Saturday, 6 October 2012

Review : Supereyes B005 200x USB Microscope

This morning I received a package from Supereyes.


Inside was a rather unusual pen sized device with a USB cable sticking out of the top.It turned out to be a rather nifty USB microscope.
Priced around $30 I wasn't expecting much. One could dismiss this as a mere toy but actually could be a very useful tool!



Supplied by : Shenzhen D&F Science Co. LTD

Manufacturers Product Description


Model: Supereyes B005
Type: Manual Focus Portable Microscope
Features:  Tripod, economical and practical
Use: Industry inspection,laboratory research,justice identification,medical care analysis,teaching assistance, jewellery and antique identification,beauty and health care etc.
Family and personal use but not special fields with high requirements.

Specification

• Working Platforms: Windows7, XP, Vista  Mac Linux
• Magnification: 1-200 times
• Software measure;arc length,point-point length,angle(unit:um)
• Photograph:Taken by the software and by USB wire
• Videogaphy: High compression
• Light source:LED illumination (USB interface)
• Video with Extra-long time-11 hours long & 3.6GB of memory video
• Focusing: Manual
• Max Size: 11.5mm×130mm
• Pixels: 1.3M
• Resolution: 1280*960  960*720  640*480 320*240
• Display Speed: 15-30fps
• Interface: USB 2.0


Package Contents

1 x Mini Portable 200X USB Digital Microscope
1 x Tripod
1 x CD (Driver + User manual).

Installation


No additional drivers need to be installed,Windows just sees it as a USB Microscope under a webcam category, sure enough programs such as Skype video chat just sees the device as if it were a webcam and display the video.


Software

As I no longer use optical media, the supplied CD containing the software wasn't much use. As with most products, I prefer to download the latest software manual or drivers directly from the manufacturer website.
The Supereyes V3.2 software is small in size and weights in at around 1.5MB zipped.

Although basic it gets the job done,allowing the use of the capture button on the USB lead for taking snaps.
Other functions include video capture and the ability to measure objects under the scope for angle or length.

One other thing to note, is that the default language is Chinese,you have to manually select English from 4th text menu drop down on the top.




The Device

The build quality of the microscope it's self is pretty good. It feels nice to use, similar to a torch. I much prefer using it by hand, rather than with the supplied tripod/stand.







The camera lens is surrounded by four surface mount white LED's which give more than adequate lighting for the subject.







The brightness of the LED's can be adjusted from a rotary potentiometer on the USB cable itself, along with a button which allows a picture to be taken when using the Supereyes software. It would have been nice if the brightness adjustment had more resolution through out the full travel of the wheel. It seemed to get to full brightness too quickly, with travel on the wheel to spare.




Supplied with the microscope is an eyewash shaped cup which aids in keeping a constant focus while moving the scope around the subject matter. The focus has to be manually adjusted from the top of the unit, bearing in mind that you will not be getting the quoted 200X magnification using this adaptor.The rule of thumb regarding the full magnification seemed to involve getting the end of the microscope as close to the subject as possible,then manually focusing.

The manual focus could be seen as a minus point, but in fact, it aids in allowing you to just focus on the point you desire. Whether it be the foreground or the background, rather than the AUTO focus deciding on what it wishes to focus on. Indeed, an option for AUTO and manual focus would have been nice, although there is an alternative model which features Auto focus.





Focal length adjustment is very long and has a quality feel as you turn the top of the scope.

Below you can see the focus adjustment barrel .Its hard to see in the picture, but basically the entire section with the grooves, rotates around the incoming USB cable.





The supplied tripod does the job but is nothing the write home about.



Here's a few sample images using the Supereyes.

3mm LED Anode/Cathode with the connecting wire

Small Dress Pin Tip

Small Dress Pin Head

 Craft Knife Chipped Tip

 Dust on a Lens Cleaning Brush 
(notice the dust particles on the brush strands)

Inside a M4 thread

Tiny baby Spider



Video Sample




Conclusion

On the whole and for the price, I was pleasantly surprised with the Supereyes B005.
The build quality was good and the supplied software got you going. Although, I preferred using Amcap's software. This allowed me to resize the window to a reasonable size without making it look too blocky, unlike the Supereyes software which is a fixed size window.

Some of you might be disappointed with the soft image capture quality, but the live images are far better although limited by the 640x480 resolution.

A few things that did bother me were some of the manufactures specs.

They state the device as 1.3 Mega pixels!

If you do some  arithmetic, you can determine that 1280 x 1024 = 1,310,720. In other words, a 1.3 megapixel camera will produce an image big enough to fill a typical 17" SXGA desktop monitor to the very edge. In reality it's 640x480 which is half the stated resolution!

I really don't know where some of these Chinese manufacturers magic their specs from? Is it to confuse the consumer into thinking it is better than it really is?!

Given the price of current camera technology nowadays, it would have been nice for the B005 to meet its specs, But on the whole it would not detract from my decision to purchase the B005, it's just so a handy bit of kit to have in the tool box!



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