Can I Capture Images From Multiple Cameras Simultaneously Using an NI Frame Grabber?

Updated Nov 30, 2023

Reported In


  • Frame Grabber Device


  • LabVIEW


  • Vision Acquisition Software

Issue Details

  • I have two Camera Link cameras that I need to acquire images from simultaneously. Which card(s) should I use?
  • I want to connect multiple GigE cameras to a GigE frame grabber. Can I acquire from these cameras at the same time?


To acquire from multiple Camera Link cameras simultaneously, you can do either of the following:
  • You can use two other Frame Grabber Devices that have RTSI lines accessible and use the HL Grab with Two located in the NI Example Finder. (Open NI Example Finder Click Hardware Input Output >> Vision Acquisition >> NI-IMAQ >> Signal Input and Output. This is where you will find the HL Grab with Two
  • Previously, NI sold the PCIe-1430 Frame Grabber Device. This card is now in the Maintenance lifecycle stage and can no longer be purchased. However, if you already own a PCIe-1430 then you can use the card to acquire from two Camera Link cameras connected in Base configuration mode only (Medium, full and Extended-Full configurations are not supported by the PCIe-1430). Both cameras are using the same triggering hardware meaning you can simultaneously acquire images using an external trigger line. 
For GigE Vision cameras, you can do one of the following:
  • Use an NI GigE Vision frame grabber with multiple gigabit Ethernet ports and connect one camera to its own port. 
  • Use a network switch to connect multiple cameras to a single port. Refer to Does NI-IMAQdx Support Multiple Cameras on a GigE Switch? for more information and potential limitations.

Additional Information

While the NI Vision Acquisition Software drivers (NI-IMAQ, NI-IMAQdx) allow you to acquire from multiple cameras simultaneously using multiple camera sessions, you may be limited by the resources available on the host computer. Each additional camera session requires additional memory and CPU resources, and trying to acquire from too many cameras at the same time could cause high CPU usage, effecting performance.