New Nikon Cameras

A little while ago, Nikon released a new line of CMOS cameras, based on the sensors used in their digital cameras. I hadn’t looked closely at them until now, and it turns out they are quite impressive. There is both a color version (the DS-Ri2) and a monochrome version (the DS-Qi2). Both are based on a 16 megapixel sensor with 7.3 μm pixels. The DS-Qi2 sports a 77% peak QE and 2.2 electrons of read noise. The only apparent drawback to them is the relatively low speed of 6 fps at full frame. For many applications, though, that won’t be a problem and I’m eager to get my hands on one to give it a try.

One interesting thing is that the sensor is very large (36mm x 24 mm). It’s so large that the camera comes with an F-mount, and in fact, the sensor is larger than the field number of the microscope. I suspect if you used it with a 1x coupler that you would see noticeable vignetting. Nikon mentioned that they have 2.5x couplers for these lenses, and I think something like that is the way to go. If you used a 2x coupler, you would be very close to Nyquist sampling for a 10x / 0.45 NA objective and could bin 2×2 for imaging with a 100x / 1.4 NA objective.

All in all, it looks pretty exciting, and it’s nice to see another option for cameras out there.