Nikon's Digital Eclipse DXM1200: High Resolution Color Digital Camera Delivers Up to 12 Megapixel Images

nov. 6, 2000

Microscopists who have been asking for a color digital camera that offers a resolution nearly equal to film will welcome the new Nikon DXM1200. Nikon, long known for its high quality cameras and microscopes, has introduced this groundbreaking digital camera as an easy-to-use, inexpensive tool for applications where users need to document and present their research findings.

Designed to meet the demanding needs of professional users who are required to take large numbers of photomicrographs with the highest image quality and then store them efficiently, the DXM1200 uses Nikon's new IPS (Inter Pixel Stepping) high-density imaging technology to provide breathtaking original digital images. True-to-life, extremely high-quality 12 megapixel resolution photographs are sharp enough to be blown up and printed poster size. Images rival conventional film-based, silver-halide images for enlargement purposes.

Even clear imaging of fluorescence specimens is now possible due to a low noise design combined with three levels of sensitivity and long integration times of up to 170 seconds. Additionally, the DXM1200, which can be attached to any microscope C-mount, boasts a new wide-field relay lens exclusive to this model. The compact design of this lens contributes to a low center of gravity that significantly reduces vibrations.

Nikon's high signal-to-noise (S/N) digital-circuit technology allows image capture with exceptionally high sensitivity, resulting in images of excellent clarity that are almost identical to those taken by previously designed cooled-CCD cameras. Focusing is made easy as live images transfer to a computer display at speeds of up to 12 frames/sec. Images up to 35MB in size are transferred and stored on a computer hard drive in seconds. Plus, a single cable connection from the proprietary PCI imaging/control card inside the computer allows one-step wiring.

ACT-1 (Automatic Camera Tamer) intuitive software enhances the photomicrographic process and allows the user on-screen, ergonomic viewing of the live image, the last stored image, and thumbnails of the last five images saved. Exposure settings and camera controls are clearly displayed on the screen, permitting easy manipulation of both live and stored images. Also, an on-screen focus indicator allows easy focusing of a point or area within the specimen, as well as maximizing the intensity dynamic range without over-saturation of the detector.

Other features include automatic sequential shooting at intervals from one second to approximately 100 hours, 14 easy-to-select resolution settings (from 3,840 x 3,072 pixels to 640 x 480 pixels), 10 fine modes for ultra high resolution, and 4 quick modes for fast fluorescence exposures and similar applications.

With a suggested retail price of just $6900 including software, the DXM1200 delivers high quality performance and simple operation at a reasonable cost.

For more information on the Nikon DXM1200 high resolution digital camera, contact Nikon Inc., BioSciences Department, 1300 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY 11747; phone (800) 52-NIKON, ext. P0071, or visit the Nikon website.

DXM1200 Specifications

Image size/Resolution level 3,840 (H) x 3,072 (V) pixels

(max. in Fine mode);

1,280 (H) x 1,204 (V) pixels

(max. in Quick mode)

CCD: 2/3 in. high density CCD; total number

of pixels:

1.4 million (effective 1.34 million)

Lens mount: C mount

Sensitivity setting: 3 levels selectable: Normal, High

and Max.

Exposure control: Manual

Auto white balance: Can be preset by selecting a point or


Exposure time: 1/12,000 to 170 sec.

Shooting mode: Fine (10 types): 3,840 x 3,072 pixels to

640 x 480 pixels

Quick (4 types): 1,280 x 1,024 pixels to

640 x 480 pixels

Live image size: 640 x 512 pixels (12 frames/sec. max.)

Data saving format: BMP, JPEG (3 types compression), or TIF


Maximum file size 36MB (TIF at highest resolution)

Interface: Dedicated interface board (PCI bus)

Dimensions: 78 (W) x 136 (H) x 69 (D) mm (3.1 x 5.4

x 2.7 in.) excluding protrusions;

Interface cable: approx. 2m (6.6 ft.)

Weight (without battery) Approx. 800g (28.3 oz.) excluding lens

Operating temperature/ Temperature: 0 to +40?C, Humidity: 10 to

Humidity 80% (without condensation)

Power supply: Supplied from PCI bus (via dedicated PCI


IPS (Inter Pixel Stepping) Sensor takes 9 frames offset by 2/3