USB Microscopes: Which Brands Are The Best?
Welcome to our website. Here you will find in-depth review on USB microscopes from the major manufacturers like Celestron and Dinolite as well as other brands. Given a variety of choices and brands available, how does one go about buying the right one? Keeping in mind expensive does not always mean better!
This website is for people who do not enjoy travelling from store to store to buy things or spending hours online hopping from one website to website in the research process before buying a product. It is our aim that by reading our easy-to-read review, you will be able to buy the best microscope for your needs with a minimum of fuss. There is no such thing as a perfect product – we give you the pros and cons as we see them.
|Price Under $50
If you don’t want to pay more than fifty dollars, the Celestron 44302-A USB microscope is an excellent choice either as a gift or for anyone wanted to explore the miniature world. Get it for under $50 and read our full review Here.
| Price $50 – $100
If you budget is between fifty to one hundred dollars, our choice is the Aven 26700-300. It’s ideal for anyone on the search for a simple to operate digital microscope having a broad range of focus and zoom and wishes to have top quality still images and videos. Retail price is more than $100, Click Here to get one for less.
|Price > $100
For people who have money to spend, check out the ViTiny UM05 USB Digital Autofocus Microscope. For the price you can capture still images and videos at very high resolution. It’s very simple to operate using the auto-focus feature. Click Here for more details.
USB microscopes can be used for a wide range of applications. They are ideal for examining small objects such as old coins, stamps, insects, plants, electrical components such as an electronic board or a tiny electronic device, documents such as banknotes. They are used in law enforcement agencies for image or video enhancement and conversion, for industrial inspections and medical applications. For teachers it can be a fun educational tool for children. Because of their light and compact design, they are perfect for use in the field by connecting it to a laptop computer.
A USB microscope in it’s basic form is a digital microscope without a built-in power supplier. It gets its power from a computer via a Universal Serial Bus cable connected to one of the USB ports – this means the power required to run a unit is low which is a good thing especially when it is used with a power hungry laptop computer. Using USB 2.0 port means fast transmission at 480 Mbps and is plug and play on most operating systems.
There are two main components in a typical USB microscope, a high-powered macro lens and a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera to output a digital image to a monitor. To keep the cost low, there is no eyepiece. Images are output directly on to the computer monitor or a television. Images can be viewed, recorded and stored similar to a digital camera by using the software that comes with the microscope. The magnification is typically in the range of 200 x magnifications and most come with 8 LED lights for illumination but some cheaper models only have 4 LED or use ambient light.
The main difference between a traditional optical microscope and a USB microscope is in the way images are magnified. An optical microscope magnified the image viewed through an eyepiece by using a set of lenses with varying magnifications. Since the digital microscope has a fixed lens and does not have an eyepiece, image magnification is performed in two stages.
The first magnification is through the micro lens – a typical lens provides on average 10x to 50x magnification. The second stage is by enlarging the image on the monitor through. Typical commercial USB microscopes offer magnification range in between 10x – 400x. The magnification will depend on the size of the monitor. The larger the screen, the large an image can be magnified. The precise magnification is determined by the working distance between the camera and the object and because of this, buying a microscope with a good supports is recommended for better control of the images on display.
Further Increased in image resolution can be accomplished by artificially creates extra pixels for captured images. This is performed through software that comes with the unit. Keeping in mind you will no longer get a true picture of the specimen and this is not a problem for many users but it can be a real problem for some people working in the law enforcement related agencies.
Advantages & Disadvantages
One of the biggest advantages is images can be enhanced, manipulate, and stored and shared with others. The image can be as large as your screen will permit and images can be saved as a video clips. They are compact and portable perfect for field use. They are easy to use you can get them up and running quickly by pressing just a few buttons and they are perfect for parents or teachers wanting to expose kids to the exciting world of science or discover the microscopic world.
USB microscopes have lower level of magnification compared to other model. Works best when working with flat object. They don’t work well with when examine an object with large depth.
Before Buying One
There are three things that one should look at and consider before buying a USB model. The first factor is the quality of the optical lens. Similar to a digital camera a poor quality lens produce poor quality image. A good lens will produce good optical resolution, sometimes referred to as native resolution. It is defined as the number of pixels in the image sensor – this pixel count will determine how clear the produced image is. This resolution is the most important factor because the captured image will have to be enlarged and displayed on the monitor screen.
Lighting is one other factors. You want good lighting to ensure optimal result. Most USB microscopes in the market today offer 8 LED lights. Some lower cost models can comes with only 4 LED lights. This may not be a big issue depending on your ambient light and the types of specimens. Software is the last consideration. You want to make sure the software supplied is compatible with you computer or your machine meets the minimum specification specified by the manufacturer.
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