on May 6, 2013
The zoomy came fast and was incredibly easy to install. I didn't bother with the disc. I just went straight to the website and downloaded the software. Even before I got the software up and running, both my Mac and my PC recognized it as a digital camera and integrated it into my pre-existing digital software. I didn't install the software on the Mac because I am primarily using it on a tablet PC.
The zoomy is very durable and easy to use. My two year old daughter can play with it and I don't have to worry about her breaking it. She runs it across the table and takes tons of pictures. She doesn't really know what she's doing, but I guess that a year from now, she'll be using it like a pro.
Sometimes it's a pain to hold, focus AND look at the monitor at the same time. I am too uncoordinated to get a movie made, as my hand shakes too much to keep in focus. I have seen movies made by a seven year old girl -- so I don't blame zoomy for the problem I have. I think I'm just too clumsy.
The only serious issue I have is with the claimed magnification. This isn't just a complaint I have with the zoomy. I have it with all USB microscopes. They make their magnification claims based on how big you can get something to look on a screen -- NOT based on how much detail and magnification you get from the optical magnifier. The optical magnification on this is 10x tops. The difference between 10x and 40x is pretty big. Its the difference between a magnifying glass and a dissecting microscope. It's the difference between seeing water bears as white pixilated specs and actually seeing their little body parts and tracking their movements.
I figured this out about Zoomy before I bought it by analyzing pics taken by others with the camera. I wasn't surprised that it didn't magnify at 43 when I got it. I was expecting a good 10x and that's what I got. It's nice to have the 10x magnification on the big screen so I don't have to squint. But I would hate to see someone buy this, thinking it was the equivalent to buying a 40x optical microscope and being disappointed.
All and all, it's a very fun little device, and I am satisfied with the product. I just wish USB microscopes would be a little more forthcoming about what their optical magnification was instead of claiming high magnifications they just don't actually have. With the zoomy, its only a 40x vs 10x claim. With some of the Celestron scopes, they will claim to have 400x when the optical magnification looks more like 20x.
on September 5, 2011
The Zoomy microscope is easy to load software for and starts up with no problem. My ten-year-old uses it as part of home school, to look at, identify & record all sorts of cool bugs. I think it well worth the $50 we spent. The USB connection is convenient and the pictures can be saved in .jpg format, the same as photos.
on March 2, 2014
I had been looking at USB powered digital microscopes to inspect old coins and to show my grandson all the cool small things we could find around the house and the yard. Then, I bumped into this Zoomy. It fit the purpose to a tee.
Zoomy is a perfect toy for kids and adults. It keeps us busy, and I find that a boy of 5 can have a decent span of attention, while we explore and learn about the things around us.
Collectors of coins and stamps, or any kind of miniatures will appreciate this as a useful tool as well.
Operation is simple and easy, even for younger kids. We found it easy to capture images and videos. I’ve added some untouched images taken with Zoomy for reference.
Setting up was quick and painless. I just plugged it into my USB port and downloaded the software (rather than using the provided disk) from the Learning Resources website. Just google “zoomy” to find the learningresources.com page and click on the “Downloadable Samples” link, further down the page. If you prefer not to use their software, I found that my webcam software will recognize and use the device (using W7pro).
Although Zoomy appears rugged enough, I did tether the cord to our desktop with an elastic to avoid any hard crashes or pulls on the USB port, as kids can be tough on devices.
For the price, you can’t go wrong. I installed the software into my laptop and showed some friends, may have to order more…
on March 15, 2013
This product does what is says. It takes very clear, detailed pictures and videos. It has a preview setting. This means it has a "live view" screen to focus your picture, and allow for hours (!?!) of entertainment. If I thought this would be so much fun for my kids, I would have bought one sooner!
We bought it to correctly identify insects and spiders in the gardens, which it allows me to do wonderfully, but we have found so many other uses for it! My two children (2yo and 4yo) are in love with this little machine. They are exploring a whole new world! The first day we received it the kids looked at everything from their toe nails (ew!), lined paper, a house fly, a pencil tip, the dog's fur, the cat's ear, and we even located and pulled out a sliver in mommy's finger! They have more fun just watching the preview screen, and don't take alot of pictures with it. They are usually too involved, and move on to the next item without taking any.
For my purposes, I use it to correctly identify insects and spiders in the house and garden. It is essential to know what pest (or beneficial) you are dealing with to know if, when, and how to kill. Many nymphs, and instars of insects look similar if not identical to the naked eye. I now know that the brown beetle I thought was a common stink bug, it actually the fourth instar of the marmolated stink bug. This is an invasive, foreign species that is just now spreading to my area. It's the first time I've seen one, and he got the flush instead of being carried outside to freedom. I also know to look for more of them. It will also help me identify lacewing, ladybug, and parasitic wasp larvae. These are all beneficial insects that should NOT be destroyed, and will help, or completely control a pest insect in the garden. Bugs like thrips, gnats, and ants are no longer difficult to identify!
It has few options. For example the focus is not labeled like a standard microscope, so you can't tell what magnification setting is being used. But it's because of the low options that make it so kid friendly. It's easy to hold (smaller than a standard computer mouse), operate (single button push for picture taking), and the focus is easy to manipulate (turn left and right). Once I get it plugged into the computer and pull up the program, they can use the zoomy without any input from me, all I do is watch them wonder at the picture they see on the screen. This is going to be lots of fun this summer when we get pond water and garden worms to look at!
It does need to be connected to the computer to work, but for the tiny area focused, that's not a big deal. I use it with a laptop, and it has no problem. The program used with it loads fast, and the zoomy itself is quickly and easily recognized by any computer I've plugged it into. We have used it with Windows 7, vista, and XP with no problems. This little machine is durable (dropped by my kids several times), easy to use, and dependably works. Well worth the money I spent on it.
on May 30, 2014
STEM=Science, Technology, Engineering, Math. This little electronic digital microscope hooks up to a USB port and shows the picture on the screen. So very easy to use and gives a clear picture (you do need to focus). Kids need no explanation on how to use it, give it to them and they are off!
The instructions specifically say don't examine eyeballs because the plastic cone on the Zoomy can scratch the eye. Of course the very first thing kids will do is look at their eyes so beware and catch them before they do that (I saw this happen immediately). The plastic shield is not detachable for obvious reasons.
The price is right--buy it and have fun. Oh, you can also take pictures with it that appear on the desktop of the laptop hooked up to the Zoomy. Will not work with IPads because they have no USB port, send your complaints to Apple.
on February 15, 2012
If you own a Mac you have experienced compatibly issues. I have spent time trying to get accessories to talk to a Mac and given up frustrated. That is why I always check the reviews before buying an accessory for my Mac. This is the review warning you that the Zoomy may not work with your Mac and definitely does not work with Mac Mini running OS 10.6
The Zoomy does work well with my PC but the software and the person who wrote the software both suck.
on December 29, 2011
This can be used as a toy, at school, for photos and for movies. I could see the inside of my nose and my ear. We used it to see our dogs skin (yuke). My dad is having as much fun with it as I am.
on January 25, 2014
I actually purchased this for my four year old son after seeing these presented a while back at a science conference. They are much less expensive on Amazon.
First, it is important to understand that its magnifying abilities are limited. You aren't going to see cells with this, for example. However, for elementary age---the abilities of the Zoomy are incredible. Putting it on a T shirt (to see the fibers), near the scalp (to see the hairs magnifying), or looking at an insect is just phenomenal. Its shape is easy for little hands to maneuver and it's durable! You can get the software online for free in case your computer doesn't have a CD drive, which is becoming more common with those lightweight laptops.
My son loves to go outside and collect items to use the Zoomy with. It is guaranteed to bring a love for science among the elementary age! Great money spent.
on February 23, 2015
This is a perfect microscope for looking at small stuff like salt grains, insects (bees, lady bugs), and other things that you can see with the naked eye when you just want to see more detail. This microscope is NOT meant to see cells or microscopic organisms. I thought this would bother me, but here is why the magnification level turned out to be a pro, and not a con:
I bought this for my 7yr old daughter, and she has a knack for finding small things (salt, dead bugs, hair, etc) and she loves to see the extra detail under the microscope. I think her enthusiasm would be much lower with a higher power microscope since she couldn't see things around her and think "I wonder what this looks like under the microscope", rather she would have to think "what can I find that's small enough to put under the microscope?" That point of view drives her use of the microscope, and for that reason, I'm glad I bought it. I wanted to spark her interest in science, and use the microscope as a tool. I wasn't trying to spark her interest in microscopes or microscopic organisms, which would have been much more difficult for a 7 year old. This microscope brings out the "wow" factor of things you can see, and keeps the emphasis on what you're looking at and not the fact that you have a microscope.
I think at 10-12 years old, a higher power microscope may be in order. Until then, we'll enjoy the Zoomy.
on March 7, 2013
I bought this for my 6yr old son and he loves it. It is easy enough for him to operate on his own, including the multiple clicks it takes to snap, and save pics on his netbook. He made a great slide show presentation of the lifecycle of a mealworm and his teacher was so impressed that she ran out and got one for the classworm. The picture quality is great for the level of magnification and price point of the item. I would say this is appropiate for the prek-3nd grade student and it is fun to watch them explore, giggle, or even get grossed out by what they examine. It is small enough to take anywhere and he plans to take it camping with us to explore some creatures, plants, etc more upclose. This is a great and inexpensive way to intoduce or further enhance the love of science with a child. I would say the younger child will need help to save their images, but would be able to manipulate it with ease other than that.