Using Alternative Cameras with OpenFlexure Connect

Firstly, happy bank holiday weekend to everyone :slight_smile: I have to say I am rather new to this project, and rather an amateur (noob if you will), so forgive me if this is a dumb question.

Anyway, for a group project, we are in the process of emulating the work of this fellow (a rudimentary confocal laser microscope), albeit a much simplified set up. We are using a 3D printed Delta Stage in order to move our sample in increments of x,y,z, and long story short, we want to effectively record a photodiode light intensity output for each incremental “step” that the Delta Stage moves. (The Optics/photodiode side of things is working well, with manual readings)

Instead of trying to connect the photodiode through an Arduino and taking measurements whilst synchronising the movement of the Delta Stage, due to time constraints (and ineptitude in programming) we instead thought about replacing the Raspberry Pi Camera Module with a USB webcam, and using the “Stack and Scan” feature to capture photos at each interval, which is far easier.

Is it possible to use a webcam other than the Raspberry Pi with OpenFlexure Connect (to connect the camera and take JPG images) or does it only work with the Camera Module? Ideally, we would like to use a CCD or CMOS Camera from ThorLabs to record the intensity, as this would be more sensitive than the Camera module. If not, are there any other possible implementations?

There are a couple of threads on related things:
Help connecting a USB webcam / c270 - Request Help - OpenFlexure Forum
Alternative build: Can I use anything other than a RPi? - General - OpenFlexure Forum

The short answer is that the particularly useful parts of the software are the fast autofocus and the camera colour and illumination correction. These both rely on particular features of the integration of the Raspberry Pi camera V2 and a Raspberry Pi. It is also actually a remarkably good camera for microscopy. It would, in principle, be possible to implement with some other systems but that is not in the current software. Developing v3 of the OpenFlexure software - Announcements - OpenFlexure Forum may have some features that help.

The hardware is can be made compatible with many other systems.

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