The ImagEM X2 EM-CCD camera delivers maximum speed and precision performance for quantitative ultralow light imaging. It offers 70 frames/s imaging at full resolution and up to 1076 frames/s when analog binning and a region of interest are selected. Other features include very high signal-to-noise value in near dark conditions, extremely low dark current, global shutter, optimized camera triggering, on-board shuttering for capture of truly dark reference images, and streamlined connectivity through IEEE 1394b. In addition, the ImagEM X2 has increased non-EM dynamic range and built-in EM gain measurement and calibration functions.
- Cooled EM-CCD sensor with 512 x 512 pixels
- 70 frames/s at full resolution, up to 1076 frames/s with binning and ROI
- 16 x 16 µm pixel size
- IEEE 1394b connectivity
- EM gain measurement and calibration
- SMA triggering ports
- Electron output (by DCAM)
- Corner readout
With large pixels, high quantum efficiency, and relatively zero read noise, EM-CCD technology performs best in low light conditions. How low? When you’ve got fewer than 10 photons per pixel (i.e., the dimmest of the dim samples) between the sample and background, EM-CCDs are the perfect tool for the job, delivering the best SNR of any camera technology.
For high mag, biological applications with routine exposure times of 10 ms to 30 ms, the sample is likely emitting hundreds to thousands of photons per pixel. But with faster speeds come shorter exposure times, risking the ability to capture more than tens of photons per pixel in one shot and therefore pushing the application into the ultralow light zone. The ImagEM X2 makes these superfast exposures possible and has the sensitivity to provide visually pleasing and quantitatively meaningful images in a photon-starved environment.
Gain deterioration (or aging) is an inherent characteristic of all EM-CCD cameras, and can be accelerated by events such as unintentional exposure to excessive light. As a countermeasure, the ImagEM X2 provides user-adjustable protection levels and will alert users whenever too much light is detected. This feature contributes to extended camera life.
In the event that EM gain deterioration does occur, gain can be readjusted automatically to original values through a software command. This readjustment can be made without removing the camera from your laboratory setup.
Gain can be easily controlled through any software that supports the Hamamatsu DCAM application. There is no need to refer to a manual to convert sensitivity values and actual EM gain multiplication factors.
Because EM-CCD cameras have such extremely low readout noise, it is necessary to deal with noise elements that are usually considered insignificant in conventional cooled-CCD cameras. One such element is clock induced charge (CIC), which is a type of dark current that can affect images taken at short exposures. The ImagEM X2 is designed to minimize the effects of CIC.
A unique technology that overcomes the limitation of EM-CCD cameras to handle single photon light levels due to the noise generated by the electron multiplication process. For many years, Hamamatsu has produced photon-counting cameras with special image intensifiers. This expertise has been applied to create unique circuits for driving the EM process that will produce high-quality images in ultralow light.
A real-time image processing feature in which multiple frames can be averaged. Provides significant increases in SNR since both detector noise and signal are averaged.
An image processing function that helps increase SNR and overall image quality by eliminating noise elements such as cosmic rays. Random spots of intensity are detected and then evaluated against incoming images.
Stability of the digitizer offset is an important issue for data reliability. In the ImagEM X2, fluctuation of the digitizer offset is very well controlled, showing only a few counts even at full 16-bit digitizer resolution and maximum EM gain.
- Fast frame rates and short exposures of living cells with low excitation fluorescence
- Protein-protein interaction
- Calcium waves in cell networks and intracellular ion flux
- Real-time spinning disk confocal microscopy
The following water chiller(s) have been qualified by Hamamatsu for use with the ImagEM.
If you have any questions please contact our Technology Group at 908-231-0960 or via the web.
Luminescence imaging of HeLa cells expressing Renilla Luciferase
This image is displayed by overlapping luminescence image (pseudocolor) and actual image
- Objective lens: 10x
- Cooling method: water cooling (-80 C)
- EM gain: 200x
- Exposure time: 5 min
Single fluorescent molecules in HeLa cells expressing H2B-GFP fusion protein
- EM gain: 1200x
- Exposure time: 30.5 ms
- Data courtesy of
- Dr. Makio Tokunaga,
National Institute of Genetics
- Dr. Kumiko Sogawa, RIKEN RCAI
- Dr. Hiroshi Kimura,
HMRO Kyoto Univ. Faculty of Medicine
Confocal calcium ion imaging of HeLa cell expressing yellow Cameleon
This image shows changes of histamine stimulated calcium ion with
two Z positions and four time lapse.
- Objective lens: 100x
- EM gain: 300x
- Exposure time: 100 ms
- Confocal unit:
CSU by Yokogawa Electric Co.
- CFP/YFP FRET:
2 wavelength imaging,
W-view optics A8509
- Z scan: 19 slices/2.5 s
Piezoelectric Z stage
Data courtesy of Dr. Kenji Nagai, Dr. Kenta Saito
Hokkaido Univ. Nikon Imaging Center