Got myself an Andonstar 2 megapixel USB microscope about a year ago, mainly just for testing it out, and having it readily available when some repair project demanded it. The microscope is actually pretty nice given its ca USD 60 price point, with decent picture quality, a sturdy stand (even though it’s somewhat of a pain adjusting it) and a built-in adjustable light source.
To be honest it hasn’t been used much (it did come in handy during the repair of the BK Precision LCR meter though).. but this is in part due to the lack of good OS X software for use with generic USB microscopes. Over the past year I have tried some video software, and still have a few on the try-these-out-list.
On a related note, during the fall I got a few (an auction lot that contained a bunch of units..) Leica stereo microscopes (M60 and MZ6). These are extremely nice – intended for medical research, electronics production etc – they have extremely good optics and mechanical construction. LED lighting, mounting rails for the work bench – and one of them has a photo tube.. I need to 3D print an adapter to make a regular digital camera fit the tube, but once that’s done, it should be possible to take some really nice pictures there. If a USB webcam is used, the images could be fed into a computer too – very nice.
Right now the list of OS X apps looks like below. I am sure there are more and maybe better options – feel free to add them in the comments.
Used this app to begin with, don’t quite remember what OS X version I had at the time, reported to work on 10.10 though. It does feel kind of dated though, last update was in 2010
Free trial version, ca USD 18 for a license, http://www.edhsw.com/mixscope/
This has been the app I have used most during recent months. It’s basic, but gets the job done. You can adjust parameters such as contrast, hue, saturation, brightness, save images, movies and configurable time lapse images to disk etc – pretty nice.
The software is really intended for the USB microscopes sold by Plugable, but can be downloaded by anyone.
Free download, http://plugable.com/products/usb2-micro-200x#drivers
Apple Photo Booth
Comes bundled with all Macs. Not really intended to be used with microscopes, but works nicely with the Andonstar.
Seems to be a nice piece of software, could not get it to work though. Could be that it is locked to the USB ids of the microscopes sold by the same company.
There are optional software modules for microscope measurements, which is a nice feature.
Another commercial software, which if I understand it correctly will work with any USB camera or microscope – if you buy the software. The free version only seems to work with their own microscopes.
Another older software, have not tried it.