Plugable 250x Digital USB Microscope with Observation Stand

Great for kids, hobbyists, and professionals, the Plugable USB2-MICRO-250X Digital Microscope allows you to work quickly and effectively at the microscopic level. Common uses include classroom exploration, stamp or coin analysis, micro-soldering, garden parasite identification, and much more.

The companion USB microscope software available on our website for Windows and OS X allows you to control aspects of the camera functionality directly from your computer. Capture resolution and exposure can be changed with a few clicks, and video or time-lapse modes allow for continuous observation of a subject.

Note: Updated Digital Viewer software is required for use with macOS 10.15 Catalina. See this blog post for step-by-step guide on installing the new version.


  • Useful and fun for students, collectors, testers, and anyone interested in exploring the microscopic world
  • 2.0 Megapixels, up to 250x magnification (Note: Final magnification corresponds to monitor size)
  • Uses a webcam chipset and sensor to support a nearly any operating system and standard webcam software
  • LED halo light with brightness adjustment control
  • Flexible arm stand with observation pad includes graduated marks for easy measurement
  • Optional software for Windows and OS X adds additional features
  • Third party application allows support for Android devices using an OTG cable

Built-In Lighting
The Microscope includes built-in LEDs that can be dialed through a range of brightness levels to properly illuminate your subject. Unlike many other USB microscopes, these LEDs shine through a diffuser to combat glare.

This is especially useful when viewing reflective objects like coins. Instead of harsh glare, the diffuser gives even light distribution across the object being viewed.

Capacitive Capture Button
We used a capacitive touch button to initiate image capture rather than a physical push button. When viewing small objects at microscopic levels, the slightest bump can offset an image to an unviewable state. With a capacitive button, the lightest touch snaps a blur-free image.

Image capture can also be initiated from within the downloadable companion software, along with video or configurable time-lapse capture.

Here is a video on how to set the microscope up on Windows. Videos are also available for Mac, Chrome, and Linux!

Mac Setup
Chrome Setup
Linux Setup

Technical Specifications

Interface USB 2.0
Magnification Range 0x-250x
Illumination 4 SMD LEDs (dimmable)
Sensor Type CMOS
Maximum Resolution 1600 x 1200 snapshot~~640 x 480 video
Controller EtronTech eSP570A

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My Digital Viewer software no longer works after updating to macOS 10.15 (Catalina). How do I fix this?
A: Updated Digital Viewer software is required for use with macOS 10.15 Catalina. See this blog post for step-by-step guide on installing the new version.

Q: How do I magnify an object?
A: The level of magnification is controlled by a combination of the distance to the object and the focus point set by the grey focus wheel. The closer the object, the higher the magnification possible.

Q: I can’t get my microscope to magnify above a very low magnification, how do I get to 250x?
A: At the closest distance with the clear shield touching the object, there are two possible magnifications. The first is at around 50x, but if you continue to rotate the focus wheel, the image will get blurry, then sharp again at a much higher magnification.

Q: How do I dim the LED lights?
A: The LED lights can be dimmed or turned off by rotating the grey LED light control wheel near the top of the microscope body. If you are having problems with glare, try viewing your intended object at an angle.

Q: When using the microscope, all I see is a black screen with no image. How can I fix this?
A: From the factory, the LED control is in the off position. For most indoor lighting conditions, you will need to turn the LEDs on by rotating the grey light control wheel in order to see anything.

Q: When I plug in the microscope, I see no image and the LEDs do not turn on. What’s wrong?
A: You must launch Digital Viewer or another webcam suite in order to use the microscope, nothing happens automatically on plug-in. The microscope’s LEDs won’t work unless the image sensor is actually being used.

Q: I installed Digital Viewer on Windows, but I can’t figure out how to launch the software. What do I do?
A: The installer creates a shortcut in your start menu, the default location being Start>Programs>Plugable Technologies (varies slightly depending on OS version). Many expect the installer to create a shortcut on the desktop, but we made the decision not to do this as we don’t want to clutter our customers desktop space without permission.

Q: When I open Digital Viewer, why do I only see the output from my other webcam?
A: The microscope must be selected in the device menu under settings. The settings menu can be opened by clicking on the grey gear icon in the upper left of the window.

Q: Why does Digital Viewer tell me that my camera is already in use?
A: There have been changes to how specific classes of devices are handled in Windows Privacy settings. We have a blog post detailing how to restore functionality here:

Q: Why can’t I get this to work with my Android device?
A: Android support is on a case by case basis. The manufacturer of the Android device must allow USB webcams or this will not work.

Q: Will this work on my iPad/iPhone or other iOS device?
A: No, this will not work. iOS devices do not have support for external USB cameras.

Q: When I plug in the microscope, it is only listed as an Audio device and I have an Oculus Rift
The microscope uses the same chipset as the Oculus DK2 sensors making the system believe it is just an additional Oculus sensor. The steps below should correct this problem! If not, please reach out to Support!

  1. Disconnect the Oculus Rift sensors and cameras.
  2. Connect the Plugable USB Digital Microscope.
  3. Open the Device Manager in Windows. This can be done several ways, if you’re uncertain how to access Device Manager perform these steps:
    • Press the Windows key and R (Win + R).
    • In the window that pops up, type “devmgmt.msc” (without quotes), then click OK.
  4. Look for the microscope. It will likely be listed as a Rift DK2 sensor, under ‘Oculus VR Devices’. If you’re not certain if you found it, disconnect the microscope and the entry should disappear. Reconnect the microscope and the entry should come back, that’s how we’ll know for certain we’re looking at the correct device.
  5. Once we’ve found the microscope, right click on it. Choose ‘Update Driver’ > ‘Browse My Computer For Driver Software’ > ‘Let Me Pick From A List Of Device Drivers On My Computer’, then look for ‘USB Video Device’, then click next to complete the install.

NOTE: After completing these steps, Windows will still name the microscope as ‘Rift DK2 Sensor’. To confirm these steps worked, look for an entry for Rift DK2 Sensor under Imaging Devices (if the steps did not work it will be listed under Oculus VR Devices still). The user will need to select ‘Rift DK2 Sensor’ to use the microscope in Plugable Digital Viewer or other applications.

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