Sunday, August 21, 2005

Digital Microscope

I just bought a digital microscope from Toys R' Us for $30 off the clearance rack. I got it for my son to play with. It is the Digital Blue QX5. I've seen this type of scope before and was never really impressed, although I think this one is a slightly later generation than the versions I've seen.

Anyway, the original price is $100, which is probably a bit over priced. At $30 it is a great deal and highly recommend. If you can find it for under $60 or so I'd still say it is well worth it.


Resolution: 640x480 (not great, but fine for on-screen viewing)
Can capture video: 15 frames per second
Time Lapse video: Settings from 1 pic/sec to 1 pic/min.
Magnification levels: According to the Scope 10x, 60x, 200x
Illumination: Top or bottom illumination, not both (at 200x it is a bit dim though)

Cool stuff: The light(s) are powered by the USB port so there is no need for batteries or an extra plug. The head can come off the base and allows for a lot of other use (like shots up your nose as my son demonstrated). There is even some picture editing built in and you can paint on the image. I'm not sure why you would want to do this, but my son is having fun turning a lady bug's spots from black to green even as I type this.

I bought this mainly for my son, but I may find a use or two for the scope in my own teaching. I'm looking forward to doing a time lapse video of a slime mold growing. If I taught k-6 students I'd buy as many as I could find (at $30) for my classroom.

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