A Portable Digital Microscope is an alternative to traditional larger microscopes commonly used in labs.
These portable microscopes are smaller and designed to be easily transported while still maintaining high resolution.
They allow the user to inspect objects on-site without removing them from their locations or damaging them.
Digital microscopes are variations of optical microscopes, which use optics and cameras to send a digitally magnified image to a monitor for viewing.
Several companies make high quality digital microscopes that are also portable as listed below.
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In September 2010, Nikon premiered their portable digital microscope, called the ShuttlePix P-400R Digital Microscope.
This microscope uses a lithium-ion battery and is designed to be cordless and portable. The microscope has a built-in 2.5 inch LCD monitor to help the user view the images. Once the microscope takes the image, the user can save it on the microscope's SD memory card for later viewing and analysis on a PC.
Operating this brand of microscope does not require previous experience using microscopes as it works exactly like a digital camera.
The user just needs to hold the "capture" button while the microscope takes a series of shots and selects the best ones. The ShuttlePix comes with a Motorized Focusing Stand Controller and a 17-inch Touch Panel Monitor for easy viewing.
The monitor offers 3-D image reconstruction as well as measurement. It also includes simple measurement analysis, motorized Z focusing and extended depth of focus.
This digital microscope can magnify objects between 20x and 400x without needing to change the microscope lens and has a LED illuminator and a 20x optical zoom lens.
Olympus America Inc. distributes a digital microscope called the Hirox KH-7700 All-in-One Digital Microscope.
It offers both 2-D and 3-D measurement as well as real-time and display tiling in order to show larger composite images.
The microscope offers 360-degree rotational viewing, video imaging, still imaging and auto-calibration.
Another feature of the Hirox microscope is a super-high-dynamic-range. The Hirox All-in-One also supports LAN configurations.
Leica also offers a portable digital microscope called the DVM5000. The DVM5000 is designed to be fast and accurate. The microscope has a high dynamic range with 16-bit individual color detection.
The zoom systems in this microscope have encoded magnifications which can help eliminate sources of error.
The DVM5000 also allows viewers to examine both the extremely small details as well as very large areas.
The microscope has the capacity to do 2-D and 3-D profiling including irregularities in height, width and surface and the user can choose to display this information as grid model, texture, encoding, or color depth.
The head of the DVM5000 rotates 360 degrees to help create a 3-D view of the image.
The Carl Zeiss, USA company has an extensive line of digital microscopes called the AxioCam line.
An AxioCam portable digital microscope is similar to a digital camera in terms of operation but hooks up to computers, which allow the user to enhance or magnify the images.
The AxioCam HR is their highest level digital microscope. The microscope is versatile, easily customizable and allows users to analyze, archive and process images.
Its resolution can be easily changed from anywhere between 1300 x 1030 pixels to 3900 x 3090 pixels and it has a CCD color sensor, which allows for greater color accuracy.
Although small, the portable digital microscope is not only powerful, but the ideal handheld microscope to take to remote research locations.
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