Review of Jenoptik Gryphax digital microscopy cameras

May 2nd, 2017


Jenoptik (Germany) has launched an impressive line of USB-3 digital microscope cameras based on the latest sCMOS (scientific CMOS) sensor technology.  There are six cameras in the Gryphax series, all named after stars.  Three are for routine microscopy techniques such as brightfield, darkfield, phase contrast, DIC, and polarized light, and three are more specialized for low-light fluorescence applications.  All provide excellent color reproduction and fast live frame rates, given adequate illumination.  All share the same form factor, and all are controlled by Gryphax software which has been designed to be simple and intuitive to use.   A single USB-3 cable provides power to the camera as well as output from the camera to the computer.  They require standard microscope C-mount adapters.


SUBRA:  The Jenoptik Gryphax SUBRA is the first “star” in the Gryphax series, launched in the summer of 2015.  It’s a 2.1MP 1080p HD color camera with a 2/3″ sCMOS sensor with 5.5 micron pixels.  The SUBRA has become our most popular dedicated microscope camera as it has proven to be fast and reliable.  

ARKTUR:  The ARKTUR was launched beginning in 2016 and provides 8MP 4k HD resolution with it’s 2/3″ sensor with 2.4 micron pixels.  It outputs up to 30 fps at full 8MP resolution, and up to 50 fps at 1080p resolution.  Switching back and forth between 1080p and 4K HD resolutions (2.1MP vs 8MP) on an iMac with 5K retina display, there is an observable difference in terms of image resolution, but it is more subtle than one might expect.  In our opinion, 8MP is just about perfect for a typical microscopy camera, with plenty of resolution for scientific publications at up to 12.8″ x 7.2″ prints at 300dpi.  

NAOS:  The NAOS camera, also launched in early 2016, is a breakthrough in terms of resolution and cost for a scientific grade dedicated microscope camera.  The NAOS has a full 1″, 20MP sensor with 2.4 micron pixels.  The fact that it has a 1″ sensor means the ideal C-mount adapter is a simple 1x, typically with no lens elements and costing much less than a C-mount with reducing optics such as a 0.63x or 0.5x.  Live output from the NAOS is a maximum of 2700 x 1800 pixels (about 5MP) at 30fps, but the still capture resolution is an incredible 5400 x 3600 pixels (20MP).  This resolution is really more than a compound microscope can take advantage of, but for stereomicroscopes or macroscopes, yields superior resolution at low magnifications over very wide fields of view.    


KAPELLA:  1/1.2″ color sensor; 1920 x 1200 (2.3MP) resolution; 5.86um pixels   
RIGEL:  1/1.2″ monochrome sensor; 1920 x 1200 (2.3MP) resolution; 5.86um pixels   
PROKYON:  1/1.2″ color sensor; 1920 x 1200 (scanning up to 20.7MP) resolution; 5.86um pixels   


Gryphax-screen-shotA single software, Gryphax, controls all cameras in the Gryphax series.  It is available for Windows 7, 8 , and 10, as well as Mac and Linux operating systems.  It provides a streamlined layout of controls from basic white balance and exposure to color, contrast, gamma, sharpening, noise reduction, basic measurement tools and even some ability for live Extended Depth of Focus (EDF) and Live Tiling / Stitching.  For basic live viewing, image adjustment, still, time lapse or video capture, calibration and adding a scale bar, Gryphax software is excellent.  There’s an image gallery thumbnail view of capture images on the left side that can be hidden if desired, and all the camera controls on the right side, and these can also be hidden.  Across the top is the single REC button in the center, and to the top right selections for capturing Still Images / Time Lapse / Video.  There is a Grid overlay function, and a full-screen Presentation Mode.  Most of the initial setup is done by selecting File / Preferences and going through each screen to configure the camera, choose save settings, calibrate the microscope, etc.  Basic measurements may be performed on both Live and Captured images.  However, this is where the functionality of the software becomes limiting.  There is no easy way to handle the measurement data, although there is a basic report table for exporting the numbers.  The EDF and Live Tiling features are just okay – serious users will want additional software to do this.  It’s nice that these options are included, just don’t expect these to be full-featured.  We often recommend optional IMT i-Solution image analysis software for users needing more sophisticated quantitative analysis.  Gryphax software comes with every Gryphax camera, and updates are free.  Gryphax cameras are excellent, and the included software is simple and useful for the majority of digital microscopy applications, but for more challenging requirements, Jenoptik has drivers making these cameras compatible with 3rd party software from IMT i-Solution and others.  More information on Gryphax software


Jenoptik wants everyone to experience their superior Gryphax cameras, so they are now offering a 20% discount on any Gryphax series camera with trade in of ANY microscopy camera of ANY brand!  Contact us for pricing and/ or to take advantage of this offer.


More information from Jenoptik

Camera Comparison Images

Download the latest Gryphax Software

Optional IMT i-Solution Software