A number of image file formats are used on the confocal system. The main format is
the Bio-rad pic format, which is the primary format used by Laser Sharp. Files in this
format end with the file extension pic, eg. mycell.pic. This pic format is proprietary to
Bio-rad and is supported by only a few image analysis porgrams. It should be noted
that this pic format is not the same as the Macintosh pic image file format. In order to
process image files in other programs pic image files must be converted into another
image file format such as tif (supported on Macs & PCs) or bmp (MicroSoft bitmap).
A number of programs are available to convert pic files.
- Laser Sharp: primary confocal control and analysis program. Only for OS/2
- Confocal Assistant: good rapid viewer on PCs. Views single images and
movies well. Does not support multiple color images. Converts pic files into tif
or bmp format using file->Batch conversion. Can perform simple image
enhancement on image stacks, simple 3d projections. Has numerous minor
bugs, which are eclipsed by the general usefulness of this program.
- LViewPro: for viewing single images or series of images. Makes simple
montages. Supports bmp, tif and many other common image formats but not
bio-rad pic images.
- Photoshop: great for single image enhancements, color merging and general
image processing. Supports bmp, tif and many other common image formats
but not bio-rad pic images. Runs on Macs & PCs with same commands.
- HiJaakPro: image file conversion and displays multiple images as icons. Good
for browsing images in common file formats, but not Bio-rad pic.
Return to Cell Biology Confocal Home page.