ImageJ, created by Wayne Rasband, of the Research Services Branch, in Bethesda, Maryland has many unique characteristics. The image processing program is readily available for all users, license free, and runs on any operating system. Throughout its six years of development and redesign, ImageJ has been downloaded tens of thousands of times, proving to be a reliable image processing program.
ImageJ program is limitless because of the availability of extensions: macro and plug-ins. For example, a macro can be written that acquires an image every ten seconds, then it stores it in a sequence. Plug-ins are external programs, which offers imaging processing capabilities that do not exist in the core of ImageJ. They have revolutionized ImageJ, bringing new ideas to the programs.
The imaging capabilities of ImageJ are known to be unlike any other. Not only can it preform basic operations and manipulations, but it also includes more sophisticated operations like dilation and erosion. One of its strong capabilities is that ImageJ can run on multiple platforms, which is called Cross-platform. Due to the large developer community, there are always new and upcoming plug-ins and operations being developed. If a file format is not supported, the user community usually can develop support in a few days. Although there is no support hot-line, the large user base may communicate through a mailing list. It is easy to access and there are many users available online for aid; one can go through the thorough manual giving you step by step instructions.
Just like everything else in the world, ImageJ does have its faults. Sadly, the sophistication of commercial image processing program's algorithms, lead them to be drastically faster. Also, the program does require having little knowledge for installation and first steps. There is not on-site installation or training unlike commercial image processors. Since ImageJ is constantly being redeveloped and designed, bugs and "undocumented features" can find its way in. The unwanted bugs can taint your on-going project.
ImageJ has attracted countless scholars and students because of its accessibility and efficiency. The program proves that imaging is on the boundary between a field of science and a field of engineering.