Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ToF Cameras Shootout

Aalto University, Espoo, Finland, publishes MsC Thesis "Performance Evaluation of Time-of-Flight Depth Cameras" by Matti Laukkanen. Three ToF cameras are compared: MESA SR4000 (released in 2010), Panasonic DIMager EKL-3106 (2012) and Microsoft Kinect v2 (2014). Few comparisons:

"Overall, Kinect v2 can be considered as the winner of the trio. Compared to the other two devices, it offers approximately ten times more pixels and a significantly larger FOV at a fraction of the price. It is also the most accurate, as it can achieve up to millimetre precision. SR4000 is at its best almost as accurate, but on the other hand it is highly sensitive to background light. D-IMager differs significantly from the other two, as its depth accuracy is nearly tenfold lower."


  1. Interesting conclusion. While Kinect seems to be more precise under some conditions, it achieves this performance apparently by using an active cooling system, at least 3x higher power consumption, almost 2x higher weight, more than 2x of the camera size and 6m shorter maximum range. There is no information on the actual effective resolution. Is there any filtering applied inherently by Kinect while the other cameras are giving raw distance data without lateral resolution limitations?

    1. Hi,

      How did you come up to 6m shorter maximum range?

      Also hypothetically considered - if Kinect 2 has lower 1sigma, it tends to measure even further distances than SR4000 (low reflectivity targets), or give more reliable results for the actual distance than SR4000.

  2. Kinect2 filters quite heavily. 3-4 pixels wide object (eg usb cable) completely disappears occasionally.

  3. The D-Imager uses an old generation of the Panasonic sensor. The latest Panasonic sensors achieve much better results. Please check the figures of Basler’s ToF camera:


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