ccd-camera & software

Tony Hodge tph at
Wed Jun 23 08:35:27 EST 1999

Hannes Klump <klump at> wrote:

> Hi folks!
> First of all, I have to once again post a message, which has been posted
> quite often in the meanwhile, but never has been answered satisfactory:
> Our department is about to buy a CCD-camera for our microscope (phase
> contrast, gfp, etc.,etc...the usual stuff). First I´d like to know about
> your experiences: which camera can you recommend?
> And second: which software is the best to use, and which of these is
> compatable with typical programs like photoshop or corel?
> I have made the experience that the possibility to save your
> photographed cells in, say, TIFF-format, does not guarantee no loss of
> quality if you open it with another program....
> Thanks,
> Hannes.


Last August we took delivery of a Princeton Instruments MIcroMax 1300
5MHz camera and associated software (Scanalytics IPLab) which runs into
a PCI Card on a G3 tower Mac. (I Guess you'd get a B/W one now).

I too found it difficult to decide which system to go for and eventually
chose the PI because we had an earlier model in another department and I
was satisfied that it would do the job (GFP, Immunofluorescence etc)

I think they now have an even faster read out camera.

The company have given good backup and some training too so I would
recommend them in that area.

The camera is great.  We have it mounted on an old Nikon inverted scope
but with newer equipment and objectives you might do even better.

Using a Sutter Instruments Shutter/Filter wheel (also supplied by PI)
one may write scripts in IPLab to open/close the illumination shutter,
select an excitation filter, make time-lapse exposures etc.  We use a
Triple Dichroic for FITC/TexasRed/DAPI to make psuedocolour 3 colour
images by grabbing 3 frames in rapid succession enhancing each one for
best contrast etc then combining into a colour image (all in one script)

IPLab can do a wide range of image measurements and manipulation but we
then export to TIFF for presentation/publication.  The original image is
16bit and you can choose to export in various TIFF formats and bit
depths though it's worth remembering that your eye and monitor/printer
can really only resolve 8bit greyscale.

Time couse frame grabs can be done in a similar way and IPLab will make
animations that can be exported as QuickTime.

I'm not sure if PI have a representative in Germany - here in the uk
they can be contacted at: andrew at (Andrew Phillips)
or US website:



Tony P Hodge
tph@*nospam*  (remove *nospam* )

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