I have Labview 2011 and am using a Basler ace acA1300-200uc camera, which is supported by NI. I have a few simple things I need to do with this camera. First off I need to put in a trigger to my Labview code telling it to start when a trigger in another Labview program occurs. Then I need to open a live video stream on the display for the duration of the testing. I don't actually need to save any of the video. Additionally I need to capture an image from the video two or three times in the first thirty seconds of video.
I've scoured through the forums and have only found a few examples of how to capture images from a USB camera without paying arounf $4000 for the IMAQdx software. I believe that my task is way too simple to justify purchasing this software as I don't need to process any images or video in any way, other than capturing an image from the video stream. Does anyone have any tips on how to do this in Labview?
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You need the IMAQdx drivers in order to get images from a USB or Ethernet camera into LabVIEW. In addition, you probably need the IMAQdx functions that "know how to talk to the cameras" to get the camera to do such things as acquire an image over the USB bus and bring it into LabVIEW, manipulate that image (including getting it out as an array of pixels, RGB or GrayScale, as you specify using IMAQdx functions).
If you have third-party software that can run the Camera and save the data for you to a file, you might be able to use some of the LabVIEW Graphics and Sound functions to read the images (though they seem to be set up for single images, not video). There is other third-party software that might also be useful (including some that might render a video file as a series of single images).
However, if you are looking for a "mostly-LabVIEW" solution for Video acquisition, whether or not it involves heavy-duty image processing, IMAQdx is definitely the (LabVIEW) way to go.
I ended up purchasing a frame grabber which came with the Vision Acquisition software, which includes imaqdx. If I had gotten the camera through NI I believe that also would have come with the software and I could have avoided the extra couple hundred (however it was cheaper to get the frame grabber than to just purchase the software on its own).