For decades parents have been buying their kids a microscope. It is like a rite of passage, along with having at least one tent, and a telescope. Whether kids go on from there to invest more time in camping or in star gazing is anyone’s guess.

Though, just as these days tents are no longer semi-porous canvas, microscopes are no longer necessarily unplugged. While electric microscopes have long been around, illuminating the light to see specimens, they have a newer and better feature these days.

That feature is a USB connection. In the not-so-distant past people simply had to enjoy the specimen whenever they put the slide on the microscope to look at it.

Well, these days, the USB microscope is not only plugged in, but they have a USB port. Plug in a USB cable that connects to a computer, and now it is possible to save images of specimen collections straight from the microscope to the computer.

It’s a brand new world out there, and this is an excellent addition to any professional or budding scientist’s tools. For kids who have a collection of specimens, they have a way to immortalize their work. For the professional, even a low-cost USB microscope provides exceptional performance and convenience, while saving specimens for professional use.

For instance, when it comes time to give a big, career-changing talk about research on microorganisms or on species of ants, a scientist may easily create an educational board to share their findings. It is much easier than ever to share photos of the slides on social media, on a website, within a video presentation, or on a slide deck.

All of these are just some of the ways the people make their findings available. See if there are other ways to use your microscope’s USB functionality. Now the great part about USB-equipped microscopes is that they are surprisingly affordable.

They seem like they have actually come down in cost compared to their old analog or battery-powered counterparts, in fact. So, the technology is not only better and more useful, but it is also allowing for greater accessibility as well.

Check out the built-in 5MP digital camera options too. The camera works well with the USB to send the images that your microscope captures onto the computer. It provides an excellent image as well, often with color viewing on an LCD screen along with a backup battery.

While it is expected that they are affordable, go with the highest quality product that you can afford. If your budget allows, splurge a little bit more to realize a 5-element IR lens. It will provide sharper images.

Also, always ensure that the magnification is up to the parameters that you will need. For instance, check out the 4x to 160x mag or 200x with the help of a computer screen.

The placement of the shutter for the camera is also useful to note. It needs to be convenient and easily accessible, especially if dealing with live specimens that may hit a sweet spot for but a second.