Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

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Roldorf
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Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#1 Post by Roldorf » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:44 pm

I have spent a lot of time over the last year looking at and evaluating software for capturing and post processing the images coming from my microscope.
I have downloaded many programs tried them out, the discarded them as either:-

1. Not doing what I want them to do.
2. Not working very well with my setup.
3. Not working at all.

I could go on for the many reasons I have discarded so many software solutions.

After I purchased my Bresser / TouPcam camera I used the ToupCam software which did everything I wanted it to do.
View a live image on the screen, capture the image then markup and edit the image with measurements in micrometers um.
You would think that is not very much to ask for. :roll:
It all changed when I decided I would like to connect my camera to a larger screen.

I then bought my Canon 4000d.
Great, wonderful it had live view, so I could see what was under the microscope objective. With the click of a button on the computer screen I could remotely trigger the camera and capture an image and I could do that remotely with a WiFi connection.
I could even set the camera up to automatically transfer the images and have Toupcam open up on the computer with the new image ready for editing.
One drawback. I had no way to measure the grabbed image so that I could add scale bars and sizes to the images, somewhat essential in piltz microscopy.
Toupcam doesn't support DSLR's, hence the hunt for suitable software.

Eureka! I think I may have found it.
Having looked at so many software solutions since I first got my USB camera I had forgotten that one had come fairly close to what I was looking for at the time.
MiCam now at version 2.4. I can now use my Canon with live view to see what is under the objective live on the camera and have the image when captured sent to MiCam which opens it for editing.
The big different is that with Micam I can now measure the images and mark them up as it has a system for calibration using the image, as long as you know the objective size used to take it and a stage micrometer.
If you need this kind of solution check it out.
Its a bit fiddly to set up and some of the keypress shortcuts are a bit odd but it does a wonderful job.
2019-06-28_0001_40X.jpg
2019-06-28_0001_40X.jpg (342.16 KiB) Viewed 2050 times
I still have to work out how to move some of the measurements about so that they don't end up on the image but are offset to one side and I still have to work out how you stack images and do time-lapse video but according to the help file this is all possible.
Alan
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#2 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:13 pm

Thanks for the showing the scale bar function.
Incedentally, MICAM can also remote control cameras very well, including the USB eyepiece cameras.
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

Roldorf
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#3 Post by Roldorf » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:24 pm

Hobbyst46 wrote:Thanks for the showing the scale bar function.
Incedentally, MICAM can also remote control cameras very well, including the USB eyepiece cameras.
I will have to look for that. At the time (12 months ago) I couldn't get it to recognize my Bresser USB camera at at all, which is why I gave up on it.
It also has post-processing options which I used to alter the image and crop it (which you have to do before you add text and measurements otherwise you lose them when the image is altered.

I have just scraped the surface of this remarkable piece of software.

AND it's freeware. I will have to look and see how I can make a donation.
Alan
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#4 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:55 pm

Roldorf wrote:I will have to look for that. At the time (12 months ago) I couldn't get it to recognize my Bresser USB camera at at all, which is why I gave up on it..
If MICAM identified my dirt-cheap no-brand USB camera it will recognize everything... :)
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#5 Post by Roldorf » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:50 pm

Hobbyst46 wrote:
Roldorf wrote:I will have to look for that. At the time (12 months ago) I couldn't get it to recognize my Bresser USB camera at at all, which is why I gave up on it..
If MICAM identified my dirt-cheap no-brand USB camera it will recognize everything... :)
So do you use the software or have you found something else?
Alan
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#6 Post by Hobbyst46 » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:56 pm

Roldorf wrote:
Hobbyst46 wrote:
Roldorf wrote:I will have to look for that. At the time (12 months ago) I couldn't get it to recognize my Bresser USB camera at at all, which is why I gave up on it..
If MICAM identified my dirt-cheap no-brand USB camera it will recognize everything... :)
So do you use the software or have you found something else?
Yes, I use it, but so far only for taking photos. Not for processing.
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#7 Post by Dave S » Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:23 pm

An interesting find Alan, which would seem to fit your needs nicely.

With my photography, or astro-imaging, I have never had the need the measure a subject, so this would be something new to me.

Image capture, and post capture processing in astro-imaging is far more demanding, and complex, than that with terrestrial photography, and as far as I can see, photomicrography.

For astro-imaging I used a variety of software such as, Maxim DL, Astroart, Pixinsight, and Adobe CS6. None of them free, and some of them quite expensive.

I now find that for processing my normal photos, that Adobe Photoshop Elements 18 does all that I need, and this is what I will be using for my microscope images (when I get to take some ;) )

Although I have CS6, it is overkill for most photography, but was important for processing astro-images.

For controlling the 4000d, Canon's EOS Utilities 3, is perfect.
Brunel SP100 (with 4x, 10x, 40x,60x, and 100x (oil) plan objectives), and Canon EOS 4000d Camera (microscopy use only)

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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#8 Post by Roldorf » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:16 pm

Hi I have just installed a very old version of Photoshop on my laptop (CS4) and have had a session comparing Stacking with Photoshop & Picolay.

Here are the images from both program's

Also trying out Canon Irista image storing website. Two for the price of one

https://www.irista.com/gallery/3ooaqy2ucbxb

Interested to see which you think is better.
Alan
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#9 Post by mrsonchus » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:51 pm

Hi Roldorf, looking at the two I'd personally have no reason to prefer one over the other - they look equally as good from my perspective.
I certainly can't see any significant differences that would persuade me one way or the other.

Nice stacks both!
John B

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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#10 Post by Dave S » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:04 pm

I would say that the CS4 stack, has the edge for sharpness. Not a lot in it, but it is there.

I have been using Irista storage for some considerable time, and find it very good.

I also have all of my photographs backed up to two external drives.
Brunel SP100 (with 4x, 10x, 40x,60x, and 100x (oil) plan objectives), and Canon EOS 4000d Camera (microscopy use only)

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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#11 Post by Roldorf » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:08 pm

Hmmm, what is interesting is the Photoshop image is twice the size in terms of Mbytes as the Picolay. 6.9 as opposed to 3.9.
Alan
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#12 Post by Dave S » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:12 pm

I guess it must compression Alan, and as with all compression some pixels are sacrificed.
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#13 Post by Roldorf » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:13 pm

Yes I think that in the lower half of the photoshop image has a little more resolution.
Alan
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#14 Post by MichaelG. » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:40 pm

Roldorf wrote:Yes I think that in the lower half of the photoshop image has a little more resolution.
Compare this area [from Picolay] with the Photoshop version:
IMG_3124.JPG
IMG_3124.JPG (11.84 KiB) Viewed 1901 times
I think the difference is quite substantial.

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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#15 Post by Roldorf » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:28 pm

MichaelG

I think I would agree. There was no post processing on either image, just a stack some text and upload. I will try it with another image tomorrow. I didn't want to put text on but there is no way to see the file name when viewing the image in Irista, if there is maybe someone can let me know how.
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#16 Post by MichaelG. » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:19 pm

Roldorf wrote:I think I would agree. There was no post processing on either image, just a stack some text and upload. I will try it with another image tomorrow.
I'm just wondering ... did the two programs stack the images in the same order?
Zerene Stacker, for example, allows you to change the direction in which the images are used.

Very interesting exercise, anyway ... Thanks for sharing your results.

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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#17 Post by Roldorf » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:31 am

Its difficult to be certain with photoshop as I am not sure which order the algorithm works, but I opened the images 001 to 004 in order starting from image 001 as the base image. I did realize that image staking order could make a difference so with Picolay I stacked them from High and then again from low and compared the images and there was really no difference in the image quality. I still have the two runs if you would like to compare for yourself.
Alan
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#18 Post by MichaelG. » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:03 am

Roldorf wrote:Its difficult to be certain with photoshop as I am not sure which order the algorithm works, but I opened the images 001 to 004 in order starting from image 001 as the base image. I did realize that image staking order could make a difference so with Picolay I stacked them from High and then again from low and compared the images and there was really no difference in the image quality. I still have the two runs if you would like to compare for yourself.
Thanks, Alan
I would be very interested
... We are all learning, and none of us has access to all the available options.

If you could share your original captures, I would be happy to try stacking them in Zerene.
... perhaps others, who use different stackers might join the experiment

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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#19 Post by Roldorf » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:42 am

MichaelG

Images uploaded to Irista in folder 'images to stack' numbered from 0001 to 0004. I think they were taken from high to low but I honestly can't remember.

If you have problems let me know.

https://www.irista.com/gallery/upopohpsnbnz
Alan
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#20 Post by MichaelG. » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:47 am

Roldorf wrote:MichaelG

Images uploaded to Irista in folder 'images to stack' numbered from 0001 to 0004.
Thanks ... I will have a look this evening.

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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#21 Post by Roldorf » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:42 am

MichaelG

Hi I just did another 8 image stack with PS and Picolay (not very good as was done quickly) and PS, although more time consuming does produce a clearer image than Picolay and I think that is down to the resulting file size with picolay having a very small jpg file after processing.
Alan
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#22 Post by MichaelG. » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:43 pm

Alan,

Quick test using Zerene Stacker:
Crop from full-frame tiff, saved as jpg
Crop from full-frame tiff, saved as jpg
2019-07-03-22.22.19 ZS PMax.jpg (101.09 KiB) Viewed 1827 times
Note: I let Zerene order them 'by size' before stacking

MichaelG.

.

P.S. ... I note that your four source images are surprisingly small jpg files
For IMG_001.jpg The data displayed indicates 5.36MB, but it downloads [with a long filename] as 90KB
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#23 Post by mrsonchus » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:44 pm

MichaelG - you may have saved the small image (with a right-click) displayed in the gallery-view. You must, after the gallery-view opens, go to the three vertically-aligned dots top right of screen and select 'download' from the resultant drop-down menu, you'll then download the full-size image.

Screen-snip,
ws_Capture.jpg
ws_Capture.jpg (25.33 KiB) Viewed 1815 times
I just downloaded the 4 full-size images this way. :)
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#24 Post by MichaelG. » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:48 pm

Thanks, John

It's past bedtime now ... but I will try that later.

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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#25 Post by mrsonchus » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:16 am

Here's a quick stack of the 4 images using the 'pyramid stack' method in Helicon Focus, not bad at all really....
Image

The pyramid option was slightly better than either the 'weighted average' or the 'depth map' options, each of which I tried with a 'stacking radius' of both 35 and 12 - all with 'smoothing' set to 2 - pyramid only has a smoothing setting, which I also set to 2.

The other 4 images,

1) weighted average,Radius35,Smoothing2.jpg
Image

2) weighted average,Radius12,Smoothing2
Image

3) depth map,Radius35,Smoothing2
Image

4) depth map,Radius12,Smoothing2
Image

Which do you think is the best one? No pp, just stacked. They all look very similar to my eyes.
John B

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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#26 Post by Roldorf » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:44 am

Looking at your results under windows photos I think the very first image seems to have more contrast than the other four other than that they all look much the same to me. I wont be able to compare them against the image I uploaded simply because of the number of pixels (but I will have a look anyway) :D
Alan
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#27 Post by Roldorf » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:01 am

I have compared my original PS stack which I thought was the best out of my trials to your much reduced upload on the forum and it is a bit like the vicars sandwich 'good in parts' i.e. some parts are better than others so I would think that your original image must be much better than my original PS image. I will try to upload my PS image to the website as soon as I work out how to get the same size.
Alan
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#28 Post by Roldorf » Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:18 am

Here it is. File size is a little bit larger but image size is almost identical. That's strange I copied your image from the website and I get an image size of 1329 x 884, which of course I can't upload due to the maximum image size of 1024 x 1024. So here it is at 1024

Image

Edit: Hope this works mrsonchus I have replaced the image with the one direct from Irista now to see if it works. Well that didn't work will try to post it again in a new post.
Attachments
Pollen Stack PS upload.jpg
Pollen Stack PS upload.jpg (387.02 KiB) Viewed 1796 times
Last edited by Roldorf on Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#29 Post by mrsonchus » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:54 am

Roldorf wrote:Looking at your results under windows photos I think the very first image seems to have more contrast than the other four other than that they all look much the same to me. I wont be able to compare them against the image I uploaded simply because of the number of pixels (but I will have a look anyway) :D
Here's a link to the full-size images in a shared folder in my G-Photos, you should be able to download them from there...

The images I posted are not hosted by this forum (i.e. not inserted into post using the "choose file", "add file" forum facility), they're linked-to using the Img tags in the buttons above edit-window text. To do this go to a shared online image (such as one in a shared G-Photos album, bring it up to view, right-click on it and choose 'copy image address' - then paste this address into the Img tags in you post....
This also allows the addition of more than 5 images in a post, as the forum isn't storing (hosting) the linked-to images, your shared-image storage is, e.g. in this case G-Photos....
John B

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Re: Which Software For Image Capture and Editing

#30 Post by MichaelG. » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:33 am

Apologies for my faux pas last evening ... it was a long day

I have now looked at the four images 'full size' and it is clear that only 001 and 002 contribute usefully to the detail in the troublesome lower-right portion of the image. I therefore used Zerene to stack just those two, and have attached a full-resolution crop:
Crop from tif file, exported as jpg
Crop from tif file, exported as jpg
2019-07-04-11.00.12 ZS PMax.jpg (219.21 KiB) Viewed 1785 times
In my opinion: Four slices are not really sufficient to handle the full depth of this specimen.
All the software handles the upper portion of the frame quite well; but frames 003 and 004 serve only to confuse in the lower portion.

MichaelG.
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