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USB Computer Microscope

Link the microscopic world to your PC

A USB computer microscope is also simply known as a computer microscope or a computer-connected microscope.

Using CMOS sensors, it is a microscope that plugs into a USB port on a computer or television.

Instead of looking through an eyepiece, the viewer then examines the specimen via the computer's monitor or the television screen. It’s essentially a webcam with a macro lens.

Just look at the Veho VMS004 Deluxe USB Powered Microscope to the right.

Many of these microscopes depend on ambient lighting, but some do come with built-in illumination.

Basically, the USB computer microscope's lens can touch an object to see it magnified or can be used to view objects at a short distance. This allows objects to be in different states-like wet or moving.

For example, you might enjoy looking at an inanimate object like a document or coin but you can also magnify human body parts or moving insects.

It is certainly a fun educational tool for children.

Most offer between 20X-300X magnification and are typically priced under $200.


How to use a USB computer microscope

If the viewer is using the microscope with a computer, they may need to begin by loading the device’s software.

  1. Plug the device into any open USB port on the computer or the television.

  2. Hold the microscope and lightly touch the lens to the specimen. The image should now be visible on the monitor or television screen. These microscopes should only be used to examine dry specimens. Any liquids should be examined though distance viewing.

  3. Depending on the microscope, there may be focusing capabilities on the microscope, via the computer program or both. If it’s on the microscope, simply turn the focus wheel until the desired focus is found.

    Focusing in the programming may include options to adjust the brightness or the contrast of an image. Some microscopes may come with an auto-focus feature, though this can often be disabled if the auto-focus image is unsatisfactory.

    Note: If the viewer is using their television to view the image, they will most likely only be able to adjust the image if their microscope comes with a focus wheel.

  4. If the viewer wishes to grab an image, there should be a “capture” icon on the screen. If the microscope takes video images, there may also be a “record” icon.

  5. Once an image or a video has been collected, click the “save” icon to save the image or video. Note: If the viewer is using their television, they will most likely be unable to save the images.


Using/owning a USB computer microscope

Advantages

  • Most of these devices are handheld, allowing the viewer to examine specimens that might not fit under a traditional microscope’s lens.

  • The images can easily be saved as pictures files, printed, or sent to others. Some devices even allow the viewer to save the images as a video clip.

  • Saved images can be examined or further manipulated in other programs. This allows the viewer to focus in on details that may have been overlooked or to manipulate the images for artistic or entertainment purposes.

Disadvantages

  • Low-level magnification compared to other microscopes.

  • Sufficient illumination of specimens can be an issue.

Always take the image resolution and format into account. This will affect the clarity of the images and the size of the files once they have been saved.

Lighting should be another consideration. The amount of illumination can vary, and the microscope’s lighting could be powered by the USB connection or batteries.

Ensure the microscope’s software is compatible with the machine on which it will be installed.


Although these microscopes aren’t particularly powerful, a USB computer microscope can be a fun and useful tool for hobbyists, artists, or anyone wanting to view their world a little more closely.

USB Computer Microscope Reviews

The Best to Consider are...

Digital Blue Microscope



- read about the USB Computer microscopes available on the market like the QX3 and the QX5 microscope models from Digital Blue. Now on the market is the new QX7 Microscope from Digital Blue.

Dino Lite Digital Microscope



- At first glance this microscope looks more like a gadget than a useful professional instrument. However, these portable instruments are used for industrial inspections and medical applications, in addition to being used by hobbyists and schools. Check it out!

Celestron 44302 Handheld Digital Microscope



- For education, work/field or for your hobby, this Celestron model is a good quality microscope at a very affordable price. A perfect gift. It will not disappoint.

Veho VMS-004 Deluxe USB Powered Microscope


- another handy device that has remained popular. Comparing the magnification of any handheld device to a traditional compound microscope is futile but for many hobbies and teaching environments this is perfect and at a generous price for good quality.



What else?

USB Microscope Camera - allows for microscopic images to be explored, captured, and stored on a computer for later study and analysis.

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