Our partner Andor Oxford Instruments

sCMOS cameras for physical sciences

Balor, Marana, Zyla and Neo from Andor Technology

The Balor, Marana, 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 and astronomy. 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, Neo and Balor can be cooled to industry-leading -45 °C, -40 °C and -30 °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.

  • Extremely low read noise of 0.9 electrons (lower detection limit than any CCD camera)
  • High resolution from 4.2 50 16.9 megapixel with pixel sizes from 6.5 µm to 12 µm
  • Fast frame rates up to 101 frames/s at full resolution
  • High dynamic range up to 53,000 : 1

Further information

The Balor, Marana, 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 Balor, Marana 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, Balor, Marana and Neo simultaneously deliver highest specifications in sensitivity, resolution, speed, dynamic range and field-of-view: true scientific imaging without compromise.

Based on a new and unique 16.9 megapixel sensor, Balor is a revolutionary sCMOS camera especially for astronomy with a very large field of view and exceptionally fast 18.5 ms readout. Balor is capable of acquiring up to 54 frames per second at full resolution whilst maintaining very low <3 electrons read noise. The 12 µm pixels offer large well depth and an on-chip multi-amplifier design means the whole photometric range, from the noise floor up to the saturation limit, can be captured with one image, ideal for quantifying across a range of intensities. The 16.9 megapixel sensor of the Balor with a size of 49.5 mm x 49.2 mm offers the largest field of view of any sCMOS camera on the market.

Marana employs Back Illuminated sCMOS sensors with 4.2 megapixels and highest available quantum efficiency of 95 %. An UV-optimized sensor delivers best sensitivity from 250 nm to 400 nm.

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.




Marana 4.2B-11

Marana 4.2B-6

Neo 5.5

Zyla 5.5

Zyla 4.2


4128 x 4104 x 12 µm

2048 x 2048 x 11 µm

2048 x 2048 x 6.5 µm

2560 x 2160 x 6.5 µm

2560 x 2160 x 6.5 µm

2048 x 2048 x 6.5 µm

Sensor  Diagonal

70 mm 31.9. mm 18.8 mm 21.8 mm 21.8 mm 18.8 mm

Quantum Efficiency

61 %

95 %

94 %

60 %

60 %

82 %

Read Noise

2.9 e-

1.6 e-

1.1 e-

1.0 e-

0.9 e-

0.9 e-


-30 °C

-45 °C

-45 °C

-40 °C

0 °C or -10 °C

0 °C or -10 °C

Dark Current

0.065 e-/pixel/s

0.3 e-/pixel/s

0.1 e-/pixel/s

0.007 e-/pixel/s

0.1 or 0.019 e-/pixel/s

0.1 or 0.019 e-/pixel/s


Air and water or nur Wasser

Air and water

Air and water

Air and water

Air or water

Air or water

Dynamic Range

27,586 : 1

53,000 : 1

26,000 : 1

30,000 : 1

33,000 : 1

33,000 : 1


>99.7 %

>99.7 %

>99.7 %

>99 %

>99.8 %

>99.8 %

PRNU (Photon Response Non-Uniformity)

<0.5 %

<0.5 %

<0.5 %

<0.01 %

<0.01 %

<0.01 %


Rolling and Global



Rolling and Global

Rolling and Global



(4 lane CXP-6)

USB 3.0

USB 3.0 / CoaXPress

3-tap CameraLink

USB 3.0 or 10-tap CameraLink

USB 3.0 or 10-tap CameraLink

Full Frame Rate at Full Resolution



43 / 74

30 (100)

40 or 100

53 or 101

Watch the videos about key specifications and typical applications.

1.87 MB
Neo for physical sciences
3.46 MB
Zyla 4.2 and Zyla 5.5 for physical sciences
6.99 MB
Marana for physical sciences


Fluorescence microscopy
Imaging with scintillation screens
Plasma- and fusion research
Quantum physics
Particle image velocimetry (PIV) and particle tracking velocimetry (PTV)


Software for Andor cameras and spectropgraphs
PIV Mode for Neo and Zyla
UltraVac permanent vacuum head and performance longevitiy
Camera windows
Optical etaloning
Binning and frame rates
Cameras for astronomy
Scientific CMOS
Liquid cooling system EXT-440
Dynamic range of Zyla and Neo sCMOS cameras
Remote camera server


Webinar sCMOS Cameras
Webinar Scientific Cameras Part 1
Webinar Scientific Cameras Part 2
Webinar Polarimetry with Andor EMCCD and sCMOS Cameras
Andors Cameras for Observational Astronomy Technical Aspects and Applications
Balor: key specifications and typical applications
Marana: key specifications and typical applications
Remote Camera Server Online Seminar
sCMOS Observations at SwissOGS

Reference customers

Title Author(s) Institute Year Detector / 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

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
Field ion microscopy of electron emitters P. Groß,
A. Schröder,
C. Lienau,
S. Schäfer
Institute for Physics, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany 2019 Neo-5.5-CL3
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

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

Quantum physics
Silicon-vacancy color centers in n-type diamond A. M. Flatae,
F. Sledz,
M. Agio
Laboratory of Nano-Optics and Cμ,
University of Siegen, Germany
2020 Zyla-4.2P-USB3-W

Feasibility of using a scientific CMOS camera for two-state imaging of imbalanced ultracold Fermi gases

T. Lompe Institute of Laser Physics, Quantum Matter Group,University of Hamburg, Germany 2019 Zyla-5.5-USB3
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
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


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 photometry with the Marana sCMOS camera at the Planetary Transit Study Telescope

P. Ioannidis,
J.H.M.M. Schmitt
Hamburg Observatory, Physics Department,
University of Hamburg, Germany


Testing an Andor Marana sCMOS camera for high-speed astronomical image acquisition

M. Risch1
R. D. Nunez2

1 Planetarium, Mammendorf, Germany
2 PlaneWave Instruments, Adrian, MI,  USA
2020 Marana-4BV6U
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


Nonlinear optics
Imaging through nonlinear metalenses for second harmonic generation C. Schlickriede,
T. Zentgraf
Department of Physics, Paderborn University, Paderborn, Germany 2020


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

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

Shamrock SR-500i-B2-SIL

1New part number of DC152 QC-FI: Neo-5.5-CL3
2Neo DC152 QFR-FI replaced by Neo-5.5-CL3-F
3New part number of DC152 QF-Fi: Neo-5.5-CL3-F


Christian Iser
Christian Iser
Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Markus Krause
Markus Krause
Berlin, Brandenburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Sachsen, Thueringen, Hessen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland
Dr. Thorsten Pieper
Dr. Thorsten Pieper
Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Austria


Quantum Design GmbH

Im Tiefen See 58
64293 Darmstadt

Phone:+49 6151 8806-0
Fax:+49 6151 8806920
Christian IserProduct Manager Andor
+49 6151 8806-690
Write e-mail

Markus KrauseProduct Manager Andor
+49 6151 8806-558
Write e-mail

Dr. Thorsten PieperProduct Manager Andor
+49 6151 8806-754
Write e-mail