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Melina Casadio
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Hi Will, Thank you for your comment! You are absolutely right that, for microscope data acquisition, "resolution" is indeed dependent on the hardware – one cannot set a resolution in dpi for these images on the scope, as you know. However, a field captured at 512x512 for instance should still yield an image of appropriate resolution. If you open the newly acquired micrograph in an Adobe program (for instance) and save the file as a TIFF file (without compression or if needed using LZW), you will be able to check the size of the image. A 512x512 capture will yield an image of relatively small size as measured in inches, but it is acceptable for publication. You can of course edit the the properties of the image (size/resolution) and set them to the desired settings. If the image is straight from the microscope and you follow these steps immediately without first altering the micrograph using other software or compressing it to reduce file size, it’s unlikely such an image would be of insufficient resolution – even if at the maximum zoom and/or at the “resolution limit” of the microscope. (As you know, if you capture a large field and need to zoom in, your available resolution diminishes, so if you want both a broad view and a close-up of one section, we suggest making two captures.) We found that most micrographs of "low resolution" are of poor quality because they were saved/stored as JPEGs and/or heavily compressed, and these issues can be avoided by following these steps. We’re of course happy to discuss this question further on a case by case basis. Thank you again for your interest in the column and for the question!
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Sep 25, 2015