Laser 2000

ORCA-Quest 2 qCMOS Camera


The ORCA-Quest 2 is the newest and top of the range qCMOS imaging camera with its unique “Plug in & Go” style design for simplicity. For more information please contact our experts.

The world’s first camera to incorporate the qCMOS image sensor. This camera achieves the ultimate in quantitative imaging.

Groundbreaking in concept and unprecedented in performance.

Since the 1980s, Hamamatsu Photonics has continued to develop high-sensitivity, low-noise cameras using its unique camera design technology and has always contributed to the development of cutting-edge scientific and technological research. Now, we are proud to release the ORCA-Quest 2 with ultimate performance. The C15550-22UP is the world’s first camera to incorporate the qCMOS image sensor and to be able to resolve the number of photoelectrons using a newly developed dedicated technology. The camera achieves the ultimate in quantitative imaging. For more information on the technology behind the ORCA-Quest 2, find the white paper attached to the product documents.

Four key features

1. Extreme low-noise performance

In order to detect weak light with high signal-to-noise, ORCA-Quest 2 has been designed and optimised to every aspect of the sensor from its structure to its electronics. Not only the camera development but also the custom sensor development has been done with latest CMOS technology, an extremely low noise performance of 0.27 electrons has been achieved.

ORCA Quest QCMOS Camera Low Noise Performance

2. Realisation of photon number resolving (PNR) output

Light is a collection of many photons. Photons are converted into electrons on the sensor, and these electrons are called photoelectrons. “Photon number resolving*” is a method of accurately measuring light by counting photoelectrons. In order to count these photoelectrons, camera noise must be sufficiently smaller than the amount of photoelectron signal. Conventional sCMOS cameras achieve a small readout noise, but still larger than photoelectron signal, making it difficult to count photoelectrons. Using advanced camera technology, the ORCA-Quest 2 counts photoelectrons and delivers an ultra-low readout noise of 0.27 electrons rms (@Ultra quiet scan), stability over temperature and time, individual calibration and real-time correction of each pixel value.

* Photon number resolving is unique and quite different from photon counting (More precisely the method resolves the number of photoelectrons. However, since single photon counting instead of single photoelectron counting has been used for a comparable method in this field, we will use the term “photon number resolving”).

ORCA Quest QCMOS Camera Photon Number Resolving

3. Back-illuminated structure and high resolution

High QE is essential for high efficiency of detecting photons and achieved by back-illuminated structure. In conventional back-illuminated sensors, crosstalks occur between pixels due to no pixel separation, and resolutions are usually inferior to those of front-illuminated sensors. The ORCA-Quest 2 qCMOS®’s sensor has back-illuminated structure for achieving high quantum efficiency, and trench structure in one-by-one pixel for reducing crosstalk.

4. Realisation of a large number of pixels and high speed readout

Photon counting (PC) level images have typically been acquired using electron multiplication camera such as EM-CCD camera with about 0.3 megapixels. However, ORCA-Quest 2 can acquire not only PC level images but also photon number resolving images with 9.4 megapixels. In addition, it is not fair to compare readout speeds of cameras with different pixel number by frame rate. In such a case the pixel rate (number of pixels × frame rate), which is the number of pixels read out per second, is used. Until now, the fastest camera capable of SPC readout was the EM-CCD camera with about 27 megapixel/s, but the ORCA-Quest 2 enables photon number resolving imaging at about 47 megapixel/s, nearly twice as fast.


  1. Lucky imaging.
  2. Raman Spectroscopy.
  3. Delayed fluorescence in plants.

PC recommendation

With the introduction of the ORCA-Quest 2, users are now able to stream 9.4 megapixel images to their computers 120 frames per second.

Type number C15550-22UP
Quantum efficiency @peak QE: 85 %
Imaging device qCMOS™ image sensor
Effective no. of pixels 4096 (H) × 2304 (V)
Cell size 4.6 μm (H) × 4.6 μm (V)
Effective area 18.841 mm (H) × 10.598 mm (V)
Full well capacity 7000 electrons(Typ.)
Readout speed Standard scan: 120 frames/s (@4096 x 2304 pixels, CoaXPress)
Standard: 17.6 frames/s (@4096 x 2304 pixels, USB)
Ultra quiet scan: 25.4 frames/s. (@4096 x 2304 pixels, CoaXPress)
Ultra quiet scan: 17.6 frames/s (@4096 x 2304 pixels, USB)
Readout noise Standard scan: 0.43 electrons rms (Typ.)
Ultra quiet scan: 0.3 electrons rms (Typ.)
Exposure time Standard scan: 7.2 μs to 1800 s
Ultra quiet scan:172.8 μs to 1800 s
Cooling method Peltier cooling
Cooling temperature Forced-air cooled (Ambient temperature: +25 °C) : -20 ℃
Water cooled (Water temperature: +25 °C) : -20 ℃
Water cooled (@max cooling; Water temperature: +20 ℃, Ambient temperature: +20 ℃) : Less than -35 ℃
Dark current 0.016 electrons/pixel/s (Sensor temperature: -20 ℃, Ambient temperature: +25 ℃) (Typ.)
0.016 electrons/pixel/s (Sensor temperature: – 20 ℃, Water temperature: +25 ℃) (Typ.)
0.006 electrons/pixel/s (Sensor temperature: Less than -35 ℃, Water temperature: +20 ℃, Ambient temperature: +20 ℃) (Typ.)
Dynamic range 25 900:1 (Typ.)*1
External trigger mode Edge / Global reset edge / Level / Grobal reset level / Sync readout / Start *2
Edge / Start *3
External trigger signal routing SMA
Trigger delay function 0 s to 10 s in 1 μs steps
Trigger output Global exposure timing output / Any-row exposure timing output / Trigger ready output / 3 programmable timing outputs / High output / Low output
External signal output routing SMA
Image processing functions Defect pixel correction (ON or OFF, hot pixel correction 3 steps)
Interface USB 3.1 Gen 1, CoaXPress (Quad CXP-6 )
A/D converter 16 bit, 12 bit, 8 bit
Lens mount C-mount
Power supply AC100 V to AC240 V, 50 Hz/60 Hz
Power consumption Approx. 155 VA
Ambient operating temperature 0 °C to +40 °C
Ambient storage temperature −10 °C to +50 °C
Ambient operating humidity 30 % to 80 % (With no condensation)
Ambient storage humidity 90 % Max. (With no condensation)

*1: Calculated from the ratio of the full well capacity and the readout noise in ultra quiet scan
*2: At Area readout, Photon number resolving
*3: At Lightsheet readout (Software such as HCImage is required. For details, please contact your local Hamamatsu representative or distributor.)

ORCA-Quest 2 Datasheet
White Paper
Technical Note
Instruction Manual

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