CCD Camera

Charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras are the based upon chips that convert incident photon into an electron signal that can be registered by a computer.  These chips are subdivided into pixels and the total number of pixels, size of each pixel and total chip size are all important to know when selecting a particular camera for use with objective lenses of different magnification.  Electron-multiplier (EM-)CCDs can increase the amount of signal registered for a particular number of photons, and have emerged as an excellent solution for low light applications.  However EM-CCDs generally have large pixel sizes that can cause images to appear “pixelated” unless very high magnification objectives are employed.  More recently complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) chips have been integrated into cameras for biological microscopy.  These generally have smaller pixel sizes, larger numbers of pixels and overall chip sizes and can permit faster imaging than EM-CCDs.  However, CMOS cameras can struggle with low light conditions, be nosier and have less efficient conversion of photon to electron signal.