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The Canon EOS 200D – a versatile camera for a variety of microscope imaging applications

front Canon small camera

Canon’s EOS 200D is a small, handy DSLR camera that weighs about 450 grams and performs well as a basic camera for microscope imaging applications.

By using our LM digital adapters, it can be attached to almost any microscope, either to the photo tube or the eyepiece tube. The modular design of our adapter solutions allows for maximum configuration flexibility.

display small camera adapter solution c-mount

The image above shows the Canon EOS 200D with an LM DSLR adapter attached (featuring an integrated plan-achromatic optical system and C-mount connection). Assuming all components have been coordinated optimally, users can expect the best possible image quality and the largest possible field of view. In this configuration, the camera can be attached to any standard C-mount connection.

The EOS 200D (which replaces the EOS 100D) features the same 24 MP APS-C sensor with Dual Pixel sensor technology as is found in the slightly larger EOS 800D. Its sensor performance is thus a marked step-up from that of its predecessor, and one could even describe it as the “smaller EOS 800D”. The ISO scale ranges from 100 to 25,600 (expanding up to 51,200), which makes the camera an optimal fit for low-light microscopy applications, such as fluorescence microscopy.

The EOS 200D comes with most of the basic functions that are essential for photomicrography. After setting the desired language option in the setup menu, you can immediately start taking pictures.

language setting

Live image output is possible via the HDMI port, with and without image information (can be selected by toggling the Info button). With the Canon Utility software that comes included with the camera, the EOS 200D can be comfortably controlled from the PC or Mac. We have tested the software for you and are very happy with it.

The best way to connect the camera is through a USB connection. It is very convenient to be able to save the images directly to the PC’s hard drive, as this dispenses with the lengthy and complicated process of transferring images from the camera’s memory card to the computer. Disabling the auto power-off function (via the camera’s display screen) is especially important when the camera is used for longer presentations or shooting sessions and cannot be permitted to switch itself off automatically.

Canon auto power off

The tilting and rotating display is another of the camera’s much-appreciated features. Especially when working on the microscope, the freedom of angle afforded by the camera’s fully articulated screen has obvious ergonomic benefits.

ergonomic camera display

The absence of an integrated HDR function (as opposed to the Canon EOS 80D, for example) is a bit of a downer, as is the lack of 4K video recording. Unfortunately, the Canon EOS 200D also doesn’t offer Live View output over the HDMI port.

And now for the practical test: To operate the camera remotely with the Canon Utility software, we attached it to the microscope photo tube using one of our LM digital adapters.

mount small Canon DSLR on Zeiss

The software quickly detects the camera and we can start working.

For a more in-depth look, we have created a video that provides a summary of all steps:

practical video

The following steps are shown:

The control elements of the software are well structured and easy to use. The image below shows the ISO settings:

camera setting live view

The Live View image is displayed directly on the computer monitor and can be controlled in full resolution. This makes it possible to precisely adjust the focus using the zoom function. The shutter release is triggered remotely with a button. Excellent results can thus be obtained quickly and easily.

battery surface with 50x magnification

Notably, the camera also features WiFi connectivity, which enables remote camera control from a tablet or smartphone using Canon’s Camera Connect app. To test how the camera performs with this app, we used another connection method and attached the camera to the eyepiece tube using the DSLRCT + TUST30W adapter combination. The practical advantages of the folding screen are particularly noticeable when this connection method is used.

eyepiece tube dslr adapter

Zeiss Primostar Eyepiece tube camera

The Canon Connect app installed on the tablet/smartphone immediately detects the camera.

Canon Camera Connect App

With the app, you can make changes to the camera’s most important settings directly from the tablet.

Smartphone tablet app canon

Once all settings are complete, the shutter only needs to be released remotely from the screen of the tablet. Below you can see a monochrome image, with the view rotated by 180 degrees (because microscopes usually give you a reversed image) and magnified.

photo dslr app

Conclusion:

The Canon EOS 200D is an affordably priced all-round camera and an excellent choice for microscopy applications. At a price tag of around EUR 450 (body only), it offers an excellent sensor and a fully articulated vari-angle screen. Also, the Canon Utility software (included for free with the camera), which provides remote control access via Live View, adds significant value to the Canon EOS 200D. A quite handy app is available for tablets and smartphones. What’s missing is the HDR function in the menu. For users who need that particular feature, the Canon EOS 80D would be the better way to go.


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