Customer Reviews: Celestron Amoeba Dual Purpose Digital Microscope - 44325
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on March 23, 2013
A couple years ago I purchased a zoom scope, but was never pleased with the quality of pictures. This Celestron scope was cheap enough to try again, hoping for better results. This unit was a very pleasant surprise with great clarity and ease of use. Sure it is a "cheap" plastic device but for plug and play with clear easy to operate controls it is a great value. Microscopy is heavily affected by quality of the optics, of course, but the other very large factor is the type and quality of light available. This has enough space between the lens and the object being viewed that auxiliary light is easy to use. With a laptop computer you can use it practically anywhere and achieve clear crisp pictures.
It would be nice to have a stable xy table for a specimen base for easier positioning of tiny specimens, but that would move into a much higher price range. Hard to beat this for the price.
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on January 16, 2013
***Edited December 24, 2015***

Great News! The microspcope is working in Windows 10 Pro.
Just do the following to install the drivers/camera app

1 Go to the Celestron Web Page find the microscope and click support
2 Download the zip File (About 450 Megs)
3 Extract only the folder that says drivers, you can put it in the desktop
4 Connect your device to a USB port
5 Go inside the folder
6 Execute the file U2CMIV1P11144-PCCameraDriver-V1.0-20111205 (You may want to do it as an administrator)

That will install the drivers for you plus an app called CamApp you will find the icon in the desktop

*** App told me that I need to restart PC, but mine worked without a restart ***

Thanks and Enjoy.

I bought this for my 9 year daughter, it's a great product for the whole family, we have fun, we can learn and be amazed by the small world, is not perfect but I'm very happy with it.

**** I remark this, you need a computer to have this thing working. ****
I have good experience with computers so the installation was smooth following some basic rules.

Pros, the order is not important:
- Techie looks, sitting in the computer desk is really intriguing, most of my friends asked -What's that?
- 3 amplification settings 10X, 60X, 200X
- Top and bottom led illumination, top illumination is a must to observe non-transparent objects.
- It contains prepared slides, some are very good like the onion bulb skin, some others are not that great.
- Power is provided by the USB, so you don't need and external power adapter.
- You can detach the body of the microscope to look things that can't be prepared in a slide or larger objects.
- Worked out of the box with my Windows 7 desktop and even works in my Win 8 laptop (See Cons).
- USB cable is provided
- Mine came out of the box with 1024 X 768 resolution (I saw that in some other websites that resolution is 640 X 480)...

- Adjustment of the lens is just coarse it can be difficult for small children to focus correctly they need practice and patience.
- It has a very bright white led to show that is connected.
- It has a capture button that does nothing
- Manual is very basic
- USB cable probably is not long enough if you have your CPU under your desk.
- When installing the software I got errors trying to install the whole suite, actually you just need to install the camera driver and app, no need to install all the other image edition stuff, you can capture a photo or do a video with the app and then use some freeware app.

As you can see the cons are more like a wish list than real issues, the coarse adjustment is why I recommended this for children over 9 they have better control/coordination of the hands, please have in mind that is an optical precision device and is made from plastic so needs good sense of care.
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on February 19, 2013
I was a biology teacher, so I'm turned off by "starter" microscopes and anything labeled "student" microscope, which end up becoming dusty bookends. This Celestron Amoeba digital microscope is not a toy, and will not frustrate and disenterest a kid. Other affordable microscopes have stiff adjustment knobs and blurry lenses. This microscope, however has a fantastic adjustment knob that's easy both for adults and kids to turn for a clear image.

The image is very clear and because it's digital, can be recorded. My son and I can record images from this microscope onto a computer. These digital images can be projected via an overhead projector, added to a PowerPoint presentation, or printed.

I highly recommend this microscope both to teachers and to families who enjoy participating in their children's science education.
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on May 9, 2013
This digital microscope is fun to use, easy to set up and the fact that you can snap a picture of the image is very cool. That way you can easily compare how something changes over time, like growing something, or watching how a cut heals. Recommended.
However, forget using it with your Mac. No can do, even with the most recent OS. PC only.
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on October 21, 2012
I've got the microscope on order and I went to the Celestron website to download the pdf manual file. Since I was there I watched the tour movie for the scope. It shows the scope with a gold colored base and a 3.0 MP camera. I've emailed their customer support to find out what the differences are all about. Will give more on the scope when and IF I hear back from them and get the scope in hand.

Review Update: Ordered it on the 21st ,got it on the 23rd. Lots of fun to play with; the software when in,no problem(I'm running XP Home with Service Pack 3). I use mostly the CamApp to capture snapshots. You just have to remember to click the file button, bottom left, after capture,and I select the Save As so I can name the snapshot myself. Since I'm one of those that almost never reads directions I must have done captures on a half a dozen slides before I found out that they weren't being saved anywhere. That's when I clicked on the "file" word and found the selections of Save,and Save As (I'd set up folders called Amoeba Capture for movies if I ever do any and Amoeba Snapshots for my snapshots). I use Mostly 60X as this gives me a picture that,depending on the specimen,does a good job of filling the screen. I only use the 200X if I'm curious about something that was too small to see well at the 60X setting. If you've ever been curious about microscopy or know a younger one(Christmas is coming)who may be,you should pick up one of these and Both you and the KIDS can enjoy microscopy. I did hear back from customer service who informed me that someone would be working on fixing the problem. NO explanation as to WHY said problem existed. Don't you Just hate when customer service avoids the questions and tells you "They are working on it"?
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on December 28, 2014
Mac Users Beware! Do not believe all that you read about the Celestron Amoeba microscope's compatibility with the Mac.

I bought this a year ago for my son, but realized it wasnt a great gift for a 3 year old. When he turned 4, he started showing interest in my "real" microscrope (not the Amoeba), and I knew it was time to share the "shelved" Amoeba with him because I thought it would be a great starter microscope.
Perhaps, for Windows users, it is. But I am Mac, through and through.

I have a MacBook Pro 15 inch Retina display running on Yosemite OS. Despite numerous attempts to download the driver, which did not auto-magically install as per the documentation upon plugging in the USB, I went to the Celestron website (to both their downloads page and their Archives), to manually download the microscope driver; and the only Amoeba driver for the Mac failed during install. The only Mac specific download was published in 2007, so it seems like it is just outdated. I tried downloading the package which I also found via their website FAQs, since it claimed to be both Windows and Mac friendly, but yet again, a dead-end (for those who want to know what the ZIP contains, it includes a set of .EXE files (windows only executables) with no .DMG / .PKG files included. Therefore, not Windows AND Mac friendly; just the former. Before you go pointing me to a page on your website like you did other reviewers, please understand I am a software programmer and VERY adept with software; thus, for me, the driver install process is something I consider a no brainer. I am a very busy woman, and really resent the hours I have spent reading other users' issues, trying to troubleshoot, download and redownload, all to no avail. In fact, most other Mac users who have TRIED to work with the Amoeba either warn you against using the microscope with a Mac OR provide firmware "hacks" which seems ridiculous (*not to mention, I am still under my 2 year warranty which would be invalidated if I did so before it runs out*). So, I am left with a Christmas gift that seemingly wont work, and a 4 year old who desperately wants it to work. Please help us Celestron, and again, please don't point us to a page on your outdated website because I have been there/done that. I would prefer you just email me a direct download link or a package that will work with the Mac Yosemite OS. Otherwise, this is a useless device for those on a Mac.
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on March 20, 2013
My son and I show this to schools, teachers, friends and family and we have a lot of fun with it. The zoom options could be more selections (comes with 10x, 60x and 200x). Would like to see 25x, 100x (at least).
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on November 2, 2012
This purchase was a disaster from the moment I took it out of the box. First of all, it looked like it had been previously opened and repackaged. I took the setup disc and put it in my DVD drive and followed the standard installation instructions to the letter. The disc included Ulead video and Aveo digital camera. In addition it installed microsoft encoder 9 and Quicktime 6 and Realplayer. After doing everything as described I could not get the microscope to work. I will allow that there is ALWAYS the possiblilty of user error. However, I followed the instructions slowly and methodically, and I did double-check my work with the manual and could not find an error in the way I followed the steps. I think I got a defective microscope and I think it had been previously returned.

After I packed it all back up to return to Amazon I uninstalled the software, which uninstalled Quicktime. The installation of Quicktime 6 from the included disc had written over the more current version of Quicktime (7.7X)that I had already running on my PC. So when I uninstalled the Ulead and Aveo it went ahead and uninstalled Quicktime without asking. That hosed my iTunes and I ended up having to uninstall that and re-download iTunes and Quicktime to get that working right again. Just extra work and extra aggrevation.

To summarize: the description here is sadly lacking. Based on what I read in the manual that came with the scope I believe you can't take the scope off the base and walk around looking at things under various magnifications, as I had previously thought/hoped. Assuming you get a unit that works, it will only work right next to your PC. You can only take photos with the Aveo software - the manual even states that the photo capture button on the unit doesn't function. So before purchasing decide if you want another computer peripheral. Also, it is not compatible with Windows 8. It is barely compatible with Windows 7 (changed my display settings to basic).
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on February 7, 2014
Great for the hobbyists (mine is collecting sand). Easy to use and with the imaging capture software on my IMac 27" computer the results are spectacular. While it has limitations (magnification is limited to 10X 60X and 200X0) the pluses are great; has top and through the stage lighting and takes up less that 10 square inches of desk top space. At something under $60 this instrument can't be beat.
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on January 7, 2016
Bought this along with extra blank slides and a set of pre-made slides for my granddaughter for Christmas. She absolutely loves it. For the money this is a perfect science project and kit for any grade! I would recommend this item to anyone!
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