TN165: Openlab Module - Axiocam Video

TN165: Openlab Module - Axiocam Video
TN165: Openlab module – Axiocam Video
This technical note discusses the operation and use of the Zeiss Axiocam HRc
(color) and HRm (monochrome) cameras with Openlab
The AxioCam camera head is supplied by Carl Zeiss with:
a PCI interface board
a fiber optic cable for data transfer between the camera and the PCI interface board
a power supply
power cable
The PCI card requires one free PCI slot. The PCI slot must support 5V keyed PCI
Mac OS 9.2.2 or Mac OS X 10.2.8
Openlab (OS X support in Openlab 3.1.5r5 or later)
Video Manager
Axiocam Video
Drivers for Mac OS 9 are installed automatically by the Openlab installer. Drivers for
OS X are available in the Openlab Hardware Drivers Pack.
Connecting the camera to a microscope
The AxioCam has a standard c-mount thread. A c-mount adapter will therefore be
required to attach the camera to a microscope.
Connect one end of the fibre optic cable to the PCI card connect the other end of the
cable to the camera head. Connect the power supply to the camera head.
There is no on/off switch for the camera, disconnect the power supply to turn the
camera off.
Video Manager configuration
In Openlab select “Video Manager” from the “Special” menu. In the Video Manager
dialog select “Axiocam” as the input.
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Start up order
Ensure the camera is powered before starting Openlab. This will assist recognition
of the camera in Openlab.
Supported controls
1300 x 1030 [fast]
1300 x 1030 [high quality]
1300 x 1030 scanned
2600 x 2060 scanned
3900 x 3090 scanned
Depth (Axiocam HRC only), monochrome or color
Digital Gain
Colorization (for monochrome camera and color camera in monochrome mode)
Available binning modes for the different resolutions of the Axiocam HRc color
1300 x 1030 fast
1300 x 1030 fast
1300 x 1030 high quality
1300 x 1030 scanned
2600 x 2060 scanned
3900 x 3090 scanned
Image size and memory requirements
The images produced by this camera are large (47MB for 3900*3090 full color). If
using Mac OS 9 ensure a minimum of 256 MB memory are allocated to Openlab.
What does the Black Ref. Button do?
This allows black level calibration to be performed and is recommended when using
exposures greater than 3 seconds.
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How do I identify the brightest and darkest pixels in the image?
You do this as you would with any other monochrome digital camera – by using the
colorizatiion option to color the bottom and top most pixels blue and red respectively.
The colorization level describes the ranges of pixel intensities to be displayed.
Don’t forget to switch the colorization back to 0 before capturing the image.
How do I white balance an image?
The AxioCam is designed to have the default white balance optimized for the color
temperature of 3200K. View the live preview and click the “White Balance” button in
the video controls palette.
White balance will operate on a region of interest (ROI) drawn on the image, which
allows the user to select an object or part of an object that is white or is to appear
white in the final image, before clicking the White Balance button. In the absence of
an ROI, the whole of the current active document is used so the sample must be
moved to present the camera with a white scene such as an area of slide free of
cells, before clicking the White Balance button.
What are ‘sampled’ modes?
This is the patented procedure implemented by Zeiss that allows the user to select
real resolution (i.e. without interpolation methods which are used in the low
quality/high quality modes) in an area 1300 x 1030, 2600 x 2060 and 3900 x 3090.
The CCD is shifted physically to a new position depending on the resolution chosen.
Openlab displays an image as millions of colors how does this compare with
the Zeiss 42-bit color image?
The AxioCam produces 14bit data for each color channel resulting in a 42-bit color
image. Openlab does not handle more than 8 bits per channel. The 14 bit data is
scaled to 8 bits in exactly the same was as when using ‘digital gain’.
Why can I see a color mosaic pattern in the image even at maximum
This is evident if the object has moved during the exposure and is more obvious as
the resolution and hence the time taken to produce the final image increases. The
CCD is ‘scanned’ to produce the high resolution image and any object that is moving
will cause differences in the images at different scan positions. When they are
‘summed’ to produce the final image any differences appear as a mosaic of different
color pixels.
Known problem with Axiocam driver installer on OS X 10.2.6
During the installation process users may experience a slight problem for which
there is an easy workaround described here.
After double-clicking on the installer icon Axiocam_HR_Package.mpkg the installer
will require the name and password of a user with Administrator privileges for that
After these are correctly entered the ‘select a destination’ screen is shown.
It is at this point that users are meant to select the destination disk for the installation
of the software, it must be the same disk on which Openlab is installed. However
this disk may be covered by an exclamation mark in a red circle and the message
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“You cannot install this software on this disk (null)”
Click “Go Back” to return to the previous screen, click “Continue” on this screen. The
“Select A Destination” screen should be shown but installation of the Axiocam drivers
should now be permitted.
This problem does not occur with Mac OS X 10.2.8.
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