This paper investigates the application of Fresnel based numerical algorithms for the reconstruction of Gabor in-line holograms. We focus on the two most widely used Fresnel approximation algorithms, the direct method and the angular spectrum method. Both algorithms involve calculating a Fresnel integral, but they accomplish it in fundamentally different ways. The algorithms perform differently for different physical parameters such as distance, CCD pixel size, and so on. We investigate the constraints for the algorithms when applied to in-line Gabor digital holographic microscopy. We show why the algorithms fail in some instances and how to alter them in order to obtain useful images of the microscopic specimen. We verify the altered algorithms using an Optically Captured digital hologram. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.