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Cheap USB Microscope recommendations


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Hi everyone,

I'm interested in getting a cheap USB Microscope (may get a more up-market one later if required) in order to study, photograph and film CPs (in particular Utricularia) on my laptop / netbook, and was wondering: has anyone used the Veho VMS-001 miscroscope?

See here: Veho VMS-001 at Amazon.co.uk

Does anyone have experience or comments about this device, and would it be suitable for studying Utricularia traps and seed?

(There is also a x400 magnification version - see: Veho VMS-004 at Amazon.co.uk - but I think x400 is too high magnification for Utric traps in general?)

Many thanks.

Edited by AdamH
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I had the "400x" one but sent it back. It is not 400x, more like 20x, 400x relates to magnifcation on computer screen and not optical magnification. They do not zoom either. Depth of field really shallow. Build quality poor.

Thanks for the feedback Stephen - maybe not such a good idea then!

Oh well...

Any other recommendations for USB Microscopes? (Preferably ones that work with Windows and Linux [and Mac OS X too is a bonus]).

It looks as though I'll have to save my pennies for a more expensive system (which could be some time away, it's a bit low down on my priorities in these tough economic times...).

Thanks again.

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I've still got one, but I agree, the quality is low, and it is hard to keep it focussed well and so forth;;

These are a couple of images I took at the supposed 400x magnification of the VMS004

trichomes2.jpg

And at 20x

trichomes.jpg

I mean, I think its a good bit of kit for the price but if you want some really good quality images then there may be something else out there, but you probably wont get it for this price. We have also used it for soldering digital camera parts, and in that respect, the x20 view works pretty damn well. If you are going to be photographing utrics then I imagine it would be ok.. I tried it with U. alpina the other day and came out with some ok photos but the lack of continuous zoom means you can never get it quite right. The software that came with mine didn't work on the iMac, so if you get it and the software doesn't work, take a look at "mixscope".

Hope this helps some - ultimately its your decision.

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Hi Marcel, Chris and Stefan,

Many thanks for the extra updates. The general impression I get is that these cheap USB microscopes are really "computer gadgets", alongside other similar USB "toys": I guess it may be ok to start investigating Utrics or similar items, for identification purposes, but you would probably have to spend a lot more (hundred(s) of pounds or euros?) to get a decent USB-connected microscope. I *may* get the cheapest one (under £30) just to have a look, I haven't decided yet!

I'm actually surprised that there isn't a wider range of USB microscopes out there. I found these - Digital Microscopes from Wedgwood - that start at over £120 when you include VAT, but not much in the "sub £100" range.

Just found this one - Celestron Microscope from Amazon.co.uk

Anyone else have any experience with different USB microscopes?

Thanks again...

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Iggy - nice photos, thanks for sharing.

@Phil - thanks for the tip-off, I'll check my local Lidl store when I go shopping on Thursday - that looks tempting for £50.

I've read that Aldi stores also sometimes stock these Bresser USB microscopes.

EDIT: unfortunately none left in Lidl (they had them in before Christmas). :D

Edited by AdamH
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