Andor Zyla 5.5 sCMOS Camera | Andor

Zyla 5.5 sCMOS

Zyla 5.5 is a large field of view, high resolution 5.5 megapixel sCMOS camera, ideal for research and OEM usage. Zyla 5.5 offers a 100 fps frame rate and ultra-low noise performance, in a light, compact design. A highly cost-effective USB 3.0 version is available, offering industry fastest speeds up to 40 fps (full frame), representing the ideal performance upgrade for your lab. NEW GPU Express works alongside SDK3 to enable simplified and optimized data transfers from camera to GPU for real time processing.

True Global Exposure
Zyla 5.5 CMOS camera uniquely offers both Rolling [see the video] and Global [see the video] Exposure modes - FIND OUT MORE

  • Snapshot imaging capability
  • No distortion of fast moving images
  • Faster 3D / 4D microscopy – ease of synchronization
  • No dead time, no photon waste


Andor's Zyla 5.5 sCMOS camera offers high speed, high sensitivity imaging performance in a remarkably light and compact, TE cooled design. Zyla is ideally suited to many cutting-edge applications that push the boundaries of speed, offering sustained frame rate performance of up to 100 fps, faster with ROIs.

A highly cost-effective USB 3.0 version is available offering 40 fps and 1.2 e- rms read noise, representing an ideal low light 'workhorse' upgrade camera solution for both microscopy and physical science applications, in either research or OEM environments.

Rolling and Global (Snapshot) Shutter readout inherent to Zyla 5.5 ensures maximum application flexibility. Global shutter to the in particular provides an important 'freeze frame' exposure mechanism that emulates that of an interline CCD, overcoming the transient readout nature of Rolling shutter mode.

The Andor GPU Express library has been created to simplify and optimize data transfers from camera to a CUDA-enabled NVidia Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) card to facilitate accelerated GPU processing as part of the acquisition pipeline.


Key Specifications
Sensor Type Front Illuminated Scientific CMOS
Active Pixels 2560 x 2160 (5.5 Megapixel)
Sensor Size 16.6 x 14.0 mm (21.8 mm diagonal)
Pixel well depth (typical) 30,000 e-
Pixel readout rate (MHz) 560 (280 MHz x 2 sensor halves) 200 (100 MHz x 2 sensor halves)
Read Noise (e-)
200 MHz
560 MHz
Rolling Shutter
Global Shutter
Maximum frame rate 40 fps @ full frame (USB 3.0)
100 fps @ full frame (Camera Link 10-tap)
Maximum Quantum Efficiency 60%
Dark current, e-
/pixel/sec @ 0°C
Readout modes Rolling Shutter and Global (Snapshot) Shutter
Maximum dynamic range 25,000:1
Photon Response Non-Uniformity (PRNU) < 0.5%
Pre-defined Region of Interest 2048 x 2048, 1920 x 1080, 1392 x 1040, 512 x 512, 128 x 128
Data range 12 bit and 16 bit
Interface options USB 3.0, Camera Link 10-tap

Features and Benefits

Features Benefits
1.2 e- read noise Offers lower detection limit than any CCD.
Rolling and Global (Snapshot) shutter Maximum exposure and readout flexibility across all applications. Snapshot for 'interline CCD mode' freeze frame capture of fast moving/changing events.
Sub-microsecond inter-frame gap Global Shutter offers down to 100 ns inter-frame gap, ideal for PIV applications.
Industry Fastest Frame Rates 100 fps (full frame) sustained via Camera Link . Industry fastest USB 3.0 frame rates, 40 fps (full frame). Faster speeds with ROI.
5.5 megapixel sensor format and 6.5 μm pixels Delivers extremely sharp resolution over a 22 mm diagonal field of view; ideal for cell microscopy, astronomy and area scanning applications such as digital pathology and high content screening.
Dual-Gain Amplifiers Maximum well depth and lowest noise simultaneously, affording extended dynamic range of 25,000:1
12-bit and 16-bit modes 12-bit for smaller file size and absolute fastest frame rates through USB 3.0; 16-bit for full dynamic range.
Low dark current: 0.10 e-/pix/s Extremely competitive optimized darkcurrent. Maintains low noise advantage across range of exposure conditions.
TE cooling to 0° C in 35 °C ambient Ideal for OEM integration into enclosed systems.
GPU Express Simplify and optimize data transfers from camera to Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) card to facilitate accelerated GPU processing as part of the acquisition pipeline.
Compact and Light Ideal for integration into space restrictive set-ups. Perfect for OEM.
Hardware Timestamp FPGA generated timestamp with 25ns accuracy.
Dynamic Baseline Clamp Essential to ensure quantitative accuracy across the image area and between successive images of a kinetic series.
Spurious Noise Filter Real time FPGA filter that identifies and compensates for spurious high noise pixels.
Single window design Single input window with double AR coating ensures maximum photon throughput.
Comprehensive trigger modes and I/O Communication and synchronization within intricate experimental set-ups.


Graphs and Drawings
QE Curve

QE vs Fluorophore Emissions
 Dimensions - Front
 Dimensions - Side
 Connector Panel - Std Camera Link and USB 3.0


Fast Frame Rates

The Zyla 5.5 sCMOS is capable of delivering 100 fps sustained, the data streaming to PC through a high-bandwidth ‘10-tap’ Camera Link interface. A market leading, cost effective USB 3.0 version is also available, delivering 40 fps (full frame), faster from ROI.

The sCMOS sensor in Zyla 5.5 has highly parallel readout architecture. All 2560 columns possess their own Amplifier and Analogue to Digital Converter (ADC), at both the top and bottom of the column. This means that not only are all columns read out in parallel, but the readout direction of each column is split in the center, the signal from top and bottom halves.

Zyla 5.5 USB 3.0 Zyla 5.5 Camera Link
Rolling Shutter Global Shutter Rolling Shutter Global Shutter
2560 x 2160 40 (30) 40 (30) 100 (75) 49 (49)
2048 x 2048 53 (40) 52 (39) 105 (98) 52 (52)
1920 x 1080 107 (80) 98 (80) 199 (199) 97 (97)
512 x 512 419 (419) 201 (201) 419 (419) 201 (201)
128 x 128 1639 (1639) 716 (716) 1639 (1639) 716 (716)

Zyla 5.5 frame rates across different ROI sizes; 12-bit (16-bit) modes

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Low Noise Floor

Andor’s ultrasensitive Zyla 5.5 sCMOS camera offers an unparalleled 1.2 electron typical read noise floor, achievable at 30 fps, representing 200MHz pixel readout. Furthermore, advancing readout to full speed has minimal impact on read noise, the Zyla 5.5 offering a typical noise value of 1.45 electron at 100 full fps. For the best CCD cameras to even approach 2 electrons noise, a readout speed of 1MHz or slower is required. This minimal detection limit renders the Zyla 5.5 sCMOS suitable for a wide variety of challenging low light imaging applications when compared to CCD cameras.

To learn more, download the Andor sCMOS Brochure to access the technical note entitled ‘Understanding Read Noise in sCMOS ’.

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Rolling & Global Shutter

Zyla 5.5 offers the distinct capability to offer both Rolling shutter and Global (Snapshot) shutter readout modes within the same camera, such that the most appropriate mode can be selected dependent on application requirements.

  • Rolling shutter essentially means that different lines of the array are exposed at different times as the read out ‘wave’ sweeps through the sensor, a row in the middle starting the exposure at least 10ms before rows at the edges. The lowest readout noise and fastest frame rates are available from this mode (see the video) .
  • Global shutter which can also be thought of as a ‘snapshot’ exposure mode, means that all pixels of the array are exposed simultaneously, thus enabling ‘freeze frame’ capture of fast moving or fast changing events. This mode is closest to the exposure sequence of interline CCDs and is much more straightforward to synchronise to. For some particular applications, for example where it is required that different regions of the image maintain temporal correlation or where it is required to accurately synchronize to relatively short lived events, global shutter will be viewed as a necessity (see the video). Global shutter also offers down to 100 ns inter-frame gap, ideal for PIV applications.
Rolling and Global Shutter

Rolling Shutter exposure sequence (single frame)

Rolling and Global Shutter

Global Shutter sequence (single frame)

To learn more, download the Andor sCMOS Brochure to access the technical note entitled ‘Rolling and Global Shutter ’.

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GPU Express

The Andor GPU Express library has been created to simplify and optimize data transfers from camera to a CUDA-enabled NVidia Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) card to facilitate accelerated GPU processing as part of the acquisition pipeline. GPU Express integrates easily with SDK3 for Andor sCMOS cameras, providing a user-friendly but powerful solution for management of high bandwidth data flow challenges; ideal for data intensive applications such as Light Sheet Microscopy, Super-Resolution Microscopy and Adaptive Optics.

  • Enhanced convenience, afforded by simple, optimized GPU data management
  • Guaranteed optimal data throughout
  • Superb, easily accessible documentation and examples.

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Extended Dynamic Range

The innovative Dual Amplifier architecture of the sCMOS sensor in Zyla 5.5 uniquely circumvents the need to choose between high or low gain amplifiers, in that signal can be sampled simultaneously by both high gain (low noise) and low gain (high capacity) amplifiers. As such, the lowest noise of the sensor can be harnessed alongside the maximum well depth, affording widest possible dynamic range. Uniquely for such a relatively small pixel design, this allows for dynamic range performance of 25,000:1 in Zyla 5.5.

Rolling and Global Shutter

High contrast image of LED illuminated picture, captured with Neo camera. The zoomed region shows pixel regions that are sampled by both high gain (low noise) and low gain (high capacity) amplifiers respectively.

To learn more, download the Andor sCMOS Brochure to access the technical note entitled ‘Dual Amplifier Dynamic Range ’.

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Superior Image Quality

A lot of intelligence has been directed towards delivering best image quality and uniformity in the Zyla 5.5. The FPGA stores offset compensation maps at the pixel level (as opposed to column level) for different combinations of gains and readout speeds, thus minimizing fixed pattern noise. Then, a further set of real time algorithms provide compensation for any further dynamic fluctuations. Gain compensation maps adjust for any minor differences in pixel responsivity, resulting in a Photon Response Non-Uniformity (PRNU) specification of < 0.5%.

These attributes, combined with markedly superior performance and similar pricing, places Zyla 5.5 sCMOS as the ideal camera with which to upgrade from existing interline CCDs.

Superior Image Quality

Andor’s Dynamic Baseline Clamp affords superior background image quality (Dark image, Rolling Shutter, 10 ms exposure)

Column Structure

Column structure reduction algorithm, inherent to Zyla and Neo sCMOS cameras, minimizing fixed pattern column-level noise from the low gain (high capacity) channel

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Dynamic Baseline Clamp

The Dynamic Baseline Clamp was developed by Andor specifically for their sCMOS cameras. This real time algorithm uses available dark reference pixels on either side of each row of the sensor to compensate for any real time variation of the baseline (bias) offset.

  • A flat baseline offset across the entire image
  • Baseline is rigidly clamped between all images of a kinetic series
  • Quantitative reproducibility of data taken in different sessions
  • Significantly improves image quality

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Spurious Noise Filter

Andor’s Zyla 5.5 sCMOS camera comes equipped with an in-built FPGA filter that operates in real time to reduce the frequency of occurrence of high noise pixels. This real time filter corrects for pixels that are above 5 electrons and would otherwise appear as spurious ‘salt and pepper’ noise spikes in the image.

The appearance of such noisy pixels is analogous to the situation of Clock Induced Charge (CIC) noise spikes in EMCCD cameras, in that it is due to the fact that we have significantly reduced the noise in the bulk of the sensor that the remaining small percentage of spuriously high noise pixels can become an aesthetic issue. The filter employed dynamically identifies such high noise pixels and replaces them with the mean value of the neighbouring pixels.

Demonstration of effect of Spurious Noise Filter on a dark image, 20 ms exposure time, 560MHz readout speed.

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Hardware Timestamp

Andor’s Zyla 5.5 sCMOS offers an FPGA generated hardware timestamp, coincident to the end of exposure with 25 nanosecond accuracy, essential to maintain accurate kinetic information relating to image capture.

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The Andor Learning Center hosts a wide range of case studies, technical articles and webinars to guide you through the many features of our portfolio.


Degradable ketal-based block copolymer nanoparticles for anti-cancer drug delivery: a systematic evaluation
BRCA1 establishes DNA damage signaling and pericentric heterochromatin of the X chromosome in male meiosis
Simultaneous whole-animal 3D-imaging of neuronal activity using light field microscopy
Phosphorylation of myosin II-interacting guanine nucleotide exchange factor (MyoGEF) at threonine-544 by aurora B kinase promotes the binding of polo-like kinase 1 …
Correlated Cryo-fluorescence and Cryo-electron Microscopy with High Spatial Precision and Improved Sensitivity
Photo-activation and saturated emission in blended conjugated polymer nanoparticles
High-speed panoramic light-sheet microscopy reveals global endodermal cell dynamics
High-speed panoramic light-sheet microscopy reveals global endodermal cell dynamics
Fourier phase microscopy with white light
Towards comprehensive cell lineage reconstructions in complex organisms using light‐sheet microscopy
Nanoscopy with more than 100,000 'doughnuts'
Optical Photon Reassignment Microscopy (OPRA)
Finding Very Small Near-Earth Asteroids using Synthetic Tracking
A versatile high resolution objective for imaging quantum gases
Real time contact-free and non-invasive tracking of the human skull: first light and initial validation
The effect of moisture on the degradation mechanism of multi-crystalline silicon photovoltaic module
The effect of encapsulant discoloration and delamination on the electrical characteristics of photovoltaic module
Kinesin KIFC1 actively transports bare double-stranded DNA
Mapping the driving forces of chromosome structure and segregation in Escherichia coli
Bacteria can exploit a flagellar buckling instability to change direction

Drivers and Downloads


Zyla 5.5 HF
Andor’s Zyla 5.5 HF outstanding design delivers the highest transmission and spatial resolution (1217 R1)