Cameras are key components of any machine vision system. They can be grouped in two main categories: smart cameras and industrial cameras. Smart cameras, produced by Cognex, do not need a connection to an external PC, while industrial cameras will not work without a stable connection to the computer. Therefore, smart cameras offer much easier integration and simplification of vision systems. On the other hand, industrial cameras offered by manufacturers such as Basler and ISVI offer better images at lower price compared to smart cameras.

Except these two main types of machine vision cameras there are also thermal cameras (FLIR) which provide a temperature map of an area and ultrafast cameras (MegaSpeed) which allow to record fast changing processes.