REVIEW – For Christmas one year when I was a kid, I asked for a microscope. Yes, I was a nerd as a kid too. I had a lot of fun with that entry-level Tasco microscope. I looked at squigglies in bird bath water (eew), my hair, leaves, etc. When I was offered a sample of the Apexel APL-MS003 Microscope Kit, I thought it would be fun to check out, so here we go!
What is it?
The Apexel APL-MS003 is a microscope kit that has a built-in camera and comes with a nice accessory kit.
What’s in the box?
Everything comes pre-packaged in a zippered travel case.
- Zippered case with removable shoulder strap
- Apexel MS003 microscope
- Apexel MS003 microscope base
- USB-C cable
- Accessory box
- Example slides
- Blank slides
- Slide covers
- Specimine vials
- Petri dish
- Sample boxes
Magnification: 20-100x (5x digital magnification)
Pixel: Two million
Display screen: 2 “IPS HD screen
Display screen resolution: 320*240
Secondary light source: Microscope and base double LED light source
Focus: Manual focus
Miscellaneous function: Photo and video
Storage: Supports 32GTF memory card
Video: AVI 1080P@30FPS backward compatible 720pVGA
Design and features
The Apexel APL-MS003 Microscope has two pieces. The base and the microscope itself. The microscope can be used handheld, but the base offers some nice functionality like a built-in light, magnetic slide holders, and more.
There’s a USB-C port on the side of the base. This will charge the internal battery which powers the built-in light. In the image above, you can also see the magnetic specimen slide holders and the knobs which control the built-in light and knobs that will allow you to raise and lower the Apexel APL-MS003 digital microscope.
Instead of an eyepiece which I always found a bit hard to use due to wearing glasses, the microscope itself has a built-in color LCD so that you can view the specimen. There are 4 buttons under the display that are used to power the display on, take pictures/video and control the digital zoom.
There’s a micro SD card slot on the side of the microscope as well as a USB-C port that is used to charge the built-in battery.
Included with the Apexel APL-MS003 digital microscope kit is a small set of sample glass slides like the one that you see above of an ant.
The slide lays on the base and is held in place with the magnetic holders.
with the microscope powered on and the specimen directly under the lens, you can focus on the specimen by lowering the microscope using the knobs on the base and then you can use the focusing knob on the microscope itself. To zoom in further you can use the +/- buttons on under the display. Once you have focused the best you can, you can press the power button to snap a picture which will be saved on the inserted micro SD card (not included).
Here are some sample images.
Using the Apexel APL-MS003 digital microscope kit is pretty easy but the design could be improved by moving the controls to the base. For example, when you are twisting the focus knob on the microscope, it causes the lens of the scope to move which in turn makes the view through the LCD blurry.
The same problem happens when trying to capture an image since the photo capture button is under the display. You have to be careful when you press the button because it will disturb the image. I know a real scientist would never use this microscope, but even children could become frustrated with the design.
What I like
- Easy to use
- Built-in camera
- Includes slide and specimen capture kit
What I’d change
- Put focus and image capture controls on the base to avoid blurry photos
The Apexel APL-MS003 digital microscope kit is a microscope that offers the ability to use it handheld (not really advised) or in the base. The built-in camera makes it leaps and bounds more fun to use than the microscope that I had when I was a kid. But, this is more of a toy than a real tool for even an amateur scientist and for the price, I was hoping for more stability. FYI, if you want a less expensive version, Apexel offers the MS008 model which doesn’t have a base – you use it handheld.