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Dino-Lite Buyer's Guide

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In a few short years, Dino-Lite digital microscopes have gone from being an obscure introduction to the world of light microscopy to become a major innovating force in both industrial and hobbyist microscopy applications. Used daily by Fortune 500 companies for quality control inspection applications, they are equally useful for coin collectors and hobbyists while providing 'WOW!' factor to children throughout the US. 

However, since all Dino-Lite microscopes look similar it can be a little confusing when trying to select the appropriate model for your application. This guide is designed to help you choose as they have numerous different variations for different applications.

THE BASICS

Model Series

 Dino-Lite microscopes started with a basic series of microscopes that over time have been upgraded with improved sensors, special features and construction to form four different Series: Basic, Pro, Premier and Edge.

  • Basic Series: Now limited to the 640 x 480 pixel resolution, AM2111  which is targeted at Schools and Consumers. Do not be fooled, however! The AM2111 is excellent quality and provides better resolution than many 1.3MP cameras we have seen.

 

  • Pro Series: The Pro Series of Dino-Lites reflect their original upgrades and are typically found in some of the simpler microscopes without multiple special features. As a result, the pricing is more affordable without compromising on quality. There are seven models left in the Pro Series.

 

  • Premier: Introduced in 2014, the Premier Series included a significant sensor upgrade.

 

  • Edge Series: Introduced in 2015, the Edge Series are the latest range from Dino-Lite with higher quality optical resolution, adaptable cap design with six different nozzle caps, improved field of view, stronger construction and on selected models, extended depth of field (EDOF) and extended dynamic range (EDR). Edge Series microscopes represent Best-in-Class among handheld digital microscopes.

Special Features

Pro, Premier and Edge Series all include microscopes with a plethora of different features for both USB and TV/Direct-to-monitor output. Below is a model number code to these features, but you can quickly find the appropriate microscope for your application by using the shopping filters in the left hand column of our Dino-Lite category page.

 

MODEL NUMBERING

Model Number

Model Description

AM

Fixed Nozzle (Model prefix)

AD

Interchangeable Nozzle (Model prefix)

4xx

Original 1.3 Megapixel Professional Series

2111

0.3 Megapixel Entry Level Series/Enhanced Sensor

3xxx

0.3 Megapixel Hobbyist Series/Enhanced Sensor  

4xxx

1.3 Megapixel Professional Premier Series/Enhanced Sensor

7xxx

5.0 Megapixel Professional Premier Series

xxx2 or 6

TV/AVI Ouput

xx13

Measuring Software & Calibration

xx16

Analog VGA output to computer monitor

xx22

Dino-Eye microscope eyepiece camera

xx23

Dino-Eye microscope eyepiece camera with calibration & measurement

xxxA or x1xx

Upgraded housing with magnification scroll lock and improved USB cable

FIT

Near Infrared Illumination at 850nm

FJT

Near Infrared Illumination at 940nm

FKT

Near Infrared Illumination at 780nm

12V

Near Infrared Illumination at 940nm / UV 395nm

FVT

8 UV LEDs at 390-400nm

FVW

4 Ultra Violet / 4 White LEDs - 395nm

FUW

4 Ultra Violet / 4 White LEDs - 375nm

L

Enhanced Working Distance

M

Metal Housing

N

TV/AVI Output

S

Shortened nozzle (85x and 145x when touching specimen)

T

Touch trigger mechanism for image capture

T5

500x fixed magnification

T4

400-470x variable magnification

TB

Strobe lighting

VW

White/UV Illumination

Z

Polarizing

 

 

AMH

Medical model

EAN

Ear Scope (TV output)

EUT

Ear Scope (USB Output)

N5UT

Nail Scope

AMB-DT

Dental Scope

RUT

iris Scope

 

SOFTWARE COMPATIBILITY: Most Dino-Lite Series are both PC (DinoCapture) and Mac (DinoXscope) compatible. Exceptions include AM3715TB, AM4515 series, AM4815 series, AM7515 series which are PC compatible only.

 

BASE LEVEL MAGNIFICATION CHART

Magnification

Field of View (in)

Working Distance (in)

12x

1.2

4.0

20x

0.6

1.5

40x

0.3

0.3

50x

0.25

0

200x

0.08

0

 

SPECIALTY SERIES

There is an ever-increasing range of Dino-Lite microscopes as they evolve marginal variations in order to satisfy specific applications. Most of them are based on the Professional series with broad categorizations, as summarized in the MOdel NUmber chart, above. Here are some brief long-hand descriptions:

POLARIZATION (Z):

Due to persistent demand, an increasing number of Dino-Lite microscopes now include polarizing light as standard. Idenitified by the letter Z in the model  number, customers can now select polarizing light with a variety of other features such as extended working distance, enhanced depth of field, TV ouput and magnification read outs. Polarizing light is useful when inspecting shiny metal parts such as PCBs and other material surfaces since it helps diffuse the loight and reduce the refelcted glare, making the inspectuion significantly easier.

ENHANCED WORKING DISTANCE (L):

There are a number of different models with enhanced working distance over and above the standard 5.7”. Look for the letter L in the model number.

TV/AVI (N): Dino-Lite has a range of TV ouput models with output that ranges from 800 x 600 lines to 1024 x 720. Othe features include polarized light, extended working distance and metal hosuing.


ULTRA VIOLET / NEAR INFRA RED (F/VW)
:
  There are almost a dozen Dino-Lite mnodels with specialized light output that typically includes near infrered or ultarviolet. In addition, there is a strobescope model.

METAL HOUSING (M): Designed for harder working environments, all metal housing models include the letter M in the model number. On USB models, they are limited to the 7XXX Series 5.0 MP resolution microscopes. There are currently two TV Ouput metal models (AM5212MNZT/L).

 CLINICAL MODELS (AMH/AMB):

Dino-Lite offers digital microscopes for otologists, dentists and ophthalmologists.

 HIGH MAGNIFICATION

There several high magnification models including the Premier AM4113ZT4, Premier AM7013MZT4, Edge AM4515T5 and Edge AM4515T8

OTHER 

AM3715TB Strobe Scope 

 

*All Dino-Lite USB models include DinoCapture (PC) and DinoXscope (Mac) software*, storage bag, and removable nozzles as advertised.