Digital Imaging Software and Hardware

Jason L. Buberel jbuberel at uiuc.edu
Sun Dec 4 13:12:12 EST 1994

In article <786483286-1-51539 at blue.weeg.uiowa.edu>,
jmonahn at blue.weeg.uiowa.edu wrote:

> The free software called "Image" is available for the Mac from the anon. ftp 
> site:  zippy.nimh.nih.gov
> I believe it can do the analysis you need. Also, you can use a digitizing 
> board with a mac, Video Spigot, for example, to capture single frames of
> to be opened in the image analysis software. 
> Joe Monahan
> In note <umdoble-2411942301430001 at dyn1-085.cc.umanitoba.ca>, 
> umdoble at mail.cc.umanitoba.ca (Brad Doble) writes: 
> >Our lab currently has a microscope equipped with a CCD colour video camera
> >and colour monitor.   We would like to store images (videocassette
> >recorder?) and then analyze them using a computer (we currently have a
> >computer with a 66 MHz 486 processor, 8 Megabytes RAM, 250 MB hard drive,
> >and a standard svga graphics card).   What additional hardware (RAM,
> >graphics cards, hard disk space, etc.) is required, and what good software
> >programs are currently in use to analyze image data?  The types of
> >analyses we would like to do include: i) counting labelled or stained
> >cells vs. control cells ;  ii) measuring the intensity of fluorescent
> >markers; iii) determing morphometric values; etc.   The purchase of
> >another computer may be possible with our budget so please don't hesitate
> >to describe setups with Macintoshes if you feel they are best for the task
> >at hand.   Also, I would like to have an idea of the cost of the hardware
> >and software required.
> >
> >Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. 
> >
> >                              Thanks in advance,
> >
> >                              Brad Doble

I would second the reccomendation of using NIH Image for the macintosh. 
We have just recently gone into the digital imaging business, and have
been quite pleased.  We already had a camera and scope. To compliment
this, we purchased a frame grabber board for $800.  We threw the board
into a PowerMac 7100, and it works wonderfully.  Here are my reasons for
thinking this is a good idea:

1.  NIH Image is FREE.  It will do all the analyses that you mention. 
There are many freely available user programmed macros for doing even more
(like in situ grain counts), in addition to what you require. It even lets
you do time lapse video microscopy.  On top of all this, there is a native
Power Mac version available (which means it is fully accelerated for the
Power Mac...you should see it do 3-D texture maps).

2.  No other image analysis software is free.  At the recent neuroscience
conference in Miami, I looked into all the other vendors offering digital
image analysis software for mac and windows.  These programs were all a
bit fancier than NIH Image, but they started at about $1000.  Some of them
had some really high end features, but none of them offered the superior
price/performance that NIH Image can.

3.  The author of NIH Image, Wayne, is a great guy.  He answers your
questions via e-mail.  There is also a mailing list devoted to the use of
NIH Image, subscribed to by tons of more experienced NIH Image users, as
well as Wayne himself.  I don't think many other companies offer this kind
of free technical support.

4.  NIH Image creates standard TIFF image files.  So, if you really wanted
to, you could pass these images along to colleagues (sp?) using a DOS

5.  There are many other programs on the PowerMac that you can use to: 
ready images for publication, archive, and enhance these TIFF files.

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