If you are interested in owning a microscope, then chances are you have considered a USB computer model.
When it comes to using a common microscope, there are various obstacles that could have a profound impact on the final result, from poor working distances to missing items.
For this reason, many scientists are now turning to USB computer microscopes to observe their samples, as these models do not come with the same restrictions as their more-traditional counterparts.
In the article below, we have compiled a list of the best USB computer microscopes available online.
We will also explain how to use these microscopes and how they can contribute to the user’s scientific research.
What Are USB Computer Microscopes?
Otherwise known as computer-connected microscopes, these computer microscopes can be connected to your computer or television via the USB port.
For this reason, the microscope does not come with a traditional eyepiece, as users are able to examine their specimens via the computer monitor or television screens.
In most cases, USB computer microscopes depend on ambient light to ensure a smooth and accurate viewing.
However, there are some models that come with built-in illumination to combat this common problem.
In basic terms, the USB computer microscope’s lens can be used to enhance a specimen or view it from short distances.
Because of this, computer microscopes are compatible with both wet and moving samples.
For instance, the microscope can be connected to your computer and used to observe both inanimate objects and insects.
This means it can be used as a fun and educational tool for children, as it does not require previous experience.
These microscopes can be purchased for around $200 from various sites and stores, with most featuring a 20x-300x magnification.
How To Use USB Computer Microscopes
If you intend to use the microscope in conjunction with a computer, then we recommend that you access the device’s software first:
- To start, you will need to connect the device to the USB port on your computer or television set.
- Once you have done this, you can hold the microscope and touch the lens to the main specimen. This should present an image of the specimen on the computer or television screen.
- However, this method should only be used when working with dry samples, as liquid substances are best viewed from afar.
- Depending on the model, the microscope could also come with focusing capabilities, which are often located on the product itself or via the monitor. If the adjustment is on the microscope, you can turn it until you reach the desired focus.
If this feature is only accessible via the monitor, then you should be able to use it to manipulate the brightness and contrast of the picture.
Some models will also come with an auto-focus mode, which can be used to find the ideal focus for your chosen specimen.
When connecting the microscope to a television, you should be able to adjust the focus via the product itself.
- If you want a screenshot of the specimen, most USB microscopes should come with a capture option on the screen. While other models will allow you to record the slide during the observation.
- Once the image or video has been captured, you should be able to select the save icon and download it to your computer.
What Are The Pros & Cons?
There are various pros and cons that come with using a USB computer microscope, which we have outlined below:
- Most USB microscopes can be classed as handheld devices, which means they allow the user to examine specimens that might not be suitable for more traditional microscope lenses.
- Once the specimen has been observed, the user can download images of the slide to their computer - where they can be saved, printed, and sent to others. There are even some models that allow the user to record their observations in the form of short videos and clips.
- Saved images can be downloaded and examined. They can even be manipulated or recorded for future research. This allows the user to spend more time on specific details that may have been forgotten.
- USB computer microscopes do not offer the same level of magnification as other traditional models, which means they are sometimes considered limited in their overall use.
- As mentioned above, most USB models will require additional illumination for the specimens, which can be hard to find at sufficient levels without professional tools and bulbs.
It’s also important to remember the image resolution, as this could impact the clarity of the final images and the size of the files once they have been saved.
Beyond this, you will also need to consider the illumination, as the amount of light can vary depending on the model’s construction. In certain cases, the microscope’s illumination can even be powered by a USB connection or batteries.
You will also need to check whether the microscope is compatible with the software on the device you intend to use.
Best USB Computer Microscopes
Despite their limited power and focus, USB computer microscopes are a fun and educational tool for both children and hobbyists alike.
USB computer microscopes can be used in various applications, such as observing slides, examining art, and enhancing inanimate objects.
In the section below, we have compiled a list of the best USB computer microscopes now available, which can be found online or in select stores.
OUR TOP PICK
For the first entry on our list, we have chosen the VMS004 deluxe USB-powered microscope from Veho, which can be used to observe various specimens from plants and seeds to insects and small animals.
Because of its accessible design, the microscope can be used for a variety of purposes, as it allows the user to take pictures and videos of their work for future reference.
Weighing around 10 ounces, the product is smaller than you would expect and can be easily held over your chosen subject for an enhanced and clear view.
Beyond this, the microscope is extremely portable, which makes it the ideal choice for those who spend their days traveling for work.
In contrast to other USB models, the VMS004 deluxe comes at a reasonable price and is suitable for both educational and professional use.
Our only complaint is that the instruction manual is poorly written, which means it can take some time to install the device and come to terms with its various features.
However, the overall product remains a relatively uncomplicated tool, which makes it accessible to people from all walks of life.
If you want a microscope that is cheap and perfect for recreational use, then look no further than this incredible product from Cainda.
Thanks to its simple USB connection, this microscope can be connected to a wide range of devices, from computers to televisions.
Because of this, you can even connect the product to your tablet or smartphone, which should result in the projection of crisp and clear images across all your screens.
The microscope is extremely simple to use and is suitable for children and adults alike.
Despite its various features, the product is extremely cheap when compared to its fellow competitors, which means it’s not as reliable as a more expensive model.
Because of this, we would not recommend purchasing this microscope for professional use, as its design is more catered to recreational and educational functions.
For our final product, we have chosen the Celestron Infiniview LCD digital microscope, which is now considered one of the most versatile microscopes available online.
With its built-in 5MP digital camera, this microscope can be used to capture high-resolution images of your intended specimen, which can then be saved to your computer and sent to others for future reference.
The product also comes with an accessible USB connection, which allows the user to download their captured images and save them on the provided memory card.
All images are realized in full color, which makes for some truly stunning results.
Beyond this, the microscope also boasts a high-quality 5-element IR lens, which is able to produce sharper images with its increased strength.
Due to their accessible design, USB computer microscopes have become a favorite choice among scientists and lecturers, especially those who spend their time on the move and teaching in universities.
However, this does not mean that these microscopes are limited to the academic world, as even the everyday person can use them for fun and recreational purposes.
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