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K3 Camera


K3 Camera

Top of the range direct detection camera

The Gatan K3 sets a new benchmark for imaging performance for direct detection cameras. It’s optimised for demanding low-dose applications in both life science and materials science. The K3 camera is the top of Gatan’s range of real-time, single electron counting direct detection cameras.

  • Powerful in-line signal processing raises the DQE beyond the K2 camera
  • No need to save terabytes of raw frames, with optional inline, GPU-based motion correction
  • 1,500 full frames per second (3.75 times the speed of the K2 camera)
  • Choice of two models with different sensor sizes:
    • K3: Largest field of view with 24 megapixels (5,760 x 4,092). 1.6 times the size of the K2 camera. 
    • K3 Base: Cost-effective model with 14 megapixels (3,456 x 4,096). Turn screening microscopes into data collection instruments.

If you already have a K2 camera with a K3 upgrade, you are eligible to get the GPU option for free.

Mapping the Coronavirus

The K3 camera was used to create the first 3D atomic-scale map of coronavirus – more info…

[testimonial author=”Daniel Wrapp, University of Texas at Austin”]

We’d also upgraded our K2 detector to a K3 detector six months ago so for an average user like me, the key advantage here was the speed with which I could collect the movies. I think we probably doubled the number of movies that we could collect in a single day by moving from the K2 to K3.

Also, just the physical parameters of the detector itself are larger – so if you’re trying to get a greater number of particles, this means you can collect fewer movies.


Contact us for more information and quotes:
+44 (0)1223 422 269 or info@blue-scientific.com

Gatan K3 Camera

Coronavirus Map

The K3 was used to map the coronavirus – more info…


  • Low-dose applications
  • Cryo-electron microscopy
  • Life science
  • Structural biology – more info…
  • Materials science


  • Best performing camera in the range
  • Large field of view
  • Fast: 1,500 frames per second
  • Low dose for beam-sensitive materials
  • Electron counting for higher image quality

Cryo-EM Proteasome

2.7 Å structure of the 20S Proteasome, taken with the K3 camera and Elsa cryo-holder. Data courtesy of Alexander Myasnikov, Michael Braunfeld, Yifan Cheng & David Agard.

Why is Frame Rate Important in Cryo-EM?

Frame rate helps with motion correction in cryo-electron microscopy. The video below compares a high frame rate of 250 fps with and an exceptionally fast frame rate of 1500 fps on the K3 camera. The resulting image is clearer and more defined.

Watch the video to see the difference: