Intel QX3+ Microscope

Test with Coin images

Coin Images to illustrate the resolution of the Intel QX3+ Microscope.

1889 sovereign coin from Sydney.
S Mint-Mark.
Copper coin found in Ruhuna, Lanka.
Small Grains.
10X mag 10X mag
10X 400 dpi 20.MMx15.MM
60X mag 60X mag
60X 2400 dpi 3.3MMx2.5MM
200X mag 200X mag
200X 8000 dpi 1.0MMx0.75MM

This Mint mark (9 pixels/dots height) at 300 dpi is not resolved and barely resolved at 600 dpi.
The QX3+ seems to have been optimized for best performance at 60X. Getting Optical 2400 dpi image of even a small 3MM region at 60X is IMHO clearly worth what I paid for it.

The Intel QX3+ Play Microscope was discontinued on March 29th, 2002 and now on sale as Digital Blue QX3 for about US$40 including S&H in USA. It connects via a USB port to a PC. Has even a Linux driver. The coin can be illuminated from above. The Toy is a great gift for kids and provides versatile software to do many types of image capture.

Intel FAQ says The microscope uses a CMOS CIF sensor, which is ideal for use in a microscope that focuses on a small image area. CIF resolution is 352x288 pixels, but the microscope software only uses a central region of interest (ROI) of the image - 320x240 pixels to be exact. The image is interpolated to 512x384 pixel resolution for display in the microscope software's Live View window.
The 10X image is equivalent to a 400 dpi scan at 150%

The 8000 dpi at 200X is probably limited by the cheap optics. The depth of focus is poor and the surface of coin and high-relief of design was not the sharpest at same focus setting.

The mounting is clearly that of a Toy and is the worst part of the device. It is difficult to do any fine focusing or move/slide/rotate the platform. But this can probably easily be resolved by mounting the electronics which is independent on a better platform.

Overall it has good electronics, OK optics and toy mount. I have read of persons who replaced both the optics and mount to get a good low cost digital microscope.

Scanners clearly have the advantage of an unlimited field of view. I will be greatfull to anyone who E-mails me .jpg images of same or similar Mint-Marks from other image capture devices like very high optical-resolution scanners, digital cameras with Macro capabilities to be able to do a comparison of resolution, focus and price.

List of Numismatic and other sites with images from QX3

Links to other more expensive but higher quality USB Microscopes