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Showing 1-10 of 118 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 135 reviews
I ordered both this microscope and the competing Barska Barska Digital Microscope with 3.5 Screen. I ordered both because of the many reviews on the Celestron stating that there was a "dark spot" in the middle of the screen (rest assured, It seems that has been corrected.) So I thought I would compare the two so that I could be assured of buying the best one.

The Celestron is far superior to the Barska, yet at the time of this review the Barska was about $25 more expensive. Here is what I noted as different between the two:

*The case: Celestron comes with a nice, vertical, padded, fabric case. The Barska was in what seemed to me a cheapie, molded plastic case reminiscent of what you'd get with a cheap drill bought from the big box home improvement store. It is easier to use the vertical case, as you just slide the scope down in, put in the cord/wall plug close and zip it and you're ready to go. Additonally, this vertical case has a handle on top as well as a shoulder strap for easy carry. The Barska case was not so intuitive for putting the scope back in it took 3 tries to get it in correctly so that the lid would shut.

*The viewing experience:
---I hate to call it resolution, because they claim to be the same. However, the various items I viewed on each were always significantly more clear and easy to focus on the Celestron, using the 40x,10x, and 400x lenses. The digital zoom works nicely on the Celestron. I couldn't really tell if it was working with the Barska.

---Also, the menu on the screen for the Barska is not as intuitive - you go to "camera" to activate the viewing screen (huh?? - I'd of thought that was for taking pictures...) The Celestron defaults to the viewing screen, so you just have to turn it on.

*The slide holder and positioning: Forgive me for not using the appropriate names/terms to describe each part of the microscope - I'm not a lab tech. Anyways, The Celestron is FAR SUPERIOR in this area, as you can secure your slide in the clips, then there are two dials on the left side that allow you to move the entire slide platform left and right, front to back. This allows for much slower, more fine manipulation of the slide when viewing. With the Barska the platform is stationary, so you'd have to use your fingers and push the slide around to where you want it. If you are using the clips to hold it down you'd then need to use more pressure to get it to move than will allow for fine, minute, gentle moving of the slide. For me, this was huge. If I'm looking at a wet mount I need to be able to move it around to see what "critters" are in the sample so I know how the pt. may need to be treated (I'll be using this both personally and professionally...). If I have to use my finger to shove the slide around on the platform I won't have the delicate control & so it makes the job harder.

*Instruction manual: The Celestron manual is easy to follow and has multiple translations (English, German, Spanish, etc.) The Barska owners manual was seriously lacking and obviously not written by a native English speaker - someone not familiar with microscopes will be challenged figuring things out as the manual is no help. However, the Barska did have a CD in the case. It was completely unlabeled, so I have no idea if it was instructions, software to go with transferring images from the microscope or what, so perhaps it would have had some helpful information.

*Special & other features: I didn't test the picture taking features or using the optional SD card memory on either, so I can't comment there. However, the navigation on the Celestron was more intuitive. The Celestron comes with an adaptable plug that can pop in plugs for most nationalities (there's about 5 different ones in the case) The Barska had just a solid plug for standard Americas plugs. Both come with a small case of about 5 prepared slides to play around with. Both have the option of lighting from top, bottom or both. The Barska top light was on a bendable wire so that you could better focus it on the object being viewed, whereas the top light on the Celestron is not adjustable. However, the bendable feature didn't help the Barska at all, as no matter how I moved it the images on the Celsestron were brighter and more clear (as you'll see on the images I hope to upload...) I tried adding supplemental lighting to "brighten up" the image on the Barska, but it didn't help, so perhaps the darkness is related to something with the viewing screen instead(?) Hmmm - that one I just can't figure out.

Other than the details mentioned above, the two microscopes are quite similar. The Barska "looks" nicer because of the chrome detailing, however, that obviously doesn't make up for its poor performance when compared to the Celestron.

Summary: The Celestron doesn't have any black spots on the screen - ignore those older reviews. It is very easy to use, comes with a handy carry/storage case, and offers features the primary Barska competitor doesn't have. In addition, it has far superior performance compared to the Barska. Highly recommended!
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22 comments| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 9, 2010
How I have LOVED this scope (!), & I have just ordered a second, deluxe version of the same thing. Unfortunately, the reason I have ordered a new one is that the first one started disintegrating almost immediately. Although the images have always remained sharp, clear & have more than fulfilled their promise (esp.@ lower power)(& before the screen detached from it's electronics), the buttons failed one after another in short time, starting with the menu buttons and the snap image button (which I originally overcame by quickly turning on/off the video button). Thus also I could not eliminate pictures (however, they loaded perfectly into iphoto/Mac); also, the images were permanently zoomed (not objectionable, but not particularly flexible, either). When I finally took off the faceplate to check the buttons, the problems proved to be the motherboard, not the buttons per se.

So the short version is that this scope is AMAZING in terms of value and possibilities, but apparently depends upon whether one's individual scope is a lemon or not--something which seems to be born out by fellow reviewers. Hence, the ratings reflect a somewhat lower score on these regards, but not on the true delight a well-working device would definitely provide (nothing near this in this price range). Final words would be GO FOR IT-- but send it back @ first hint of lapsarian electronics (anything at all that doesn't work promptly or correctly).
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on March 26, 2009
This is the only budget LCD microscope I was able to find through the Internet. The support structure is not metal, but appears durable. There is only one adjustment knob, but it is capable of rather fine adjustments, even at maximum resolution. Specimen adjustment has considerable range and allows for satisfactory fine tuning. Compared to viewing through stereoscopic lenses or the way-back-when single eyepiece, this is a tremendous improvement. Being able to take pictures just makes it that much better. I am very satisfied.
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on May 31, 2008
I'm pretty happy with this microscope that I purchased to use with my daughter. The screen is clear and responds to movement (rotifers) without any kind of low fps problems.

There is a distracting dark patch in the center of the LCD. The spot does not show up when you record a video, so it must be a problem with the LCD. The company has not yet replied to my support email on this subject I sent 4 days ago. Paint on the objective lens housings is worn looking and there is a scratch on the upper illuminator's plastic housing. Because of these things, the finish of the microscope has a used look.

The photo and movie recording interface is simple and easy to use. There is at least one misspelled word in a menu which makes the interface seem unprofessional. However it records acceptably. The video it creates is in the Windows .wmv format.
11 comment| 132 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 1, 2010
After reading the reviews of this microscope I was a bit aprehensive and my wife suggested that a different product would be better, but I convinced her that we should try and if it turns out to be a lemon we will return it. The microscope fully met our expectations. Specifically the precision controls are of high quality plastic and it smooth and very easy to adjust the position of the sample your are examining. The highest magnification is insanely powerful so we end up using the lower and the medium, which offers a nice and interesting view of the object, such as a dollar bill, the leg of a bug or something. It is also easy to take a picture of what you are seeing.

As to bluriness and other picture quality related issues that some users experienced I was not able to pinpoint a problem to the microscope. It's a matter of propertly adjusting the sample, ensure the built-in overhead and underneith light properly illuminates the object and of course properly selecting your object. The flatter it is, the better. As an example examining the welds on a wedding ring takes a bit of adjustment as the sample is rounded and you cannot focus sharply on an entirely rounded object. Flat and slim objects such as a bug's leg is cool!

To summarize, this is a fine quality instrument that I would recommend for child and adults alike. I am sure both Mom and Dad will be just as eager to explore items with this microscope as the child. Happy Holidays to you all!
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on September 2, 2011
I needed to see a sample for a dog breeder overseas. Yes, you can guess what the sample was....; ) I had a USB microscope that turned out to be just a toy, with insufficient magnification, put that back in it's package and will give to my friend for his 2 kids to play with!
So I ordered this delivered NEXT DAY, and it came well packed and timely.
I was pleased when I opened the exterior product box and found that the microscope had it's own nice case, looks like cordura nylon with rings that can attach a supplied nylon shoulder strap. Nice!
Upon removing the microscope, I was surprised by just how nice and light it is. Feels like an aluminum or metal housing, and some plastic knobs and parts for the LCD screen. It comes with the power supply, and bonus adapter plugs for UK and other. Transformer allows both 110- and 240 so you could use this pretty much anywhere.
The only negative thing I have to say is the glass on the stage was just covered with some kind of greasy smear...... and that took a while to polish away with a chamois. They do supply a lens cleaning cloth, I could have used that, but didn't want to get whatever the greasy mess was on it. Once that glass was clean, all good!

Plugged it in, turned on the lower switch for the illumination, and put one of the sample slides in, turned on the upper LCD screen- VOILA!!!
PERFECT view of the onion skin epidermis sample slide!!!!!
Textbook- It could not be better than this. And no eye strain. WOW.
We've come a long long way. I think this is a GREAT value, and would recommend it to anybody. I noticed a few reviews were posted by doctors, also. Can't blame them- this little microscope kicks butt.

This would be a great intro for a science-minded kid, adult, or field study scope.
This has a quality feel to it, and all the parts work precisely and smoothly. Don't think you could do better at twice the price.
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on November 10, 2011
We use the Celestreon LCD 44340 microscope for high school level home schooling biology and have found it to be an excellent educational tool. We found it exceptionally easy to operate and adjust. We use it to facilitate general biology learning using the excellent 100 prepared slides we also purchased through Amazon. The LCD display works exceptionally well making it much easier to turn over full operation to our 16 year old granddaughter who learned full operation quickly. Magnification is far beyound standard student occular microscopes. The built-in mechanical stage adds a dimension missing on most school microscopes. The optics in the objectives are equal if not better than any student scope I have used and repaired over my years as a professional science teacher and a professional microscope repair person. I was surprised how well the single focusing knob worked with this model! With its capacity to transfer images to computer screens at exceptional magnifications and its very economical pricing, I wouldn't hesitate to recomend at least one in every science classroom or home schooling situation. READ the instructions carefully! Be particularly careful with the 40X objective which generally requires immersion oil to see clearly. We frankly have not used the 40X objective that much. Obtain blank microscope slides and coverglasses and a few depression slides as well as prepared slides. No, I don't work for Celestron or Amazon. I am a retired science coordinator for a large public high school and a 1984 recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching,
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on June 1, 2012
This is a great first microscope for a child that might have difficulty with a non-digital monocular (e.g. My First Lab Duoscope, $64), binocular (e.g. Amscope B-100B-MS, $195) or digital trinocular (e.g. Amscope T490A-P, $343). It has excellent optical elements, adequate electronics, and good illumination (you may need supplemental illumination for top lighting). Its LCD screen make it an exceptional choice for younger kids that have a tough time "seeing anything" with conventional eyepieces.

I bought one four years ago, and there were some quality issues with the structural elements due primarily to the soft metal used in manufacture, which in my case resulted in loose screws and two stripped screw housings (with one screw falling out). The problems were compounded by the lack of lock washers.

If you see these problems (it appears from other reviews that the issues may still exist) and want to fix it without returning it, or if your warranty has expired, or if you just want to install lock washers before problems occur, here's what I found: the optics and LCD screen are secured to the structural post by 1 screw at the top rear, and the post is secured to the base by 4 screws accessed by removing the 4 rubber feet and bottom plate. You'll need a mini torx set like the "Anytime Tools" set ($9). Remove these 5 structural screws, install lock washers, replace and tighten. If you have stripped screw housings, you might want to try slightly thicker screws [e.g. 1/8 in place of 3M (3mm) screws], or using slightly longer screws. Of course, if you try the latter solutions, you will be forcing the screw into the soft metal like I did. If you try any of this, you'll no doubt void your warranty. But, I'm just saying.

My unit also wobbled due to uneven sizing of the rubber feet, which I fixed by placing the unit on an even, level surface, and using a small level on the unit's stage to identify the offending short foot and installing a washer before re-attaching the foot. As the optics and electronics on our unit were sound, the fixes I've described are all that have been needed over the years.

This is all an attempt to just be helpful, primarily because the lack of lock washers means that you'll probably eventually need to tighten the 5 structural screws. I don't mean to scare you off - just inspect it immediately and thoroughly and return it within Amazon's allotted time if there are any problems, particularly with the optical assembly or electronics. This item is a very accessible intro into the world of microscopy. Along with a computer at the right time, no kid should be without a microscope, telescope, and rock hardness kit. I'd say chemistry set, too, except you can't even blow your hand off with them anymore.
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on November 20, 2012
I bought one of these microscopes a while ago and it worked great. Good microscope for the price. I liked the snap a photo feature because it allowed me to share my photos for reference or ask a second opinion if I did not know what I had found on the slide.

However after a year and a half the screen failed. I ordered another to replace the failed one but it arrived non functioning. So that one was returned and I was issued a replacement. The replacement worked for about a week until it too failed to power on. I decided just to return it for good.

Very frustrating.
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on September 19, 2010
Bought this for my son who loves the micro world. He's had success with images transferring to his computer and it works as designed. However it does feel cheap and a bit flimsy for something like this. It's not true lab grade and for casual non-research use, or to teach about the micro world, this will work. It wouldn't hold up in a full scale lab. For our use it works okay. No problems using it. I only gave it three stars due to it's cheap construction.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse