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Technical Application Notes



Transitioning from Dragonfly to Dragonfly2

Technical Application Note TAN2006001

Revised March 31, 2006


Technical Application Note (TAN2006001): Transitioning from the Dragonfly to the Dragonfly2: A How-To Guide.


Applicable Product(s)

  • Dragonfly (all models) with firmware v2.1 Release 16 or later
  • Dragonfly2 (all models)


Application Note Description

The Dragonfly2 (DR2) was developed for easy design transition from the original Dragonfly camera. It supports many of the features of the Dragonfly, yet also offers a significant number of additional features such as faster standard frame rates, auto-iris lens control and on-board color processing. While some Dragonfly-specific functionality has been removed or changed in the Dragonfly2, PGR has designed the DR2 to be backward-compatible with most core Dragonfly features.

The purpose of this Technical Application Note is to:

  1. Outline the primary similarities and differences between the two cameras; and
  2. Offer suggestions and pointers to end users for migrating their custom applications from the Dragonfly to the Dragonfly2.

NOTE: PGR strongly encourages users to put the Dragonfly2 through a full requalification process before deciding to fully migrate from the Dragonfly.

Given the vast number of mechanical, hardware and firmware feature enhancements included in the Dragonfly2, this document will limit its discussion to similarities and differences that could directly impact current Dragonfly users interested in transitioning to the DR2, such as:

  • Mechanics: dimensions, lens systems, case and brackets, physical and I/O connectors
  • Hardware: printed circuit board (PCB), I/O electrical characteristics, imaging sensors
  • Firmware: IIDC 1394-based Digital Camera compliance, camera properties


General Considerations

Other Reference Documentation

Other useful sources of information regarding specific features of the Applicable Product(s) include:

  • PGR IEEE-1394 Digital Camera Register Reference
  • Dragonfly Technical Reference
  • Dragonfly2 Technical Reference

Testing Tools

To configure and test the information presented in this TAN:

  1. Connect the camera’s GPIO pins to an oscilloscope or external trigger source. By connecting the appropriate GPIO pins to an external trigger source or oscilloscope, you can observe the differences in general purpose input/output capability of the Applicable Product(s). Consult your camera’s Technical Reference or Getting Started manual for:
    1. GPIO connector pin layouts; and
    2. GPIO electrical characteristics
  1. Download the FlyCapture SDK.  The SDK includes numerous example programs that demonstrate various camera features. Specific examples that relate to this TAN include AsyncTriggerEx and ExtendedShutterEx.
  1. Access the camera’s register space. The easiest way to try this is using the FlyCap demo software included with the PGR FlyCapture SDK. For register definitions and individual bit descriptions, please refer to the PGR IEEE-1394 Digital Camera Register Reference.

Camera Orientation

For the purposes of this document, the “left side” of the camera refers to the side where the IEEE-1394 connector is mounted i.e. the left side if you were looking out of the camera through the CCD.


  • A/D converter: analog-to-digital converter
  • DCAM: IIDC 1394-based Digital Camera specification
  • GPIO: general purpose input / output
  • PCB: printed circuit board
  • SDK: software development kit






Overall dimensions


The exterior dimensions of the PCB and aluminum case are 63.5mm x 50.8mm x 13.15mm, and 75mm x 65mm x 25.5mm, respectively.


  • The CCD chip has moved (see CCD sensor placement below)
  • PCB components have changed and heights and positions may be different; users should requalify fit with existing jigs or enclosures
  • The Dragonfly will not fit in the Dragonfly2 case, and vice versa

IR filter properties


The infrared cut-off filter used with color versions of the cam

eras is the same and has the same transmittance properties.

C/CS-mount lens holder dimensions


While the actual part used on the cameras is different, the overall dimensions (footprint, height, etc.) are the same.

C/CS-mount lens holder set screw


One set screw hole in the top of the lens holder

Adds a second set screw on the left side of the lens holder. PGR assembles the DR2 with the set screw in the left hole

Removable glass / IR filter system


? No glass on monochrome models
? IR filter on color models is glued into place

? Protective dust glass on monochrome models
?  IR filter on color models
?  Glass / IR filter screwed into place to allow easy removal

NOTE: Due to the placement of the DR2 glass/IR filter, the minimum distance from the CCD imaging plane to the lens may be greater than the Dragonfly. However, lenses adhering to the CS back flange distance standard should not be affected.

Mounting holes


? One (1) ¼-20 mounting hole on the bottom face of the aluminum case.

? One (1) ¼-20 mounting hole on each of the faces of the aluminum case (except back).
? Additional M3 mounting holes on all faces (except back)

CCD sensor placement on PCB


The physical CCD chip and lens holder mounting holes are off-centered horizontally (0.25mm).

The chip and lens holder mounting holes are centered relative to the four corner mounting holes.

GPIO connector


? 6-pin 2mm header on the back of the camera, oriented horizontally on the left side.
? Unlike the DR2, the Dragonfly aluminum case does not have a hole for access to the GPIO.

? 8-pin connector on the back of the camera, oriented vertically on the right side, makes wiring easier
? Dragonfly2 aluminum case provides access to the GPIO
? Boxed and board level DR2’s use different connectors.

Auto iris connector



Some Dragonfly2 models (e.g. DR2-xxxx-CSBOX) are equipped with a DC auto-iris connector.

Auto iris connector



Some Dragonfly2 models (e.g. DR2-xxxx-CSBOX) are equipped with a DC auto-iris connector.


Hardware and Electronics





IEEE-1394 connector


Both cameras use the same 1394 connector, which is in the same position and oriented in the same direction on both.

CCD imaging sensors


Sony 1/3” progressive scan CCD
ICX424AL (Mono) / AK (Color)
ICX204AL (Mono) / AK (Color)

RoHS compliant


The DR2 and Dragonfly are both compliant.

GPIO pin configuration


6-pins: four (4) I/O, one (1) GND, one (1) +3.3V.

8-pins: four (4) I/O, two (2) GND, one (1) +3.3V, one (1) VEXT.

GPIO electrical characteristics


? Pin 1 (+3.3V) is capable of powering external circuitry up to a total of 50mA.
? IO2 has a weak pull-up resistor.

? Pin 1 (+3.3V) is capable of powering external circuitry up to a total of 200mA.
? Pin 8 (VEXT) allows the camera to be powered externally. Voltage limit: 8-30V. Current limit: 1A.
? When configured as output, each of the four I/O lines can sink 10mA of current.

A/D converter


Analog Devices AD9841A
Resolution: 10-bit

Analog Devices AD9949A
Resolution: 12-bit


Firmware and Software

Due to the significant number of operational features available in the Dragonfly and Dragonfly2, this section only focuses on the differences in functionality between the two cameras. Users are encouraged to download the documents listed in Section Other Reference Documentation for assistance with terms, camera specifications, and register definitions.

Many default startup (power-up) parameters, such as resolution,  frame rate, gain, and shutter, have changed in the Dragonfly2. However, PGR has implemented memory channels on the DR2 that can be used for creating new default settings. Refer to the Dragonfly2 Technical Reference for more detailed information.

PGR cannot predict if or how all of the following differences may affect user applications. This section provides recommendations on how to address some of the most obvious differences in functionality.




DCAM compliance



Many functional differences are a result of differences between the DCAM versions supported. For example, numerous Dragonfly-specific features (coincidentally) became part of the DCAM v1.31 standard, such as: trigger (shutter) delay; parallel input/output; frame rate control; extended shutter; and software trigger.

Default power configuration

Always powered up

Can be powered up or down
Default: power off

Recommendation: Power the Dragonfly2 up via the CAMERA_POWER register 0x610 or by enabling isochronous transmit, which causes the camera to automatically write Cam_Pwr_Ctrl = 1 to power itself up.
Recommendation: Use the Dragonfly2 memory channel feature to change the default setting to power on.

Color processing

Color models output raw Bayer information when run in standard (Format_0 or Format_1) Y8/Y16 modes. This raw data is then color processed in software by the PC.

Color models output greyscale information when run in standard (Format_0 or Format_1) Y8/Y16 modes. The conversion from raw Bayer information to greyscale is done on-board the camera.

Recommendation: To access raw data from the Dragonfly2 for color processing in software by the PC, users should configure the camera to acquire images using one of the Format_7 video modes that support Raw8 or Raw16 pixel encoding e.g. using flycaptureStartCustomImage(). Users can then apply any of the standard FlyCapture color processing algorithms to the image data.
Recommendation: Use the Dragonfly2 memory channel feature to change the default video mode to Format_7, as described above.

GPIO modes

? PGR-specific modes: 0,  (input), 1 (output), 2 (trigger input) and 3 (strobe output)

? PGR-specific modes 0 (input), 1 (output), 2 (trigger input), 3 (strobe output) and 4 (PWM)
? DCAM parallel input/output (PIO)
? DCAM serial input/output (SIO)

External trigger

? Default trigger pin: Not defined
? Time between trigger and start of shutter: less than 10us

? Default trigger pin: IO0
? Time between trigger and start of shutter: less than 10us

Recommendation: Use the Dragonfly2 memory channel feature to change the default trigger input via the appropriate GPIO_CTRL_PIN_x register.

Trigger modes

0, 1, 3

0, 1, 3, 4, 5, 14

Software trigger

? PGR-specific SOFT_ASYNC_TRIGGER register 0x102C

? PGR-specific SOFT_ASYNC_TRIGGER register 0x102C

Recommendation: Review the AsyncTriggerEx sample program for pointers on using the different software trigger methods.

Trigger / shutter delay

? Delay time defined in SHUTTER_DELAY register 0x1108
? Value is ticks of a 49.152MHz clock
? Maximum delay: 64 seconds using Strobe_Divider in GPIO_XTRA register 0x1104
? Controls the sync offset when in free-running (continuous shot) mode
? Controls delay between trigger event and start of shutter when in trigger mode

? Delay time defined in TRIGGER_DELAY register 0x834
? Value is ticks of a 24.576MHz clock
? Maximum delay: 64 seconds (refer to TRIGGER_DELAY register definition)
? Controls the sync offset when in free-running (continuous shot) mode
? Controls delay between trigger event and start of shutter when in trigger mode

Strobe output

? PGR-specific GPIO Mode_3
? Delay / duration specified in GPIO_XTRA_PIN_x registers, in ticks of a 49.152MHz clock

? PGR-specific GPIO Mode_3
? Delay / duration specified in GPIO_XTRA_PIN_x registers, in ticks of a 1.024MHz clock

Extended shutter

? PGR-specific EXTENDED_SHUTTER register 0x1028

? DCAM FRAME_RATE register 0x83C

Recommendation: Review the ExtendedShutterEx sample program for pointers on using the different extended shutter methods.

Configurable frame rate (e.g. PAL / NTSC)

? PGR-specific FRAME_TIME register 0x1240

? DCAM FRAME_RATE register 0x83C

Pixel clock frequency

Same pixel clock frequency for all formats and frame rates

Different pixel clock frequencies, depending on the format/frame rate.

Gain and shutter values

Gain and shutter value fixed-to-floating point conversion formulas provided

Conversion formulas not provided

Recommendation: Use the absolute value registers for both Dragonfly and Dragonfly2. Using the absolute values contained in the ABS_VAL_x camera registers is easier and more efficient than applying complex conversion formulas to the information in the Value field of the associated Control and Status Register (CSR). In addition, conversion formulas can change between firmware versions.

White balance setting

? Red / Blue range: 0 to 63
? Implements PGR-specific BAYER_TILE_GAIN register 0x1044

? Red / Blue range: 1 to 1023
? Auto white balance (default on)

Format_7 custom image modes

? Mode_0: ROI (no frame rate speedup)
? Mode_1: 1x2 and 2x2 binning with frame rate speedup

? Mode_0: ROI with frame rate speedup
? Mode_1: 2x2 binning with speedup
? Mode_2: 1x2 binning with speedup

Maximum resolution using Format_7

? 640x480 (DRAG-xx)
? 1024x768 (DRAG-HIxx)

? 648x488 (DR2-xx): standard 640x480 image is centered by default
? 1024x768 (DR2-Hixx)