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on 26 March 2014
It's okay but it didn't have any instructions with it and I'm not sure if I am operating it correctly; It has to be connected before running the software program but it doesn't give you any software short cut or icon to open it up. Instead you have to switch the scope on so the lights appear, then press the red button to make the software window appear. Once running if you focus the scope and press the red button again it will take snap shot of the object your looking at. It would have been very easy for the manufacturer to write the instructions on the CD... not sure if they were just missing or whether the manufacturer couldn't be bothered? The image from the scope will show a strand of hair but it won't show layers of how it is made up. Lack of instructions makes me give it 3 stars.
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on 27 January 2014
Please be aware that there are several sellers selling this product on amazon, so what you actually receive might vary.

The microscope (camera)
As others have said, this is only 0.3Mp - a cheap webcam. The specified resolutions of up to 1600x1200 are simply a lie. I have tried several different ways of querying the camera for its resolution and all return 640x480 as the maximum. I'm not sure who is taking who for a ride here, but I have sent mine back as I don't want it to be me! Perhaps trading standards should be made aware of this?

Build quality
The item I received looked slightly different to the one pictured, it has a red button on it and a slide switch for the LEDs. The case is pieced together from 3 or 4 parts which have been hand-whittled with a knife to remove the molding seams and then stuck together with super-glue. This is evident on the joins where it has oozed out!

The cable does not have a cord grip/strain boot where it enters the casing and it can be slid in and out of the case, probably stopping when it pulls on the wires inside. This will fail in no time at all.

The magnification scale on the focus wheel is nothing more than a silver coloured sticker, stuck over the ribbed thumbwheel and will come off. The scale is meaningless. The thumbwheel is also very hard to move.

Packaging
The packaging it arrived in was a completely unmarked box, no distinguishing marks whatsoever. The camera itself has no Manufacturer or model number on it at all, nor any marks indicating its country of origin (I'm sure you can guess that one though!)

Software
Initially, being a Linux user, I used it under Linux. It worked without any software installation. I used "Guvcview" to see the images. This is where i discovered that it would only output 640x480. I wondered if it required a custom driver to make it work at full resolution, so tried installing the included CD-rom under Windows XP.
This took about 20 minutes to install, with a lot of hard drive activity which made me suspicious. When installed, there were only a handful of small files associated with it (so why 20 minutes of hard drive activity?) and on running the viewer, I was expecting some snazzy value-adding software which made measurements of objects etc... Nope! What it actually is is a sample webcam test program, written by Microsoft in 2003 and oh, maximum resolution available is 640x480!

So, anyone still wanting to buy one after reading this, I would recommend never putting the software CD near your computer. I have a suspicion that it may be doing 'other things' in the background. As the camera is UVC compatible, Windows already has its own drivers for it, so no need to actually install a driver at all. Then you can use any old webcam viewer you can find to view the images as you are not missing anything!

All in all, very disappointing. I think the product I received was a counterfeit! Be warned!
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on 10 March 2013
There were no instructions with this and when I installed the PC software there were no shortcuts added to the start menu or the desktop, you can find the software in 'Program Files/Vimicro Corporation/VMUVC/amcap' and create your own shortcuts. It's pretty basic software and easy enough to use and change the camera settings.

When the dial in the microscope is set to 20X or 800X the focal point is right at the distance of the rim of the clear plastic shroud, any magnification values in between 20X and 800X have focal lengths inside the shroud which stops you focusing at any flat surface or slide or anything like that at any magnification other than 20X or 800X.

With the focal length being inside the shroud, the stand isn't particularly useful.

I'm not sure how they worked out the magnification values, when set to 20X the full image width on the screen represents just over 7mm and at 800X the full image represents 2mm.

All that said, I'm actually quite happy with this as I'm not using it for anything serious and wasn't expecting too much for the price and I think the picture is pretty good. I'm going to cut the shoud down a bit to fix the focusing problem and do something to improve the stand.

when set to 800X it can take up to a 2Mp (or 3Mp interpolated) image of an area roughly 2.0mm X 1.5mm, video can be shot but the frame rate suffers as resolution goes up.

3 stars as I quite like it despite it's failings.
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on 24 January 2014
There are several similar items around and I thought this one is a better quality version (not just a 0.3mp) but when the item arrived, 0.3mp it is. It is written in front of the box as 0.3mp and yet the item is described as 2mp (extrapolate to 3mp). The box is in chinese so not quite an item that is meant for the UK market (or of expected quality). It does however has a dual chinese/english manual in the CDROM.

It is basically a entry level webcam with LED light and some focal changes to vary the zoom - it is not really a microscope (or with sufficient resolution to serve as one).

I am returning the item.
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on 25 May 2013
This was a present for my 7 year old. Once we got it up and running it was an immediate success with him and the rest of the family. We spent about half a day picking up bugs, flowers and anything else we could magnify and we'd all be in front of the screen marvelling at them.
Setting up was easy but unfortunately the Mac software didn't work wouldn't take pictures or video. I found that the camera would work with Apple's Photobooth app that's bundled with Macs. The only problem here was that the picture is a mirror image for some reason.
I finally found an update for the original app that came with it here: http://kaiserbaas.helpserve.com/Knowledgebase/Article/View/321/59/updated-microcapture-software-for-the-mac-june-2012
The only other issue is that the tripod tends to work loose a bit too easily.
It's been great fun though and I think we'll be using it a lot.
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on 10 November 2013
Great product, though had to read other reviews to find out how to use it. If you want to look at insects or leaves it's great. Don't expect to see bacteria or blood cells. Great for the price.
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on 21 April 2013
I brought this to help when looking at very small components on circuit boards. You can use it with linux via free webcam software. It's not powerful enough to see things like blood cells. A great alternative for a magnifying glass.
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on 23 January 2015
This is a toy product.
- LED diodes can go loose, so you need to open this device to reconnect them back.
- the stand isn't firm enough.
- the quality of pictures is very basic.
- the colour reproduction is not very good as well.

I bought 2 of them and they have similar issues.
Although, one was sent as 800x and the other as 200x microscope, both products are identical.

There is a good side of this product.
It doesn't need any drivers under Linux and on Windows they use software interpolation to get better picture.
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on 29 May 2014
Microscopes are specialised instruments and you wouldn't expect great image quality at this price. It's fun to use on easy objects like postage stamps and seeds, but the stated magnification factor is just hype. What you really need to know is that the sensor has 640x480 pixels (from the manual) and the optics can resolve a feature size of about 10 micrometres (my estimate, using the graticule supplied). The fantastic zoom factor just means that the software supplied can magnify the image by lots of times, but the resolving power doesn't get any better. Also, the adjustable stand is a brave attempt to copy a real 3-D positioner, but can barely support the weight of the microscope and is a challenge to operate with only two hands.

That said, this is a great toy. It's easy to use - install the software if you can be bothered, or just use the standard video capture tools supplied with Windows or your webcam. The software is designed for industrial environments, and allows you to set up calibrated scale factors and draw dimensions on the images. It could be quite useful for quality inspection technicians. The LED illumination is bright enough for the job and can be dimmed to reduce glare. The manual focus control is smooth and gives a reasonably sharp picture.

A good toy for the digital age, but don't expect to relive your childhood experiences of a proper metal-and-glass microscope.
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on 12 August 2013
Once installed and fathomed out how to use it, ok and fun to use with the kids.

The delivery was very slow, over a week to arrive the packaging was damaged
and there were no instructions included just a driver cd which didn't have any
instructions on either. Not too sure if it had been previously used.
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