Multifunction High Speed Imaging System MiCAM05

MiCAM05-N256 is a high-speed imaging system that captures and visualizes small changes in fluorescence intensity from biological samples stained with fluorescent probes, such as voltagde sensitive dyes and calcium dyes.

MiCAM05-N256 is designed to be the upgraded version of the previous MiCAM ULTIMA model, which has been used by neuroscience and cardiac research labs internationally, and which has been cited in many scientific research journals.

While inheriting the basic performance features of the MiCAM Ultima system, such as high-speed imaging, high S/N ratios, and intuitive operation, new features have been added in the MiCAM05 system. New features include higher spatial resolution using a newly developed CMOS camera head, long-term recording ability using high speed data transfer, synchronized imaging of up to 4 cameras, expanded functionality, and improved compatibility with external equipment.


  • High speed membrane potential imaging using voltage-sensitive dyes
  • High speed calcium imaging
  • Intrinsic optical signal (IOS) imaging based on flavoproteins and hemoglobin
  • Imaging FRET, GCaMP, and various fluorescent proteins such as VSFP
  • Ratiometric fluorescence imaging with multiple camera heads
  • 3D or panoramic imaging with multiple camera heads
  • Detection of small changes in light intensity at high speeds

N256 Camera HeadN256 Camera Head

N256 Camera Head

N256 camera head is equipped with a new CMOS image sensor designed and developed by Brainvision.

Large Sensor and Large Pixel

N256 image sensor Active Area Size: 17.6mmx17.6mm
Pixel Size:69μmx69μm

Applications such as membrane potential imaging require both very high speed, and the ability to detect small changes in fluorescence, such as 0.5-1%. In order to optimize S/N ratios, it is important to increase the amount of light captured by one pixel. It is easy to collect light and capture small changes using a sensor having large pixels.

High Spatial Resolution, High Frame Rates, and High S/N Ratios

Number of Pixels: 256×256 pixels
Maximum Frame Rate:1,818 fps (at 256×256 pixels)
Dynamic Range: 71dB

The overall performance has been improved in a balanced manner. This includes maximum frame rate, spatial resolution, and S/N ratios, all of which are important factors for high-speed membrane potential imaging.

Wide Dynamic Range Mode or High Sensitivity Mode by Adjustable Well Depth

Wide dynamic range mode (D-mode): 3,000,000 electrons
High sensitivity mod (S-mode):   600,000 electrons

It is now possible to easily switch the full well capacity of the camera in the acquisition software. Two modes are available: wide dynamic range mode (D-mode), and high sensitivity mode (S-mode). D-mode is used for tissue samples with high fluorescence light intensity, and S-mode is used for cultured cell monolayers, or preps with low fluorescence light intensity. This adjustable well depth makes it possible to image a variety of biological samples using a single camera.

ROI Readout for Higher Frame Rates

Preset partial readout setting and multiple ROI setting can be selected, and as a result it is possible to achieve higher frame rates. For example, ultra high frame rates such 20,000 fps @ 32×32 pixels is possible.

      All pixels readout (256×256 pixels)     Multiple ROI readout (32×32 pixels x 9 area)

Direct Data Saving and Long-Term Data Acquisition with USB3.0 High-Speed Data Transfer

New USB3.0 interface allows for significantly faster data transfer from processor to PC. It is now possible to save data directly to HDD or SSD, and long-term recording of several minutes up to a few hours can be achieved, regardless of the RAM capacity (Note that sampling rate, number of pixels, number of cameras used, and PC specifications, will affect the total recording time).

Approximate number of recordable frames and recordable time
(Acquisition with single camera using long term recording mode)
Disk Capacity Pixels Frame Rate
Number of
recordable frames
Recordable time
SSD 1TB 256×256 500 6,840,000 228.0
1,000 6,840,000 114.0
1,818 6,840,000 62.7
128×128 500 27,360,000 912.0
1,000 27,360,000 456.0
5,263 27,360,000 86.6
(*Approximate number of recordable frames and recordable time shown above are averaged values that were measured using the PC configuration which is included with MiCAM05. There is no guarantee that the results will be the same in all circumstances.)

Up to four ccameras can easily be connected and used in a completely synchronized multi-camera system

Up to two camera interface boards can be connected to the MiCAM05 processor. Each interface board is equipped with two camera ports, therefore up to four of the same type of camera head can be connected at any time. This allows for simultaneous imaging of multiple fluorescent wavelengths, as well as three-dimensional imaging from different angles.

Camera Port

Continuous output of light intensity is available as a standard function

The light intensity monitor/continuous output function, available as an optional component of MiCAM Ultima (DAC/ADC expanding unit), is available as standard equipment with MiCAM05. This function is designed to output the light intensity changes of up to eight user selected pixels via eight BNC connections. Therefore, waveforms of fluorescence change can be monitored and output before, during, and after data acquisition. It is also possible to monitor the change in light intensity in real time, using optional software.
Real time light intensity monitorLight intensity outputs from eight BNC connections            Monitor with an oscilloscope
Real time light intensity monitorWave monitor on software

Synchronous Lighting Control of LED Light Source for Multi-Wavelength Excitation Imaging (Optional)

In the case of imaging using multiple fluorescent probes with different excitation wavelengths or imaging using a two-wavelength excitation/single-wavelength fluorescent probe, it is necessary to synchronize the frame timing of the camera and the lighting timing of the light source.

This function is to output the lighting signal synchronized with each frame timing from MiCAM05 to multiple LED light sources. This makes it possible to easily synchronize the frame acquisition with MiCAM05 and LED lighting.

There are up to 4 channels of output. Preset patterns, in which signals are output alternately from each channel, are available. There is no need to set the lighting pattern using a commercially available pulse generator.

Moreover, since the pulse delay time and pulse width can be specified by software, it is possible to make detailed settings in accordance with the rise and fall times of the LED used.
Optional UnitOptional Unit
two-wavelength excitation modetwo-wavelength excitation mode
four-wavelength excitation modefour-wavelength excitation mode

Various I/O Connectors, and Improved Compatibility with External Devices

MiCAM05 has multiple input and output connections available, in comparison to previous MiCAM systems. These universally standard I/O connections can be synchronized with image acquisition and external devices. An additional slot has been added to MiCAM05 so that customization is also available, depending on the research application.


Automatic Light Control and Adjustment of Light Intensity

In addition to the “Shutter” output terminal for controlling the timing of illumination in synchronization with image acquisition, there is a “LightCtl” signal output terminal for automatically adjusting the intensity of the excitation light. In this way, light intensity or saturation percentage of the image captured by the camera, can be adjusted using the software. As the background light intensity becomes similar throughout an experiment and even for different biological preps, the experimental repeatability can be improved.

light control

Other Features

Turnkey System Ready for Immediate Use

The system consists of hardware/software specifically designed for high-speed fluorescence imaging, and the PC and monitor are included as standard equipment. Before use, calibration/setting/tuning is not necessary. The hardware connection is straightforward between components using cables, making it possible to acquire data immediately after setup.


Pre/Post Trigger Mode

MiCAM05 can record activity which occurs before and after a trigger signal is generated. When an external trigger occurs, such as a spontaneous biological signal, or a trigger pulse from an external stimulator, a specified amount of “pre-trigger” data can be saved. The “post-trigger” data is also collected in the same recording. As a result, both pre-trigger data and post-trigger data can be saved within one acquisition period.

Time Lapse Imaging

MiCAM05 can capture phenomenon that changes in a few minutes up to several hours, intermittently. Because illumination light is turned on only at the time of image acquisition, phototoxic effects to sample is minimized, and a stable baseline can be acquired.
Time LapseExample of Time-lapse imaging

High Resolution Camera Control Function (Optional)

It is possible to control a high resolution camera having 1920×1200 pixels (BV-XB1 camera). High resolution imaging can be applied to various applications, including detection of intracellular Ca 2+ dynamics, flavoprotein fluorescence, FRET imaging, and also imaging of animal behaviors. High resolution imaging with BV-XB1 can also be synchronized with MiCAM05 high-speed imaging.

High resolution camera    Example of flavoprotein imagingBV-XB1                                    Example of flavoprotein imaging

Acquisition/Analysis Software (BV Workbench)

BV Workbench is the image acquisition software that controls MiCAM05-N256 imaging system. In addition to image acquisition and control of inputs and outputs of the imaging system, analysis functions including movie playback, wave display, filter functions, etc…are also included. BV Workbench has an intuitive user interface that is easily operated with the use of a mouse.

BV Workbench

Name High Speed Imaging System
Model MC05-N256
Standard System
Camera Head (1-4), Processor, PC, Monitor, Acquisition software, Analysis Software
Supported OS Windows 7/10 64bit
Default/Optional Function
Single Trial Acquisition Default
Long Time Acquisition
(direct saving to disk)
Averaging Acquisition Default
Multiple ROI Readout for
Higher Frame Rate
Time-Lapse Acquisition Default
High Resolution Camera
Option (sold separately)
Acquisition software Default
Analysis software Default
Camera Head
Name N256 camera
Model MC-N256CAM
Image Sensor Original CMOS
Active Pixels (H x V) 256 x 256
Active Image Area (H x V) 17.6mm x 17.6mm
Pixels Size (H x V) 69μm x 69μm
Shutter Mode Global
Maximum Frame Rate and
Pixels (for 1 camera)
1,923fps (256x256px)
3,125fps (192x192px)
5,556fps (128x128px)
20,000fps (32x32px)
Quantum Efficiency 55%@550nm / 50%@600nm
Well-Depth 3,000,000 e- / 600,000 e-
Dark noise 500 e- / 130 e-
Dynamic range 71dB
Lens mount Original M42 mount
(flange back:14.5mm)
(Option: C or F mount)
Interface Special Cable
Dimension (WxHxD) 80mm x 80mm x 50mm
Weight 474g
Name MiCAM05 processor
Model MC05-PRC
Camera Interface 1 (up to 2)
Camera Port 2 (up to 4)
Slot for Optional Unit 1
Buffer Memory
Inside Processor
4GB (up to 8GB)
Analog Inputs for
synchronous recording
Output for Stimulation Pulse 2ch
Input for external trigger signal 1ch
Output for Lighting Control 1ch
Input/Output for Frame Timing 1ch
Output for Real Time
Light Intensity Monitor
Output for Light Intensity Control 2ch
Current Output 2ch
Output for Acquisition Status 1ch
Output for Trigger Wait Status 1ch
Digital I/O port 1 (25 pins)
Trigger Mode Software, TTL External Input,
Analog External Input, Usage of Optional Uni
Data Transfer Mode USB3.0 (for basic functions)
USB2.0 (for Real Time Light Intensity Monitor)
Recording Mode Temporary storage to PC RAM /
Direct data saving to PC drive (SSD/HDD)
Maximum Recordable
Frame Number
Dependent on camera used and image acquisition settings
Power Supply AC100V-230V、50Hz/60Hz 150W
Fuse T2A L 250V
Dimension 430mm (W) x 350mm(D) x 75mm(H)
Weight 6.2kg

Selectable Number of Pixels and Maximum Frame Rate (N256 single camera)
Selectable Number of Pixels (HxV) Maximum Frame Rate (fps)
NR Mode OFF NR Mode ON
2 Times Averaging
NR Mode ON
4 Times Averaging
256×256 Full Resolution 1,818 1,923 1,031
192×192 Square ROI 2,941 3,125 1,695
128×128 5,263 5,556 3,333
64×64 12,500 12,500 8,333
256×128 Horizontally Long
Rectangle ROI
3,333 3,448 1,887
256×64 5,882 5,555 3,226
256×32 9,091 8,333 5,000
128×256 Vertically Long
Rectangle ROI
3,030 3,333 1,852
64×256 4,348 5,000 3,125
32×256 5,556 7,143 4,762
32×32 16 blocks 2,381 2,632 1,724
15 blocks 2,500 2,778 1,818
14 blocks 2,703 2,941 1,961
13 blocks 2,857 3,125 2,083
12 blocks 3,125 3,448 2,273
11 blocks 3,333 3,704 2,439
10 blocks 3,704 4,000 2,703
 9 blocks 4,000 4,348 2,941
 8 blocks 4,545 5,000 3,226
 7 blocks 5,000 5,556 3,704
 6 blocks 5,556 6,250 4,167
 5 blocks 6,667 7,143 5,000
 4 blocks 7,692 8,333 5,882
 3 blocks 10,000 11,111 7,692
 2 blocks 12,500 14,286 10,000
 1 blocks 20,000 20,000 16,667

Selectable Number of Pixels and Maximum Frame Rate (N256 dual camera)
Selectable Number of Pixels (HxV) Maximum Frame Rate (fps)
NR Mode OFF NR Mode ON
2 Times Averaging
NR Mode ON
4 Times Averaging
256×256 Full Resolution 1,087 1,064 1,031
192×192 Square ROI 1,818 1,754 1,695
128×128 3,704 3,571 3,333
64×64 9,091 8,333 8,333
256×128 Horizontally Long
Rectangle ROI
2,041 1,961 1,887
256×64 3,571 3,226 3,125
256×32 5,882 5,000 5,000
128×256 Vertically Long
Rectangle ROI
2,000 1,961 1,852
64×256 3,571 3,448 3,125
32×256 5,556 5,556 4,762
32×32 16 blocks 1,887 1,613 1,613
15 blocks 2,041 1,724 1,724
14 blocks 2,174 1,852 1,852
13 blocks 2,326 1,961 1,961
12 blocks 2,500 2,128 2,128
11 blocks 2,703 2,326 2,326
10 blocks 2,941 2,500 2,500
 9 blocks 3,226 2,778 2,778
 8 blocks 3,571 3,125 3,125
 7 blocks 4,000 3,448 3,448
 6 blocks 4,762 4,000 4,000
 5 blocks 5,556 4,762 4,762
 4 blocks 6,667 5,556 5,556
 3 blocks 8,333 7,143 7,143
 2 blocks 11,111 10,000 10,000
 1 blocks 16,667 16,667 16,667

Discontinued Models
Name MiCAM05-Ultima MiCAM05-D225
Model MC05-UL MC05-D225
Camera Head
Name Ultima camera D225 camera
Model CAM-ULT D225
Image Sensor Original CMOS Original CMOS
Active Pixels (HxV) 100×100 (fixed) 240×256 (fixed)
Pixel Size (HxV) 10.0mmx10.0mm 7.2mmx7.7mm
Pixel Size (HxV) 100μmx100μm 30μmx30μm
Shutter Mode Rolling Shutter Global Shutter
Maximum Frame Rate
(for 1 camera)
10,000fps 1,000fps
Well-Depth 1,500,000 e- 500,000 e-
Lens Mount C mount C mount
Dimension (WxHxD) 80mm x 65mm x 50mm 75mm x 65mm x 50mm
Weight 270g 246g
(Same as MiCAM05-N256)