Author Topic: Quick review of (very affordable) camera microscope for rework and inspection  (Read 1102 times)

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Offline tatus1969

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Just wanted to share this with you. I was in need for a microscope for PCB hand assembly, and had difficulty finding one that would meet my requirements: monitor plus USB connectivity, good working distance, ability to work directly on my bench surface, yet being affordable. When I see Dave working with his beautiful Tagarno microscope, it brings tears to my eyes until I recall the price of that thing...

So I thought, I should give Chinese stuff another go and ordered two differnent models. The one that arrived second was an Andonstar ADSM201, but I didn't even unpack that because I was completely delighted by what I had received first.

I have bought this one on Amazon: https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B07529YHYP You can find several sellers that have them, search for "14MP industrial camera microscope". I got mine for 271€.

Here are some pictures of the setup. The box came with an additional mounting arm that gives you even more freedom, which is not shown here.





The last picture shows the  working distance at minimum zoom. As you can see, I can completely fit my fist underneath.

With the 30" monitor that I am using, the largest magnification is around 250x.

But for doing PCB rework or inspection, I was more interested in the working area at minmum zoom. This is the only "weakness" of this setup, as it is only 18 x 10mm. I would like to have a bit more, maybe 36 x 20mm. I have been looking for compatible reduction lenses (the one delivered is 0.5x), but wasn't successful with that.

The LED lamp is very good, bright and sufficiently evenly distributed, and it has a brightness control pot.

The camera itself does its job, but you have to live with the typical Chinesium way of doing things. There is no manual for it( I was lucky to find that somewhere else on the internet). It is highly over-speced. They claim that it would have 14MP, but the saved pictures have 10.5MP, and I am pretty confident that these are scaled. I would guess that the image sensor is 1920x1080. Here are two sections of the same image, the first one shows the raw image. The second was scaled down to 44.4%, and then scaled back up to 100%, using Lanczos filter each time. I cannot spot a difference between them...




What I really like about the camera is its connectivity. In the pictures above I use its HDMI output, but you can also connect it to a PC via USB and use it like a webcam, and it even has a microSD card slot.

This is a snapshot image coming directly from the camera at min zoom:



From me this one gets a 4 out of 5, which doesn't happen often for Chinesium stuff  :popcorn:
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 07:14:52 pm by tatus1969 »
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Offline cdev

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The images look nice. Out of my price range, though. Are you sure the resolution is only 1920x1080?

It may be exposed somehow, via USB or HDMI?

Is there any way to query the hardware or find out what the image sensor enumerates at?

If indeed the native resolution is just HDMI resolution, they should refund some of your money if they claimed it was higher.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 05:27:51 am by cdev »
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Online tpowell1830

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I ordered the camera only, as I didn't see the one that you have with base and light setup. I need the base only now, but can't find the standalone base. I had decide to TIG weld one together using some various random parts of stands etc. that I have around the house.

I haven't received mine yet, as I only ordered it yesterday.

EDIT: I did find bases available, but were very pricey at over $200.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 11:21:42 am by tpowell1830 »
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Offline tatus1969

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I ordered the camera only, as I didn't see the one that you have with base and light setup. I need the base only now, but can't find the standalone base. I had decide to TIG weld one together using some various random parts of stands etc. that I have around the house.

I haven't received mine yet, as I only ordered it yesterday.

EDIT: I did find bases available, but were very pricey at over $200.
Does your DIY stand have the ability to move the cam up and down easily? You will need that often to refocus when changing the zoom.
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Online tpowell1830

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I ordered the camera only, as I didn't see the one that you have with base and light setup. I need the base only now, but can't find the standalone base. I had decide to TIG weld one together using some various random parts of stands etc. that I have around the house.

I haven't received mine yet, as I only ordered it yesterday.

EDIT: I did find bases available, but were very pricey at over $200.
Does your DIY stand have the ability to move the cam up and down easily? You will need that often to refocus when changing the zoom.

I have manual focus on my lense assembly, also manual zoom and light shutter.
However, as I said, I am looking for a boom stand that is not so pricey that is commercially made.
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Offline bbjk7

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Looks awesome tatus! Also a little bit out of my price range.. I currently have the andonstar.. and it does the job, but it definitely could be a lot better. My main issue being the lag and low frame rate (about one second of lag and 10 fps).. What's your lag/frame rate like?
 

Offline rx8pilot

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For the money - it looks pretty good! I may get one to rig on my stencil printer for alignment.

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Offline tatus1969

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What's your lag/frame rate like?
Via HDMI, there is no noticeable lag. The framerate is specified as 30fps, but to me it looks like 15-20fps. Via USB2.0, it depends on the resolution. At full HD it is virtually unusable, but at 640x480 it is okay. Have you tried to lower the resolution on yours?

Are you sure the resolution is only 1920x1080?  It may be exposed somehow, via USB or HDMI? Is there any way to query the hardware or find out what the image sensor enumerates at? If indeed the native resolution is just HDMI resolution, they should refund some of your money if they claimed it was higher.
Via USB, it enumerates as a 1920x1080 webcam, I don't see additional information.

Just look at my two pictures of the same area (from a still image that the camera had stored to a micro SD card). Having filtered it down to 1920x1080 and up again to the original resolution has not removed any detail. What this tells me is that the usable resolution of this camera is definitely not better than 1920x1080. So either they have scaled up the images by a factor of 2.25 to make it look like a 10MP camera, or the optical resolution is limiting the picture quality. But I doubt the latter.

Yes, I should claim a partial refund, but I am in fact really happy with this microscope. It performs way better than I expected it to do at this price point. The original brand industrial cameras that this one is a ripoff of go at 1000€ - just for the camera module. I knew beforehand that they were cheating, I just didn't know to what degree. And as I am using the microscope via HDMI only, it works up to its capabilities.
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Offline tatus1969

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Here's another proof that the camera is upscaling. These are photos from a pair of scissors, showing diagnoal structures. You can literally see what they are doing there.

EDIT: by the looks of it, the camera is upscaling x4. This means that the image sensor's native resolution is probably 1080x680px. I stay corrected...



These are the original images, one at min zoom (where the section above is from), and the second with max zoom.




« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 08:34:54 pm by tatus1969 »
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