Microscopes are one of the tools thanks to which the humankind has made some of the most important discoveries! In fact, many people attribute the creation of our modern world and the evolution of both science and technology to microscopes.
After all, the smallest components of a motherboard, as well as the smallest being on Earth, can only be seen via a microscope. As such, it goes without saying that some of you may want to own a microscope yourselves.
However, high-end products are not only rather expensive but also extremely hard to find. Unless you’re a student at a prestigious university, you may not have the chance to see a decent microscope. But – there is an alternative!
We refer to USB microscopes, another wonder of technology. They are the ideal replacement of the classic microscope and, in some cases, come with a couple of extra features as well. Here’s what you need to know and how to find the best USB microscope UK!
Best USB Microscopes
The first entry on our list is a microscope from Jiusion which is capable of up to 1000x magnification. It is also portable and can be connected to both computers and smartphones. This makes it an ideal tool for students.
The product comes equipped with 8 LED lights to light up your subject, including 2 very handy knobs. One is used to adjust the focus while the other one is used to control the brightness level.
On top of that, the microscope comes with software that allows you to take pictures and videos of what it sees, so to say. The software also has a measurement function implemented, for the tiniest details.
Our second entry is a bit special, as the microscope is WiFi-compatible as well. It can connect to a device (Android, computer, and iPhone) via USB or a WiFi connection.
The images provided by the product are of high quality, while the videos can be of up to 1080p. When it comes to zoom power, the microscope is capable of 50x optical up to 1000x digital zoom.
Naturally, the microscope features a focus wheel that can help you get a clear view of your subject. For more help, you can also rely on the 8 LED lights that can be adjusted. On top of that, the product has a 500mAh battery built-in, meaning that you don’t need to worry about the power for LEDs and camera.
Last but not least, every buyer enjoys an 18-month warranty.
This KKmoon microscope, besides its USB feature, also comes equipped with an electronic display, to make things much easier for you!
The camera it uses is a 3.6MP HD CCD camera, while the display is LCD and of 4.3 inches in size. The latter supports anything from VGA up to 1080p in resolution. In terms of magnification power, the microscope is capable of 1-600x continuous zoom.
As per usual, you can find 8 LED lights on this microscope, which are reportedly high-brightness. On top of that, there’s also a lithium battery inside that can power your microprocessor for up to 6 continuous hours.
The product also has a memory card slot. This allows you to store videos or photos directly on an external device.
The next entry on our list is a rather simple product, as it features just the head of the microscope on top of a flexible arm. Nothing too fancy – but let’s see what it can do!
It comes equipped with a high-definition, 2.0 megapixels camera and with a magnification power of 250x. The cool part is that its camera is designed using a common webcam chipset, meaning that it is compatible with almost every type of device out there. With some work, the microscope can be paired even with an Oculus Rift system.
For increased brightness and a clear view, the microscope has a LED halo light mounted on it. Naturally, the brightness of the light can be adjusted.
Buyers enjoy a 2-year warranty – which is more than decent, in our opinion.
This next entry is just as simple-looking as our previous one but is also quite fancy. It sports a glossy, silver finish and a minimalist design.
The microscope itself allows for 10x to 200x magnification and uses a 2.0MP CMOS sensor. The latter has a focus range of 10 to 500mm. It can capture HD 720p videos and take pictures of up to 1600×1200 resolution. It is clearly one of the more professional microscopes on our list so far.
When it comes to connections, this product features the new Type-C USB connection, as well as micro-USB and simple USB. It is compatible with everything but iPhones.
Now, for the cherry on top, the camera of the microscope is an IP67 waterproof camera equipped with 8 LED lights. You will be able to observe and analyze any type of area/surface, even if underwater.
This one comes with a built-in LCD display as well – ideal for those that don’t want to rely on a monitor or on their smartphone to see what’s under their microscope.
The product is capable of up to 600x continuous magnification and comes with a 3.6 MP HP CCD. Reportedly, the lens used in the microscope is a professional microscopic one.
Just as one of our previous entries, this microscope also has a memory card slot for easy storage of videos and photos.
Now, let’s take a look at the display. It is a 4.3-inch LCD display that supports VGA, 720p, and 1080p resolution. It is clear and sharp enough for you to notice even the smallest details.
Naturally, it comes equipped with 8 LED lights powered by a built-in lithium battery. The entire setup stands on a universal holder that can adapt to multiple types of surfaces to prevent vibrations and sudden movements.
For more professional requirements, so to speak, this particular entry might be ideal for you, mainly due to its 8.5-inch screen.
The LCD screen is located on a metal stand with a flexible arm onto which the microscope and the screen are attached. There are also two other flexible arms equipped with fill lights that you can use to brighten up the subject. However, the microscope itself comes with 8 LED lights as well, to ensure maximum brightness and eliminate shadows.
When it comes to magnification, the microscope allows for up to 260x zoom. A knob on the product allows you to adjust the focus and the distance between the lens and the subject, for a clearer image.
The 2MP CMOS HD sensor and micro-SD card slot allow for easy video and photo capture and storage.
Here’s yet another microscope with a clean, white look, ready to beautify your desk. This one is ideal for students and collectors, as the stand features embedded ruler and other measurement tools.
The microscope supports both USB and WiFi connection and, thanks to a very handy app, can take high-quality pictures and videos in an instant. The product is also aided by a powerful 2.0MP CMOS sensor that allows for 1080p resolution and up to 1000x magnification.
A flexible plastic arm is used to hold the microscope and the base in place. As such, you can easily move the microscope closer to the subject. For a clearer view, the product has 8 white LED lights built-in.
This Carson microscope comes with a professional look and with potentially professional applications, so to speak. It as a clean, sturdy look and it seems to be more than just ideal for really tiny subjects and samples, as the distance from the lens to the observation area is very small.
Due to its size, this product is fit for every pocket and packs a magnification power of up to 250x. On top of that, it comes equipped with both LED lighting and a UV flashlight.
The base of the microscope is slidable, meaning that it can be completely removed when not in use – for easier storage. The digiscoping adapter clip is another nifty feature that allows you to take videos and pictures of your subjects.
10. 5MP USB Microscope, MAOZUA Handheld Digital Microscope 1080P Microscope Camera with Professional Base
With one of the most powerful cameras on our list, this microscope from MAOZUA is the last one we’ll be analyzing. The 5.0MP camera ensures high-quality pictures and videos. At the same time, the 300x zoom power provides a clear view of your subject.
Everything the microscope sees you can see on your monitor’s screen, via a USB connection. The product doesn’t come with an eyepiece.
The head of the microscope is equipped with 8 LED lights that can be adjusted in terms of brightness.
The included software has on-screen measurement capabilities. This can be helpful for those that want to gather more essential data on their subject.
Best USB Microscope – Buying Guide
USB microscopes are a thing because, as mentioned, they are the ideal alternative to conventional products. Unlike the real deal, USB microscopes have a wide range of applications and can be attached to something as trivial as a smartphone.
Conventional and powerful microscopes, on the other hand, are very difficult to use and to master as well, so to speak.
However, a USB cable is not everything a microscope needs to be easy and fun to use. Moreover, there are a couple of other things you have to look for in such a product if you want at least a decent user experience.
Here’s the best USB microscope UK buying guide!
Types of USB Microscopes
USB microscopes can be high-end microscopes as well. In short, there are USB models that may be just as powerful as those used by researchers, scientists, and such. You’ll have to consider this when buying your own.
Basic USB Models
These microscopes usually rely on snapshots or moving images to record the subject. Most of the time, they are handheld units and made of plastic. Naturally, they come with limited magnification power and often with no adjustable focus.
High-End USB Models
These models, on the other hand, are much more powerful and beyond the scope of hobbies and fun. They often support up to 1000x magnification, have complex LED lighting, and adjustable focus. These may also feature their own LCD screen, multiple eyepieces, and so on.
Advanced USB Models
These are conventional variants that have been adapted to USB usage, so to say. They can feature anything from high dynamic range to high frame rates, faster image processing, magnification ranges of up to 7000x, adjustable focus and lens distance, and so on. Even though portable, they come with sturdy stands and are often self-contained as well. Such features make for the best USB digital microscope out there.
Things to Take into Account when Choosing a USB Microscope
Once you determine what type of USB microscope you’d like to have, it’s time to take a closer look at its features, functionality, and ease of use.
A USB microscope can be powered either directly via the USB or via a built-in rechargeable battery. Depending on what you need in a microscope, you may find that a simple USB-powered one is not enough.
If the product is equipped with LED lights or even a small display, you may find that USB power is not enough. Decent microscopes come with built-in batteries that allow for ideal light brightness, sometimes even better resolution and software capabilities.
Microscopes with digital magnification, for example, tend to really need that extra bit of power.
Almost every USB microscope will come with its own piece of software. This is because the usual operating system doesn’t have the capability to adjust and alter the settings of a USB microscope camera.
However, some microscopes rely on apps that can be found in the Android or Windows app store. Those can not be relied on always as they may lack updates or have compatibility issues. But the same can happen to included software as well.
The best choice, in this case, is microscopes coming from reputable and well-known brands. Such brands will definitely keep the software up to date and, if needed, send you an updated version as well.
USB microscopes are also known for their portability and ease of use. Moreover, given that you’ll connect it to various devices, it wouldn’t be quite practical for the microscope to be the opposite of portable.
At the same time, you may want to use the product outside or take it with you on a trip. You’ll have to consider this as well.
Depending on your needs, a simple USB microscope that can be paired with a computer is enough. Some may need one that can be connected to a smartphone as well or one that comes with built-in WiFi.
Last but not least, some would prefer the microscope to have its own display so that they’re not dependent on phone or laptop battery.
Now let’s see some of the additional features that you may want to look for in a microscope, depending on your scope of work:
SD Card Slot
For fieldwork, a microscope with an SD card slot is ideal. Without needing a screen, you’ll be able to take both photos and videos for later analysis. Most USB microscopes come with SD slots that support cards of up to 64 GB, which translates to a lot of magnified subject photos.
This particular feature is pretty much a failsafe in case you come across a microscope that has its lens far away from the subject. An adjustable focus feature will help you get clearer and better pictures if the head of your microscope cannot be moved.
lights are used in microscopes to brighten up the subject and avoid the creation of shadows. As such, different subjects may need stronger or less powerful lights. In this case, a microscope with adjustable brightness is ideal in order to get a clear view of any type of subject.
If you want a highly versatile microscope, then you’ll most likely take a look at those with flexible arms. This feature allows you to move the head of the microscope as close to the subject as you want. It’s perfect for microscopes with low magnification capabilities. However, keep in mind that flexible arms may cause the microscope to wiggle and wobble.
Last but not least, we have to mention the sensor. USB microscopes come equipped with powerful camera sensors that allow them to transpose what the lens sees to a monitor, LCD screen, or smartphone.
Naturally, you have to aim for the best sensor possible when buying a USB microscope. A good sensor paired with a good magnification range results in high-quality microscopic picture and video!
And always remember to check the USB digital microscope reviews as well, as you may get vital insight into what people liked or not about certain models!
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you connect a USB microscope to a device?
You can connect a USB microscope to your computer via the computer’s USB port. The computer should recognize the microscope automatically and prompt a software install.
When it comes to smartphones, USB microscopes are connected via OTG USB. Your smartphone must have this feature to be able to connect to the microscope. Most microscopes are not compatible with iPhone, iOS.
Usually, iPhone, iOS, and Chromebook users can use these microscopes via 3rd party apps.
Q: What can I use a USB microscope for?
USB microscopes can be used for coin inspection, for taking pictures or videos of snowflakes, coins, flowers, petals, and even parasites. For these, a 60x-250x microscope is ideal.
Microscopes can also be used for soldering, device repair and troubleshoot. For this, a 10x-20x microscope is recommended.
Almost all USB microscopes are perfect for biology classes!
Depending on your needs, choosing a USB microscope can be very hard. First of all, you have to determine how powerful you want it to be in terms of magnification, then how portable, then how accurate, and so on.
With so many things to consider, we hope that our top 10 list and our buying guide will be of great help to you when looking to buy the best USB microscope UK!