May 21, 2009 The world unseen, or barely seen, by the naked eye is full of mystery and surprise. For many professions, however, it's also part of the job. People employed to inspect printed circuit boards or the quality of fabrics, verify fingerprints or investigate counterfeit currency and forensics, research plants or appraise gems – the list goes on – all need to look at their worlds in microscopic detail. Extech Instruments' hand-held digital microscope with camera has just the portability and functionality that makes getting close to their job a whole lot easier.

We have previously featured hand-held microscopes, such as the Celestron 10 to 150 magnification and Celestron 20 to 400 magnification. Extech Instruments' MC108 mini-microscope has the advantage of a 1.8-inch TFT color LCD screen to view images, without needing to be plugged into a PC.

A 300,000 pixel CMOS photosensor captures images, which are brightened by adjustable LED illumination. Users can select five image effect modes: normal, gray, inverse, embossed and a dual-window view which displays a magnified image next to the original, unmagnified image. The MC108 comes with a stand when a fixed microscope for steady shots or hands-free operation is needed.

The digital camera, with 2GB memory, can store up to 60 JPEG images at 320x240 pixels resolution. The Extech MC108’s software enables users to down and upload images via USB as well as control the microscope's menus and settings, when connected to a PC.

The Extech MC108 measures 4.7 x 2.2 x 0.8" (120 x 56 x 20mm), weighs 2.5oz (70g) without batteries and comes with three AAA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries, a100 to 240VAC (50/60Hz) adaptor/charger and Windows®compatible PC software.

For more information visit Extech Instruments.

David Greig