Quick search : High speed cameraSWIR cameraCamera for small animal imaging

scientific visible and SWIR cameras


When astronomers and engineers design a new scientific instrument, there is a very special moment. It happens the first time the instrument is set on the telescope, looking at the sky. When light coming from the universe trickles down the system and ultimately falls on the detector. From this moment on, observations can begin, theories can be tested, science can be made.
We call this moment the First Light.

our vision

making the invisible visible

our mission


First Light Imaging offers advanced imaging solutions for extremely low-light environment and real time applications to the world scientific and industrial communities



First Light Imaging cameras are optimized for adaptive optics in astronomy and low light applications in visible and infrared spectra. Our cameras are the fastest photon counting cameras available on the market. First Light Imaging works with the most advanced research centers and astronomical observatories in the world.
Example of astronomy applications : Adaptive Optics, Exoplanets research, Laser communications, Astronomical observations, ground to ground transmissions, interferometry, Fringe tracking.


Going beyond the visible wavelength is priceless for researchers in medical and biology. Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) imaging allows deeper, non-invasive, high-resolution detection of in vivo or ex vivo tissues, thanks to the very low reflectivity of skin in the SWIR, and to contrast agent or dyes.
The scope of applications is large, especially in cancer domain but not only. Example of life sciences applications: Small animal imaging in NIR II, Fluorescence microscopy, Tissue analysis, OCT imaging, Raman spectroscopy, Singlet oxygen imaging, Photodynamic therapy, Cellular imaging, biological sampling.


Space industry revolution is ongoing. In response to the increasing demand for New Space applications, with a strong track record of performance, First Light Imaging offers off-the-shelf and customizable SWIR (short wave infrared) camera solutions for New Space optical payloads. Example of new space applications: earth observation, space exploration, free space optical communications (FSO), cubesats, data exchange, gas detection.


Imaging has long been used in industrial processes to measure, monitor, control or otherwise manage the production of goods. High speed SWIR cameras can see through coatings that are opaque to the eye, and enables visualization of underlying features such as fill levels, or hidden moisture…
Whether for semiconductor inspection, food inspection or quality control, non destructive analysis, laser beam alignment or environmental monitoring, our visible and short wave infrared cameras can be used in countless industrial fields.


Our Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) cameras are able to image high contrast images through haze, mist, rain, fog and challenging atmospheric conditions. Even better performance is possible thanks to our High Dynamic Range feature.
Example of safety and surveillance applications: SWIR imaging for night vision, background contrast, cloud or smoke penetration, identification of objects.


Surface pigments are typically transparent at wavelengths longer than 1100 nm, and our Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) cameras can be used as non-invasive detection instrument for painting inspection, such as identification of alterations, counterfeiting, copying, overpainting, or erased marking, providing information on hidden structures which are invisible to human eye.


Our Cameras:



Our C-BLUE series of high speed low noise visible cameras is declined in 2 lines: C-BLUE & OCAM²


  • available in 3 versions: 0.5MP, 1.7MP and 7.1MP
  • High speed (from 169 to 1594 FPS FF) 
  • Very low noise (from 1.38e- to 2.35e-)


  • Optimized for the 200-400nm wavelength
  • High speed up to 170 FPS
  • Very low noise 1.40 e- RMS (typ.)

C-BLUE is a line of high speed low noise global shutter scientific CMOS cameras, specifically designed for demanding imaging applications in the UV-visible range.

In order to cover the largest scope of applications, C-BLUE One has been designed to integrate one of three different new generation industrial sensors, with the performances of a scientific camera.
The camera can be tailored to be the best pixel size, resolution, and frame rate compromise for your use case:
• C-BLUE One 0.5MP: 812×612 px, 9μm, 1594 FPS
• C-BLUE One 1.7MP: 1608×1104 px, 9μm, 662 FPS
• C-BLUE One 7.1MP: 3208×2200 px, 4.5μm, 207 FPS

Opening new possibilities for high-speed CMOS imaging, C-BLUE One UV is an Ultraviolet-optimized scientific CMOS camera, offering a spectral sensitivity from 200 to 1000nm.


  • 2067 Frames per second full frame,
  • <1 e- RON
  • Ultra low latency: 43µs


  • 2067 Frames per second full frame,
  • <1 e- RON
  • Ultra low latency: 43µs
  • Embedded electronic shutter lower than 1 µs, mostly for pulsed laser applications

Developed by astronomers for astronomers for Visible imaging, with up to 95% quantum efficiency over a wide spectrum (from 400 to 900 nm), our EMCCD cameras (Electron Multiplier Charge Coupled Device) OCAM²K and OCAM²S are the fastest visible cameras with subelectron read out noise.


Our C-RED series of high-speed SWIR cameras offer 5 cameras for high-performance scientific or industrial infrared imaging


  • 3500 Frames per second full frame,
  • <1 e- RON + Dark
  • Multiple Readout Modes
  • High reliability autonomous cryocooling system (Pulse Tube)

C-RED One is a revolutionary infrared camera base on a 320×256 pixels MCT e-APD (Avalanche Photodiodes) sensor with noise-free signal multiplication, offering unprecedented performances in SWIR imaging.
C-RED One is capable of multiple regions of interest (ROI) readout allowing faster image rate (10’s of KHz) while maintaining unprecedented subelectron readout noise.
The camera has been rewarded by a Prism Award for Photonics Innovation in 2016 and still owns the world record in speed and sensitivity for a SWIR avalanche photodiode camera.


  • Up to 600 Frames per second full frame
  • <30 e- RON + ultra low dark
  • Long exposure times optimisation
  • 93 dB and true 16 bits High Dynamic Range

C-RED 2 outperforms the capacities of its 640 x 512 15 μm pixels high resolution InGaAs sensor, revolutionizing SWIR imaging.
The camera offers a very high speed frame rate of 600 FPS, with a very low RON + dark under 30 electrons.
C-RED 2 can operate in any environment or complex situations. It is also optimized for long exposure times up to 60 seconds, allowing new opportunities in low light infrared imaging.

our company - Extended range swir camera

C-RED 2 Extended Range

  • Extended SWIR scientific cameras
  • Available in 2 versions: 1.9µm and 2.2µm
  • 600 Frames per second full frame
  • <50 e- RON
  • Embedded image corrections

C-RED 2 Lite

  • 600 Frames per second full frame
  • 30 e- RON
  • Sensor temperature stabilization
  • ΔT° between case and sensor: 25°C
  • 93 dB and true 16 bits High Dynamic Range
  • SWaP optimized

C-RED 2 ER 1.9µm and 2.2µm are ultra fast extended InGaAs cameras for eSWIR imaging. They are complementary to C-RED 2 in terms of sensitivity, as they cover the high end of the SWIR spectrum.
C-RED 2 ER 1.9µm & 2.2µm allow to go deeper in the infrared and open new opportunities in SWIR imaging.



C-RED 2 Lite is a thermoelectrically stabilized compact and rugged camera with multiple options to optimize heat dissipation. The camera’s design optimizes temperature management and enables precise sensor stabilization despite environmental fluctuations. Able to run at 600 FPS with 30 electrons readout noise, with large dynamic and HDR mode, C-RED 2 Lite does not make any compromise on camera performances.



C-RED 3 – High speed SWIR camera

  • 600 Frames per second full frame
  • <40 e- RON
  • Adaptive BIAS
  • 93 dB and true 16 bits High Dynamic Range
  • Electronic shutter <5µs
  • Uncooled and SWaP optimized

C-RED 3 is an uncooled low cost high speed SWIR camera. The camera is based on a tecless InGaAs sensor sensitive from 0.9 to 1.7 µm and offers up to 600 FPS for a <40 electrons readout noise.
Available in 2 versions: Camera Link™ Full or USB 3.1 Gen 1, C-RED 3 also exists in OEM module for easy integration in larger systems.



C-RED New Space – Space-designed SWIR camera core

  • 600 FPS full frame
  • 30 e- RON
  • 640 x 512 sensor, 15µm
  • 93 dB and true 16 bits High Dynamic Range
  • Board level for easy integration
  • Customizable

C-RED New Space is a high speed SWIR camera core specifically designed for space operations. The camera is based on a space-approved InGaAs sensor with space-designed electronics, and sensitive from 0.9 to 1.7 µm.
C-RED New Space is highly customizable (hardware, software and design) and offers up to 600 FPS for a 30 electrons readout noise.



All our cameras are provided with our own Graphical User Interface (GUI) and our software allowing real time applications. They can be updated remotely.
We care about our products, so we carefully pack our cameras in strong Pelicases®.
Our packages are marked with shockwatch indicators, and we ship them all around the world with reliable forwarding partners.

First Light Imaging challenges physical laws by creating the most
innovative, high speed low noise SWIR and visible scientific cameras

our company

control all the manufacturing process to be the most performant

We design and manufacture low noise and ultra high-speed SWIR cameras, UV cameras and visible cameras.
Multiple award-winning, First Light Imaging is recognized for the high performance of its products, and works with world leading institutes and manufacturers.
This technical excellency is key to our goal : providing our customers with uncompromising performance and quality, with MADE IN FRANCE products.


Constantly improving to use technology at its highest potential

First Light Imaging develops its cutting-edge cameras around state of the art scientific sensors. EMCCD, CMOS, e-APD MCT or InGaAs, we integrate the most challenging, difficult to harness detectors in complex optics systems.
Our innovation and technology are already at the heart of the Adaptive Optics systems for the world’s biggest telescopes, looking at the universe and searching for planets, or in the sharpest laboratories, plugged on microscopes, looking at cells and searching for diseases.

From visible to Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) wavelengths, with the lowest readout noise and the highest frame rates, high QE over a wide spectrum, wavefront sensing with integrated micro-lens arrays, nanoseconds accurate synchronization, electronic shutter… First Light Imaging offers state of the art products for high end applications, to make the invisible visible.

European Conformity

First Light Imaging is involved in CEM compliance.
Our cameras are exempted from the RoHS limitation.

Sustainable development

First Light Imaging is involved in sustainable development by recycling all its electronical and electrical wastes.

Personal data protection

First Light Imaging is also attentive to data protection, all information collected is protected by our private servers. Data is exclusively used in the execution of our business relationship with our customers and suppliers, and for marketing or information purposes.

our advantage:

made in france products

Our scientific cameras are MADE IN FRANCE.
They are dual-use products, following the export rules of the Council regulation (EC) No 428/2009 of 5 May 2009 modified by the Regulation (EU) No 388/2012 of the European parliament and of the Council of 19 April 2012.

No export licence is required within the EU.

First Light Imaging owns a General Export Licence for exports in the following countries: USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
For every other country, an individual export licence is required.

Our cameras are MADE IN FRANCE.

They are classified under category 6A003.b of the Dual-use products list from the European Union
(Equivalent to the Export Control Classification Number ECCN)
They are NOT subject to ITAR restrictions.

our partners and customers

the world is our playground

Today, observatories, research institutes, universities and industrials on 4 continents have given us their trust, and we are proud to count among our partners and customers: