Omax is a brand much lesser known than the other “new” brands out there, but they too exist in the Chinese-made microscope game, are fairly decent in terms of optical quality. If you’re looking to get into a budget unit, Omax will get the job done, but I wouldn’t go out of my way unless there’s a specific feature that they have that you can’t find elsewhere.
The CS-MD82ES10 ($289.95) is a LED compound microscope with built in camera, so you’ll be using this to look at slides. Remember, a biological microscope needs to have translucent samples mounted on slides for you to visualize any image, so this isn’t the way to go if you want to check out coins or bigger bugs–it’s not too fun to get a microscope and realize it’s the wrong type! If you use the wrong type of sample, no light will get to your eye, so you’ll just see a black image or a silhouette of your sample. No fun at all.
Omax Digital Microscope Review “CS-MD82ES10”
Like most compound microscopes at this price point, this Omax digital microscope comes with 40x – 2000x magnification, meaning you get 4 objectives (4x, 10x, 40x, and 100x oil immersion), and two sets of eyepieces (10x standard, and 20x for additional enlargement of your image). This specific Omax digital microscope gives you the typical range seen in high school and college level microscopes, but to be honest, optical microscopes don’t go higher than these numbers either, so you could certainly use this for a clinical application (veterinarians love them from what the community has been telling me, as do clinics and medical laboratories).
A mechanical stage is, in my humble opinion, always a critical element on a quality microscope. Moving a slide by hand is inaccurate and cumbersome, but with smooth and precise knobs to control the slide position, scanning becomes a breeze, as well as centering on a specific element of your sample. This Omax digital microscope comes with a well built and fluid 3D mechanical stage, and will certainly allow you precision with your slide movement.
The LED light included with this Omax digital microscope is extremely bright and clear, while not discoloring your sample too much compared to a similar halogen unit. This would be specifically be good for live samples, as LED lights don’t emit anywhere near the amount of heat that your average 20w halogen bulb lets off–making this a great microscope for animal breeders looking to do motility checks and counts of semen, or for fecal smears for parasite and general health of your animals. Even basic blood work benefits from this–for those doing live blood (as long as you want to use brightfield, as this unit doesn’t seem to have a changeable condenser beyond the 1.25NA Abbe Condenser on the unit).
The camera is where the Omax digital microscope model CS-MD82ES10 does step above (in my opinion) most other brands. For most other brands like AmScope, the cameras are entirely modular–so you have to get the right resolution camera for your needs, then figure out if it will mount to your microscope, and where you want to mount it to, etc. Then, you now have a camera in an eyepiece, so you can’t use the microscope regularly as the same time–it’s one or the other. Well, this Omax digital microscope is truly digital. It quite literally has a USB port built onto the back of the head of the microscope, so you just plug it in and install the software to your PC or Mac, and you’re ready to go. It’s extremely convenient to use, and easy to setup, so this microscope is excellent for a holiday or birthday gift for a young to middle age student with an interest in science and the world of microbiology–even if parents are needed to guide them, they will pick it up quickly afterwards.
If getting this as a gift, keep in mind that the microscope comes without any slides, so you’ll want to get some blank slides if they want to make their own, or prepared slides if you want more advanced samples than what is possible to make at home. Amazon has this item up for $289.95, and it will last you many, many years with its metal construction and glass optics when taken care of.
For more information on purchasing, or other customer reviews, you can visit Amazon (where I get all of my microscopy equipment) here: CS-MD82ES10