digital camera for gel electrophoresis

bev at bev at
Wed Aug 14 21:58:10 EST 2002

Frank Schnieder wrote:

> I am strongly considering buying a digital camera to record gel
> electrophoresis pictures. I dont want a CCD camera and frame-grabber board.
> I want to set up the camera functions by the computer, so I need a camera with
> USB port.

> Has anybody set up their own digital imaging systems based on
> point-and-shoot digital cameras? 

> Frank

Hi Frank, 
We have a Nikon Coolpix 990 digital camera which we use to photograph gel electrophoresis results. What we have done is set up a cardboard box which fits over the transilluminator, simply with a hole cut in the top where the camera lens fits. We take the photograph on auto settings, but with the flash turned off. The photos are then downloaded via USB port to whichever computer we are using, and adjusted using Adobe Photoshop. 

However, we got very poor photographs until we experimented with filters for the camera lens. We found it necessary to use a UV filter (Kodak Wratten No. 2B) plus a yellow/orange filter (Schneider Kreuznach No. 67E or equivalent in other brands), otherwise the background light drowned out the ethidium bromide-stained bands too much. The filters we use are not attached to the camera lens, simply taped over the hole in the box where we insert the camera lens to photograph. 

We find this cheap alternative works quite well!


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