Microscopic Imaging with a Microscope Camera

Closeup of a Moth eye
High resolution using the ScopePix and a iPhone 13 Pro Max – Photo by Le Nguyen

Capturing detailed and high-quality images with a microscope is crucial for research, analysis, and documentation. These dedicated microscope cameras allow you to capture stunning images and videos, opening up a whole new world of possibilities.

Setting Up Your Microscope Camera

Before diving into the intricacies of microscope cameras, it’s essential to ensure that your microscope is compatible with the camera you’ve chosen. Many reputable brands, such as Saxon, Celestron, and AmScope, offer a wide range of microscope cameras designed to seamlessly integrate with various microscope models.

Once you’ve acquired your microscope camera, the next step is to connect it to your microscope. This process typically involves attaching the camera to the trinocular port or eyepiece tube of your microscope. The camera’s software, which we’ll discuss later, will guide you through the installation and setup process.

Microscope Camera Software: The Key to Unlocking Imaging Potential

While the hardware component of a microscope camera is essential, it’s the accompanying software that truly unlocks its potential. This software acts as the bridge between the camera and your computer, allowing you to capture, view, and analyse images with ease.

Celestron Digital Imager App
Celestron’s Digital Imager App
Celestron Digital Imager Photo
Detail of a Moth’s eye using the Celestron Imager App – Photo by Le Nguyen

Most microscope camera manufacturers provide proprietary software tailored to their products. For instance, Saxon offers the ImageView software, which provides a user-friendly interface for capturing, processing, and sharing images. Similarly, Celestron’s Digital Imager software offers a range of features, including live image preview, measurement tools, and annotation capabilities.

ImageView App
ImageView app for Saxon Imagers
ImageView App
Cell structure using the ImageView app

These software applications often include advanced features such as image stacking, extended depth of field (EDF), and time-lapse recording. Image stacking combines multiple images captured at different focal planes, resulting in a single image with an enhanced depth of field. EDF, on the other hand, uses computational techniques to create a single image with a vast depth of field, revealing minute details that would otherwise be difficult to capture in a single shot.

Link to the Saxon software:
Windows and Mac versions located here:
• The Saxon 3MP camera software
• The Saxon 10MP camera software

Link to the Celestron software:
Windows Version: Celestron Digital Imager
Mac Version: Celestron Digital Imager

Integrating with Third-Party Software

While the proprietary software provided by manufacturers is a great starting point, many users prefer to integrate their microscope cameras with third-party software solutions. These applications offer additional features, compatibility with a broader range of cameras, and the ability to customise workflows to suit specific needs.

One popular third-party software option is using Photo Booth (Default app on your Mac) it is a powerful and versatile image-processing program.

Photobooth photo
Photo Booth App (Mac)

Using a Smartphone as a Microscope Imager

Using a smartphone with a microscope
Saxon Scopepix 3S with a Stereo Microscope

Smartphone microscopy has become increasingly popular, allowing amateur microscopists and students to take high-quality microscope images using just their phone camera. The key is using an adapter that securely connects your phone’s camera to the microscope eyepiece. There are adapters available such as the Saxon Scopepix adapter that you can use.

To get started, first make sure your microscope is set up properly with the specimen in focus. Then, attach the smartphone adapter firmly over the microscope eyepiece. Most adapters will have a way to clamp or slide the phone into place, aligning the camera lens with the eyepiece lens. You may need to adjust the phone position and focus to get a clear view of the specimen through the camera app.

Once you can see the magnified image through your phone’s camera, use your camera app settings to adjust things like exposure, white balance, and focus until the image looks good on your screen. Be sure to hold the phone very still when taking pictures to avoid blurry shots. Consider using the bluetooth dongle that comes with the Scopepix. You can take single photos, or use your phone’s video recording to capture video clips through the microscope for observing live specimens.

Choosing the Right Software

When selecting the appropriate software for your microscope camera setup, consider factors such as ease of use, feature set, compatibility with your hardware, and the specific requirements of your research or application.

Additionally, online forums and user communities can be invaluable resources for gathering insights, tips, and recommendations from experienced users. These platforms often provide a wealth of information on software optimisation, troubleshooting, and best practices for specific use cases.


Incorporating a microscope camera into your microscopy setup opens up a world of possibilities for capturing high-quality images and videos. However, the true power of these devices lies in the accompanying software solutions. Whether you choose to use proprietary software from brands like Saxon or Celestron, or opt for third-party applications like PhotoBooth (Mac only).
The right software can transform your microscopic imaging experience, enabling you to unlock the full potential of your microscope camera.

Saxon 3MP Digital Microscope Camera – USB
Saxon 10MP Digital Microscope Camera – USB and HDMI
Celestron 5MP Digital Microscope Imager – USB

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