Our Microscopes


the magnified world at your fingertips – to your design


DISCOVERYlite is evolving ...

MACRO + MICRO is coming!

For designers who want to fit DISCOVERY into their own housings or designs.

DISCOVERYlite is quite simply a cut down version of DISCOVERY, without the arm (or plinth), but still with all the essentials that make DISCOVERY so successful ... macrozoom imaging in Full High Definition and easy to use zoom and focus controls

We include an anodised aluminium bracket which is attached to the microscope body with threaded mounting holes for connection to your own housing or mount.  Power and video cables can be hidden from view, away from inquisitive hands.

We give you the flexibility to create your own design.  DISCOVERYlite can be mounted vertically, obliquely or horizontally.  Just add lighting and an HDTV and you are good to go.  




  • Flexible by Design

    DISCOVERYlite has the exhibit designer and fabricator in mind - designed to allow easy integration into a purpose built display.

  • Purpose Built

    DISCOVERYlite is a microscope designed for public spaces.  Robust and extremely hard wearing.

  • Supervision not Required!

    Its design lends itself to unsupervised use in public environments.  Try that with a standard microscope!

  • Hidden Cables and Adjustments

    All cables can be hidden from view, away from inquisitive hands.  All lens adjustments are at the rear of the microscope, behind a secure panel.

  • Simple Operation

    All controls are brightly coloured. The microscope itself has only two manual slider controls - ZOOM and FOCUS - easy for users of all ages.

  • Quick and Easy Focusing

    The microscope can quickly and easily focus on specimens of greatly differing heights, without moving the microscope body or specimen.  Great for the novice or younger user.

  • Parfocal Optics

    Once a specimen has been focused, it will remain in focus when zooming.  This makes it easier for users to find objects of interest (and keep them interested).

  • Macro + Micro

    DISCOVERYlite currently offers zoom magnifications of 1x - 40x, suitable for imaging larger specimens.  Later this year we will be releasing a MICRO attachment offering magnifications of 60x, 150x and 300x for imaging prepared and cavity slides.  With this attachment DISCOVERYlite will be a truly versatile public use microscope!!

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    Specimen Turntable

    Do you want to show your visitors precious or delicate specimens but you don't want them to be touched?  Our rotating specimen turntable will protect those specimens from inquisitive hands.  It can also be integrated into your designs with DISCOVERYlite.

    The large diameter turntable, made from acrylic and anodised aluminium, is designed to fit specimens in industry standard 90mm petri dishes - with or without dish tops.  There are five apertures for five petri dishes.  You are not limited to small specimens either - the turntable can accommodate specimens up to 30mm (1 1/4") in height.  The movement is smooth - not too heavy, not too light.  Labels describing specimens can be adhered to the petri dish or the turntable if required.

    The turntable can be fitted to your display using two hex screws.

    Turntable disassembly and reassembly is quick and easy for changing specimens.

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    Capture Device

    While DISCOVERYlite has been manufactured to allow the simple attachment to an HDTV via an HDMI cable to display live images, on occasions it may be useful to capture an image or video to put in a newsletter or on a webpage, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. ... can this be done?

    Yes it can!  We can highly recommend a product called ELGATO GAME CAPTURE HD.  It has been tested with DISCOVERY and it works extremely well.

    It has a whole lot of features including:

    • pass through technology to allow the simultaneous attachment of both a computer and HDTV
    • recording to a MAC or PC
    • built-in streaming to YouTube
    • unlimited Full HD 1080p capture
    • immediate access and full control of your captured files
    • one click sharing on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter

    We don't sell Elgato products directly but we highly recommend them.  Go to Elgato's website here: 




    We are transforming DISCOVERYlite into a truly versatile public use microscope - MACRO and MICRO in the one robust, easy to use instrument.

    The MICRO attachment will offer higher magnifications of 60x, 150x and 300x for viewing prepared microscope slides or cavity slides.  A public mode (secure and robust for unsupervised use) and a teaching mode (open for quick magnification and slide change) will be available.

    Attaching the optional rotating Polariser will allow viewing of mounted rock/fossil thin sections in Simple Polarised Light.

    From May 2017 all DISCOVERYlite microscopes sold will be able to fit a MICRO attachment in the future.

    Check back soon for more information on this exciting development.

Who uses DISCOVERYlite?

It is principally designed for institutions and designers who may want to fit the microscope into their own housings or exhibit designs.

What is included in the purchase of a DISCOVERYlite?

The purchase of DISCOVERYlite includes the microscope body, shroud, mounting bracket, 12volt power supply (with suitable plug for your country), an HDMI cable (with adaptor) and instructions. An optional specimen turntable (for fitting to a display table) is available.

How is the mounting bracket used?

The mounting bracket (made of anodised aluminium) has a number of threaded holes, positioned on various parts of the bracket to allow flexibility for the designer, fabricator or end user. The end of the bracket has four (4) M6 threaded holes. The centre threaded hole is a standard tripod thread (1/4" - 20UNC). Additionally, the horizontal part of the bracket has two (2) M6 threaded holes (drilled all the way through). A dimensional drawing is available upon request. The bracket has been machined with a number of apertures - the power and video cables can be fed through any of these apertures depending upon how the microscope (and bracket) is fitted to your display.

Are the controls motorised?

No ... motorising the controls does not necessarily make an instrument easier to use! We have purposely kept the ZOOM and FOCUS controls as smooth, manual sliders - to mimic the operation of a traditional microscope. We want users (young and old) to be able to control the zoom (magnification changing) and focus to suit the object being examined and learn how the two sliders affect the resulting image.

What does DISCOVERYlite connect to?

DISCOVERYlite plugs into a standard HDTV or projector. DISCOVERYlite's camera operates at 1080p resolution at 25/30hz (frames per second (fps)) and most HDTVs will accept this signal.  It is important to ensure that the HDTV selected will accept a 25/30hz (fps) signal at 1080p.

How does it connect?

An HDMI cable is supplied. This connects to your HDTV or projector (we do not recommend using computer monitors) via one of its HDMI input connectors. A plug pak (power supply) is also supplied for connection to your mains power (with plug fitting suitable for your country).

Why don't you supply a TV with DISCOVERYlite?

We have found that each customer's needs are different. DISCOVERY may be going into an existing exhibit or a new building. Layout and space constraints can affect the size and placement of the TV so we leave it up to you to decide what best suits your needs. The only thing we will stress - get an HDTV (consumer type is fine) not a computer monitor. Most computer monitors operate at HD (1080p) @ 60hz (fps). The camera in DISCOVERY is rated at 25/30hz (fps) at full HD.

What size TV do you recommend?

The choice of screen size is an interesting one. Biggest is not always best! Choosing the screen size will depend on the space you have available, whether the screen is for the benefit of an individual user or an assembled group. A useful rule of thumb is a calculation used by home theatre enthusiasts to calculate the best distance for a viewer to be away from a screen for the best viewing. This calculation is to divide the diagonal measurement of the screen by .84 (i.e. a 32 inch TV divided by .84 = 38.09 inches - this would be the minimum distance you should be from a 32 inch TV for the best viewing). We usually recommend placement of the TV above and behind the microscope (so the user can relate zoom and focus movements with what is happening on the screen) and as this will mean the user will be relatively close to the TV, a screen size from about 22 inches to 32 inches would be acceptable. Screens any larger than this will work well for viewers at a greater distance, but the user will probably be too close to the screen for optimum viewing.

Can I record/capture images or video?

Yes! Although our microscopes are live video only, we can recommend a simple and cost effective third party product to capture an image or video. Check out our Accessories section to find out more about the Elgato Game Capture HD device.

The orientation of the image has been set at the factory - can it be changed to suit a different placement of the microscope?

Yes. The orientation of the image has been set for a user using the microscope directly in front of them, with the microscope mounted vertically and with the specimen directly below the microscope. If you want to use the microscope in a different position (i.e. horizontally or if the orientation of the image on the screen is not the same as the specimen) we provide instructions on how to change image orientation using the camera's OSD (on screen display).

What lighting do you recommend for DISCOVERYlite?

DISCOVERYlite generally requires additional illumination for it to perform at its best. For most solid specimens we recommend incident/oblique or ringlight illumination, using LEDs. For transparent and translucent specimens we recommend transmitted (backlight) illumination using diffused LEDs. The microscope's camera has been preadjusted at the factory for "white balance" function for a colour temperature of 6500 degrees K (cool, white LED light source). If you are using a light source with a similar colour temperature, then it is unlikely you will need to change it. If you are using a light source with a colour temperature that is significantly different (e.g. halogen) we provide instructions on how to change the white balance using the camera's OSD (on screen display).

What "fields of view" and "magnifications" are possible with DISCOVERYlite?

There is sometimes confusion with the words "fields of view" and "magnification" and it varys with monitor size.  DISCOVERYlite uses a macrozoom lens with special internal focusing. Because the lens has the ability to focus on objects as close as 150mm and as far away as around 400mm without having to move the object or microscope body, the fields of view and magnifications will vary depending upon that height.  Our Specifications page details the various on-screen fields of view and magnifications obtainable depending on the height of the specimen or the distance of the lens from the specimen.

Is there a warranty?

Yes. We offer a two year warranty for optical and mechanical components and a one year warranty for electrical components (HD camera and wiring harness)

Are there any ongoing costs with DISCOVERYlite?

No. We have designed DISCOVERYlite to operate all day, every day for many years. This is one of DISCOVERYlite's major advantages - a robust, interactive microscope with little or no maintenance. The only part that may need replacement is the coverglass (protecting the internal lens). It is easy to replace. The camera and lens units are designed to operate without maintenance for many years. If and when required, however, these units can also be replaced (by us) thus extending the life of the microscope almost indefinitely.

Where is DISCOVERYlite made?

It is designed, manufactured and hand assembled to order in New Zealand.

Where can I buy it?

You can purchase directly from us here at Micro Imaging. 




1/3" HD CMOS sensor; resolution Full HD1080p, 1920 x 1080 pixels @ 25/30fps; aspect ratio 16:9 widescreen


Macrozoom 10:1 ratio with zoom and focus slider controls; focusable from 150mm to around 400mm away

Fields of view/magnification* (on screen):

Varies with distance of lens from the object and zoom level 

  • horizontal field of view approximately 5mm (at maximum zoom setting and closest working distance of 150mm) equating to a magnification of 40x;
  • horizontal field of view of approximately 200mm (at minimum zoom setting and furthest working distance of 400mm) equating to a magnification of 1x.
*magnification compared to an optical microscope


video connection:

HDMI; video output to a HDTV or projector


DC 12V; power consumption 0.3A @ 12V


-20°C to 50°C; within 85% RH; type of use: indoor


Length (including shroud): 250mm

Diameter of shroud: 101mm

Weight (with mounting bracket): 2.2kg

country of manufacture:

New Zealand

These pricing pages provide retail prices in the following currencies: NZ$, A$, US$, £ and €.

Discounts are available.  Also special offers are available from time to time.

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If you are an exhibit designer or fabricator, contact us so we can let you know how we can assist with your projects.