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Planet Toys Planet Earth Digital Microscope Kit
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- Includes microscope and digital camera
- One eyepiece adaptor, four prepared slides, and eight blank slides
- One pair tweezers and four plastic bags
- One explorer book
- One software CD Rom and one special planet earth CD
Frequently Bought Together
Planet Earth Toys are designed to evoke children's natural curiosity to explore and learn about our extraordinary world. Includes everything you need to magnify nature. Observe and learn about planet earths microscopic world, use the webcam to create a snapshot of your slide, and connect the webcam to the microscope and view objects on your computer. The all-in-one digital microscope, digital camera, microscope and web cam!
The Digital Microscope from Planet Earth Toys will have children ages 6 and up enjoying themselves while exploring the world around them. Designed to evoke natural curiosity, children can look up close at plants, animals, water, and more, through the microscope eyepiece, or on the computer screen with the included web cam attachment.
The Digital Microscope set requires three AA batteries (not included). A screwdriver is needed to open up the battery cover, and after they are installed, pushing the on/off button turns on the necessary light.
We put in the prepared slide of a flower petal and turned the focusing ring until we saw it show up in the microscope as a pretty random pattern of spiked edges. With three magnification levels at 100x, 300x, and 900x, we were able to take three distinct looks at the petal.
Although the microscope provided loads of fun, we did notice a couple shortcomings. First, the eyepiece of the microscope was very small, making it difficult to peer into and, second, although made out of metal, the base still felt slightly unstable. Nonetheless, these minor issues certainly did not prevent us from using the microscope, but did detract slightly from the overall user experience.
Web Cam Lets You Connect Microscope to Computer
Included in the Digital Microscope Kit is a web cam that can be used to observe large objects that don't fit under the microscope. In addition, by simply screwing on an adapter and installing the included software, you can connect the web cam directly onto the top of the microscope, letting you see the microscopic images on your computer screen. This is, of course, a toy microscope so we didn't expect professional results, but we still wish that the images on screen could have been a little clearer. Additionally, because there is a split-second delay to send the information from the microscope to the computer, it can be difficult to focus.
Once connected to your computer, you can take photos and capture videos of all everything you are looking at under the microscope by simply clicking a button.
Create Calendars, Cards, Posters, and More!
With the images you save, you can easily create calendars, cards, and other projects. Since the software includes templates, creating a project book is as easy as dragging and dropping images into the predefined spaces.
The software requires Windows 98/ME/200/XP or above, a Pentium 200MHz processor or faster, 64MB of RAM or higher, a video card with 4MB of RAM minimum, 24-bit display, a CD-ROM drive, and an available USB port.
Activity Booklet Helps Get You Started
An included activity booklet includes six projects to help novices get started. These activities include observing leaves, pond water, and crystals. The kit includes eight prepared slides with items such as an ostrich feather, aloe gel, celery, and tree bark. And of course, you can get anything you want and place it on an empty slide to look at it in full detail with the microscope. The included tweezers and plastic bags lets you handle your slides carefully so you'll be sure to get a good specimen.
What's in the Box
Digital microscope, detachable web cam with USB cable, stand for web cam, eight prepared slides, eight blank slides, eight slide covers, tweezers, four plastic bag, activity book, software CD-ROM.
See all Product Description
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Item Dimensions||11.4 x 11.9 x 4.3 in||12 x 12 x 3.75 in||8 x 5.5 x 10 in||14.57 x 15.75 x 5.12 in|
|Item Weight||2.15 lbs||4 lbs||1.5 lbs||2.9 lbs|
Top Customer Reviews
As happens to be the case with some of these entry-level offerings, the goal is to give you what appears to be 'a lot' for not so much money. This specific kit has, besides the microscope and its 'must have' accessories (slides) also a pair of tweezers, a CD-ROM with some moderately-useful software and, of course, the camera.
The microscope itself can magnify things up to about 1000 times. This sounds good but the kids do need to put some work into slide preparation if they are to see anything that looks remotely interesting. A good microscope should be able to do 2000 times magnifications [please see the 'comments' section for a discussion on what is reasonable to expect from a good microscope - note added on Dec. 7] but, remember, this is an entry-level unit and it's inexpensive so it's good for what you are paying.
The camera can be attached to the microscope and lets you shoot some low-res pictures of what the microscope sees. It connects to the computer through a USB port. I was not impressed by it and I see it as a gimmick because it could have been easily integrated into the microscope's body. The fact that it could be used as a web camera is more of a distraction from the microscope than a true enhancement. I wish the resolution was a bit higher. The way it is, it can be a little frustrating and makes you wish you had something better.
The book and the CD-ROM are okay, not great but okay.Read more ›
First of all, this is a sturdy little unit built with kids in mind. The chrome base is solid and keeps everything steady. The microscope itself is a plastic but solid and perfect for young hands [also easy to keep clean as budding scientists are likely to get icky stuff involved]. The slides are either clear [to make your own preparations] or have titles - plus they are not sharp [although caution is still advised]. There is a built in light [no mirrors!] that provides decent illumination. Power is sufficient to get a good look. As you might expect, this is not a professional scope so don't expect an image like that of an electron microscope - but on the other hand, it certainly provides a decent view of the world around us.
The book provides some great - easy to read age appropriate suggestions on more activities for kids that are old enough to go it alone. The box and entire kit are attractive and if you haven't bought the video set it is a wonderful way to get kids excited about what they see on the series [wonderful series].
Where this REALLY excels is the handheld camera. Just plug it in and go. I've not used this enough to put a full review because the software requires online access and the computer we had in that room doesn't connect to the internet [we keep that one in another area].
All in all - an EXCELLENT product, great for homeschoolers or those that want to share the excitement of life with kids.
I actually bought two of the Planet Toys Planet Earth Digital Microscope Kits and I'm wondering if I should break into the second one to see if I just have a bad webcam or if the webcam is just the weak link in this set.
First the pro's:
1. The microscope is easy to use.
2. The microscope has adequate lighting after you put in the required 3 AA batteries. You'll need a very small phillips screwdriver for this part.
3. The microscope tilts for easier viewing angles.
4. Slides are included; some prepared and some not.
5. The instruction booklet has some basic setup info and suggestions for activities. Easy to read.
6. Nice magnification for a plastic microscope that's really a toy.
Now the con's:
1. The webcam is awful! *See my uploaded picture of the webcam and the uploaded image.
I tried several different items at distances ranging from 2' to 2cm and NOTHING seemed to make the difference. Vista recognized the camera and gave me an image, while XP installed the camera, but gave me no images. The camera doesn't have any adjustments on it; it's simply a plug and play usb type with a very, very low resolution.
2.Without the webcam function, you really can't enjoy the software that comes with the microscope.
3. If you pay more than $15 for it (luckily I didn't...) you are not going to get your money's worth. I think the microscope and slides are probably worth the 15, but the webcam and tweezers are not.
4.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Horrible. Very very blurry and doesn't stay focused. The minute a child rests their eye in the viewer or chin/check touches the eye piece, the whole thing goes out of focus. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fun for a few days. There are so many better and more education products out there. This is durable - had it for years!Published 21 months ago by DJC
My granddaughter immediately began working on a good project. She loves the product. Her Mom says that the microscope will help her with her school work. Read morePublished 22 months ago by manshoe
What you see is what you get, and for the price, it's adequate.. Wish I had seen it in a store first.Published on December 20, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Cheap plastic, feels like a discount toy, virtually impossible to focus for an adult let alone a child and zooms about as much as an old 35 mm camera. Read morePublished on March 20, 2013 by Angelo