How to synchronize to the Timestamp included in the image descriptor for a given camera?

To know when an image was captured with respect to an external clock, can be done as follows:

  • You can use the API feature called "PxLGetCurrentTimestamp". This will provide you with the current timestamp of that camera.

  • You can then compare that value against the current system/controller clock to provide a reference.

  • When you receive an image with a given timestamp you can then calculate what time that is with respect to the computer time.

  • There is drift in the camera timestamp, therefore we recommend resynchronizing the camera timestamp to the system clock at regular intervals if possible (once a minute for example).

  • The timestamp drift over 60 seconds would be less than 2.5ms.



 PXL_RETURN_CODE PxLGetCurrentTimestamp (

   IN     HANDLE        hCamera, 

   OUT    double*       pCurrentTimestamp);



Returns the current value of the camera’s ‘clock’ that it uses to timestamp images (as returned in the dFrameTime field of the FRAME_DESC returned with each captured image)..

Comments, Restrictions and Limitations

This function will only return successfully with a valid timestamp, if the camera supports hardware time stamping (currently, all PL-C, PL-D & PL-X camera models do).