Five Reasons Why The Kinetix sCMOS Has An
8-Bit Mode

1. 8-Bit Mode Is Faster

When imaging with the whole sensor, the Kinetix sCMOS runs at 500 fps in 8-bit mode. This makes 8-bit mode an easy choice for imaging dynamic live samples or for applications that require high speed such as light sheet microscopy, calcium and voltage imaging!

2. 8-Bit Halves Data Size

In computer storage terms, 8 bits make 1 byte so any file above 8 bits will need at least 2 bytes of storage. This means that other popular camera bit depths such as 12-bit and 16-bit have double the file size of 8-bit.

This can quickly become an issue when taking many thousands of images for stacks, time-lapses, or repeat experiments. By using 8-bit mode, your data storage problem is halved, especially useful for applications that take many images such as light-sheet microscopy.

3. 8-Bit Matches Your Signal Level

Fast imaging means low exposure times and therefore low signal. The high sensitivity of the Kinetix sCMOS allows it to detect these low signals with no issue, but the lower the signal the less important bit depth is.

High bit depths are useful if there is enough signal to distribute amongst a large number of grey levels. With low signal, 8 bits is more than sufficient and allows the camera to operate with faster framerates.

4. Our 8-Bit Mode Is Optimized For Quantitative Imaging

Historical 8-bit modes were limited by the conversion gain of electrons to gray levels. They typically scaled the bit-depth to the camera full well, which resulted in converting 25 or more electrons to one grey level. This would be useless for quantitative imaging where the difference between single electrons is vital.

The Kinetix sCMOS 8-bit mode scales electrons appropriately with a conversion gain of 0.8 e-/gray. This allows for the smallest change in intensity to be captured.

5. 8-Bit Mode Allows For Flexibility

The Kinetix sCMOS features three modes with a clear purpose for each:

  • 16-bit mode offers maximum dynamic range
  • 12-bit mode offers extreme sensitivity
  • 8-bit mode offers the fastest imaging speed

With the Kinetix it is easier than ever to choose the mode that is right for you and your imaging. With this flexibility offered by the Kinetix, it can match up to different applications, whether imaging at high-speed in low light, or with a fixed sample with an intense light source, the Kinetix is well-equipped to handle all your imaging needs.