Auto Focus USB Microscope

I just tested a new USB microscope. It’s in the range of the other affordable USB microscopes, under $100. You can find it on eBay searching “autofocus USB microscope”.Following my insights on this tool.

autofocus usb microscope

Autofocus USB microscope and beside the calibration slide used to test it..

Autofocus and 3-feet configuration

Autofocus. This is the reason I tested this USB microscope.  Indeed, it’s really uncomfortable to focus the other USB microscopes since you have to hold it and at the same time rotate the focusing gear and press a bottom on your computer to save the image. All of this while keeping the microscope over a delicate work of art. This USB microscope is the  only one I could find with autofocus ability and the 3-feet configuration which allow you to leave the microscope on the artwork and taking comfortably the images on the computer . It allows to fine focusing from the bundled software. No risk to damage the artwork at all. It stays firmly on the surface and it’s super light.

Drawbacks: Image resolution, 5MP, not worth it.  

Even if this autofocus microscope showcase a 5MP camera its magnification is about half that of the Veho VMS 2MP USB microscope. It has only a digital zoom, so you can magnify on its bundled software live view window until 100%, essentially the  actual pixels.

scale comparison

Calibration slide as seen by the Veho VMS 2MP and the autofocus 5MP USB microscope. The magnification of the latter is about half the Veho VMS USB microscope.

The microscope covers an area 13 mm wide with its 5MP camera. This microscope is actually one of the few with this high 5 MP (pixels count). Though, this feature it’s not really useful since doesn’t mean better image quality and/or higher magnification. Indeed, the only practical advantage is to have a picture of a wider area. Though, only a part of the image would be on focus since the depth of field is very narrow and not enough to make up with the wide surface which would be not perfectly flat and aligned.

pigments checker v2 vsPigments Checker is for photographers, conservators and scientists interested in technical documentation of paintingss. It has 54 swatches of historical pigments designed for infrared photography, ultraviolet photography and other technical photographic methods for art examination. Check it out!

Pigments Checker is a collection of 54 swatches of his­tor­i­cal pig­ments that have been applied using gum ara­bic as a binder on a cel­lu­lose and cot­ton water­color paper, acids and lignin free. This paper is not treated with opti­cal bright­en­ers, it’s slightly UV flu­o­res­cent, and it reflects IR. Two cross-hair lines, 0,2 mm (ver­ti­cal) and 0.4 mm (hor­i­zon­tal) are printed on each swatch of paper before the appli­ca­tion of paint, in order to have a means to eval­u­ate the pig­ments’ trans­parency in the IR and IRR imag­ing. Among all the pig­ments and their vari­eties ever used in art these pig­ments col­lec­tion select the most used ones from antiquity to early 1950’.

autofocus microscope

Autofocus USB microscope. AIC photo documentation target millimeter scale. The microscope cover an area 13 mm wide and lens shows much deformation.

canvas comparison

Painting canvas as seen by the autofocus microscope and Veho VMS microscope. Magnification is about half of that of the Veho.


The autofocus feature and the 3-feet configuration are really useful for art examination. The microscope is lightweight and feels safe to use on delicate artworks. Though, it offers weak magnification and low quality lens.


One Comment

  1. John Scott April 1, 2013 at 6:34 am - Reply

    I guess the issue with this scope is poor optics/lens or poor signal processing, since it cannot beat the Viho’s image even though its sensor produces a file more than twice the size.

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