USB Microscopes are a great modern innovation which has made the use of microscopes far more convenient and accessible for both professional use and fun alike!
They can be used by both the professional and the hobbyist and although they lack the magnification and precision of classical compound microscopes, they are still an interesting tool to have at your disposal.
USB microscopes allow specimen images to be saved at the click of a button so that they can be stored, viewed and even printed later on, fantastic for a kids school project or for comparing materials.
There are many USB microscopes, that’s why it’s a wise idea to understand how they work in order to ensure you secure yourself with a good model that’s worth your money.
|USB Microscope||Magnification||Maximum Resolution||Camera||Compatability|
|Celestron Handheld Digital Microscope||20x–200x||2592 x 1944||5.0MP||Windows & Mac|
|eBoTrade 5MP USB Microscope||20x–300x||2592 x 1944||5.0MP||Windows & Mac|
|DBPOWER USB Digital Microscope||1x–1200x||4000 X 3000||12MP||Windows & Mac|
|Potensic Endoscope||10x–200x||1920 X 1080||2MP Waterproof||Windows, Mac & Android|
*All links above will take you to the latest prices on Amazon.com, or you can read our in-depth USB microscope reviews below.
#1 Celestron Handheld Digital Microscope Pro
Celestron is a brand with a solid reputation in the industry with many years experience in microscope manufacturing; a trusted brand with high ratings.
The Celestron 5 MP is a well-built model capable of capturing images and videos at a powerful resolution. This USB microscope is designed with hobbyists and students in mind looking for a highly portable and proficient unit for everyday use.
The microscope comes equipped with a selection of helpful and enhancing features including a 5MP sensor so you catch every detail, perfect for entomologists and embroiderers alike! A glass lens with 20x to 200x magnification and a professional, adjustable height stand, enabling hands-free use.
This microscope is great for kids, adults, and professionals due to its robust structure and powerful optics that are guaranteed to provide an image with detail and precision. The Celestron 5 MP Handheld Digital Microscope Pro also features a USB 2.0 cable at 4 feet length giving you some good reach between the microscope and your sample. It supports Windows and Mac operating systems.
As a digital microscope, viewing of the images is done via a laptop or computer monitor and the LED illumination that comes with it is adjustable.
The software is handy too as it comes with features that allow you to superimpose measurements onto the image.
#2 eBoTrade 5MP USB Microscope
This USB microscope has a built-in 5.0-megapixel sensor and a visual magnifier that can resolve from 30x (for simple inspection) to 300x (for thorough inspection).Furthermore, it’s equipped with 8 LEDs that are positioned onto the specimen you’re investigating providing you with adequate illumination to observe, and are easily alterable with the fitted dial.
The lighting isn’t as good as the other models, yet this can be resolved by using light from other sources. Either way, this model is a great option for those on a budget; it’s easy to use and provides a good image.
#3 7 inch LCD Digital USB Microscope,Koolertron 12MP 1-1200X
This USB digital microscope Equipped with 7 inches large HD LCD screen. This provides a broad field of view for easy viewing with resolution 12 megapixel and 1-1200x continuous magnification. Powered by rechargeable Li-ion battery (4hrs work time) or USB making thi a truly portable field microscope. Note that there isno support connection to a computeror tablet etc.
An angle-adjustable stand specifically solves the problem of high reflection which is different form Vertical microscopes.(Vertical microscopes is easy to lose sight of the details of the objects due to reflection) The height adjustable stand can adjust the distance between the camera and the object. The sturd and nicely weighted base minimize shaking and helps keep your specimens in sharp focus.
The Built-in 8 LED illumination with adjustable intensity control, allowing you to set the desired level of illumination. provide excellent detail and optimal clarity and allows capture pictures or video in the woods and some dark places.
The LCD Screen digital microscope is equipped with Micro SD card slot soou can save the images and videos obtained during your observations to the card and save to your PC or laptop.(Maximum support for 64G Micro SD cards, Micro SD Card is not included)
Perfect for circuit board inspection, QC inspection, watch/clock repair, textile industrial, kids exporation and education, biological observation, medical professionals, scientific researchers, insects, coins, jewelry, and stamps. It’s ta great gift for children, students and hobbyists.
#4 Potensic Endoscope Inspection Magnifier
This USB microscope makes it easy for you to do that as it comes with multiple attachments, allowing you to check inside your ear, check your skin and teeth.
Of course, it’s not wise to be doing any home diagnosis but it’s still interesting nonetheless and if you did, for example, feel something odd in your outer ear, there’s no harm in giving a quick check just to confirm if there was any blockage or problem before checking in with the doctor.
The microscope has a magnification range between 10x and 200x, similar to most models, and a 1-megapixel pixel camera with 1280 x 720 – suitable for most monitors.
It’s also connectable to Windows and Mac operating systems and even Android devices; with an app downloadable from the Google play store. The camera head is waterproof too so inspection of submerged samples is possible.
What Is A USB Microscope?
It’s a small digital microscope that can be connected to your computers, laptops or other compatible devices via a USB cable or allow image and video transfer via SD card. This allows you to view the image on a screen as opposed to looking through an eyepiece, this is achieved using software that accompanies your microscope. (Except the Koolatron which includes a screen.
Usb units are smaller and lighter than traditional desk microscopes which make them very portable and user-friendly. Great for presentations and teachers because the image or video can ve projected to display the blown up image onto a projector to be shared to a whole room, very handy for science class.
They can be used by an array of different people from homeschooling parents to professionals who compare samples in their field and even auctioneers; you can have great fun with the kids and carry out an engaging learning experience with them. Stamp, coin, rock and other collectors also benefit greatly from the convenience and affordability of them.
Due to their basic design and materials, they are incredibly cheap for the manufacturer to produce and as a result can be bought for next to nothing.
This has resulted in a myriad of new companies popping up and producing very low-quality versions, so how do you choose the best USB microscope? And make sure you know what to avoid?
What Makes the Best USB Microscope?
Image quality – In terms of image, don’t expect an image quality that you would find with decent compound microscopes. For instance, the best USB ones typically have a 200x zoom but this would typically depend on the amount you wish to spend, there are cheaper products which can have as little as 40x. Image quality would also depend on the size of the monitor that the resulting image is being presented.
Software – Nearly all digital microscopes come with software which allows you to install your new microscope, take photos and film your investigations. All units reviewed have software available, but beware that cheaper devices may nt have great support.
Functionality – One of the key reasons they are so popular is that they are supposed to be easy to use. Therefore you want to opt for one that is easy for you to set up; only being as complicated as you need them to be. This will come into how easy it can be adjusted and how portable they are.
Structure – All things small in design are that much easier to break, damage or even lose, that’s why it’s crucial to choose one that has robust components that are secure to reduce exposure to liquids and particulates. You will find that the very cheap models are incredibly delicate, while the ones that cost a little more are more likely to recover from drops and knocks.
Price tag – The average USB microscope costs range from $45 to over $300. If you pay more, you should be expecting much more in terms of image quality, features, and user-friendliness and beter software support, eg when your PC operating system is upgreaded.
Choosing which microscope to buy can be confusing especially for those who are not sure what to expect. However, by assessing exactly what you’ll be using your microscope for you’ll be able to decide which one suits your needs most appropriately. The USB microscope review above should serve as a starting point, however, you should match your purchase with your requirements.
If you plan on using your microscope with the kids or for your own leisure then perhaps you’re best selecting a cheaper option; or maybe you’re a professional or intend to explore things in more detail, in which case you’ll be better investing in a model with higher specifications.
These types of microscopes are a fun and easy way to view things in detail. However, they are unlikely to meet the requirements of a committed scientist, yet can provide convenience like no other type of microscope.
About the Author
I started MicroscopeSpot to help other people learn everything there is to know about the world of microscopes. From how to use them, to how to maintain and choose one for your intended purpose.
As a parent and scientist (haematology) myself I know the value of honest and practical information. All of the information provided on MicroscopeSpot are genuine, honest opinions that aim to provide guidance to the student, hobbyist and professional.