Impact of the number of pixels on image quality in microscopy
Particularly with compact cameras, it has been demonstrated that a large number of pixels (picture elements) does not always have a favourable influence on image quality. This is due, on the one hand, to the fact that compact cameras are becoming increasingly smaller, and therefore the size of the image sensors must also necessarily be reduced. On the other hand, the competitive market is demanding an ever-increasing number of pixels. This means that more and more picture elements (pixels) must be made to fit onto smaller sensors. The result is a reduction in the sensitivity of the camera and an increase in the signal-to-noise ratio. Practically speaking, this means that the colour reproduction is not optimal, and that the image itself appears washed out, like a poor copy.
Specifically for microscopy purposes, digital cameras with 5 to 8 million pixels are perfectly adequate, as the limitation comes exclusively through the numerical aperture of the lens. Even with the best plan apochromatic lenses currently available on the market, a higher resolution cannot be achieved, despite of the higher number of pixels.
From our point of view, an investment in plan fluoride or plan apochromatic microscope lenses would be more useful than a higher number of pixels.
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