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Which VAS Driver Does My Camera or Hardware Use Between NI-IMAQ, NI-IMAQdx, and NI-IMAQ I/O

Updated Oct 8, 2019

Reported In


  • PCIe-8255
  • PCI-8254
  • PCIe-8254
  • PCIe-8237
  • PCIe-1473
  • NI-1483


  • NI-IMAQdx

Issue Details

I have downloaded and installed NI Vision Acquisition Software (VAS) but I see multiple drivers listed during installation. Does my camera or image acquisition device use NI-IMAQ, NI-IMAQdx, or NI-IMAQ I/O?


The NI-IMAQ, NI-IMAQdx, and NI-IMAQ I/O are driver packages installed by NI Vision Acquisition Software (VAS) for use with different image acquisition devices. Each driver includes a set of LabVIEW VIs which can be used for high-level control of a variety of imaging devices. 

The NI-IMAQ driver software supports National Instruments hardware only and is needed to use the following image acquisition devices:
  • National Instruments Camera Link Frame Grabbers*
  • National Instruments Parallel Digital Frame Grabbers
  • National Instruments Analog Frame Grabbers
  • National Instruments 17xx Smart Cameras

The NI-IMAQdx driver software is needed to use third-party image acquisition devices which use the following buses and standards: 
  • Gigabit Ethernet Cameras Supporting GigE Vision
  • FireWire IEEE 1394 Cameras
  • USB 2.0 Cameras Supporting Microsoft DirectShow
  • USB 3.0 Cameras Supporting USB3 Vision

The NI-IMAQ I/O driver software is a smaller driver API used exclusively to program the National Instruments Vision RIO image acquisition cards including the following cards:
  • NI PCIe-8255R
  • NI PCI-8254R
  • NI PCIe-8237R
  • NI PCIe-1473R
  • NI PCIe-1473R-LX110
  • NI 1483 FlexRIO Adapter Module

Note: The National Instruments Vision RIO cards will require both the NI-IMAQ and NI-IMAQ I/O drivers.
*In later versions of VAS, Camera Link Frame Grabbers can use IMAQdx as well

Additional Information

VAS also includes libraries for programming in C, C++, C#, Visual Basic, and Visual Basic .NET.


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