Help me help him see the horrors that lurk around us.
July 18, 2011 10:08 AM   Subscribe

Recommendation for a microscope (particularly a digital microscope) for under $100-$200?

I've got a young relative whose birthday is coming up, and he's really grooving on bugs and science and whatnot. So I'm thinking that a microscope would be a good thing. And I figure with a microscope with USB or built-in camera, he can save pics to the computer and share OH GOD LOOK AT THAT BUG'S LEG and such.

Definitely 10x, but up into what I think of as 'actual microscope' levels of magnification (OH GOD WHAT'S IN THE WATER? I'M NEVER TOUCHING IT AGAIN) is cool, too. Price should ideally be under $150, but slightly over is okay if it comes with sufficient fabulousness.

Recommendations? Thanks!

It looks like the last time this was asked was a couple of years ago, so I figure technology marches on and prices on digital gear generally move down
posted by rmd1023 to Science & Nature (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Well amazon has great ones under $100
I have used the celestron 44302 - 1.3MP, 10X-40X optical zoom , USB Connectivity and $60 and works well.

List of the bestsellers in handheld microscopes, take your pick

This website should give you a basic idea what you can expect to see at a certain magnification level, for reference most bacterias require 100x, some can be viewed as little as 35X
posted by radsqd at 12:03 PM on July 18, 2011

Best answer: A little fancier than the previously mentioned scope is this Celestron - I've played around with it a bit with a colleague in my microscopy lab and it's good enough we were considering modifying it to do some simple research projects. For the price it's pretty good.

You might also find Microscopy 4 Kids helpful, though the content is a bit dated now.
posted by pombe at 1:34 PM on July 18, 2011

Best answer: The QX5. The frame is plastic and somewhat flexible, making focusing sometimes a bit difficult, but very powerful and versatile.
posted by bluefrog at 3:02 PM on July 18, 2011

Response by poster: The QX5 totally looks like the right thing. Unfortunately, it's out of stock at compuvisor, and the digital blue site looks like they've stopped making the QX5 but the QX7 will be along, uh, someday. The folks selling the QX5 thru Amazon all look to be charging twice as much as compuvisor. buh?

*shakes fist*
posted by rmd1023 at 1:04 PM on July 19, 2011

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