ER and ORCA-AG. However, the fast scan mode of 28 MHz is available only in the ORCA-R2. Readout speed is doubled, delivering 16.2 frames per second at full resolution. To achieve higher frame rates, binning and sub-array features can be used in either normal scan or fast scan modes. The maximum frame rate is 115.1 frames per second.

Low noise due to optimized circuit design

In order to minimize readout noise, the ORCA-R2 is designed with separate circuits for the two readout modes. Each circuit is optimized to its particular readout mode, resulting in values as low as 6 electrons (rms) during normal scan operation and 10 electrons (rms) during fast scan operation. 

Low noise due to advanced cooling structure

Besides readout noise, the other noise source in CCD cameras is dark current from the image sensor, which can be significantly reduced by cooling. In the ORCA-R2, the CCD is cooled with a Peltier thermoelectric cooling device, supplemented by either water cooling (down to -40 degrees C) or air cooling (down to -35 degrees C). Hamamatsu’s proprietary hermetic vacuum-sealed chamber ensures much more efficient cooling than nitrogen-purged or conventionally evacuated chambers.

Analog contrast enhancement

Analog gain and analog offset features are included. When combined, they enhance your analog signal prior to digital conversion, giving you a higher contrast image.

Dual A/D converter (12-bit or 16-bit, selectable)

In applications where quantization error must be minimized, 16-bit digital conversion is recommended.

External trigger and synchronous output

To synchronize the ORCA-R2 to external equipment, four external trigger modes are provided: edge trigger, level trigger, synchronous readout trigger, and start trigger.

In configurations where the ORCA-R2 is the master and external equipment is the slave, you can choose from three synchronization modes: exposure output, programmable timing output, and trigger-ready output.


The ORCA-R2 camera is suited for many imaging applications in the visible to NIR wavelengths that require high resolution and an exposure time between 10 µs and 70 minutes. Example applications are listed below.

  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Live cells expressing GFP
  • Red to NIR fluorescence application
  • Ratio imaging
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)
  • IR-DIC and fluorescence imaging
  • Cell or tissue pathology
  • Time lapse fluorescence imaging
  • TIRF microscopy
  • Real-time confocal microscopy
  • Failure analysis
  • Semiconductor inspection
  • X-ray scintillator readout
Information kindly supplied by Hamamatsu Photonics

More in this category: « ORCA-Flash 4.0

Hamamatsu Cameras

Contact MSL

For detailed quotations, and to discuss all your possible microscopy requirements,

Contact us,
Microscope Systems Limited:
T: 01360 660 572
M: 07973 971 143
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


I want to thank you very much for working so well for us today – I’ve strongly recommended that you be recalled next year.

- Lesley McEvoy
North Atlantic Fisheries College, Shetland

Well executed service and repair of Olympus & Prior microscopes, one happy customer. James provided an excellent service

- Bill Revie
Construction Materials Consultancy

Contact Us

Tel: 01360 660 572
Mob: 07973 971 143
Fax:  01360 660 572

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.