Choosing a Camera

AmScope provides a comprehensive line of cameras for microscopy. Finding the best solution for your needs starts with a couple simple questions:
With what type of microscope head will the camera be used: monocular, binocular, or trinocular?
Will the camera be used for live monitoring and video-recording, still images, or both?

Monocular, Binocular, or Trinocular

If the camera is going to be used with a monocular or binocular microscope, then the camera will be replacing one of the eyepieces. With more-robust microscopes, any camera can potentially be used in an ocular port without the risk of setting the microscope off-balance. For lightweight models, such as some student microscopes, a smaller, more-lightweight camera would be preferable.

For trinocular microscopes, the photo port will support any of our camera options.

Framerate or Resolution

A second deciding-factor is the application of the camera. For live monitoring, a fast framerate is necessary for smooth video. Low framerates result in jerky video, making observation of hands-on work or moving subjects difficult. Our HD series cameras are designed specifically for live-monitoring, with 15 to 60 fps (frames-per-second) framerates, and both HDMI and USB connectivity.

Our MD and MA series cameras can also provide fast framerates, depending on the resolution. Lower-resolution cameras tend to provide faster framerates, and so are better suited for live-monitoring. A 2MP (megapixel) camera is enough to provide 1080p HD resolution. For high-clarity 4K displays, an 8MP would supply the necessary resolution.

If capturing detail is more important than smooth video, then higher-resolution cameras would be preferable. For inspection purposes, such as recording defects and fracturing, a high-resolution camera, such as a 10MP or 14MP model from the MU series, would provide the best clarity.

Which Series?

The MD series is designed for ocular-port-mounting, offering a stable, lightweight solution.

The MU series is designed for all-purpose use. The lower-resolution models generally provide a faster framerate.

The MA series is designed for low-light applications, such as darkfield and fluorescence microscopy, using CCD sensors for better low-frequency light sensitivity and noise-suppression.

The HD series provides 1080p video, and 5 to 6 MP still images. They have built-in capture software and media-storage for stand-alone use, and can work with HDMI displays.

  • A 2 megapixel camera provides 1080p resolution, so is adequate for high-definition monitoring.
  • 4K displays will require 8 megapixel or higher to achieve maximum display quality.
  • Higher-resolution cameras are better for recording fine-detail.
  • Higher-framerate cameras provide smoother video, and so are better suited for live-viewing, especially for dissection, soldering, or any other hand-on work. Low-framerates result in choppy video, and so are not suited for this work.