Digital Microscope Cameras from Pixera®
Select from one of these high performance scientific grade microscope cameras, but at a cost you won't believe!
What is a digital microscope camera and why a scientific grade digital camera?
A digital camera uses silicon chip technology to capture the image in electronic form
instead of using a photographic emulsion that has to be "developed" and then "printed".
It is fast, it is instantaneous, and perhaps of greatest importance, especially in
these days of shrinking research budgets, the capturing of images this way is much
lower in cost. The classic example of course, is the laboratory that saves literally
thousands of dollars each year by no longer having to purchase photographic film, either
conventional or Polaroid® film products.
A digital microscope camera is simply a very high resolution high
sensitivity digital camera that is interfaced to a light microscope.
The Digital technology also makes it almost an instantaneous undertaking not only to acquire
an image, but one can just as quickly modify, crop, rotate, and
visually enhance the image which can then be copied, often
times on plain paper printers." to "archived, annotated, e-mailed, and/or
printed on plain paper or archived, annotated, e-mailed.
We are often times asked how a scientific grade digital microscope camera made specifically
as a microscope camera for interfacing to a light microscope would compare with cameras made for
consumers as a consumer product, and of course, for much lower prices.
There is a lot of confusion
and misunderstanding on this point especially when it comes to pixel counts for digital cameras
produced for consumers for much lower prices.
Because of the way consumer cameras are used, that is, targets are usually
in motion, foreground and background light levels and focal planes are
constantly changing, and the fact that the targets will not be measured
(morphometrically, densitometrically and/or colorimetrically), they can be
specified to a much less demanding, and less expensive QC requirements. They
usually must be more robust but not as precise.
Consumer cameras also don't need the super-mega-pixel count to resolve edges
and corners to a point or two, they don't need to render maroons into 24
shades, and they don't need to interface to optics that image and magnify
creatures near the resolution of light.
In addition, so-called
consumer cameras do not need or have the sensitivity that is found in scientific-grade digital
cameras. So while the pixel count might be there, the sensitivity is not. That is why consumer
cameras have a "flash" for low light conditions, but unfortunately, one can not use a
"flash" type consumer camera for viewing an image through a light microscope.
There is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding on this point especially
when it comes to pixel count (that is, how many megapixels are present in
the output image). While it is always better to have more rather than fewer
pixels, everything else being equal, sensitivity, the ability to capture
photons, is also very important, because if you don't have the ambient
sensitivity to "see" the image, then all the pixels in the world won't
change that reality. You will still end up seeing nothing.
With respect to scientific-grade microscope cameras, low light, and longer exposure
times, there is also the subject of thermionic noise, which involves signal
to noise considerations, and again, a high pixel count with high noise,
would yield an inferior end result.
We hope that with this as in introduction, the person looking to purchase a scientific grade digital
microscope camera will have an easier time selecting the camera that is most appropriate for not only their budget,
but also their application(s).
There are actually numerous applications that exist but we want to emphasize the two most important ones:
Inspection and Quality control
- Bright field (and stereo)
- Dark field (low light level)
- Fluorescence (low light level)
- Phase contrast
Macro Viewer Copy Stand
The Pixera® line of digital camera systems can be
segmented into two categories
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