Plugable 800x Inverted Digital/Optical USB Microscope

Great for kids, hobbyists, and professionals, the Plugable USB2-MICRO-800X Digital Microscope allows you to work quickly and effectively at the microscopic level. Common uses include classroom exploration, observing plant and animal cells, fiber analysis, and surface inspection. The included accessory kit provides everything you need to get started.

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.

The companion software available on our website for Windows and macOS 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.


  • Useful and fun for students, collectors, testers, scientists, and anyone interested in exploring the microscopic world
  • Inverted microscope with optics below stage allows for larger objects such as petri dish cultures or metallurgical samples to be viewed
  • 2.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor, fixed 800x optical magnification. Use with a host device or flip out the optical eyepiece for direct viewing
  • Built-in dimmable LED illumination above and below the stage for both reflected and transmitted lighting modes
  • Uses a webcam chipset and sensor to support nearly any operating system using standard webcam software

Multiple Viewing Options
Unlike a standard compound microscope that can only view thin slides, this inverted microscope design can also accomodate larger subjects like metallurgical samples and petri dish cultures.

Placing microscopic objects in just the right spot can be difficult, but the postion adjustment knobs make it easy to set the stage for seeing small things in a big way.

Illuminate Your Subject
The microscope includes built-in LEDs above and below the stage that can be set to a range of brightness levels to properly illuminate your subject. Flip the switch left or right to quickly adjust the brightness level, or press it in to toggle between the top and bottom LEDs.

Transmit light through translucent samples using the top LED with single lens condenser, or reflect light off opaque subjects with the bottom LEDs. With this versatility, no discoveries are left in the dark.

Bringing Things Into Focus
The focus adjustment knobs on either side of the microscope provide precise control over the position of the focal point, allowing a clear view of the individual layers of a sample.
No Host Device Neccessary
Simply extend the built-in 800x optical eyepiece to view samples without the need for software.

Installing 3 AA batteries (not included) allows you to unplug the detachable USB cable and leave your computer behind.

This microscope is compatible with the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP+
  • macOS / OS X 10.4+
  • Linux kernels 2.6.26+
  • All Chrome OS devices
  • Select Android devices

iOS devices are not supported.

We provide a viewer application for Windows and Mac systems, other operating systems can be used with built-in apps. Since this is a basic USB Video Class (UVC) device internally, this microscope can be used with any standard webcam viewer. Please see the “Software & Drivers” link at the top of this page for more details.


Technical Specifications

Model USB2-MICRO-800X
Interface USB 2.0
Magnification Fixed 800x
Optical FOV 310 microns
Illuminator Transmit (above) LED with condenser~~Reflect (below) LED
Sensor Type CMOS
Maximum Resolution 1600 x 1200 snapshot~~640 x 480 video
Cable Length 4.25ft (1.3m) (detachable)
Controller EtronTech eSP570A
Batteries 3 x AA (not required)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I set up my new microscope?

  1. Attach the USB cable between the microscope and the host device
  2. Install the microscope software, or use your preferred webcam viewer software
  3. Launch your preferred webcam viewer
  4. If multiple webcams are present on your system, you may have to select the appropriate device from the software’s settings menu

Q: How do I change the LED light intensity?
A: The lights are controlled by the rocker switch at the head of the unit. Hold left to dim the LEDs, and hold right to increase brightness.

Q: How do I switch between the transmit (above) and reflect (below) LEDs?
A: Press inward and hold the rocker switch at the head of the unit, release when the LED mode changes.

Q: When using the microscope, all I see is a black screen with no image. How can I fix this?
A: Make sure that the optical eyepiece is in the closed (upward-facing) position. The device can not be used in both optical and digital modes simultaneously.

Q: All I see is a very blurry image?
A: At such high magnifications, the depth of field is very short, so focus must be adjusted precisely. Rotate the focus knob fully in both directions until you see a clear image.

Q: When I open Digital Viewer, why do I only see 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: After a Windows Update, 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.

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