Nikon shows handheld digital microscope

A wireless handheld digital microscope claimed to be the first of its kind is making its European debut at an exhibition this week.

The Nikon ShuttlePix P-400R is on show at Southern Manufacturing & Electronics, at the FIVE exhibition centre in Farnborough. Resembling a camcorder with a pistol grip, the device offers 20x to 400x magnification and comes with an intelligent powered stand for EDF (extended depth of field) imaging.

“It does need some steadying for 400x, but it makes it far easier to take a picture in situ,” said Spencer Smith, area sales manager for Nikon Metrology. He said applications could include analysing a turbine blade without the need to dismount it, say, or even photographing a rockface and then using image analysis software to scan it for minerals.

Launched in Japan last year but only now being demonstrated to a European audience, the P-400R is manually focused and has a flip-out monitor built in. When docked with its stand, it can also be controlled via an attached 17-inch touchscreen monitor.

Smith showed how, once the microscrope has been focused on an object, the stand can move it away fraction by fraction, taking a picture each time. Software then stitches the images together to create a composite EDF image. The complete kit will list for around £18,000, including stand and touchscreen, he said.

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