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86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2010
The camera takes very good pictures (2 MP) and acceptable (VGA resolution) videos PROVIDED it is used with appropriate software. The Celestron software that came with the camera was absolutely useless when used on a Windows XP platform, the picture refresh rate was horrible, i.e., the picture shown on the computer screen was updated only every few seconds or so, which made microscope manual focusing virtually impossible and made using the camera very frustrating. Things got much better once I switched to Adobe Photoshop for image capture, and to InterVideo WinDVD Creator for video capture (both overkill for the task at hand, and I did spend one more day selecting and testing the software - the problem was complicated by the fact that the laptop I was using had an incorporated webcam which would could not be distinguished from the microscope camera by other software). Truth be told, though, one could get away with using the camera for taking pictures with no additional sofware (from Control Panel, Printers and Other Hardware, Scanners and Cameras, then right click on the USB camera and use the pop-up menus directly in Windows for image capture and saving), but I wanted a program that would allow for better logging of the pictures.
Bottom line, I use the camera in conjunction with a Celestron 44104 microscope in lieu of the 10x or 12.5x eyepieces (the camera is 15x), and my initial concerns about mechanical adaptability were unfounded, it does have an adaptor ring that fits the microscope quite nicely. The pictures are very good, and I am very happy with it, I would have given it four stars if I hadn't had to spend so much time finding software that would actually make it work to its full potential (other people may have to shop around for software, and that's a considerable additional expense).
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
To give you some background: I am a practicing pathologist in a busy community practice. When our prior camera (which was hard-mounted on one of our microscopes and shared by several pathologists) "crapped the bed", I found myself in rather urgent need of a solution: I had three conferences coming up within the next week for which I needed photomicrographs. I did a quick Amazon search, coming upon the Celestron product and another product (Dino-Eye) that costs about five times as much. I ordered both. I've now been using the Celestron product for about six months.

The Celestron imager arrived in two days with expedited shipping. The imager does NOT look like the picture that is currently (May 2011) on the Amazon site. Basically, the imager that I received is a long tube that you shove into one of the ocular ports of your microscope after removing one of the oculars. I rock a new double-headed Olympus clinical microscope, and I have to use the adapter that comes with the imager. What I do is put the imager in one of the spare head oculars of my scope and then plug the imager into a spare USB port on my computer. I then look through my own oculars, get the slide centered, then focus with the imaging software (which puts a real-time miniscreen on my computer monitor). I cannot get parfocality between my oculars and the imager in the spare head, but that's a minor inconvenience to me.

The software is VERY easy to use: you literally open the software, find the image you want to take, and click. That's it. The file is saved both in a folder on the imaging software and on a file in your computer hard drive. The software itself is bare-bones...there's no way to edit your images (for example: contrast/brightness). The software also allows you to not only take static images, but also has a "movie" mode. Static images are saved as a JPEG file in a folder on your hard-drive (see below).

This is a 2 megapixel imager, so for really hi-res work, I'll assume that it's inadequate. HOWEVER, it's totally adequate for my needs, especially for conference images. I have also used the images for an upcoming journal publication, and they look fine and have been accepted for publication. I also do microscopic image review sessions for second-year medical students, and have used this imager many times to grab an image for later teaching.

One other use that I've found is using the image on the computer screen to show clinicians their cases. I practice in a hospital setting, and most of the clinicians prefer to just "look on my tv screen" to view the slide in real time.

There are three minor drawbacks that I see with this product:

1. The imager is a 20X magnifier, double that of the usual 10X oculars in the scope. Luckily I have a 2X objective, so I can still grab 40X low-power images. Still, I wish it didn't magnify SO MUCH.
2. The software, the way I have configured it, saves the images automatically in a folder called "Microscope Media" in the "My Documents" portion of my hard drive. It would've made more sense (and would've been less clunky) to put it in the "My Pictures" folder, but I'm sure those of you who are more computer-saavy could fix this.
3. The software is very "bare bones", so there's no ability to manipulate the image (color/contrast/brightness/cropping) using the software that comes with this, and no ability to adjust the imager settings in real time. Sometimes the images are a bit light and don't have enough contrast. I generally grab the images that I need at work, drag them onto my flash drive, bring them home to my laptop, and use the newest version of Power Point to do any adjusting as I build my presentation.

HOWEVER, for what I need in an imager, the Celestron imager is more-than-adequate. I use it once or twice a week for conference prep, for teaching images, and whenever a clinician (or group of them with residents/med studs) comes into my office to see slides on their patient. The two main advantages (which totally outweigh the few disadvantages)are:

1. Ease of use- while the software is very simplistic and doesn't allow you to do much, it's EXTREMELY easy to use (get image on screen, focus, "click"). If you want the ability to manipulate the images, then I'm sure you could use a real graphics program like photoshop to do so. As an aside, I found the software which came with the Dino-Eye imager IMPOSSIBLE to use.
2. Cost- Dude, it's fifty bucks! For my day-to-day life as a busy, community hospital-based pathologist, it's all I need! At this price, you just can't go wrong. I've since bought three more for some of my favorite colleagues, and they like them too.

In summary, I would recommend this imager to anyone needing a quick-easy method of grabbing static microscopic images. The ease of use and the price make this a worthwhile purchase: one of the best purchases I've ever made, actually!

7/30/12: Just an update....I'm still using this product and am VERY happy with it! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

7/24/13: Am still using the imager and very satisfied. Have bought several more for colleagues.

10/08/14: Still using it. It still works and I'm still very happy with it.
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2011
When I first ordered this imager, I wasn't holding out too much hope of being blown away with the image quality. After all, a high end version of a device like this can sell for a heck of a lot more than $50.00! I mean seriously... What kind of quality could I expect out of a version that sells for under fifty? How about nearly as good? I'm totally serious! This thing is GREAT! I recently purchased and returned several USB equipped digital microscopes looking for one that could not only give me impressive results through the eye piece, but also high quality SHARP images on my computer that I could then save, archive and share. Unfortunately, all of the models I purchased prior to my last had at least one fundamental FLAW in the design that made it a poor choice for what I was looking for.

As I was boxing up the 5th digital microscope product for return and refund to Amazon.com, I decided that I would just focus on a quality microscope first and worry about the computer side of things later. After spending a few hour reading up on the latest brands and models of quality scopes, I purchased the Celestron 44104 500x Power Advanced Biological Microscope from Amazon. Folks, this is a GREAT scope for the money and I highly recommend it if you are looking for something solid with excellent optics without spending a fortune! You can read my review of this great product in my reviews section. After using the scope for a few sessions and being thoroughly satisfied, I found myself still longing for that computer interface option. I then searched the web for a stand alone USB microscope camera and was pleased to see that there were such things on the market! My first search brought up a link to this product here on Amazon.com. The fact that it was made by Celestron was a good omen and I figured that it should mate to my scope without too much trouble. (Turned out to be totally true!)

As I said earlier in my review, I was a bit skeptical on the quality based on the price and some of the low review scores this thing had received. But, since low reviews on a product often say more about the reviewer's skills to read and follow instructions than they do about the product's quality, I went ahead and ordered myself one. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity *, the device arrived today and within 5 minutes I had the imager installed in the adapter ring and sitting on top of my 44104 in place of the eyepiece.

I am using a Macintosh computer and as usual the Mac support from Celestron was practically nonexistent. This didn't bother me though because I already owned a copy of what many consider to be the best webcam software available on ANY computer platform. I am of course referring to the award winning "EVOcam" webcam application from EVOlogical. I plugged in the USB cable from the imager, fired up EVOcam and held my breath! My heart was racing as I pulled into focus my first slide.

In a word... WOW!! Not only did the image look EXACTLY like it did to my eye with the conventional optics, the imager was reproducing every byte of sharpness and brilliant color contained in the specimen under the objective lens! I really don't think you could ask for any more from an imager than this! With my 44104 now paired up with a great piece of webcam software like EVOcam, the sky's the limit in what I can do with this rig! How about time-lapse movies of a bacterial culture growing? The feeding habits of an Ameba of Hydra as it goes about its day? I kind of feel sorry for the PC folks out there that don't have a program like EVOcam to use with their scope and this imager!

So there ya go... Buy yourself a quality microscope first and then pick up this imager second for the ultimate digital microscope setup! As for the 1-Star reviewer's opinions here on this product page? I'll go with "UTTERLY CLUELESS" on a good day and down right idiotic on a bad one. I don't know if the scope they were trying to use this thing with was total garbage, or they simply don't know how to read an owners manual! Either way, their low review scores say more about their own reading and comprehension skills than anything related to this product.

* My only gripe is with the retailer who sold me the product. (Adorama Camera) It took WAY TOO LONG to get here! Come on people! 10 days? That is ridiculous! If you have a choice in which retailer to purchase this from on Amazon, CHOOSE SOMEONE BESIDES THEM! Unless you don't mind waiting 10 days for your imager to arrive in your mailbox. ;o)
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51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2010
Here is high quality a USB microscope camera at a reasonable price. It is truly universal video camera (uvc) compliant in contrast to many "no-name" brands are not uvc compliant. It will be very difficult or even impossible to be use a non-compliant model with Linux, for example I have not been able to use a USB microscope based on an iPassion 1b3b:2938 chip and an email to the manufacturer was ignored. Celestion is completely different. The command "luvcview -L" brings up the various display modes. To run the program with say 800x600 resolution, just use the command "luvcview -f yuv -s 800x600". An even better program to use is guvcview. Unless you are using the Ubuntu operating system this program needs to be compiled into the kernel. Physically, the Celestron USB microscope camera is designed to slide directly into your microscope lens barrel. There was a little bit of play in my microscope barrel so to achieve a snug axial fit I expanded the outside diameter of the camera with a small amount of tape.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2013
The included software "Digital Microscope Suite 2.0" is apparently unable to recognize this device on any of my machines. The option on the setup menu doesn't even give you the capability of searching for the device. The MS driver loads, other software recognizes the device, the OS can do a functional test that it passes, but the Celestron software is completely useless.

I've tried a number of different versions of the Celestron software, tried it on a number of different computers (all of which are plain vanilla versions of XP sp3), none of which work, but they all give me different versions of saying that my device is either not attached or in use by another program. News flash! It *is* attached, and it *is not* in use by another program.

Uninstall, reboot, reinstall, reboot, retry, same thing. Manually search for a driver, rename the device, search for any ini files, or text configuration files... no luck. Spend many hours trying to get this program to work... it is all time wasted that I will never get back.

Actually, in my many hours of searching for an answer, I did find an otherwise almost useless program on the Celestron site, made for an ancient discontinued imager, that *does* recognize this device and can display an image. Exiting that program and retrying the "Digital Microscope Suite 2.0" again presents the message that my device is not attached.

There is no help for this that I can find on the Celestron site, so I tried looking for help on the site of the company listed as who actually wrote this program "[...]". This domain name has been invalid for at least several months. A general search also found no immediate solution.

Delivering a product such as this, with software that is so distinctly unworkable, is the definition of a bad product.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2011
I work in a university research lab. Although we're in the bacteriology department, our lab had long focused on molecular research rather than microscopy. Recently, however, we developed an interest in social amoebae and we do possess a number of microscopes, but they're all aging and lack photographic capability. We bought this eyepiece camera to have a temporary means of documenting our observations under the microscope while we investigate the newest technological offerings in photomicroscopy. The Celestron met (perhaps even exceeded) our expectations and we have used the camera with both a compound microscope and a dissecting microscope. One small negative for us - it was disappointing that the included software will not take time-lapse photographs, but we found free, open-source software online that does the job. As an FYI for anyone who might consider that route, I had to disable my laptop's embedded camera to get the software to "see" the add-on Celestron. Overall, we're really pleased with the camera - it's been well worth the minimal dollar "investment."
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2012
I thought I would have to pay a great deal more for a camera that produces images and video of this level of quality. I am very impressed with the clarity of the images and with the ease of use of this camera.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2010
This works great! Much better than squinting through a little lense. The camera installed and worked with no problems on Win7 64bit laptop. The only issue is that it seems to have some sort of warm-up period of about a minute or so where it will not show a live update of the image. After that it works just fine however. Not sure why it does this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2013
I bought this imager to go with my Amscope 40x-2000x microscope and it works great. The software is a little iffy at times though so different software may have to be used instead of the given software. Overall, the imager takes nice, clear pictures and I use it more than I look through the actual eyepieces.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2011
This is a decent camera for the money. Easy to use, just plug and play. I'm a Mac user and use miXscope with the camera with ease. You can easily measure the size of the things you're looking at. My only problem with it is the image quality. I understand that it's only 2MP and you can't really expect crisp images under higher magnifications, but still... You can get somewhat decent shots at up to 600X, but after that it really gets fuzzy (which doesn't really make sense), and when you go up to 1500X or 2500X... just forget about getting a good view on your screen. Overall, it's a good toy for in home use and looking at relatively large stuff under microscope.
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