Review: Celestron LCD Digital Microscope II
A Microscope is a STEM Education Must Have
I am a stay at home dad who loves the STEM fields; I am NOT a specialist scientist like a microbiologist; however, I believe that a microscope is a must-have for every household with young kids. A microscope provides an in-depth look into the microscopic science world, which is fun for young kids, and educational for older kids. Personally, I don't care what brand of microscope you get, just ensure you invest in one. 🔬
We had been using a Kmart Anko Microscope before we decided to upgrade. The cheaper microscopes are great and are fun for small kids. But we wanted to get something a bit more robust, powerful, and a bit easier to use that would see us through a few years. We upgraded to the Celestron LCD Digital Microscope II (Item #44341). This microscope filled all of our needs and is manufactured by a very reputable company. Here is our review and opinion on the Celestron LCD Digital Microscope II.
Overview of the Celestron LCD Digital Microscope II
The LCD Digital Microscope II is a sturdy and powerful microscope by Celestron. It features an LCD screen which makes STEM home education for kids easier and more exciting for kids. This microscope is a digital microscope, and along with the LCD screen, it has the ability to save images and video straight onto a memory card.
Here is a video tour of the LCD Digital Microscope II. Celestron themselves created this video.
Here is an image of the important components that make up the LCD Digital Microscope II. This image is taken directly from their Quick Start Guide, which we have included at the bottom of this review.
What's in the Box?
Opening up this box was a delight. Very well packed and no wasted space. Here is what you will find when unboxing the Celestron LCD Digital Microscope II.
Microscope: Already fully assembled with the LCD screen attached.
Canvas Carry Bag: Heavy-duty carry bag and strap.
Dust Cover: Plastic; and a must-have if you keep it out of the bag.
5 Prepared Slides: 5 slides ready to be viewed. We detail these below.
SD Card: A 1GB or 2GB SD Card for you to save images and video to.
AC Adapter: 4 Plug multi-country adaptor.
USB Cable: Plugs into USB 2.0. For Downloading images if your computer does not have a card reader.
RCA TV Cable: For connecting the microscope to your TV for viewing.
Instruction Manual: Full instruction manual. Downloadable below.
What We Love About It
This is a great microscope, and it is packed with great features. I am sure an expert would have a different list than us, and might even dislike things we like. However, this is our review, and my opinion at a stay at home dad teaching STEM to two young boys. Here are the things we love about the Celestron LCD Digital Microscope II.
You may not think much of this screen at first, but when you start using the microscope, it becomes apparent how important it is when teaching kids. With a typical eyepiece, you need first to take a look, and then explain to your kids what they should look at, and then hope when they look, they are looking at the right thing. If your object is alive and moving, it may not even be in the same place anymore. Communication is painful. However, with an LCD screen, you can all look at it at the same time. Point to anything you like, discuss anything moving in real-time and get rid of the horrible, your turn, your turn situation. You just get to focus on teaching science. We will never get a microscope without some sort of screen again.
Takes Photos & Videos
Seeing everything on the LCD screen is awesome, but the Celestron LCD Digital Microscope II improves on this by allowing you to save video or photos to an SD card. Great for documenting finding, or for young kids it is great to create an album for them to show visitors. All in all, a fantastic feature.
Amazing Zoom Capabilities
As mentioned, I am no microscope expert. But I am seriously impressed with the zoom. There are three different lenses, and they are marked as 4x, 10x, and 40x. The camera sensor helps with magnification as it says it acts as a 10x lens. So, that multiplies resulting in 40x, 100x, and 400x powers. On top of that, you can use the digital zoom, which is 4x so that you can go up to 1600x. Personally, I don't use digital zooms. Digital zoom doesn't add any pixels or clarity; it just blows up the existing image.
Looking around at all the different microscopes on the market, it does seem to be normal to include prepared slides. This microscope included five prepared slides, and the plastic storage box has room for 12 in total. Great forward-thinking! Here are the included slides that we got in this pack, but am unable to confirm they are the same in all packs.
Tilia Stem C.S.
Stratified Flat Epithelium, Sec.
Epidermis Onion W.M.
Pine Wood C.S.
Not sure what the abbreviations like 'W.M' and 'C.S' mean? Neither did we.So we did some research and put together a list: What Do Microscope Abbreviations Like 'W.M' and 'C.S' mean?
What We Don't Like About It
This is going to be a very shortlist. This microscope is fantastic, and for this stay at home dad, it is perfect. Here are our dislikes.
I have no idea if this is normal, but when you set it to 40x, the slide or specimen needs to be really close to the lens. You need to be careful not to damage the slide of the microscope when focussing. Only use the 40x for very flat objects and slides.
This microscope has built-in LED lights which are great; however, sometimes I do wish they were a little brighter. There is an LED light that lights up from above, and one from underneath. I sometimes wish the top LED was a bit brighter to I can see the object from the top, not just a silhouette.
Photos From the Celestron LCD Digital Microscope II
Here are some of the photos we have taken using this microscope.
Here is a fly wing (Homemade Slide) photo we took using this microscope.
Pine Wood C.S.
This photo is of the included slide: Pine Wood C.S.
Epidermis Onion W.M.
Another photo of an included slide. This is of the Epidermis Onion W.M.
This microscope is awesome. As mentioned above, I am not a science genius and have no idea if this is a great microscope in their expert opinion. However, I am a parent who loves teaching STEM at home. For teaching science at home, the Celestron LCD Digital Microscope II is fantastic. It meets all of my expectations and exceeds them. Makes it really easy teaching the microscopic world to my kids.
We rate the Celestron LCD Digital Microscope 5 out of 5. So far, it has worked perfectly and provided us with hours of education and enjoyment.
Documents & Downloads
We loved the Squirmy Tropics prepared microscope slides by Heebie Jeebies. Here is our review, and some photos of the slides under a microscope.