I am no spring chicken anymore. Over the years, I found it harder to work on small projects, especially when it comes to soldering tinny components. I tried several magnifiers, with or without light, headsets, etc. None of them worked for me. In particular, I have issues when I am changing focus constantly.

I finally decided to do something about it and looked into traditional microscopes and binoculars. Although these devices have excellent magnifying capabilities, they still force you to change focus and keep your eyes riveted to the eyepiece. Since I do not need extreme magnification, I decided to go with an industrial inspection single-lens microscope.

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I choose a package built upon an SZ7 series monocular zoom microscope. The model D has an optical zoom of 0.7X to 5X. Enough for my projects. A 96-LED ring-light provides a cool and variable light source. For the imaging part, I choose an AFSCOPE C102 C-mount camera with a color CMOS sensor (200M pixels, 1/2.8 inch), and a 1080P @ 60/50 FPS HDMI output (66mm x 66mm x 80mm, 420g, 5VDC). A USB mouse allows access to the camera’s setting (as an image overlay). This camera cannot record, but I can use a PC HDMI video capture card if needed. The autofocus works well, and the image quality, even on a small display, is crisp and can be watched for hours without eye fatigue. A real game-changer!

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