Taking pictures through the microscope eyepiece using a snapshot camera is the easiest way to take photos. You can use the camera that you already have. There no need to invest additional equipment but a camera adapter will definite help you stablizing the camera. The illustration below is a Nikon S200 snapshot camera mounted on the eyepiece of a microscope with Celestron universal camera adapter. Another advantage is that your microscope’s eyepiece will typically better than the adapter reduction lens (adapter). The quality of todays snapshot camera are improving and their quality are not too far behind a professional cameras. Their CCD sensor are sensitive which is very suitable for the low light condition in microscopy. They also packed with functions and settings that allow you to choose from. However, not all snapshot cameras suitable for taking photos from the eyepiece. Sometime, the newest and highest resolution cameras are not the best choice.
This page, I am comparing three snapshot cameras that I purchased during the past eight years. I am using a prepared slide of pig motor nerve MW. Photos were taken at 400X from the eypiece of my Nexcope CM701 microscope.
The Canon A40 was purchased about aroung 2002. A nice camera that has provided us many years of good services. The camera has the smallest LCD screen so it is more difficult to focus. It does not have big zoom or wide angle so it can’t take wide angle shot or zoom in big like the other two. The CCD sensor is also less sensitive. The shutter speed also lags the other two. The Nikon S200 was purchased in Taiwan in 2006 when I went to my home country. It is still very new. It has a maximum resolution of 7.1 MP. Moderate size LCD, shutter speed and zoom. The most recent purpchase is Olympus stylus 7010. I bought it at Dec 2009. It has the highest resolution among the three at 12MP. Larest LCD screen, highly sensitive CCD sensor and big zoom.
Taking pictures directly from the eyepiece using a snapshot camera can produce good quality pictures. Not all snapshot cameras are suitable for photomicrography. The newest Olympus Stylus 7010 with big zoom and high resolution does not produce the best picture. Light interference become very serious when big zoom is used. It seems to be less interference when zoom out (wide angle) rather than zoom in (telescope). The camera manufactured some years back , such as Nikon S200, seems to be the best choice. The field of view is very close to the real field of view when wide angle is used. however, the results is not consistent with my previous project when I took photos of black hair algea). The Canon A40, to my surprise, performed actually quite well. The only disadvantage of Canon A40 is the small LCD. It is easier to focus with larger LCD.