I am looking at some microscopes from Amscope. Has anyone had experience using Amscope for semen analysis, especially the camera/video system, has it been up to snuff? Thanks! Here is info: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004UNWIQW/labsuppliesdiscount-com-20 Technical Details 40X-80X-100X-200X-400X-800X-1000X-2000X Magnification Settings with Precise Optical Glass Lenses Separate Coarse & Fine Focus and Abbe Condenser w/ Disc Diaphragm Graduated Metal Mechanical Stage, Sturdy Metal Framework and Built-in Tungsten Light with GS and CE Approval High Quality USB2.0 Digital Camera Capturing 640x480 Pixel Still Images and Streaming Real-Time Live Videos on Your PC Screen Advanced Editing, Processing and Measuring Software Compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7
" brand new compound microscope with mechanical stage and USB2.0 digital image system that captures microscope images and displays live video on your PC screen. It comes with eight magnification settings (40X, 80X, 100X, 200X, 400X, 800X, 1000X & 2000X), coarse & fine focusing and electrical illuminating system. The USB2.0 digital camera provides 640x480 pixel resolution and is compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7. It has a built-in reduction lens and gives the same field of view images on your computer screen as those seen through eyepiece."
Anytime I see a regular bright-light microscope advertising a magnification greater than 1000x alarm bells ring in my brain. That's because with the wavelength of light being what it is, you cannot magnify an object more than around 1200 times, so typically the maximum useful magnification that is offered is 1000x (achieved with a 10x eyepiece and a 100x objective). This 'scope alleges 2000x (ding ding ding!!!).
The USB image will be disappointing to you. At 640x480 the image will be small and/or the quality poor. Try setting the resolution of your computer to 640x480 (or probably the lowest setting which will be 800x600) and see what I mean.
For the price ($229) you would get a reasonable quality used "brand name" microscope on eBay. Look for Olympus, Baush & Lomb, American Optical, or Nikon. For example - and at complete random (the first I came to!!) - http://cgi.ebay.com/OLYMPUS-CHS-CH-2-BINOCULAR-RESEARCH-MICROSCOPE-/130536608569 is currently sitting at $300 and is a FAR superior 'scope. Shop around and you will find something in that line.
Thanks for the advice. I don't think I even need 2000x for semen analysis. I think 1000x would be more than enough. Do you know if Swift M3300D microscope such as advertised in the used equipment on this board would do a decent job? I didn't see Swift in the companies you mentioned and to be honest googling it I don't get a lot of hits. I am assuming I can hook up a camera to even a binocular and don't need a trinocular? I am interested in the video to be able to compare things such as motility and number dead/live sperm when using a stain. So maybe I don't really need exceptionally high resolution, but maybe 640x480 is too low. What would you recommend for a camera, if I get a used binocular microscope? Thanks again for advice!
I am not familiar with "Swift" so do not consider it a "name brand".
1000x would be used for morphological analysis, typically with oil. For motility and basic analysis 100x and 400x are all you will need (although 200x is useful).
You can remove one of the eyepieces and insert a video camera, although it is a bit of a pain to do each time and to still try and use the binocular eyepieces to focus, so if you do want a videocamera and you can get a trinocular you will be better off. There are a variety of digital microscope cameras on eBay. Get the one with the highest Megapixel count that you can afford. A 1.3 MP will produce a 1280x1084 image; a 3.1 MP gives a 2048x1536; and a 5 MP 2592x1944. Your 640x480 is a 0.3 MP to give you an idea of comparison. Some of the video units will still only give you a 640x480 size. the higher the MP number the better the clarity (and the higher the price!!).
I just came across an older thread on the board about digital microscope cameras that might help a bit - you can view it here.
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