A quick check of the usual Chinese websites will yield USB microscopes for a very low price. However, many of these are little more than webcams with some cheap optics. Not that they can’t be useful, but they probably won’t compete with an expensive instrument like a Dino-Lite. [Shahriar] looks at the latest offerings from Dino-Lite and shows how they can be useful when examining electronics. You can see the video below, but be warned: these little microscopes are not cheap. The entry-level model starts at about $100 and they go up — way up — from there.
Still, many of us spend as much or more on necessary gear and these days a microscope for inspecting tiny circuits is pretty handy. In addition to the optical instruments, [Shahriar] also looks at a stepper motor-driven microscope stage, which is interesting.
The video shows practical applications of inspecting and measuring ICs and PCBs, along with tips on lighting and other real-world advice. We realize paying $1,000 or more for a microscope is probably overkill for most of us, but it is interesting to see how these perform and it isn’t out of reach if you really need the capability or if you are decking out a lab or hackerspace.