The new book, Practical Digital Photomicrography by Dr. Brian Matsumoto (Rocky Nook, 250 pages, hard cover, $69.95), is an introduction to digital photography through the microscope in which readers will learn about the three camera types used in photomicrography (point and shoot consumer cameras, digital single lens reflex cameras, and professional (scientific) photomicrography instruments) and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
For example, the point and shoot camera has the benefit of a live, real-time preview, active histogram, potential infrared sensitivity, low cost, and video recording capability. Its disadvantages are noise at low light levels and limited dynamic range.
A digital single lens reflex has, at low magnification, the advantages of an accurate and sharp focusing screen, low noise at low light levels, and good dynamic range. This camera provides the potential of equaling the quality of scientific cameras but at a fraction of the cost. Its only weakness is the ergonomic deficiencies resulting from having the camera mounted on a microscope.
The scientific grade cameras provide the highest image quality with ease of operation. Unfortunately, such cameras are expensive ($6000) and are found, most commonly, in research laboratories. However, such cameras are still within the financial reach of enthusiasts who can afford a professional-level digital single lens reflex. Prices for these types of cameras are dropping and it is anticipated that cameras of this type will be available at $2000-3000 in the next year.
The book offers a thorough presentation on the methods of attaching the cameras to the microscope and the ergonomics of image acquisition, as well as detailed discussions on microscope illuminators and lighting systems, so that the reader understands such basic image acquisition procedures as obtaining white balance, determining resolution, and edge enhancement. There will be chapters on imaging transparent specimens using darkfield, phase contrast, differential interference contrast, oblique illumination, and Rheinberg illumination. These skills will enable the reader to obtain professional results and will be valuable to the professional photomicrographers as well as the photographic enthusiast.