Camera image quality question

I had a web cam laying around and after some struggling I got it set up. I must admit it is pretty damn accurate!
However the image quality is kind of bad, especially when zooming in. the camera settings says is can do 1440p 16:9 at 30fps.
Would the official lightburn camera be a big upgrade in quality? According to Lightburn the 8mp wide or narrow would cover the bed of my laser.

The camera alignment & calibration process extracts only the section of the image required to cover the platform and uses snapshots, rather than video, to update the workspace image.

For example, the platform in my laser is 700×500 mm, roughly 4:3, so a 16:9 camera image has a bunch of unusable pixels on either side.

Suppose the camera produces a 1920×1080 HD image, so it will (ideally) capture the 500 mm Y dimension with 1000 pixels: about 2 pixel/mm. That means the 700 mm X dimension uses 1400 pixels, again at 2 pixel/mm, not about 2000. Those are rather gritty compared to typical 300 DPI = 11.8 dot/mm images.

But then the image goes through the adjustment mapping it into the workspace XY plane, so each input pixel does not correspond to a single output pixel. In effect, each output pixel gets some fraction of maybe a 3×3 square of camera pixels.

Bottom line: the image starts out with surprisingly low spatial resolution and doesn’t get any better, because the intent is mapping it onto a rectangular coordinate system to assist in locating parts, not producing a pretty picture (particularly at high zoom levels).

1 Like

Ok, so picture quality really won’t matter much as long as the bed is covered by the image, correct?

Pretty much.

With the laser in Absolute Coordinate mode, the image aligns with the LightBurn workspace. Drop a tile on the platform, focus on the tile, update the overlay, drag the pattern over the tile, and Fire The Laser.

With my setup, the camera makes millimeter-scale positioning easy. Going sub-millimeter requires cross-checking with the red-dot pointer. Repeatable positioning for many identical parts comes from a fixture, rather than fiddling with each one individually.

When you keep in mind the overlay’s intent is positioning, rather than pretty, maybe it’ll feel better. :grin:

1 Like