A webcam’s image
chip is an ultrafine
By Tom Zimmerman
Imager chip from a 5MP
camera mounted in a black
box captures microscopic
shadows of rotifer plankton.
Behind the lens of a webcam is an imager chip with thousands of tiny light
sensors, each about 1/10 the diameter of a human hair. If you replace the lens
with an LED light source, and place tiny objects on the imager chip, shadows
will project onto the sensor, creating a lensless microscopic image. You can
use the webcam’s regular software to save pictures and video, or stream live
images to the internet. Or use the imager chip from a security camera to see
a colony of live plankton on TV.
Photography by Sam Murphy (this page, A, B) and Tom Zimmerman (C, D, I)
64 Make: Volume 14