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Showing 1-10 of 246 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 249 reviews
on January 15, 2014
I purchased this 'scope hoping to have better luck than with one of the no-names (read Veho). Having had some experience with these USB scopes, I probably was able to better sort out the rash of complaints listed in the latest dozen or so reviews.

Some of the comments about "Blobs" or reflections or artifacts are actually typical of bits of dust. A Swiffer duster will clean much of this up in seconds.

I do knife sharpening as a retirement hobby, and I use the scope for checking for scratches, chips, nicks and level of polish.

Understand that these are not true microscopes, but are high-magnification video cameras. Imaging is processed from the video stream, not like a photograph. Modern digital cameras do the opposite.

My prior 'scope has a similar thumbwheel adjustment built into the housing, which varied the magnification. The Celestron doesn't have variable magnification; it's fixed and is adjustable in the software, which simply crops the image. The resolution is based on the full image, so if you zoom in, it's like using digital zoom on your little Nikon Coolpix camera. The Celestron thunbwheel adusts the actual projection of the camera lens axially with the housing as a fine-adjust tool to focus.

Hoping that a 5MP camera would be better than my 2MP camera, I was disappointed to realize that setting up for the higher resolution didn't improve the image on my screen. Silly me, I would need a hi-res screen. But capturing images at the higher res resulted in blurry images. Disclaimer here: I use the camera primarily in the handheld mode. If I had a good image on the screen (the basic 2MP is actually better than HD video) and captured an image, apparently the software uses interlacing to fill in the other 3MP. Meaning that it actually has to take more than one frame of video to produce a higher resolution image. In handheld mode, that means a blurry image. I haven't yet tested for true 5MP imaging with a fixed mount.

All that said, this camera has some major improvements over the no-name I have been using. With its fixed magnification and adjustable focus I was able to set up for my particular use. I adjust the focus point to fall on the plane of the face of the clear plastic shroud. Then I can touch the camera to any reasonably straight component and immediately have a near-perfect focus. I can tip the camera to lay the shroud flat and centered on a knife edge and slide the camera along the edge, watching the video of the edge as I pan along the edge. Nice! I can even take videos, but the file size is huge!

The no-name (Veho) image capture button is on the housing, making it nearly impossible to get a clear image without disturbing the camera. I had to use the "print screen" key and then paste the image to some other software. A very time-consuming process. I use Corel's version of Photoshop.

Unlike the others, Celestron provides a cable-mounted capture button, the housing of which also holds a thumbwheel dial for the LED brightness. No disturbing the camera! Very nice!

The fixed magnification image shown on my screen is comparable to my Veho's max magnification of about 185X (not the advertised 800X). I don't need more power so much as a clearer image of my knife edges.

Also nice is the calibration method provided. This makes it easy to measure objects on the screen. I was able to measure "scratch lines" down to within few microns. I did find a glich in that the dimension of a measurement is unreadable because of the font size when you are zoomed in.

The software could use some other improvement, but is vastly better than the no-name. The instructions are supplied as a .pdf file which was only a dozen or so pages. Some sections could use clarification and a forthright explanation of the video and image capture would be helpful. It would also be nice if I could change the color and font of the measuring tools. Under certain lighting conditions, it simply disappeared.

BTW, I was able to also run my old camera on the Celestron software, You have to restart the software after you plug in a different camera. I haven't played with it yet to test the hybrid performance. Maybe I'll find situations that would dictate one camera over the other. 12/2015 edit: The non-Celestron cameras seem to work with the software, but you can't capture images

12/2015: An update after a couple of years of use:
Celestron says it's a fixed magnification, but actually I've found that these cameras (the tubular kind) have a single lens which is moved closer or farther from the 5MP sensor to focus. The closer the lens is to the object, the greater the effective magnification. I use it at a fixed focal plane - the face of the shroud, which I rest on the knife edge. I've found that all these cameras have two positions at which they will focus on a given plane. For me, on my 21" monitor, this is 50X and about 160X. I've learned that for my use (knife edges) 50X is perfect. Some depth-of-field, easy focus. On further study, I don't think the rez is boosted by interlacing. I think it really is 5MP, but yes, 2MP is all you need for any HD monitor. To use 5MP, you need to save to a JPEG and zoom in to the level you want. Frankly 5MP isn't much better than 2MP.
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on July 10, 2013
I have been using this product for roughly two months both in the classroom and at home and have found several great uses for it. Firstly, it has served its function as a microscope quite well, allowing me to capture very fine details to share with my students. Secondly, by outfitting a taller ring stand with a clamp, I can easily demonstrate dissection techniques to my classes without the need for a crowd of students around the dissection tray. Lastly, I got creative and proceeded to use the microscope as a sort of document camera (as I did not have one in my class at the time). Not exactly the ideal usage, but works well in this scenario regardless.

I'm not sure why other users have had issues with the software, but I have used the product on my Windows 7 desktop and laptop with no issues whatsoever. The only thing I may have done differently was to go directly to Celestron's website to download the newest software. Calibration was quick and easy. I just took some pictures using the calibration tool (AKA a ruler) and had the microscope set in the matter of a minute.

Overall, a great tool that has made my classroom that much better.

Edit 10/3/2014: After having used this for a period of time, I have some changes to my initial feedback:
1. Calibration, while quick and easy the first time around, quickly becomes a pain when you have to calibrate every. single. time.
2. For minute details, a low quality optical microscope would be better, simply by virtue of being able to control lighting conditions as opposed to super-bright LEDs (even if they can be adjusted).
3. Software support for Mac is mediocre at best.
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on December 20, 2015
Good working order. Pretty solid. I bought it for taking pictures of my stamps in a way I can hold the image stable and photograph with either UV light to show the tagging, or while submerged in watermark fluid to capture images that would otherwise be hard to capture. I wish I could zoom digitally instead of manually moving the scope up and down on the stand to achieve different magnifications, and I wish the fine focus where on the cord instead of the unit so things wouldn't move around so much when I tried to get the focus right. But otherwise, it's a great little tool.The stand is nice and sturdy, but the pole for the stand is too short. You can't get far enough away to get a low enough magnification to fit an entire definitive stamp into the image. But I easily remedied that by going to the hardware store and buying a 5/8" wooden dowel and cutting it to about 14" to use in lieu of the metal stand. Now it's no problem.
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on December 26, 2016
This product is fine for the price, useful for capturing pictures of small parts, halftoning, fabric weaves, coins, etc., but it's not really "professional". The software, which doesn't appear to have been updated since 2013, has some serious limitations that keep it from being useful for quantitative analysis. For example, the previewing window comes up with the correct aspect ratio, but if you expand it or use the "full screen" mode, the aspect ratio does not remain fixed so that objects that are round become elliptical. Also, there's no control over the automatic gain control or white balance, so the picture changes depending on what is in the field of view which can make it tricky to compare features or get the part of the image you want within the dynamic range. Also, the LED lighting is not diffuse and the angle is such that the specular appears in the image of any shiny surface.
review image review image
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on September 6, 2016
An O.K., but obviously NOT a high-end, "Digital Microscope"; based upon the price I did not expect more. There are a few issues with this microscope, the major ones being: the built-in LED light system causes a great deal of 'glare/reflection' when viewing shiney objects; the vertical post is definitely much too short to take full advantage of the microscope. I solved the first issue by purchasing a "Edmunds Super Bright Portable LED Lamp" from AMAZON (luckily the microscope's built-in LEDs are dimmable to 'full-off'). The second issue was solved by purchasing a 14-Inch long 5/8-Inch diameter length of round stock (suggested by a AMAZON review by another purchaser of this microscope). [The 'Reviews' and 'Q&As' are very useful and informative - read them.]
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on April 5, 2017
I primarily use the Celestron 5 MP digital microscope for examining the edges of straight razors that I am honing. For this purpose, it is much better than the 2MP camera on a gooseneck that I was using previously. However, it still has a few shortcomings, such as the slide clips that cannot be easily removed. The clear plastic ring around the bottom of the microscope prevents me from getting as close to the razor's edge as I would like to take full advantage of the microscope's maximum magnification.
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on March 6, 2017
Although this tool is originally designed for studying specimens, you might think it cannot be used for repairing small boards and help performing soldering/desoldering tasks on motherboards with surface-mount component. Wrong. I bought it to assist me in repairing boards, and let me tell you, this thing is magical. Small, easy to carry, easy to use, very practical and it magnifies target to the extent it makes my job a lot easier than before.
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VINE VOICEon August 20, 2015
This is a really good high-magnification "microscope" that can be used for all sorts of projects. Whether you are using it for bugs, stamps, or to get close ups of skin and hair. You can use the software to take a screenshot and save your research. The light is adjustable as well.

Some minor complaints I have about it is that it can be a pain to focus, especially if you are using it for close-ups of pores. It also needs better Mac support. I bought this mainly to get magnified images of tiny texts and symbols in old books and stamps.

Kids interested in nature and science would enjoy this microscope. I can also see this being useful to jewel hobbyists and collectors of small antiques.
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on October 26, 2014
This thing is awesome. I have been using it a year almost now and still it works like the day we bought it. The kids look at super small bugs under it, we did a great micro meteorite project with it for the kids 4th grade science project last year, I also teach and have used it in a couple of different classrooms with the kids to help them research great things like the owl pellets last spring or the plant fibers this fall. I know things do not last forever but this one seems to be built fairly well, has a great base to it and a great lighting system. You will enjoy every moment of your time with it (especially if its with your child).
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on May 22, 2017
I agree with others that handheld use is pretty much impossible, as is true for any high-power microscope. The focus could have a little finer control, but is reasonable considering the price. I bought this microscope to examine and photograph the fine details in my 3D prints. It works great for that. The software installed easily and is remarkable free from unwanted add-ons: it does just what I need. All in all, a fine little microscope.
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