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2D measuring with Canon EOS cameras (DSLR and DSLM) in microscopy: Using the overlay mode of the Canon Utility software for length measurement

With Canon’s EOS Utility software, almost every Canon camera can be comfortably controlled remotely from the computer. Basic functions include Live View shooting, zoom view, interval timer, image rotation, exposure time selection, ISO settings and white balancing. The fact that the software is included in the price of Canon cameras and does not need to be purchased separately is also a plus point.

measure microscope photos with Canon EOS utility software

In “overlay mode” you can put images of your choice on top of the Live View image. You can use this function to place an angle scale or a ruler in the Live View image and measure it.

The website “openclipart.org” contains an archive of photos and illustrations that can be used for free. We searched this website for a ruler and soon found what we were looking for.

length measurement microscope 

microscope specimen measure

angles measurement microscope

The ruler displayed in the Live View image can be rotated and resized as required, which enables calibration for accurate and precise length measurement.

calibration for length measurement in overlay mode

With the scale overlaid over the image, the actual physical length – for example in millimetres – can be read off the screen and documented. It is also possible to simultaneously display ruler and gridlines:

measurement with Canon Utility software camera software overlay modemit

If you would like to save the Live View image along with the ruler for documentation purposes, we recommend the “Captura” open source software. You just need to hit “Print Screen”, and the Live View image, with the ruler included, will be saved to a previously selected folder. If you then also press the normal shutter button in Canon Utility, the Live View image, without ruler, will be saved to the folder designated for that purpose. This is a smart way to save both the original image in high resolution and the measured image as separate files.

We offer high-quality adapter solutions that can connect Canon DSLR and system cameras to many different microscopes and macroscopes. The cameras can either be connected via a dedicated phototube to one of the microscope’s eyepieces.

attach DSLM Canon photo tube with Zeiss Primo Star

fit the Canon DSLM on the eyepiece tube 30mm inner diameter

We will be happy to provide advice on any further questions regarding adapter solutions and choosing the camera that is right for you: Contact

03.05.2019
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