What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

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thomas.schwarz
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What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#1 Post by thomas.schwarz » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:04 pm

Hello,

I have a Nikon D3300 attached to my BH-2 BHS. It is OK but clearly not meant for the task:
1) with the data transfer cable connected it does not show live view
2) it will not accept AC power of any sort, it only uses the battery itself, means you have to charge the battery separately
3) it is obviously meant to take pictures more than stream live feed.

So surely there are cameras that a perfect for microscope videos. Any tips?

thomas.schwarz
Posts: 121
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#2 Post by thomas.schwarz » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:09 pm

FYI here is one from @Tom Jones
Panasonic GH4 in 4K UHD. I used an NFK 3.3x projection lens and a U-PMTVC 0.3x C-mount adapter to give essentially direct projection, magnification-wise, onto the sensor. (3.3x X 0.3x = ~1x). That provided the maximum area I could get - maximum image on sensor with minimum crop factor. The U-PMTVC is a BX series replacement for the BH2-MTV-3 C-mount adapter. The magnification is the same and they interchange nicely. The U-PMTVC is adjustable to parfocalize the camera while the MTV-3 is not. Note the MTV-3 does not have the "BH2" label even though it is part of the name.
This is that camera yes? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NgtBUIQPbM

And here is the video Tom Jones was referring to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqZns4wo0AQ&t=

Tom Jones
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#3 Post by Tom Jones » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:53 pm

Yes. That's the camera. :D

Tom

david_b
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#4 Post by david_b » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:28 pm

Is there a fault with your camera or cable?
According to this Live view should be possible...
https://www.dummies.com/photography/cam ... view-mode/

Also, you should be able to power the camera using a dummy battery. Check eBay.

thomas.schwarz
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#5 Post by thomas.schwarz » Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:03 pm

Thanks David, Auto off setting helps. Yes lv is working over hdmi. Next three newbie questions, assuming D3300 is reasonable starting point:
1) what can I do to get rid of grainy look in darkfield. More light helps, but how to get a good image otherwise?
2) the camera sees only the very middle of what the eyepiece see. How to see wider from camera? Is this where wider senser comes into play? Or is it the photo Tube eyepiece?
3) do I correctly understand that other than things like raw vs jpeg, the actual image that I see in live view can only be improved with my microscope? I mean that without a lense, is it true that LV can not be improved using the camera? (Other than hiding the settings, etc...)

david_b
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#6 Post by david_b » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:38 pm

What photo tube & eyepiece are you using?

mintakax
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Location: Boulder CO, USA

Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#7 Post by mintakax » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:26 am

I've been using a Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera and it has been great to use for microscope videos. I had a Panasonic GH4 in the past but never used it for microscopy. It is also a wonderful mirrorless camera. The Z6 is now able to record Prores Raw 4K UHD at 12 bits if you use an external recorder. IMO, the 4K to HD conversion allows some up scaling and/or cropping that really comes in handy. Learning how to color grade on a good video editor (Davinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro X, Adobe premiere, etc) will also be worth your efforts.

thomas.schwarz
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#8 Post by thomas.schwarz » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:03 pm

Thanks fpr the input z6 looks great. Here is my photo tube and eyepiece for the tube. Biggest qurstion I have is why the image is so small in the camera.... any way to see what the normal eyepieces see?
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david_b
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#9 Post by david_b » Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:08 pm

The NFK 2.5x is intended for full frame cameras; your Nikon D3300 is DX format.

thomas.schwarz
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#10 Post by thomas.schwarz » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:47 pm

What is a good full frsme camera?

thomas.schwarz
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#11 Post by thomas.schwarz » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:53 pm

And can you please recommend a camera that you can plug in? It seems öike step 1 for microscope camera. My nikon d3300 works only on battery . I have to charhe it before every session. And it is not built to stay in libe view for more than 20 minutes, another show stopper
So do the cameras recommended here stay on, with HDMI live view, plugged in (ac) indefinitely?

Tom Jones
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#12 Post by Tom Jones » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:16 am

So do the cameras recommended here stay on, with HDMI live view, plugged in (ac) indefinitely?
The Panasonic GH4 stays on for me, with HDMI out to a monitor, recording continuously in 4K (which is about as hard on battery life as you can get), for between 1 hr 10 min and 1 hr 20 min on a 64GB card and 1 battery. Files are limited to <5GB, but the camera starts a new file without dropping a frame. Conveniently, my battery dies just after the card fills up. The time variation seems to be due to variations in the amount of compression being done on the file. More action, more compression, shorter battery life and larger files. A lot more time if you are not recording continuously. I've never used it for stills, so I can't say how long it will run in that mode, but I'm sure it's a long time. A charger and a couple of extra batteries and you're good to go. It is NOT limited to 30 minutes, and I've never had it over heat.

An AC adapter is available, too, if you don't like the battery life.

thomas.schwarz
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#13 Post by thomas.schwarz » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:54 pm

Thanks Tom. Just sold the BH DIC set BTW. Sad I was going to buy a BH and compare the DIC with my BH-2. Anyways onwards and upwards. So for the AC Solution for the GH4 did you have a battery replacer like this in mind? Bad for the camera?

https://www.subtel.at/index.php?cl=deta ... 8kQAvD_BwE

thomas.schwarz
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#14 Post by thomas.schwarz » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:59 pm

And is this the right camera? Will it take a T-2? ...Or I need to buy an adapter that makes it end in T-2 to fit on my photo tube like my (ex wife"s) Nikon d3300?

https://m.ebay.at/itm/Panasonic-LUMIX-G ... SwiaVeNX73
Last edited by thomas.schwarz on Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thomas.schwarz
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#15 Post by thomas.schwarz » Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:13 pm

One more question... so all these gh4 cameras (without objective) are the same ? Or are there important config details that I should be looking for?

https://www.ebay.at/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... =splan+20x

thomas.schwarz
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#16 Post by thomas.schwarz » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:32 am

Ok so battery adapter is a winner. Can sit for hours and observe!!!! Thanks. ....
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also great the bh-2 has cool specimen temp (cooler than led) so water does not evaporate.....

Guercini
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#17 Post by Guercini » Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:37 pm

Tom Jones wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:16 am
So do the cameras recommended here stay on, with HDMI live view, plugged in (ac) indefinitely?
The Panasonic GH4 stays on for me, with HDMI out to a monitor, recording continuously in 4K (which is about as hard on battery life as you can get), for between 1 hr 10 min and 1 hr 20 min on a 64GB card and 1 battery. Files are limited to <5GB, but the camera starts a new file without dropping a frame. Conveniently, my battery dies just after the card fills up. The time variation seems to be due to variations in the amount of compression being done on the file. More action, more compression, shorter battery life and larger files. A lot more time if you are not recording continuously. I've never used it for stills, so I can't say how long it will run in that mode, but I'm sure it's a long time. A charger and a couple of extra batteries and you're good to go. It is NOT limited to 30 minutes, and I've never had it over heat.

An AC adapter is available, too, if you don't like the battery life.
I understand that when you connect the GH4 to an external 4K monitor you can replay a video recorded previously and watch it in 4K resolution. However, when you are watching the live video (as it is being recorded) is the live image on the 4K monitor 4K also, is it just HD (1080)? Thanks

Tom Jones
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#18 Post by Tom Jones » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:43 pm

No. The HDMI output while recording can be in 4K. If you do not have a 4K monitor, it will down sample the signal to full HD, and tell you on screen it is doing so. For external (Ninja, etc.) recording you can get 4K with 10 bit 4:2:2 color as well.

You can download the regular and extended manuals in pdf format from the Panasonic website. They outlines the recording options.

Guercini
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#19 Post by Guercini » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:36 pm

Tom Jones wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:43 pm
No. The HDMI output while recording can be in 4K. If you do not have a 4K monitor, it will down sample the signal to full HD, and tell you on screen it is doing so. For external (Ninja, etc.) recording you can get 4K with 10 bit 4:2:2 color as well.

You can download the regular and extended manuals in pdf format from the Panasonic website. They outlines the recording options.
Thanks! That sounds great.

thomas.schwarz
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#20 Post by thomas.schwarz » Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:59 pm

I get mine next week. ...my ex took back her nikon d3300.that i just fully integrated including AC. Can't wait to slow down some of my worm-hole-traveling microbes....

My microscope is off the hook. Thank you so much for all the help on that!!!!!! Bh2 BHS with dic/ucd.... the past couple weeks I just sit with the binocular eye pieces... unflipping real.... just 20x and bacteria are so clear.... my dear relatives of times past.... great to see how the wisdom of their lives and traditions has stood the test of time, at least in earth time (planet lifecycle) it seems like a long time/stable.... I wonder how those eukaryotes got here.....

Glot
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Re: What is a good video camera to use with a microscope?

#21 Post by Glot » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:03 pm

Your very first question is budget. Then required image quality.

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