Most image processing programs are designed to start by loading an image from disk. Igor provides some facilities for acquiring images directly from a camera or from a video source. This capability means that you can skip the steps involved in using two separate programs: the first to control the acquisition and the second for data analysis.
Image acquisition is hardware dependent. It is usually implemented through specific Igor plugins (XOPs). Before Igor Pro 7 WaveMetrics used to provide a number of XOPs that were based on prevailing image acquisition API for Windows and for the Macintosh. As of Igor Pro 7 we includes two operations that provide a platform-independent support for integrated cameras and USB cameras with appropriate drivers. Most scientific cameras are unlikely to be supported by this API so they will require custom XOPs.
In addition to the XOPs listed above, you can use the XOP Toolkit to write your own custom XOP or purchase a specific XOP from a third party. If you choose to write your own XOP you can contact technical support (firstname.lastname@example.org) to obtain sample code for image acquisition XOPs.
Image Acquisition Example
See the Image Acquisition Example in the gallery for an example of image acquisition using Igor.