eyepiece camera vs phone

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wild2020
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Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2020 11:23 pm

eyepiece camera vs phone

#1 Post by wild2020 » Mon May 03, 2021 1:55 pm

Hello,

I want to take images through my 2 microscopes one is 23.2mm eyepiece size biological but I use it with incident light, the other is a stereo zoom wild m8 also incident light and 30mm eyepiece size

I am curious about the pros and cons of an eyepiece camera vs a phone? quality and ease of use

One thing I am considering it using 3d printed mount and have a phone permanently secured to an eyepiece for quick swapping out but how would this compare to a dedicated camera some are rather cheap but I am worried they will be of poor quality ar also having to mess around with cables and proprietary programs etc so I thought maybe an old phone would work better in some ways not a complete cheapskate but don't want to spec unnecessarily either

neither have phototubes, but it seems very expensive to go that route so probably going to stick with thought the eyepieces for now.

here is one product that I am considering :?:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/273471207025?_ ... 1196.m2219

thanks for your input.

Hobbyst46
Posts: 3355
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:02 pm

Re: eyepiece camera vs phone

#2 Post by Hobbyst46 » Mon May 03, 2021 6:03 pm

1. I would prefer a trinocular head if possible. Whatever camera. But the following comments apply anyway.

2. The eyepiece camera (at least the inexpensive ones) has three main disadvantages:
a) only a fraction of the FOV is covered, even if a 0.5X reduction lens is supplied with the camera (even worse without one).
b) slow frame rate at high resolution.
c) if a spatially and chromatically correctred image is provided by the microscope only when its dedicated eyepiece is used (such as can happen with certain old microscopes), the image from the camera will show chromatic and spatial aberrations, expecially away from the center of the FOV.

3. The eyepiece camera has two main advantages over the phone camera:
a) it is much more convenient and ergonomic to install it in the tube and align focus.
c) it is directly tethered to a computer so images are easily collected and stored on the fly.

Just based on my personal experience with a 5MP eyepiece camera vs a Samsung Galaxy S5 phone..
Zeiss Standard GFL+Canon EOS-M10, Olympus VMZ stereo

Tom Jones
Posts: 185
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:47 pm

Re: eyepiece camera vs phone

#3 Post by Tom Jones » Mon May 03, 2021 7:27 pm

Cell phone cameras work just fine. If you're careful, and practice a bit, you can do very well hand-held. I've shot publication quality stills hand-held. You can do much, much better with a cell phone mount of some kind, even shooting very nice 4K or 8K video, if your phone will support it.

I personally think it's generally a much better option than an eyepiece camera. You have the full field of view if you want, or can zoom in to eliminate the vignetting. You have access to all the camera/ photography bells and whistles the phone manufacturers toss in, and generally much higher resolution. Some apps give you full control of the camera white balance, shutter speed, etc. Cell phone cameras work with all kinds of light microscopes, from student up to research grade. Eyepiece size doesn't matter. No need to ensure you have color or aberration compensating/correcting eyepieces. Try finding an eyepiece camera that can do high resolution slow motion video. Instantaneous upload to sites like Instagram, text, or email distribution, too. Upgrade your cell phone and you upgrade your microscope camera.

Here's an article on cell phone photomicrography I wrote several years ago for Micscape. The progress in camera specs means they work even better now:

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/art ... ography%22

Tom

PeteM
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Location: N. California

Re: eyepiece camera vs phone

#4 Post by PeteM » Mon May 03, 2021 8:22 pm

+1 to the above.

If you have a spare phone camera and mount the proper eyepiece to it, it is about as convenient to swap in and out as a USB camera and will generally provide better images than all but the more expensive USB variants. A holder including a remote phone camera release suitable for many might run $20. An extra eyepiece may be $30. Your previous generation cell phone (now using just WiFi) might "cost" the loss of an $80 trade-in credit?

Alternately you can use your regular cell phone camera - and just take a couple minutes to get it centered over the eyepiece (in a holder) for each photo session.

A plus for the USB eyepiece cameras is that many will have useful software for measurement and adjustment. They can also be directly tethered to a laptop or computer used for focus stacking and photo editing. If you get a USB camera with optics to get a proper view, sufficient pixels, and software -- it could also make sense but likely run $300 and up. Maybe $500 to get as good images as one of the better phone cameras now available -- and there are phone apps to do some of the editing functions as well.

PeteM
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Re: eyepiece camera vs phone

#5 Post by PeteM » Mon May 03, 2021 8:40 pm

Might add, that another option is a 1" sensor C-mount camera. These range from $100 for a used mirrorless camera body with a c-mount adapter to $500 for something like a 20mp Rising Cam with good software. C-mount adapters (.6x,.7x etc. for image sizing) are cheap and these 10-20mp mirrorless cameras make good images and provide a simple and "clean" installation. I use this for my own Wild M8 with a trinocular intermediate piece. A bit less clunky than swapping a phone or USB camera in and out of an eyetube.

DonSchaeffer
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: eyepiece camera vs phone

#6 Post by DonSchaeffer » Wed May 05, 2021 1:48 am

Personally, I hate the look of smart phone images--that weird vertical format and the poor contrast. My eyepiece camera is always on and ready to make still or videos at the click of the mouse.

Tom Jones
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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:47 pm

Re: eyepiece camera vs phone

#7 Post by Tom Jones » Wed May 05, 2021 2:33 am

Don, turn the phone horizontally if you crop in the phone, and the vertical format becomes horizontal. If you're shooting stills you can crop any way you want, horizontal, vertical, or rotated in some weird way to match specimen orientation (see the demo foraminifera shot cropped in Lightroom in the pdf link). Personally I hate vertical video too as it only works well with cell phones, so I find a way to hold the phone horizontal with the cell phone mount. My method is demonstrated in the pdf.

There's no reason for poor contrast, either. Look at the photos in the pdf link and you'll see what I mean.

Also, look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOfHLrCCGC8 He uses Olympus BHB and BH-2 microscopes and records the video with an iPhone 8 (see the comments on the video). It's very nice work with plenty of detail and contrast. Check out the rest of his channel for more examples.

All of that said, I normally use a Canon 5D Mk II for stills, and a Panasonic GH4 for 4K video. I'm looking to upgrade soon to a Canon R5 for a 45mp sensor for stills and up to 8K video. I'm pretty sure it's overkill, but you never know! :shock:

Tom

DonSchaeffer
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Re: eyepiece camera vs phone

#8 Post by DonSchaeffer » Wed May 05, 2021 6:49 pm

You are right, Tom. These are fine images. I'm afraid I am an irrational smart phone bigot. I switched my smart phone for a flip phone and never looked back. Forgive me.

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