Basic imaging with the DAQ software for Miniscope v4

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Amit Kohli

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Oct 4, 2021, 1:00:10 PMOct 4
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Hi,

We were very excited to recently get a v4 Miniscope up and running using the DAQ software; it's amazing how robust these things are! We built ours from the kit and are using an older DAQ board from 2016. 

However, we are having some issues in achieving the type of control we would like over the imaging parameters. In particular, we could not figure how to directly control the exposure of the sensor and could not dim the LED past a certain point. We looked through the example configuration files for the DAQ software but could not find any mention of how to control the sensor exposure. Also, is the software is doing any sort of preprocessing before displaying the image? Ideally we would like just the raw image from the sensor, both in the visualization as well as when we save it out to disk.

In short, our application involves using the Miniscope v4 for very simple, static fluorescent imaging. So we need the most basic configuration where we can control exposure and obtain the raw images to be processed later by us.

We have really enjoyed working with Miniscope so far and are looking forward to your response!!

Best,
Amit

Daniel Aharoni

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Oct 6, 2021, 5:34:38 PMOct 6
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Hi Amit,
Thanks for the kind words.

Currently, the Miniscope software does not allow users to adjust exposure. The reason for this is in all but the case you mentioned, you always want the exposure to be maxed out for a given FPS and we wanted to avoid having users make the mistake of lowering exposure rather than lowering LED intensity. In your case though, what you are saying is even at an LED intensity of 1, gain of 1, and FPS of 30 the image is too bright?

One option is we can add exposure control as sort of a hidden feature that needs to be enabled in the user configuration file. This would then add another slider in the real-time video stream window for exposure control. Let me know what you think.

Amit Kohli

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Oct 7, 2021, 11:11:29 AMOct 7
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Hi,

Thanks for the prompt response!

Yes unfortunately the nature of our experiments require us to image over a large range of object brightness. So for example, when we try to image a resolution target (with some green tape under it) our image is blown out even in the lowest LED, gain, and FPS settings. 

We would really appreciate the addition of exposure control. We totally agree that for 99% of applications, the current setup is sufficient, but if you are willing to add such a feature, it would really help us out and add a bit more flexibility to the system. The hidden feature idea sounds fantastic!

Best,
Amit

Daniel Aharoni

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Oct 7, 2021, 9:53:18 PMOct 7
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Sounds good. I have adding exposure control on my todo list. Since I am not sure when I will get around to it, consider making your green tape a bit less fluorescent using a neural density filter over it or use tape that is a slightly different color... Almost everything fluoresces so you maybe can find a material that doesn't saturate the image sensor.
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