Microscope camera

Discussion about cameras, microscopes, stains, and gadgets, along with useful tips for preparation of fungi samples
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adampembs
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Microscope camera

Post by adampembs » Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:59 am

It#s about time I bought a microscope camera! What do people suggest, I was hoping to spend about £100, but could go more if the extra cost is worth it. I believe 10MP resolution would be recommended?
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Re: Microscope camera

Post by Lancashire Lad » Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:34 am

Hi Adam,

Short of going down the DSLR & scope adaptor route (which can be very expensive or quite reasonable - depending on whether you already have a suitable DSLR body with mirror lock up and live-view capability), you will be looking at the USB Minicam type of device.

For around £100.00 you will struggle to get a 5 Megapixel model (Brunel's is £125.00 +VAT) which will produce images similar to those I've posted on a few threads here. (Though mine is an earlier 5 Megapixel model, bought about five years ago).

Current thinking, and I'm sure that Chris will have some input, is that 10 Megapixels should be the minimum, and the Tucsen 10MP model is highly recommended - albeit that I doubt you'd get any change from £300.00. (One reason why I haven't yet upgraded!).

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Mike.
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Re: Microscope camera

Post by adampembs » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:10 am

Is there anything between the Tucsen 10MP camera and the Brunel 10MP Minicam? They are similar in price but I could only find the Tucsen one on Ebay and has to be imported, and I understand Brunel's customer service is very good, in terms of getting the right adapter etc. I know David Harries has a 10MP Chinese one (Amoyca) which he says is good quality and currently £166 (and possibly import charges), but doesn't work with MICAM software, only it's own.
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Re: Microscope camera

Post by Lancashire Lad » Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:47 am

adampembs wrote:Is there anything between the Tucsen 10MP camera and the Brunel 10MP Minicam? . . . .
Can't say Adam, as I've not heard much about the Brunel one - You would need to find out the manufacturer/model number. (The thing to check would be pixel dimension for the individual pixels).

See this useful webpage for various comparisons: -
https://siliconpr0n.org/wiki/doku.php?i ... #mp_is1000

Re the Tucsen 10MP - The authorised British importer is "Nick's Science Supplies": -
http://www.nickssciencesupplies.co.uk/c ... era-outfit


Note from the comparison site that the Tucsen 10mP model (which is the IS1000) has the following spec: -

Sensor type: MT9J001
Sensor size: 1/2.3inch
Pixel size: 1.67μm X 1.67μm
Resolution: 3856H x 2764V

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Re: Microscope camera

Post by Leif » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:25 pm

I have a Brunel one, 5MP I think, bought some years ago, so presumably an older model. I also have Nikon D200 and D600 cameras. To be honest the D600 knocks spots off the dedicated camera. There is no comparison. But ... the dedicated camera does work, and maybe that is all that matters. I suspect more recent ones will be better. I used some third party software with it, Micam I think.

What do you have in the way of cameras?

I used to use my D200 but had to keep it down to ISO 400 (not good at high ISO) and vibrations were an issue with the x100 objective. It is essential to have mirror lock up or an electronic shutter.

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Re: Microscope camera

Post by mollisia » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:23 pm

Hello,

I have been told, that the optic of a light microscope is not able to resolute more than 3 MP, so there is no need to get a camera which has more than 3 MP. It's only that you can have larger pictures printed, but no better resolution.

I have no idea about phisic and optic and so on, so have to believe what they tell me. What is your opinion to that?

best regards,
Andreas

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Re: Microscope camera

Post by adampembs » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:43 pm

Leif wrote:I have a Brunel one, 5MP I think, bought some years ago, so presumably an older model. I also have Nikon D200 and D600 cameras. To be honest the D600 knocks spots off the dedicated camera. There is no comparison. But ... the dedicated camera does work, and maybe that is all that matters. I suspect more recent ones will be better. I used some third party software with it, Micam I think.

What do you have in the way of cameras?

I used to use my D200 but had to keep it down to ISO 400 (not good at high ISO) and vibrations were an issue with the x100 objective. It is essential to have mirror lock up or an electronic shutter.
I have a Panasonic Lumix LX5. Its a compact but it good for macros. It also works quite well pointing down the eyepiece, but tends to get "confused" with the automatic exposure.
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Re: Microscope camera

Post by FungiJohn » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:33 am

mollisia wrote:Hello,

I have been told, that the optic of a light microscope is not able to resolute more than 3 MP, so there is no need to get a camera which has more than 3 MP. It's only that you can have larger pictures printed, but no better resolution.

I have no idea about phisic and optic and so on, so have to believe what they tell me. What is your opinion to that?

best regards,
Andreas
Hello Andreas and good to see you here :D

Yes, I agree with you. Simply increasing the MP of a camera doesn't necessarily give you better results. There are several factors to consider including:

Type and size of CCD or CMOS image sensor
Photodiode size and number relative to sensor
How good is the microscopes 'capturing' optics eg resolving power, NA, Objective 'power' etc

There are many other factors and the maths / physics can be very daunting. A good example of the 'problems' can be found here in this tutorial. Even then it's not easy to fully grasp .... well for me anyway :lol:

http://www.microscopyu.com/tutorials/ja ... alculator/

Personally I prefer the 'mounted camera' method and use a Nikon D7000 on both the compound and stereo scopes. IMO the quality is 'still' superior.

Best Wishes - John

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Re: Microscope camera

Post by adampembs » Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:45 pm

John, if you don't wrap the url in [url] bbcode, the autodectection for longer urls breaks and you get a bad link. :)
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Re: Microscope camera

Post by Leif » Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:20 pm

adampembs wrote:
Leif wrote:I have a Brunel one, 5MP I think, bought some years ago, so presumably an older model. I also have Nikon D200 and D600 cameras. To be honest the D600 knocks spots off the dedicated camera. There is no comparison. But ... the dedicated camera does work, and maybe that is all that matters. I suspect more recent ones will be better. I used some third party software with it, Micam I think.

What do you have in the way of cameras?

I used to use my D200 but had to keep it down to ISO 400 (not good at high ISO) and vibrations were an issue with the x100 objective. It is essential to have mirror lock up or an electronic shutter.
I have a Panasonic Lumix LX5. Its a compact but it good for macros. It also works quite well pointing down the eyepiece, but tends to get "confused" with the automatic exposure.
It might be that you will get little improvement with a dedicated microscope camera, unless you pay lots, apart perhaps from ease of use. Is your microscope trinocular? When you use your LX5, how are you mounting it to the microscope? It's a pity you do not live near me, you could have tried my camera, it sits in a cupboard unused.

What I find with the D600 is that images come out 'better', not necessarily with more detail, as said MP is not so important. The D600 will have a better dynamic range and better high ISO performance. This is the sort of thing a D600 camera can produce:

Image
Image

These are single images, not stacked, I don't have the patience for stacking.

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