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Electron Microscopy Sciences

Calibration Standards, Specimens, and Aids

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arrow13Datacolor ChromaCal™ Color Calibration System
for Optical Microscopy

Now Available! ChromaCal™ 2.0 – See latest features


ChromaCal Calibration System graphic

The Datacolor ChromaCal™ system is an innovative new solution that enables researchers, scientists and technicians to establish and preserve the color integrity of their digital transmitted, brightfield microscopy images.

Datacolor ChromaCal™ integrates three components to establish a color profile for the microscopy system:

  • Proprietary software
  • Color calibration microscope slide
  • Computer monitor calibration device

Together, the Datacolor ChromaCal™ system establishes a color profile for the microscopy system and applies that profile to your specimen images to ensure consistent and reliable color representation. The outcome is improved comparability of images and enhanced communication and collaboration for better decision making.

Key Features

  • Standardizes color reproduction in digital brightfield images
  • Delivers consistent, reliable basis for evaluation, communication, quantification, documentation and publication
  • Performs image and monitor calibration for consistency throughout the imaging process
  • Compatible with most microscopes, scientific cameras and acquisition software
  • Advanced White Balancing and Brightness Matching in a 1-step Batch Process

Applications*

Datacolor ChromaCal™ is suitable for any specialty that utilizes brightfield images:

  • Agriculture/Botany
  • Biology
  • Bone Metabolism
  • Cytology
  • Dermatology
  • Forensics
  • Hematology
  • HistologySample Request Form
  • Material Science
  • Neuroscience
  • Pathology
  • Veterinary
  • and others

*Datacolor ChromaCal™ is not intended for clinical diagnostic use in the U.S.

Resources

  • Recorded Webinars
  • Image Galleries
  • Publications
    • Ericson, Marna. Linden, Michael A. Sedgewick, Gerald J. "An Innovative Method for Obtaining Consistent Images and Quantification of Histochemically Stained Specimens." Datacolor. 9 Jan. 2015. Web. Apr. 2015.
    • Clymer, Mark. Rosa-Molinar, Dr. Eduardo. "Color Management Helps Microscopy Show Its True Colors." Datacolor. Web. 16 Jan. 2015.
    • Cyranoski, David. "Papers on 'stress-induced' stem cells retracted." Nature. 2 Jul. 2014. Web. 12 Jan. 2015.
      • Kojima, Koji. Niwa, Hitoshi. Obokata, Haruko. Sasai, Yoshiki. Vacanti, Charles A. Vacanti, Martin P. Yamato, Masayuk. Wakayama, Teruhiko. "Retraction: Stimulus-triggered fate conversion of somatic cells into pluripotency." Nature. 2 Jul. 2014. Web. 12 Jan. 2015.
      • Andrabi, Munazah. Kadota, Mitsutaka. Niwa, Hitoshi. Obokata, Haruko. Sasai, Yoshiki. Takata, Nozomu. Terashita, Yukari. Tokoro, Mikiko. Vacanti, Charles A. Wakayama, Teruhiko. Yonemura, Shigenobu. "Retraction: Bidirectional developmental potential in reprogrammed cells with acquired pluripotency." Nature. 2 Jul. 2014. Web. 12 Jan. 2015.
    • Good Microscopy Practices
    • Foster, B. Sedgewick, J. "Color Integrity: Is What You See What You Saw?" Microscopy Today, Jan. 2014.
    • Sedgewick, J. "Improving Color Consistency, Color Integrity and Consequent Speed in Reading Slides". Imaging and Analysis, LLC. Jan 2014.
  • Documentation
  • Manuals
  • Other
  • Datacolor ChromaCal™ easily integrates into your microscopy workflow. Simply acquire your specimen images and an image of the calibration slide. Launch the Datacolor ChromaCal™ software, select the calibration image and apply the calibration to any or all of your specimen images. All original images are preserved, and "ChromaCal-ibrated" images are saved separately.

    arrow11Datacolor ChromaCal™ 2.0

    ChromaCal™ 2.0 adds reflected light, macroscopic imaging to the existing color brightfield capabilities. The goal is to continue to expand the tools and scope of ChromaCal™ so that it becomes the color solution for all areas of scientific color imaging. The quality and consistency of digital images is vital to evaluation and analysis. With ChromaCal™, a simple and uniform solution is now available.

    Features

    • Ability to color-calibrate reflected light, macroscopic images (with a new ChromaCal™ color target)
    • New diagnostic tools to assess imaging system linearity and for quality control monitoring
    • Full-screen viewing of images throughout the software
    • Ability to easily select and save regions of interest as separate image files
    • Multiple enhancements to the free ChromaCal™ Viewer, for simple yet powerful viewing of images

    With the release of ChromaCal™ 2.0 (free for existing ChromaCal™ customers), Datacolor also introduced the ChromaCal™ Macro Calibration Target ("ChromaCal™ Target"), a color target specific to reflected light imaging of macroscopic samples. The ChromaCal™ Target is a printed, matte, color matrix available in two standard sizes (10 cm x 7 cm and 5 cm x 3.5 cm). In addition, Datacolor is offering a unique service – high-quality, custom-sized, printed color targets are available upon request.

    The ChromaCal™ Image Calibration software requires a ChromaCal™ Color Calibration Slide for Brightfield Microscopy (sold separately, product #10-2010 or #10-2110) or a ChromaCal™ Macro Calibration Target (sold separately, product #10-2500 or #10-2550).

    arrow11New! EZ Image Prep – a feature now included within the ChromaCal™ Image Calibration Software.EZ Image Prep

    We heard your frustrations about poor image quality from your digital microscope cameras. Often times white balancing is off, or you want to create a montage of images for a report and the backgrounds are different shades. In this condition, you can't include these images in your reports or submit them to journals, right?

    Sure, there are steps you can take in Adobe Photoshop and other image editing software to try to correct. But,

    • Can you do it in one simple step?
    • Can you easily perform it in batch mode?
    • Can you perform it without having to select the "right" area of the image?

    And, what often happens in image editing software when you try to replicate a white balance adjustment and apply it to other images? The results are inconsistent and you are forced to correct each image one-by-one.EZ Image Prep

    EZ Image PrepIntroducing EZ Image Prep™, a new feature now included within ChromaCal™ Image Calibration Software. EZ Image Prep is the only scientific solution to automatically white balance and match brightness in color brightfield images in a single-step batch process. And unlike color calibration, there's no need for a calibration slide.

    EZ Image PrepEZ Image Prep is also "EZ" to use. Simply choose the EZ Image Prep option, select the folder containing TIFF or JPEG images for processing, specify the destination folder, and Process! You'll agree that there is no easier nor more powerful tool than ChromaCal™ to objectively correct your images.

    arrow11Datacolor ChromaCal™ Color Calibration System for Optical Microscopy
    Case

    The Datacolor ChromaCal™ color calibration system for optical microscopy provides a color profile foundation from which images can be more easily compared and analyzed. Working with your existing microscope and imaging system, the calibration system fits easily into the imaging workflow – simply acquire an image of the calibration slide (required, and available separately) and using the proprietary software, apply the calibration to your specimen images. Your original files are preserved, and a complete audit trail is saved in the metadata of the calibrated images. Better consistency. Higher confidence. Color integrity for better decision making.

    Includes both the image calibration software (a license to install on one workstation) as well as the monitor calibration set (a license to install on three workstations). Additional workstation installations can be purchased and activated directly through the software.

    arrow11Datacolor ChromaCal™ Calibration Slide for Brightfield Microscopy
    ChromaCal slide
    Calibration Slide

    The Datacolor ChromaCal™ brightfield calibration slide is a unique, precision-engineered tool that is used in conjunction with the Datacolor ChromaCal™ brightfield microscopy calibration system and your microscope to establish a baseline color profile that is unique to your imaging session. The process is simple - acquire your specimen images and an image of the calibration slide. Using the proprietary Datacolor ChromaCal™ software just click to apply the color profile to your specimen images for a standardized approach to seeing colors.

    The Datacolor ChromaCal™ Color Calibration Slide is designed exclusively for use with the Datacolor ChromaCal™ Color Calibration System for Optical Microscopy.

    Each Datacolor ChromaCal™ slide is uniquely identified and corresponds to a specific color measurement file associated with the proprietary Datacolor ChromaCal™ chip at the center of the slide. The measurement file contains information that is utilized by the Datacolor ChromaCal™ Color Calibration System when calibrating brightfield images.

    Located on the Datacolor ChromaCal™ chip are the following:

      • Protective plastic slide holder
      • Color calibration slide
      • Color calibration slide on microscope stage
      • Alignment pattern on slide
      • Small grid
      • Large grid
    • One larger color matrix consisting of 20 color circles in a 4 x 5 configuration. This matrix is generally intended for magnifications up to 40X.
    • One smaller color matrix consisting of 20 color circles in a 4 x 5 configuration. This matrix is generally intended for magnifications above 40X up to 100X.
    • Numerous location lines pointing to a circle surrounding both color matrices. These are meant to assist in locating the color matrices.
    • In the upper left-hand corner of the chip there is a 4 x 4 micrometer grid consisting of 250µ divisions. Within the lower right-hand division is a 10 x10 sub-grid with 25µ divisions. This micrometer grid is unrelated to the color calibration system but is provided as an additional value-add.

    The Datacolor ChromaCal™ slide is not suitable for use with oil immersion objectives. The Datacolor ChromaCal™ slide should be handled with care.

    The Datacolor ChromaCal™ brightfield calibration slide is sold separately, and is required for the Datacolor ChromaCal™ Color Calibration System.

    arrow11Datacolor ChromaCal™ Monitor Calibration Set
    ChromaCal on monitor
    Monitor Calibration Sensor in use

    The Datacolor ChromaCal™ monitor calibration set uses a precision color sensor to ensure a consistent and standardized color profile on any computer display. With monitor calibration, your images will look the same on the display by your microscope, at an analysis workstation, on your laptop, and on a colleague's display whether down the hall or across the ocean. In contrast, just look at the variability between televisions on display in an appliance store.

    Includes monitor calibration sensor, software and license to install on three workstations. Additional workstation installations can be purchased and activated directly through the software.

    Process

    Good microscopy practices are essential to achieving quality images. Here are a few things to remember. These steps won't guarantee perfect images, but they reduce the number of variables to address in downstream image analysis.

    Calibration Process
    • Always be certain to clean the microscope of dust and oils as these can create artifacts and aberrations.
    • Establish Koehler illumination as a matter of routine - this practice sets an illumination baseline for consistency and reproducibility.
    • Use a scientific-grade camera (CCD or CMOS), not a consumer camera, for imaging. Scientific cameras are designed for sensitivity and the magnifications employed by microscopes.
    • Always white balance the camera. Simply move to a region of the slide where no specimen is located (e.g. white background) and choose white balance in the camera software, imaging software or even by pressing a white balance button on the camera head itself, if present.

     

    arrow11Datacolor ChromaCal™ Macro Calibration Target

    Macroscopic imaging ("macro imaging"), in broad terms, is imaging where the specimen is generally large enough to be visible with the naked eye. Most specimens in this environment are not transparent, rather opaque; color, therefore, is imparted from the light reflecting from the specimen itself. Macro imaging is widely used for documenting specimens prior to further analysis using microscopic techniques. Specimens can include plants, insects, animal tissue, human tissue, crime scene evidence, geology samples, just to name a few. Regardless of the specimen type, as a researcher / investigator you want your digital images to accurately represent your specimen time and time again.

    Macro Calibraton Target, 10x7cm
    Macro Calibration Target, 10 x 7 cm

    Imaging requires a combination of optics, lighting, sensors and techniques that together form the color representation of the actual specimen. Just as your family photos can look different under various lighting conditions or with different cameras, so too can macroscopic images depending on imaging equipment and imaging conditions. ChromaCal™ standardizes the color in your digital macroscopic images so that they are rendered accurately and consistently.

    ChromaCal™ works with your specimen images, so it can be used with practically any macro imaging system you may use. And with ChromaCal™, there is no need to change your imaging workflow. Just capture an image of the ChromaCal™ Macro Calibration Target during your imaging session along with your specimen images. The ChromaCal™ Image Calibration software uses the image of the target to standardize the color in your specimen images.

    Macro Calibraton Target, 10x7cm
    Macro Calibration Target, 5 x 3.5 cm

    With ChromaCal™, your images will have

    • Enhanced Color Definition to reveal details
    • Consistent color for comparison
    • Accurate color for evaluation
    • High quality to support your science

    The result... confidence in your imaging so you can focus on your research.

    The ChromaCal™ Macro Calibration Target is designed exclusively for use with the ChromaCal™ Color Calibration System. Under normal use, the ChromaCal™ target is warranted for one (1) year.

    System Requirements

    Aligned Calibration
    Aligned Targets
    • Windows XP 32/64, Win 7 32/64, Win 8 32/64 or Max OSX (10.6 or higher)
    • USB Connection
    • Monitor resolution 1024x768 or greater
    • 16-bit video card (24-bit recommended)
    • 128MB of available RAM; 100MB of available hard disk space
    • Unaltered TIFF or JPEG images acquired with scientific-grade camera
    • For maximum workflow efficiency, internet connection required

    Ordering Information

    10-1010 Datacolor ChromaCal™ Color Calibration System* each 995.00 Add to Cart
    10-2010 Datacolor ChromaCal™ Color Calibration Slide for Brightfield Microscopy
    (Metal slide; for traditional microscopes)
    each 849.00 Add to Cart
    10-2110 Datacolor ChromaCal™ Color Calibration Slide for Brightfield Microscopy
    (Glass slide; for whole slide imaging systems)
    each 1,249.00 Add to Cart
    10-2500 Datacolor ChromaCal™ Macro Calibration Targets (Sizes 10 x 7 cm and 5 x 3.5 cm) 2/pk 100.00 Add to Cart
    10-2550 Datacolor ChromaCal™ Macro Calibration Target (Custom size) each 250.00 Add to Cart
    10-3010 Datacolor ChromaCal™ Monitor Calibration Set** each 499.00 Add to Cart

    *System includes:

    • Image calibration software (with license to install on one workstation)
    • Monitor calibration software and sensor (with license to install on three workstations)

    **Set includes:

    • Monitor calibration software and sensor (with license to install on three workstations)

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