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Microscopy School Lesson 3 – Microscopy Cameras - Fundamentals of Digital Imaging and Sensor Technologies

Microscopy cameras play an important, and for the most part, largely unseen role in our imaging experiments. Modern microscopy covers a broad range of imaging requirements that can place quite different demands of the imaging camera. Sometimes we need to see broad fields of view across tissues, sometimes we need to see single molecules below the limit of diffraction. Biological processes themselves occur over the course of milliseconds, for the impulse of a neuron, seconds and minutes for intracellular trafficking and development may need to be studied over several days. 

In this, the first of two modules on this topic we cover the fundamentals of microscopy cameras. We explore what are the key parameters in images we take on a microscope from a cameras perspective. Then we break down the anatomy of a modern camera. Finally, we look at the different sensor technologies that have been developed, leading up to the current technologies in use today. We address some of the common questions such as how cameras work, why would you use a mono camera or a colour camera for imaging and what does back-illumination mean? 

This sets the background for the following lesson that compares the different camera technologies and how they suit different microscopy applications. 

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the important imaging parameters for microscopy cameras
  • Signal to noise ratio: why is this important to our imaging?
  • Sources of noise: what are the sources of noise?
  • Camera Anatomy: What are the main features of a modern microscopy camera?
  • What are the current sensor technologies. 

Find out more about our other microscopy training sessions offered through Andor's Complete Microscopy Training Course.

Date: November 2020

Author: Dr Alan Mullan

Category: Webinar

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