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Consumer Versus Dedicated Digital Cameras in Photomicrography

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Part of the Neuromethods book series (NM, volume 153)

Abstract

A number of consumer digital cameras (compact, bridge, single lens reflex [SLR], and system ones) are of sufficiently high quality to qualify as suitable for photomicrography and represent an affordable alternative to dedicated, high-end cameras typically equipped with very sensitive sensors. When the image sensor resolution is at least 6 or 8 megapixel digital images offer rendering of details that is comparable to conventional micrographs taken on a standard 36 × 24 mm film. In most situations, micrographs taken by high-end (SLR) or other cameras feature no obvious differences in quality, so that even compact or bridge cameras may be used in most cases. Otherwise, for example, in low-light conditions or when very large print formats are required, SLR camera may be needed owing to its low noise, superb resolution and high ISO speed range. Dedicated moderate-cost cameras equipped with CMOS sensors represent an optimal solution for high-resolution video clips and in situation when life-view images have to be presented on high-resolution screens. On the other hand, color images are better rendered by high-end system cameras and ordinary (consumer) cameras. Layout of photosensitive cells in the retina across taxonomical groups is presented as an analogy of image sensor designs.

Key words

Photomicrography Compact camera Bridge camera Mirror-reflex camera System camera Sensor Resolution 

Abbreviations

AEB

Automatic exposure bracketing

APS

Advanced photographic system

CCD

Charge-coupled device

CMOS

Complementary metal oxide semiconductor

DRI

Dynamic range increase

DSLR

Digital single-lens reflex (mirror reflex) camera

EOS

Canon camera series (electro-optical system)

fps

Frames per second

EOS/LER

Canon EOS to Leica-R (lens adapter)

EV

Exposure value

HDR/HDRR

High dynamic range rendering

lp/mm

Line pairs per millimeter

MFT

Micro Four Thirds

MP

Megapixel

NA

Numerical aperture

NMOS

N­type metal-oxide-semiconductor

SLR

Single-lens reflex (mirror reflex) camera

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to prof. Jan Valenta (Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Prague) for helpful comments. RP acknowledges support via Ministry of Education projects: Chiral Microscopy (LTC17012) and ChemBioDrug.(1)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Applied Microscopy ResearchBullayGermany
  2. 2.Institute of PhysiologyCzech Academy of SciencesPragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.Institute of Biochemistry and Organic ChemistryCzech Academy of SciencesPragueCzech Republic

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