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For Scientfic use on a optical microscope.

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For Scientfic use on a optical microscope.
« on: 15 / May / 2008, 11:54:21 »
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Hi,
I just found this CHDK package. What a fantastic hack! I am thinking about throwing away my DSLR and get a 100 bucks Canon DC.

Most importantly, it would be really great,
if one can build a self-made program on C++/VB/.NET2003/2005
which has access the canon DC via USB
with the following functions [what a lengthy sentence :-) ]

-set electronic shutter speed.
-set the integration time on CCD chip
-set frame rate (from 6~20 fps?)
-transfer image to PC via USB at 6~20 fps
-set resolution
-set record region of interest (ROI)/ kind of digital crop
-set color / monochromatic mode

These are all the functions I need to operate the scientific CCD camera mounted on our optical microscope. However, these professional cameras cost a lot (1.4Mega pixel 1/1.7' ~ 1~2K USD)
I think the performance of these are lot much better than the current consumer DC ( because of newer CCD chips).

Any suggestions?
Thanks
« Last Edit: 15 / May / 2008, 11:56:10 by acolyte »

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Offline DataGhost

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Re: For Scientfic use on a optical microscope.
« Reply #1 on: 15 / May / 2008, 12:48:59 »
There's a reason DSLRs are so expensive, CHDK won't do magic tricks. I think most PowerShot cameras (at least the S-series) can already shoot via USB with the Canon software, I think it's even possible to adjust the shutter speed. You'll run into some other limitations, though:

- Cheap optics (blur, CA, other inaccuracies in the lens units)
- CCDs the size of which can only be determined with a microscope (read: tiny) which results in high noise -> even worse images combined with the problems caused by the cheap optics
- No real options to properly mount them somewhere (most models)
- 6~20 FPS? More like 0.3~2 fps, depends on the camera. If you want more than 15fps, you'll have to use one of the movie modes which go up to 640x480@30fps (0.3 MPix) or 320x240@60fps (0.08 Mpix, most models can't do 60fps). I highly doubt that's usable.

I highly doubt this is usable/acceptable for scientific (microscope) use.
Oh and CHDK is more like an on-camera-setup-everything thing, it can't communicate with a PC.

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Offline RaduP

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Re: For Scientfic use on a optical microscope.
« Reply #2 on: 15 / May / 2008, 14:57:03 »
I think your best choice is the Canon 450D. It has live view (very good for microscopes and telescopes), the ability to remove the lens and place it directly on the microscope (Tring or some other addapter), and you can control everything from the computer and get the pictures directly on the computer.

Re: For Scientfic use on a optical microscope.
« Reply #3 on: 15 / May / 2008, 16:03:59 »
AFAIK the 450D has no possibility to lock the mirror.
Thus it will bother you with its mirror flipping noise.

Nikon DSLRs can lock the mirror.
SO these should be suited more for such purposes


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Offline RaduP

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Re: For Scientfic use on a optical microscope.
« Reply #4 on: 15 / May / 2008, 16:53:36 »
It CAN take pictures directly from the live view mode, and the live view means the mirror is up.
I don't own the camera, but I watched a review video, and when it live view mode, you can take a shot without flipping the mirror up and down (it can use the image data for focusing).

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Offline gabriele

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Re: For Scientfic use on a optical microscope.
« Reply #5 on: 05 / October / 2008, 08:50:47 »
This isn't true, the Canon 450D has the mirror lockup feature, even if it's buried
under the custom functions, this is why I put it in the custom menu for faster access,
and as RAduP says in live view mode the mirror is already up, but if you don't want
to use live view (that increases digital noise heating the sensor), you can simply select
the lock up mirror function. ;-)

AFAIK the 450D has no possibility to lock the mirror.
Thus it will bother you with its mirror flipping noise.

Nikon DSLRs can lock the mirror.
SO these should be suited more for such purposes

 

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