Digital Net Camera DN100 - Introduction

The DN100 Digital Network Camera is Nikon's new platform-independent, Internet-capable digital camera system that can be utilized to deliver live or captured images to a local computer in the laboratory or to a remote computer anywhere in the world.

This unique cutting-edge digital microscope camera system combines 1.3 megapixel color resolution imaging at a rate of 15 frames per second with unique networking capabilities to enable simultaneous sharing of information over the Internet or a local area network. The DN100's ability to transfer images over a network or the Internet enables the microscopist to easily share digital images of specimens with colleagues, and the system's advanced capabilities ease the burden of preparing images for the web. The DN100's networking capabilities include HTTP and FTP communication, allowing the unit to conveniently provide images and streaming video to a remote microscopist via a web browser. The DN100 is also capable of allowing an operator to remotely control the camera system software and hardware.

DN100 Hardware and Software Reviews

DN100 Hardware Review - The DN100 digital camera system is a platform independent system that features a 1.3 megapixel color CCD camera capable of capturing images at a rate of 15 frames per second. The most outstanding component of the DN100 camera system, however, is the versatile camera control unit. The DN100 camera control unit enables the microscopist to digitally process, save, and manipulate digital images on a stand-alone basis as well as over a network.

DN100 Camera Control Unit - The DN100 camera control unit (CCU) is the heart of the DN100 camera system and enables the instrument to operate over a local area network or the Internet. The control unit digitally processes an input video signal transmitted by the CCD camera or an external input line, and produces an output video signal with a maximum pixel resolution of 1280 x 960.

DN100 Networking Features - The DN100 digital network camera system is equipped with platform-independent networking capabilities that include communications based on either hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) or file transfer protocol (FTP). This feature permits multiple remote users to simultaneously connect to the DN100 camera control unit and to access still images, video streams, and images saved to a PC card or the FTP server housed in the instrument.

DN100 Technical Specifications - The DN100 takes advantage of proven imaging, networking, and image processing technologies and standards to deliver a stable and versatile platform independent digital imaging system. This section details the technical specifications of the DN100.

Troubleshooting the DN100 Camera System - The most common problems encountered with the Nikon DN100 digital camera system are reviewed in this section. Suggestions for solutions are also included, but many imaging problems may arise in the microscope itself. Be sure to check both the camera system and the microscope when difficulties occur.

DN100 Interactive Java Tutorials

DN100 Camera Control Unit Simulation - When the DN100 Camera Control Unit (CCU) is powered on, the display window appears on the computer monitor. The display window presents a color image captured at 1.3 megapixel resolution that is refreshed at a rate of 15 frames per second. An array of on-screen control windows that facilitate the capture and correction of digital images is accessible from the main display window. In addition, the front panel of the CCU contains a number of indicators and buttons that can be used to monitor the CCU and gain access to its image processing and networking capabilities.

DN100 Web Browser Simulation - When the Nikon DN100 web browser interface initializes, three virtual rooms are available to the operator from the entry page. In one of these rooms, a single microscope image with a remote control panel appears in the web browser window. The remote controls provided by the instrument allow a remote microscopist to access many of the features of the camera control unit, including exposure settings, image processing functions, and the ability to capture and download live images in Bitmap or JPEG format. Other noteworthy features include an electronic zoom and pan capability, as well as an annotation function that allows the operator to superimpose a hand-drawn diagram on the image window.


Contributing Authors

Matthew J. Parry-Hill and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.