SensiCam Long Exposure Camera

Author: Kunito Yoshida (k.yoshida at IMPERIAL.AC.UK)
History: 2003/08/12: First version
2003/08/12: Version 0.2
2003/10/24: PCO/Cooke Corp. is developing improved versions of this plugin for Mac, Linux and Windows.
Limitations:Only runs on Windows
Source: Source code is in the ZIP archive
Installation: 1. Download and extract the files.
2. Add the files in the "Classes" folder to ImageJ "plugins" folder.
3. Put "SensiCam_8bitNative.dll" into "ImageJ\jre\bin".
4. Install the PCO SDK ( on your computer.
5. Make a folder named "Acquired" in the "ImageJ" folder.
6. Make a folder named "Default" in the "Acquired" folder.
Description: 12-bit to 8-bit conversion - SensiCam is 12-bit camera but this plugin convert the 12-bit data into 8bit data. To do this, plugin should map the 12-bit scale to 8-bit scale. If you press 'Auto Gain' button on the main panel, the plugin first aquire an image according to the exposure time (in milliseconds) that you set in the 'Gain Control' or 'Time-Lapse Condition' panel, then analyse the pixel value, and try to set the minimal pixel value in 12-bit scale to 0 in 8-bit scale (LUT MIN) and the maximal pixel value in 12-bit scale to 255 in 8-bit scale (LUT MAX), respectively. You can set these LUT MIN and MAX values manually in the 'Gain Control' or 'Time-Lapse Condition' panel.

Aquire an image - You specify the ROI (or if not the whole area will be selected) and press 'Take A Picture' button in the main panel. If you checked 'Auto Save' checkbox in the 'Save Option' panel, the captured the image will be automatically saved in the folder (a subfolder of 'ImageJ\Acquired', 'Default' as default) which you specified in the 'Save Option' panel.

Time-lapse mode - If you press the 'Time-Lapse Mode' button, another panel will be activated according to the ROI that you specified. Press 'Start/Break' button to start recording. Capturing interval should be specified in the 'Time-Lapse Condition' panel, and should not exceed the time required to capture an image which is determined by the sum of the 'Exposure' time you specified and the intrinsic time for the hardware (~150 msec but may depend on your machine). Captured images will be sequentially numbered and stored in the specified folder as separate image files. If you want to stop capturing during the course, press the 'Start/Break' button again or simply close the 'Time-Lapse' window panel.

Focus mode - If you are working with long exposure time, you will often experience that it is hard to focus your specimen. The 'Focus Mode' is a facility to achieve this more easily. By pressing the 'Focus<=>Capture' button, you can switch between 'Focus Mode' and 'Capture Mode'. In 'Focus Mode', a red circle will appear in the main monitor so that you will know that you are in 'Focus Mode'. You can set the capturing condition for each mode in the 'Gain Control' panel or by pressing 'Auto Gain' button while you are in the corresponding mode. 'Focus Mode' is just to monitor the camera, and you will always capture images according to the condition set for 'Capture Mode' even when you are in 'Focus Mode'.

Pause - By pressing 'Pause Plugin' button, your machine will be freed from continuous image aquisition cycle, so that you could work more comfortably in other jobs. To reactivate the acquisition cycle, you may need to press any of other buttons.

Place A ROI - It is nothing but a facility to set a ROI reproducibly.

This plugin is only compatible with SensiCam Long Exposure camera from PCO Imaging, but you could adapt it to cameras of other types in relatively simple manner.

I compiled the plugin using gcc in cygwin environment. See the ReadMe for details.

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