Digital Imaging Software and Hardware

Dag Stenberg stenberg at cc.Helsinki.FI
Fri Nov 25 05:15:05 EST 1994

Brad Doble (umdoble at mail.cc.umanitoba.ca) wrote:
> 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.   

First, I would suggest you get a monochrome camera to increase the
spatial resolution. Sony XC-77CE $1625 is a good buy, and Dage MTI72E
$4615 an excellent buy. These are video signal cameras; cooled CCD:s are
top line, and expensive ($50,000 and up).

For PC:s, OPTIMAS is a very good program. BioScan, 170 West Dayton #204,
Edmonds, WA 98020, phone (206) 775-8000, fax (206) 775-3640. I do not
have a price, but am guessing at around $5000.

Due to graphics and mouse handling on Macs vs. PCs, (and we wanted Ca++
measurements with a Photometrics cooled CCD, including a complete
package), we ended up with IPLab Spectrum from Signal Analytics, 
440 Maple Avenue East, Suite 201, Vienna, Virginia 22180, 
phone (703) 281-3277, fax (703) 281-2509. They have been most helpful. 
IPLab is about $2000 with board support but without a board. We use 
this (and sometimes NIH Image, public software) on a Mac 
Centris 650 w/ 8Mb RAM and a 500 Mb HD, and are quite happy. The video
monitor, of course, is oversize (21").

The video board for a video camera is less of a problem than one for a
cooled CCD camera. Our workstation for the Sony XC-77CE uses a Scion
LG-3 board which is $850 w/ 1Mb RAM; we got 16 Mb on the board, cost of
IPLab + Scion LG-3 w/16 Mb about $5000. Another solution would have been
Pixel Buffer from Perceptics; cost with IPlab $4200, or even PipeLine 
from Perceptics, cost w/IPlab $8600. The board normally comes with 
a free version of NIH IMage for that board, so you get two programs. 
Signal Analytics can supply IPLab with one of the supported boards in 
one package.

We had planned to use OPTIMAS on a DX2/66 with an "Overlay Frame Grabber"
from ITI, about $3500 (??), but I do not have the info at hand. This 
should have been a good board. In the end the Mac solution for the video
camera workstation won mainly on ease of use. 

Dag Stenberg     MD PhD                    stenberg at cc.helsinki.fi
Institute of Biomedicine		   tel: int.+358-0-1918532
Department of Physiology                   fax: int.+358-0-1918681
P.O.Box 9       (Siltavuorenpenger 20 J)   tlx: 1002125 finuh sf
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki,Finland   

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