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Jon Ward

Jon Ward
Microscopes Intl. LLC

April 27, 2018

Blog
What image formats does the uScope support?

One of the most common questions we receive is, "What image formats does the uScope support?" There are several answers to this seemingly simple question.

Scan Field Image Format

As you scan a slide, each field is saved as either a JPEG or PNG image file—your choice. The differences between these two image formats are:

  • JPEG Images
    These images are compressed using an inexact (lossy) compression algorithm that is very good. JPEG images provide a great balance between image quality and storage size. JPEG images created by the uScope Navigator Application are saved using a 90 quality setting. 
  • PNG Images
    These images are compressed using a lossless algorithm. PNG images contain the exact data captured by the camera but the image size is significantly larger than that of the JPEG image. Only use PNG files when you absolutely must have exact camera images.

After you scan a slide, the field images are stitched together and a large image file (the whole slide image) is created.

Whole Slide Image Format

The uScope Navigator Application creates whole slide images in several different formats:

  • Deep Zoom
    The Deep Zoom image file format is a pyramidal image format that is actually composed of hundreds or thousands of square, tiled images. The Deep Zoom image is a combination of an XML file that describes the image and multiple folders of images (one folder for each level of the pyramid). Image tiles are stored in either JPEG or PNG format depending on the original field image format.
  • Tiled TIFF (SVS)
    The Tiled TIFF (SVS) image file format is a single image file that contains a full-scale image and several smaller scale images. This file format is a slightly modified version of the standard TIFF image format that has images composed of tiles. It can be opened using contemporary versions of Windows and MacOS.
  • Easy Zoom (SZI)
    The SZI image file format is a recent file format created by Easy Zoom for their image sharing service. The SZI file is a single file that incorporates a Deep Zoom image set along with a few other XML files and smaller support images.

In general, you would select only the image format(s) you need to use since each image file could be quite large.

Deep Zoom Image Viewer Output Format

When viewing a Deep Zoom image with the uScope Navigator software, you can export the whole slide image (or a cropped area) in a number of different image formats including JPG, PNG, BMP, or TIFF (not tiled). Typically, you would select smaller areas to save as images from the whole slide image. So, these images would not be the size of the whole scanned area. You should note that most of these image formats are limited to a maximum of 32Kx32K pixels. So, they may require scaling if the selected output area is too large.

More Options?

Are there other image formats that we should consider? Tell us your thoughts. We are happy to consider and incorporate other image output options in the uScope Navigator Application.

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