The Lumia 1020 as a photomicroscope

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What do you do if you want to record microscope images and you don't want to spend valuable time setting up a special rig to stabilise and support a conventional camera over the eyepiece? And you've tried using phone cameras but they're of too low a resolution and also suffer stabilisation issues/blur because of the often limited light. You turn, of course, to the wonder that is the Nokia Lumia 1020 - with high quality reframing on just the right section of each slide, instant operation, full optical image stabilisation, etc. What a novel use for a top camera-toting smartphone!

From the WMPU article that introduces us to the research paper:

We have seen this technical wonder repurposed by scientists to take photos around corners or even through flesh and now we have a scientific paper describing how the camera can be used to capture photomicrographs much better, and more quickly and conveniently, than other solutions.

Photomicrographs are used to examine and record biopsy samples via a microscope to look for illnesses like cancer or inflammatory disease.  Currently many scientists and technicians use simple point and shoot cameras through the eyepiece of the microscope, but unless they use special and bulky mounts they tend to suffer from motion blur and poor resolution.  Using a smartphone for the same purpose only compounds those issues.

Researchers John P Graff and Mark Li-cheng Wu from the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine have published a letter in the renowned journal “Histopathology” titled 'The Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone as a 41-megapixel photomicroscope' in which they explain how using a Nokia Lumia 1020 eliminates most of the difficulties of using a smartphone camera to take photomicrographs via the microscope eye piece.

Here's a sample photo from the arrangement:

1020 microscopy

Fascinating stuff, with the usual choices made by the scientist (in this case) on how much to make use of the oversampling and how much zoom or reframing. I'm guessing that with the microscope optics getting in the way, the actual field of view, even through a powerful eye-piece, is quite a bit wider than the detail being captured and that the 'zoom later' reframing is indispensable here, still outputting a useful 5MP image at the end of the day, despite the zooming needed.

If you're really interested then you can find the article at here, though note that it's behind a paywall!

Source / Credit: WMPU