For professional microscopists as well as amateur, the Celestron 44302 handheld digital microscope may be the model of choice for your viewing needs.
Precision. Clarity. Suitability. Important words to consider when searching for any microscope.
Known for its manufacturing of high quality telescopes, Celestron is also a leading manufacturer of optical products receiving industry and consumer awards for product innovation.
Producing a precise and clear image is vitally important and with the advancement of digital imaging capture, it is obvious that one should use an updated microscope to meet your system requirements helping to ensure a quality output.
Keep in mind though, that this is not equivalent to a digital biological microscope.
What really makes this model interesting is the price, at around $50.00US, the Celestron 44302 Handheld Digital Microscope is well priced for its capabilities.
With this innovative and quality microscope, you can take snapshot images and videos of the object and see them on a computer screen for appropriate analysis and photo sharing/management.
Armed with a great design, the microscope is supported by a metal stand, which keeps it steady and stable at different positions or can be simply handheld. It is suitable for both teens and adults and can be used in a variety of environments such as education, work and hobby.
Clips can enable inspection of specimen slides at both low and high powers. But not only for slides, this microscope can be used to successfully examine objects such as coins, gems, rocks, jewellery settings, stamps, plants, insects etc.
The zoom control and focus features are a bit troublesome at higher magnification due to the absence of a rack and pinion focuser. The device is not parafocal, so you will have to adjust and manipulate to different positions to keep the sufficient focus.
Higher magnification loses contrast.
Shallow depth of field
The LED lights remain on while the camera is plugged into the USB hub or computer and is quite reflective when viewing shiny objects such as coins - as per the included instruction booklet, you can angle the microscope to eliminate glare.
Many complaints have been noted from Mac Users after buying this product as they have experienced compatibility issues and have reported receiving limited technical support from Celestron.
First of all, Mac OS 10.4.9 (Tiger) or higher is necessary and with these versions your Mac should automatically identify your Celestron microscope. The CD included with your purchase is only for Windows software, so you will use the Mac's preinstalled imaging programs - Photo Booth or iChat.
Now, connect your microscope first by plugging it into a port on the computer (before turning on the Mac). On desktop Macs there is a keyboard port but opt for the computer port instead to ensure enough running power.
Imaging software such as Photo Booth will need to be located and opened, selecting "Celestron Microscope" as your camera under the camera tab. The Photo Booth screen should now be receiving an image transmitted from the microscope.
MicroscopeMaster has a recommendation for you pertaining to image software for Mac and PC:ImageJ Software
At around the $45-$60 mark, the price is certainly right for the Celestron 44302 handheld digital microscope as it provides good picture quality.
Although the focus mechanism can be cumbersome, the images are clear and in color. It is an effective and useful light weight tool for specialized situations.
Again, the ability to take snapshot images and videos of the object under consideration from different positions and angles makes this microscope an ideal choice for a myriad of purposes.
As you progress in your field of study you will probably want to invest further and Amazon.com has a good selection of options. However, the Celestron 44302 is of good quality at an ideal price.