Described herein is intelligent camera technology suitable for a wide range of inspection applications including webs, widgets, gauging, etc. The system is modular whereby it can sue from one to fifteen intelligent cameras networked together to a personal computer, which in turn may be networked. The inspection system software is multi-threaded, autoconfigurable, and offers: friendly GUI, expert system illumination control, and interchangeable components accommodating numerous post-processing algorithms within the cameras. Camera algorithms allow for the processing of image data at speeds in excess of 400 Mbytes/sec using one frame grabber. Various camera technologies are available including TDI, allowing for high gray scale resolution at high data rates. Multi camera systems can have different network topologies, according to the user's requirements. Each camera can be individually addressed/instructed further increasing system functionality. Diagnostics are incorporated both within the camera and the inspection software to enhance the serviceability of the system.