Carson zPix 200 Digital Zoom 36-176x Microscope (MM-740)
|Price:||$79.63 + $4.99 shipping|
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- High-powered digital microscope connects to your computer
- Capture images with onboard 1.3 megapixel digital camera
- 36-to-176X magnification; measures 1.8 by 4.1 by 1.7 inches (W x H x D); 8.8-ounce weight
- Includes specimen base, three blank sides, one prepared slide, forceps, eyedropper and USB cable. Please visit www.carson.com for latest software drivers.
- Compatible with Windows versions up to Windows 8; Mac OSX 10.4 or later; requires USB 2.0 or 3.0 port
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The zPix 200 from Carson is a powerful Zoom Digital Microscope that displays the Magnified image right on your computer screen. The impressive 36x-176x Zoom Magnification allows you to see details of ordinary objects you never knew existed! Capture an image by using the built-in 1.3 megapixel resolution Digital Camera. You can even capture close-focus video! The MM-740 Zoom Digital Microscope is compatible with the following: Mac OSX 10.4 or later, Windows versions up to Windows 8. A USB 2.0 or 3.0 port is required. At Carson, we strive to make sure our customers are 100% satisfied with the quality of our products. We are so confident in our products that we back them with a One Year Limited Warranty! This Carson product is warranted to be free from defects in material and workmanship for a period of one year from date of purchase. Please contact Carson for additional warranty details.
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The included software seems quite adequate in automatically controlling exposure, led intensity, white balance and other settings...Plus there are plenty of manual controls to change brightness, hue, sharpness, exposure, white balance, etc...I consider the optics to be quite good considering the amount of magnification and having to transfer this image to a large computer screen...I printed up a few 8x10's and they were quite crisp...Of course I had done a little further color editing and sharpening of the original image...
The still image natively saves at 1280x1024 .bmp or .jpg...I prefer the .bmp as the .jpg compression has been set very high and is not adjustable that I can find...Essentially the 1280x1024 .bmp files are 3-4mb while the same .jpg file is only 150-200kb...Too small for me...
These images can be saved at even higher resolutions than the sensor provides but this is strictly digital interpolation so why bother at this level...Better software programs can manipulate the image much better after saving the original .bmp...
While the camera has a manual button on the top for taking the still images you can also do it with a mouse click to prevent any unecessary camera movement...I much prefer the mouse when possible in a fixed setting...
The software accepts more than one input and initially I had to change mine because the screen was blank...I suspect this is what happened to one of the reviewers who complained their's was defective...I also believe the quality and speed of the video card plays a big roll in performance here as well...In my 5 year old laptop the image adjustments could take a second or more but with my new quad core, 3 gig Ram, 512mb video card the changes were instant..I also believe the proper monitor resolution settings and color calibration profiling plays a major role in getting the maximum quality of this cameras images...I doubt the negative reviewers were using optimum settings...
I haven't done any lengthly videos but the short clips I did were just fine...Saved in the basic .avi file...Again I believe the speed of the computer and video card are paramount in achieving optimum performance...
Overall, I cannot recommend this unit highly enough for the price and the quality of images it produces...Of course I don't have any other digital microscopes to compare with but I've used dozens of digital cameras and DSLR's so I know a quality digital image when I see it...I also take into account this camera costs under $100...I think the reviewers who downgraded it simply hadn't read all the software instructions on what the camera can actually do and what it takes to get that done...
I also find it ironic the cheaper sister unit MM-640 with a much smaller sensor is rated higher here at Amazon...To me this only confirms the reviews here on the MM-740 are mostly a result of improper instruction and not of inferior quality...
Buy it and most importantly take the time to properly use and I think anyone would be quite pleased with the results...
I use this digital microscope on a Macintosh computer, and it was incredibly easy to set up. All I do is plug it in, and it is immediately recognized. I don't need to install any drivers or software. I use it with the Photo Booth app that comes with Mac OS X, there's a menu where you can select which camera to use. That's it! There is software that comes with the unit as well that you can use, which provides more features. Since it appears as a standard video camera / input device, you should be able to use it with pretty much any software, as long as it allows you to select the input source (camera).
The picture quality is very good, and the built in white LEDs provide more than enough light. There's no way to adjust the brightness however, if I had to complain about anything, that would probably be it. But it's a minor issue. There is a reflective base that comes with the microscope, for looking at transparent objects. It's not needed if you're looking at an opaque object, you can put it on any surface. There are two adjustments you can make by twisting part of the camera body. The first is the amount of magnification, the second sets the focus. This lets me look at various components on the circuit board, no matter what height or size they are. The microscope is also great for looking at coins if you're a collector, especially if you are checking for errors.
We've done some science experiments with the kids, looking at the surfaces of rocks, bits of sand, cloth and fabric, and table salt. We've also looked at leaves, as well as water taken from a pond. There's enough magnification to see some of the larger microscopic critters. We also have a regular microscope, but the big advantage with this one is that they all can see at the same time, no need to take turns. And you can point things out to them on the computer display, to tell them where to look.
I've even been able to look at snowflakes with it. What I did was take the microscope outside and let it get good and cold, so the snowflakes won't melt due to radiated heat. Then I brought the laptop outside, plugged in the microscope, and captured a few snowflakes to take pictures of, on a dark paper surface for good contrast. You have to be quick, but it can be done.
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