Exposure time in FLIR/pointgrey camera limited to 52ms (in both MM2 and flycapture)

Hi all,

I am trying to use a FLIR Blackfly camera (model BFLY-U3-23S6M-C, USB3 connection) with MM2gamma. I managed to get MM2 to recognize the camera and capture some images.
Strangely, it didn’t work for me with the spinnaker package from CAIRN but after I installed the “old” FlyCapture_2.10.3.266_x64 installation -that has been recommended by some on this forum I think-, both the pointgrey.dll and spinnakerCamera.dll became functional, and both configurations do work in MM2.

However, while the camera documentation says exposure time should range from 0.019 to 4 seconds, I can’t get exposure times longer than 52ms (or sometimes 23ms or 62ms, depending on whether I select Mode 0, 1 or 7 in micromanager). This is not strictly a micromanager issue as I get the problem in both micromanager and the flycapture software.

I can’t find any control in flycapture that would unlock this exposure (“shutter”) time limit, and I’m not familiar at all with any of the settings that are proposed.

Any advice on this issue will be much appreciated. Thanks a lot in advance for your help, and for everything you are doing here.

Cheers,

Xavier

Notes:

  • The camera is a demo unit that I have on loan from the French distributor of FLIR products. It is actually an “old” unit from 2015 (it is labelled Pointgrey, not FLIR). But I don’t think that should make any difference with the current model from FLIR, as far as I understand they only changed the logo…
  • I also notice that in live mode in MM2, despite exposure time being set to 52ms, the refresh rate of the image in the live/snap window is closer to 500ms. However this may also be a result of using an oldish PC that I had sitting in a corner, since a lot of the MM2 functions seem to be a bit slow on this machine: the computer is almost 10 years old, runs on Windows7 64bit, the hard disk is almost full and needs a good cleaning, and it only has USB2 ports (although I could probably install a USB3 PCI card). I am using it for low cost resuscitation of an old Zeiss axioplan2 left behind by a group that closed down a few years ago, which is a good microscope that should be put to better use than gathering dust. It used to run on an even older and slower windows XP unit with a Coolsnap CF camera. The PCI card and drivers for the coolsnap CF do not work with windows 7, soI figured a cheap Blackfly camera would be ok for daily observation/documentation of fluorescence images for samples that do not require going to more advanced imaging on the confocal.