A big part of our job is making things easier for you. There are hundreds of portable microscopes available right now, but very few actually do what you want. We sort through the claims about resolution and magnification range and light and software and weight and bring you a pocket microscope selection of 100% quality instruments. Things that actually do what they claim, because we tested them with our own hands.
The difference between a $30 portable microscope and a $100 Dino-Lite is night and day. Quality lasts longer, and it's a better use of your money.
Portable doesn't mean basic. A portable microscope can be packed with features you find in full sized microscopes. Those features are Dino-Lite's specialty.
The portable microscopes below redefined what a microscope can be, and they've been leading the way for decades.
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What are you using your portable microscope for?
Setting up a field lab for your research a short drive from your workplace?
Medical triage in inaccessible locations?
Evaluating cannabis plants before harvesting?
Getting your kids interested in science at home or in the forest - bringing their microscopy hobby anywhere they want?
Bringing high-quality research capabilities on an airplane, to your far-flung research location?
A lightweight handheld microscope can travel easily and still give you the magnification and image quality you need for your application.
A big part of our job is making things easier for you. There are hundreds of pocket microscope options available right now, but very few actually do what you want. We sort through the claims about resolution and magnification range and light and software and weight and bring you a pocket microscope selection of 100% quality instruments. Things that actually do what they claim, because we tested them with our own hands.
So what should you look for before you buy a portable microscope?
Just because it has a feature doesn't mean it's done right
Take LED illumination as an example. Just because a handheld digital microscope has LED illumination doesn't mean you'll have a good look at your specimen.
Is the illumination adjustable? Is there a simple dimmer? How many LED bulbs does the unit feature? Can you use them in different configurations (for example, can you light one side of the subject with brighter light than the other?).
Or on a portable stereo microscope or compound microscope - does the type of included LED light help your application (for example, is it a ring light for cool, even illumination, or is it a gooseneck LED for highly adjustable lighting?).
The same can be said about magnification
A lot of pocket microscope manufacturers make claims about incredibly high magnification so you can see even smaller parts of the microscopic world.
This is usually accomplished through excessive reliance on digital zoom. When you read that a Dino-Lite USB microscope achieves 220X magnification, it does so without any negative impact on image quality. When you read that a competing reaches 1000X magnification, you're reading about "false magnification." The microscope camera digitally zooms in on an area of the image. And with every extra bit of magnification, you get more and more interference and distortion in the image. You don't get any value from it.
For an optical microscope, it's a little harder to make false magnification claims, unless you add a digital camera that claims to increase magnification, what you see with the objective lens is what you get.
Let's talk about the camera on a portable microscope
Unlike a traditional microscope, a handheld microscope like a Dino-Lite has a camera built-in and comes with intuitive image capture software. All you have to do is plug the USB cable into your laptop's USB port and you can see beautiful images right away.
With a WiFi adapter, you can stream your field of view to an iPad or smartphone live.
A more traditional microscope, like a dissecting microscope, can still be portable. For biological fieldwork, you can bring the high magnification power of a compound microscope without spending every afternoon in the gym.
You can add a simple digital camera to get the digital microscope functionality most technicians in the field need (like the ability to easily catalog samples and annotate images digitally).
And kids sometimes prefer the look and feel of the traditional rubberized eyepiece when they bring their microscope out for a Saturday in the woods collecting and analyzing samples on the microscope slide. It just looks more sciency. That's why the Juniorscope is built with such rugged construction:
It has very few moving parts, so it can handle the rough treatment your kid gives it during transport.
It's not made of plastic, because plastic can crack in cold weather and it doesn't last as long as your kid's childhood.
It uses common AA batteries, so it's easy to power up anywhere.
A portable microscope can come in many shapes and sizes. Our guess is if you landed on this page, you're interested in portable microscopy with a Dino-Lite. If you want a hand finding the exact right model for your purpose, give us a call. We love talking about this stuff, and we'll help you get the best value.
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