OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

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rabitt
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OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#1 Post by rabitt » Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:17 pm

Anyone out there have the OMAX or Amscope cameras? I have the OMAX 5MP for several weeks now & starting to get the hang how to set it up for good quality photos & videos. Problem is it takes to much time with the initial setup when working with live critters. The ToupView software doesn't explain how to use it, only what's in it from a functional stand point.

I guess the question would be are there any books or papers written to help shorten the learning curve on operating them. Perhaps a discussion group, if not starting one would be a good idea.

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#2 Post by billporter1456 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:05 pm

rabitt wrote:Anyone out there have the OMAX or Amscope cameras? I have the OMAX 5MP for several weeks now & starting to get the hang how to set it up for good quality photos & videos. Problem is it takes to much time with the initial setup when working with live critters. The ToupView software doesn't explain how to use it, only what's in it from a functional stand point.

I guess the question would be are there any books or papers written to help shorten the learning curve on operating them. Perhaps a discussion group, if not starting one would be a good idea.
I have been using an Amscope MU300 3MP camera off and on for a couple of years. I agree that it takes a while to learn the software and there are still features of the software I haven't mastered. But once you set things up, you don't have to re-set ALL of the settings the next time you use the camera. For example, you only have to calibrate each objective once. Also, there are several settings in the camera sidebar that you don't have to fiddle with each time you use the camera. The ones you may have to adjust would be Exposure and Gain and maybe White Balance.

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#3 Post by mrsonchus » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:19 pm

Hi, Toupview has a facility to define and manage your own presets - I have a set including for example 'my x20 blue bright' and 'my x100 dark' etc - very useful, very quick. Tips - leave the gain at zero unless you really need to alter it, set exposure time to manual for stitching - avoids an 'exposure-tiling' effect throughout the stitched images.

Good luck. :D
John B

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#4 Post by rabitt » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:40 pm

Hi Bill & John,
Thanks for the info, I found that I use the EXPOSURE setting most of the time & leave the gain alone, Also the WHITE BALANCE once in a while. Give HUE a tweek & check the HISTOGRAM.
Guess I'll have to dig into the software a bit more for the rest of it. One question though, I can't get the Stacking to work, everything is a big out of focus blob. Had an 'empty amoeba test' to stack NG.

Rich

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#5 Post by mrsonchus » Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:56 pm

rabitt wrote:Hi Bill & John,
Thanks for the info, I found that I use the EXPOSURE setting most of the time & leave the gain alone, Also the WHITE BALANCE once in a while. Give HUE a tweek & check the HISTOGRAM.
Guess I'll have to dig into the software a bit more for the rest of it. One question though, I can't get the Stacking to work, everything is a big out of focus blob. Had an 'empty amoeba test' to stack NG.

Rich
Hi Rich, re stacking - with a number of images to stack ready in Toupview, select one of them so it is shown in the main window. Then click the stacking button and you'll see a list on the left from which to choose pictures to add to the stacking operation, highlight the ones you are to use, which must be in Z-order up or down doesn't matter. Add only these, in the correct order to the right-hand panel and select the method of stacking you'd like to try.
Max contrast and Weighted Average are very similar indeed - choose one of these, choose the default settings and the option of scale and translate - don't use rotate - it's pointless and slow.

The 'blob effect' may be a result of including an image that's not part of your intended stacking-set in the stacking operation....

When working correctly it's blindingly-fast and gives results identical to CZP, Zirene etc - I know because I performed detailed comparisons when considering the purchase of a 'proper' stacking programa while back now.
Toupview equalled them all identically and unambiguously - I stayed with Toupview - it's simply a superb program. Having said that it's stitching is poor and labourious to use - Microsoft's (free) I.C.E. is easily the best for stitching...

Hope this help a bit. :)
John B

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#6 Post by rabitt » Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:49 pm

Hi John B,
Bad news, My version of ToupView doesn't work with individual consecutive overlapping photos. It works directly from a short video based on the first frame as a reference. So far it appears to be a slow process with poor results; I guess I'm doing it incorrectly.

I have used ICE for many years of stitching photos & love it, perhaps I must now go to other software for stacking if I can't get ToupView to work. I'll not give up easily.

Rich B

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#7 Post by Crater Eddie » Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:57 pm

Really? That's odd, which version do you have? You might be able to download an older version. I think the version that I have calls it "fusion" instead of stacking.
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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#8 Post by mrsonchus » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:13 am

Hmmm.... strange, the version I use is 3.7 on Windows 7 64-bit and stacking is called 'EDF'...

Here are a sequence of screen snips of the process of stacking (EDF) as I use it....
ws_TView screen snipped.jpg
ws_TView screen snipped.jpg (83.92 KiB) Viewed 8464 times
ws_TView screen2 snipped.jpg
ws_TView screen2 snipped.jpg (97.66 KiB) Viewed 8464 times
ws_TView screen3 snipped.jpg
ws_TView screen3 snipped.jpg (87.46 KiB) Viewed 8464 times
ws_TView screen4 snipped.jpg
ws_TView screen4 snipped.jpg (87.41 KiB) Viewed 8464 times
ws_TView screen5 snipped.jpg
ws_TView screen5 snipped.jpg (101.72 KiB) Viewed 8464 times
The stack took about 1 second at most to appear!

Good luck :)
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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#9 Post by rabitt » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:43 am

Version X64, 3.7.5639 Built May 16 2015 17:41:12

Called "Image Stacking" in my help manual

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#10 Post by mrsonchus » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:08 am

Hmm.. my version appears to be slightly later re the version number, maybe download this version and try it?
ws_TView-screen-labelled.jpg
ws_TView-screen-labelled.jpg (124.27 KiB) Viewed 8459 times
There may be a difference?
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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#11 Post by Crater Eddie » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:25 am

That's very similar to, but newer than, mine. I'll have to try that version.
CE
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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#12 Post by rabitt » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:21 am

Hi everyone,

'mrsonchus' post has provided the info I needed by showing the UI tool bar and the EDF 'Manual Fusion'.
If I'm correct my version can stack from video and manual just have to learn how.
I just stacked 4 single photos in a few seconds with good results.

My thanks to everyone for all your help, I owe you big time.

Believe it is a Difflugia test, will post it once I learn how.

Rich B

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#13 Post by mrsonchus » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:01 pm

rabitt wrote:Hi everyone,

'mrsonchus' post has provided the info I needed by showing the UI tool bar and the EDF 'Manual Fusion'.
If I'm correct my version can stack from video and manual just have to learn how.
I just stacked 4 single photos in a few seconds with good results.

My thanks to everyone for all your help, I owe you big time.

Believe it is a Difflugia test, will post it once I learn how.

Rich B
That's great Rich, you'll soon be up & running - Toupview is superb. :)
John B

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#14 Post by p3aul » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:17 am

That's great Rich, you'll soon be up & running - Toupview is superb. :)
I wish I could say that John :( I now have three Amscope cameras that run Toupview. I'll admit that the software does have a lot of features but I can't seem to focus it so the images are sharp and it definitely is not parfocal with the MS. This is true of all 3 cameras. I am using 3.7 Toupview as you John. The images and video I take do not look anything as good as what I view in the Microscope. The focus does not follow instantly as I adjust the focus on my Microscope, it seems to lag and then I overshoot and then sometimes I can turn the fine focus several revolutions and the image on my computer screen doesn't change at all.

Paul
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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#15 Post by mrsonchus » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:41 am

p3aul wrote:
That's great Rich, you'll soon be up & running - Toupview is superb. :)
I wish I could say that John :( I now have three Amscope cameras that run Toupview. I'll admit that the software does have a lot of features but I can't seem to focus it so the images are sharp and it definitely is not parfocal with the MS. This is true of all 3 cameras. I am using 3.7 Toupview as you John. The images and video I take do not look anything as good as what I view in the Microscope. The focus does not follow instantly as I adjust the focus on my Microscope, it seems to lag and then I overshoot and then sometimes I can turn the fine focus several revolutions and the image on my computer screen doesn't change at all.

Paul
Try setting the resolution of Toupview's 'live view' lower whilst leaving the 'snap' resolution at your camera's maximum - you'll have a lower-res image on screen that has no lag and the images taken will still be at your camera's maximum - this is how I use T-view and it makes focusing quick and easy. The idea when focusing is to hit the 'sweet spot' as seen on screen, the resolution of the 'live image' isn't important - the captured image will be at your camera's maximum with these settings. I'll get back to you soon with some more details as soon as I get time today - it'll be fine with the optimum settings, don't worry. :)
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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#16 Post by rabitt » Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:29 pm

Hi everyone,
I believe the delay in focus is caused by the microprocessor speed at the high resolution setting, when looking up the specs of the OMAX 5MP camera I believe the recommended speed was 2GB. Most computers these days meet this, such as the dual core processors. My lap top meets the requirement but when working with smaller critters still seems to have a delay. If I'm correct it should show up with the higher MP cameras 10MP and above.

Generally I never print photos larger then 5 by 7 and majority are 4 by 6 inches. There is no loss of photo resolution with the lower setting. The high MP setting with 5MP camera can print photos to about 12 by 12 inches with out loss of photo resolution (pixelation).

Check out Microbus at http://www.microscope-microscope.org/mi ... e-home.htm they explain pixels vs photo size. Even at the lower MP setting photos and video are quite large memory wise, one minute video is 40 or more MP on your disc or thumb drive. Adds up fast.

Rich B

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#17 Post by gekko » Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:38 pm

mrsonchus wrote: The idea when focusing is to hit the 'sweet spot' as seen on screen, the resolution of the 'live image' isn't important
If I may quibble here: if you mean that if the microscope is focused to show a sharp image on the monitor screen, it is unimportant if the view through the eyepiece is sharp, then I'll have to say that this is to a certain extent true but only for low power/small aperture objectives. With objectives with NA of 0.3 and above, if both camera image and view through the eyepiece are not in focus at the same time, then the camera image will suffer spherical aberration (as though one is using the wrong cover glass thickness), and the effect increases rapidly with increase in objective NA.

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#18 Post by mrsonchus » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:10 pm

gekko wrote:
mrsonchus wrote: The idea when focusing is to hit the 'sweet spot' as seen on screen, the resolution of the 'live image' isn't important
If I may quibble here: if you mean that if the microscope is focused to show a sharp image on the monitor screen, it is unimportant if the view through the eyepiece is sharp, then I'll have to say that this is to a certain extent true but only for low power/small aperture objectives. With objectives with NA of 0.3 and above, if both camera image and view through the eyepiece are not in focus at the same time, then the camera image will suffer spherical aberration (as though one is using the wrong cover glass thickness), and the effect increases rapidly with increase in objective NA.
No, what I mean to say, assuming parfocality of the camera and objective (i.e. the view on screen and the view through the 'scope's eyepieces) has been set, as in my system by use of the focusing optics between the camera and the 'scope, the 'live preview' picture seen within Toupview may be set to a lower resolution than the camera's maximum. This will give a real-time response when focusing the 'scope as seen through the eyepieces or on screen - they are parfocal, that will exhibit a 'sweet (i.e. focused) spot that is passed through as the focus is moved to-and-fro whilst watching any part of the image being used as a focus reference, for example a cell-wall, nucleus etc..
The 'snap resolution' is however to be set and left at your camera's maximum, and this is the resolution that your pictures will have as captured. The lower resolution is only used for the 'live-view' screen. How sharp it appears to be on-screen during focusing isn't important, the important factor is that it's at the 'sweet-spot' that is the sharpest position during focusing. Your captured image will be full-resolution and sharply focused, as with my 2mp Toupcam used in this way and seen in all my pictures.

It's just a manifestation of the lower video frame-rate of the higher mp Toupview (USB) cameras, this video frame-rate being that used to focus on screen, not the same resolution in which pictures are captured, much the same as my bridge-camera used for all my other pictures (i.e. not micrographic images) as taken in the lab etc, the live-view screen on the back of the camera is nowhere near the same resolution of the captured image (16mp).

Here's a screen-grab of Toupview using full-res 'live-view' for focusing, giving a slight lag from 'scope's image...
ws_tv-high-res-live-view.jpg
ws_tv-high-res-live-view.jpg (296.89 KiB) Viewed 8403 times
This is how I use Toupview, with 'live-view' in a lower res which gives smooth focusing whilst capturing images in full res
of my 2mp Toupcam by virtue of the setting of 'snap' resolution to the camera's 2mp maximum...
ws_tv-low-res-live-view.jpg
ws_tv-low-res-live-view.jpg (295.3 KiB) Viewed 8403 times
Hope this helps, but of course your camera and 'scope's images are far better parfocal I'm certain. :D
John B

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#19 Post by gekko » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:26 pm

My apologies John for, in addition to butting in, also misunderstanding what you said. Thank you for the elaboration. I am sure what you posted will be very helpful to anyone starting to use USB microscope cameras.

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#20 Post by mrsonchus » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:13 pm

gekko wrote:My apologies John for, in addition to butting in, also misunderstanding what you said. Thank you for the elaboration. I am sure what you posted will be very helpful to anyone starting to use USB microscope cameras.
Ha Gekko old fellow, you've no reason to apologize for anything whatsoever my friend, you've helped me so many times I've lost count! :D
I'd love to give a 5mp Toupcam a try... They can't compete with a DSLR though, they just don't seem to have much of a dynamic-range... :cry:
I love their convenience and simplicity though.... :)

Toupview can be a bit of a steep climb, I'm always finding parts I have misunderstood with earlier use - it's a great little program for the Toupcam-end of the market.

:)
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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#21 Post by rabitt » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:31 pm

Thanks John,
Another great explanation on the use of ToupView.

Rich B

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#22 Post by mrsonchus » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:53 pm

rabitt wrote:Thanks John,
Another great explanation on the use of ToupView.

Rich B
Anytime I can help Rich, TV can be a bit obscure - I've been using it for about 8 months now and still am only just getting the hang of it! :)

Good luck and happy imaging! :D
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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#23 Post by rabitt » Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:06 pm

Just for general info for anyone thinking of purchasing USB camera.

From microscopenet.com

Specifications: 2 thru 10MP OMAX Cameras Ref. Frame Speeds

• Model: A3520U
• Image sensor: Aptina color CMOS
• Resolution: 1600x1200 pixels (2M pixels)
• Pixel size: 3.2um x 3.2 um
• SNR: 43dB
• Dynamic Range 61dB
• Frame speed: 16fps at 1600x1200, 50fps at 800x600

• Model: A3550U
• Image sensor: Aptina 1/2.5" color CMOS
• Resolution: 2592x1944 pixels (5M pixels)
• Pixel size: 2.2um x 2.2 um
• SNR: 40.5dB
• Dynamic Range 66.5dB
• Frame speed: 5fps at 2592x1944, 18fps at 1280x960, 60fps at 640x480

• Model: A35100U
• Image sensor: Aptina 1/2.3" color CMOS
• Resolution: 3584x2748 pixels (10M pixels)
• Pixel size: 1.67um x 1.67 um
• SNR: 34dB
• Dynamic Range 65.2dB
• Frame speed: 1.9fps at 3584x2748, 8fps at 1792x1374, 27fps at 896x684

AS you decrease the resolution to increase the frame rate with my 5MP camera the
“Zoom” must be increased significantly in order to increase the video display size
On the computer screen.

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#24 Post by p3aul » Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:46 am

Well I tried changing to a lower res for the view and a higher res for the snap but It's actually harder to focus with the lower res. I think as, rabitt says, Processor speed might be the problem. In my case my processor is running close to 2.67 MH and I am running Win8( I refuse to upgrade to an inferior OS!). I look down at my bar and see I am running Chrome, Firefox, Photoshop, Excel, Word, and several others at once. Maybe if I close all these apps the response time might be better! In any case, Here is an image I just took with my 14MP Camera, With a DIY/DIC patch spot. This is the best I have been able to attain of blood cells without staining .
Attachments
blood2.jpg
blood2.jpg (292.22 KiB) Viewed 8364 times
Paul Microscope: Amscope T400b Camera: Amscope MU300
Telescope: Orion xt6 classic Dob, Zhumell z10 classic Dob

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#25 Post by rabitt » Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:48 pm

I took 3 photos with the 40x objective of an algae strand, cells measuring 17um by 8um using
the lower resolution video 1280 X 960 and 100% zoom. The 640 X 480 was useless due to the
need to increase zoom to 200% and total pixilation .

The 3 photos ended up with different focal points, one of which was acceptable.
If I increased zoom with the 1280 x 960 above 150% pixilation and focus became a problem.

I agree shutting down all running apps should help solve the problem, also I find using the Quick
Save gives better results then Snap, seems faster.

Rich B

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#26 Post by p3aul » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:50 pm

Yep closing the apps helped. Also I noticed when I use my DIY/DIC stops, there's less light and its harder for the camera to focus. I have to use the condenser iris full open in some cases and rely on the stops to get contrast. In the photo above, I dont know what causes the purple color, its not present when viewing through the eyepieces. It goes away when I use "White Balance".

I don't have a camera adapter for my point and shoot but it just occured to me that I can use a tripod.
Paul Microscope: Amscope T400b Camera: Amscope MU300
Telescope: Orion xt6 classic Dob, Zhumell z10 classic Dob

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#27 Post by gekko » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:34 pm

p3aul wrote:Yep closing the apps helped. Also I noticed when I use my DIY/DIC stops, there's less light and its harder for the camera to focus. I have to use the condenser iris full open in some cases and rely on the stops to get contrast. In the photo above, I dont know what causes the purple color, its not present when viewing through the eyepieces. It goes away when I use "White Balance".

I don't have a camera adapter for my point and shoot but it just occured to me that I can use a tripod.
I think that the eye-brain system will make you think you are seeing white when you know that what you are looking at is white (it tends to compensate for the color of the light). For what it's worth, I always adjust white balance after setting the lamp intensity.

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#28 Post by mrsonchus » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:28 pm

gekko wrote:
p3aul wrote:Yep closing the apps helped. Also I noticed when I use my DIY/DIC stops, there's less light and its harder for the camera to focus. I have to use the condenser iris full open in some cases and rely on the stops to get contrast. In the photo above, I dont know what causes the purple color, its not present when viewing through the eyepieces. It goes away when I use "White Balance".

I don't have a camera adapter for my point and shoot but it just occured to me that I can use a tripod.
I think that the eye-brain system will make you think you are seeing white when you know that what you are looking at is white (it tends to compensate for the color of the light). For what it's worth, I always adjust white balance after setting the lamp intensity.
Same her Gekko, after changing objective or lamp intensity I do the same - always seems to help if the software's reaction is any indicator, as it usually 'auto-adjusts' when I ask it to in these situations.
John B

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Re: OMAX 5MP A3550U Camera & ToupView software

#29 Post by Jkelley1000 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:38 am

I've got a similar Omax Trinolular with 5 M camera. What a great source of info in this discussion group. Many thanks.
  • Going to look for a Twain driver so I can also link to my Canon T3i. Is this possible?
    I always do final focus on the pc screen zoomed in a bit
    Toupview EDF stacks great even though I still need to explore all the settings in EDF
    Lag in my video feed too on old Win 7 laptop, I am sure your suggestion of lower frame rate for video will fix it
Jimmy

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