Choosing the better imager

A better imager for your quantitative studies
A better fit for your lab
A better value for your budget

Azure-600 angled

Azure Imagers vs. ChemiDoc™ systems:

What You Should Know

If you’re looking at getting a new imager for blots and gels, an Azure Imaging System is a great alternative to the ChemiDoc™ imagers from Bio-Rad®.

Smaller, more flexible, and delivering better performance at equally affordable prices, Azure Imagers generate reliable, reproducible, and quantitative gel and blot images and are compatible with most protein or DNA stain and fluorophores.

Compare Systems

Superior performance in a smaller package
Footprint of the Azure 280™ Imager vs the ChemiDoc™ XRS+ (dotted line)
Footprint of the Azure 600® Imager vs. the ChemiDoc™ MP (dotted line)
All Azure Imagers offer:
  • Focus-free imaging, no-positioning necessary
  • One-touch workflows—select your application and the instrument chooses the appropriate light source and filters
  • AzureSpot™ Pro Analysis Software for powerful and streamlined quantitative analysis
Select Azure Imagers offer:
  • Chemiluminescent detection that’s just as sensitive as film, but easier and more quantitative
  • Two NIR lasers (685 nm and 785 nm) that keep signal high and background low
  • Efficient multiplex detection with three visible fluorescence channels and/or two NIR fluorescence channels
  • An optional Q-module that adds the capability to perform total protein normalization using AzureRed Total Protein Stain to 300 and 500 Imagers

Which Azure Imager is Right for You?

600® | The All-around Application Ace
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500® | The Ultimate IR Imaging System


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400® | The Visible Fluorescence Virtuoso
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300® | The Darkroom Eliminator
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280™ | The Individual Lab Imager
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200® | The Gel Imaging Workhorse
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Explore Azure Imagers

200 | 280 | 300 | 400 | 500 | 600

Key Features

Azure Imaging SystemsBioRad GelDoc GOBioRad ChemiDoc XRS+BioRad ChemiDoc MP
CameraUp to 9.1MP CCD6.3MP CMOS<2.0MP CMOSCooled CCD, 6 MP
Lens-Sample DistanceShortestLong (reflecting mirrors)LongestLong (reflecting mirrors)
Trans UV (EtBr)✓ UV302/U365 (Direct Transillumination)✓ UV/Tri-Halo (Conversion Tray Required)✓ UV302 Only✓ UV/Tri-Halo (Conversion Tray Required)
Safe Dyes (SYBR dyes)✓ Strong Epi-Blue Light ✓Trans-Blue Light (Conversion Screen Optional)✕ Extra Cost Conversion Tray Required✕ Extra Cost Conversion Tray Required✕ Extra Cost Conversion Tray Required
Visible/Color Imaging (Coomassie blue, Silver stain, etc)✓ True Color Imaging ✓ Greyscale Imaging (Trans Orange Tray) ✓ Greyscale Imaging (Trans White Table Optional)✕ Greyscale Imaging Only (Epi-White) ✕ Extra Cost Low-Power White-Light (Conversion Tray Required)✕ Extra Cost Conversion Tray Required✕ Extra Cost Conversion Tray Required
Chemiluminescence WB✓ Standard in Azure300 and above ✓ All Systems Upgradeable✕ Not Available✓ Poor Signal Detection (Not Standard)✓ Poor Signal Detection
Fluorescence WB✓ Standard in Azure400 and above ✓ Solid-State Lasers in Azure500 and Azure600 ✓ All Systems Upgradeable✕ Not Available✕ Not Available✓ Poor Signal Detection (LEDs Only)
Exposure Algorithms3 Auto-exposure options (Rapid, Broad Dynamic Range, Overexposure) or Manual exposureIntense, Faint or Manual ExposureIntense, Faint or Manual ExposureIntense, Faint or Manual Exposure
Max Imaging FOV20.5 x 16.5cm21 x 14cm19.4 x 26cm21 x 16.8cm
Connectivity13.3” Touchscreen, USB, Ethernet, WIFI9.7” Touchscreen, USBExternal Computer Required12" Touchscreen, USB, Ethernet, WiFi

ChemiDoc™ is a trademark of Li-cor and BIO-RAD® is a registered trademark of Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. No endorsement is implied by the use of these marks. Azure Biosystems, etc. are registered trademarks of Azure Biosystems, Inc. All rights reserved.

Scientists are Raving about Azure Imagers

Whole department appreciates them

— John Daum, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
"The Azure 600 Western blotting imaging system. Sensitive detection, intuitive software. Great for our NIR, fluorescence and chemiluminescent western blot detection. Multiplexing works great! Also a superior system to document our nucleic acid gels. The whole department appreciates them (we have two)."

Exactly what we needed

— Fadi Bou-Abdallah, SUNY Postdam
"One year ago (August 2021), we purchased an Azure 280 imaging system (AZ1280) from Azure biosystems. We wanted a low-cost yet high-performance and quantitative Western Blot imaging system, and Azure 280 was exactly what we needed. The Azure 280 is easy to use and has identical capabilities as the Azure 300, but it is just not upgradeable. However, we were offered the option to upgrade in the future (if we wanted to) by trade-in. Nathan Hemendinger, the director of Eastern North America at Azure Biosystems was courteous and very accommodating. He even offered us a free one-year extended warranty."

Wonderful instrument! Terrific value and customer support!

​—John Flanagan, Civetta Therapeutics​
“We’ve been very pleased with the Azure 600 Gel Imaging System. The quality and limit of detection for both the chemiluminescence and near-IR images is outstanding. Image acquisition is straightforward and user-friendly. The after-sales support is top notch – as there have been additional software upgrades and peripheral devices that were rolled-out post purchase. We’ve been happy with the new features. Our main contact at Azure (Vic Gagne) has been amazing. What sets this system apart from some of the bigger vendors is the ease-of-use and the personalized customer support. If your lab or core facility is looking for an imaging system, I highly recommend the Azure 600 Gel Imaging System.“

I love it and have been incredibly happy with the machine and Azure as a company​

— Matthew Buccili, PEEL Therapeutics​
“The c600 has been an essential workhorse in the lab since the day we bought it. With countless westerns and more than a fair share of nucleotide gels being imaged and analyzed using it. I greatly appreciate being able to switch quickly between applications and methods, as well as not needing proprietary software to view my data. It’s been given 4/5 stars for ease of use only because you need to know how to ask the software what you want it to show you, which can be a bit of a learning curve. Once you understand the software though you can dial in your settings much more easily than with other machines I’ve used. It also offers a more push and capture option when you’re expecting a strong response and just want to capture an image. I’ve been very happy with how their program balances weak signals and stronger signals since I’m often using the same blot for 7-10 proteins. With aftercare, Azure has been fantastic! They check in to make sure everything is going well, and to see if they can help with anything more just enough that it’s not intrusive but often enough that you don’t worry that they forgot about you.“

Great machine!

— Alex Chan, USC Keck
“Recently bought this imager after having tested Biorad, ProteinSimple, Multiple GE machines and UVP. I was looking for the imager that gave us the best image quality for our western blots, the price was not a question. I can confidently say that this imager gave us the highest image quality and had the most functionality, on top of being one of the more affordable imagers. I am very happy with this machine and would definitely recommend it.”



Document TypeDescription
BrochureAzure Imager BrochureDOWNLOAD
BrochureAzure Imaging Systems Model ConfigurationsDOWNLOAD


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