This is a quick review on those USB Waterproof Endoscope Borescope Snake Inspection Tube Cameras, that are available from the likes of Maplins, ebay etc. I got a 5 metre one from an ebay seller for just under £9. This is the one without a screen, though you can get models that do have a small screen for around £80, though some are just used for viewing with some slightly more expensive models do have a SD card slot to record stills and video. I decided to go with just the standalone USB model, as I did have spare an old laptop to connect it to for portable use.
These devices are available in different sizes ranging from 1 metre to 10 metres, I decided in the 5mtr as this seemed perfect for what I wanted it for, which is to use to look down inside fish pools for the pond service businesses I run (KS Pond Services). Though I would say after getting it a 2mtr may have been easier to handle. I found to use in the water to attach the camera end to a Caine or a pole using some elastic bands as this made it easier to operate as the cable is very flexible. Also put a blob of tipex or something like that on the camera end to show what would be the top of the image to make orientation easier.
These USB endoscopes mostly don’t require extra drives as they are seen as a standard USB webcam, so most operating systems recognise it straight off. I first setup on my main Windows 8.1 PC this worked perfect and could capture video and still through any of the video editing software on my PC ie, cyberlink powerdirector, Corel videostudio etc. The original thought on using this outdoors was to use an old XP laptop I had got, but thought first would try on my android 4.1 tablet a sumvision voyager 10.1 as the USB port supports OTG, I downloaded a few webcam apps from the Google play store and found one that works with the device called (Dashcam) which is also free.
Using dashcam app on my tablet I was able to capture stills at different resolutions that can be selected ie 320×240 and the Max resolution 640×480 (VGA) also you can capture video though it must capture at lowframe rate as when you play back the video plays back very quickly. Though at time of writing this article not really messed around with the video capture so will look into this further when I get a chance and add to this post in the future, as this could be a problem with the app a the spec of the unit design say capture at 30 frames per second.
The quality of the images captured are OK, this is because the highest resolution being 640×480, the one thing don’t be fooled by some of the images that are on product pages selling these as some do show really clear images and as you can see from the images below the are a bit grainy. It does depend on what you would use one of these for as if just using it to inspect underwater, down a pipe etc, or even looking in a tight space. It is great for that. But if you want one to take high quality photos I would look at more expensive ones.
Though with all that said I am very happy with my purchase as great fun for the price of under a Tenner, I can look down inside the fish ponds and get video and some usable stills. The adjustable led lights which their are 4 LED Lights on the end do a reasonable job of lighting up subjects in the dark, sometimes the light can be to bright, so you need to adjust the power of the light with the dial on the USB end.
Below are some of the images captured using this USB endoscope / bioscope
Here is the Features of the endoscope I brought:
The mini endoscopy is a true plug-and-play driver not installed, convenient detection equipment and a 10 mm camera ( 0.3937inch )
A new electronic health and industrial pipeline detection products, which can capture the image, to the computer in real time video and photos, storage, printing, or uploaded to the internet.
You can use it to check, ear detection, etc.
Waterproof camera and hose, length of 7m
4 white LED light adjustable.
Camera head outer diameter: Φ 10mm (0.3937inch);
Waterproof Leval: IP*67
Resolution : 640*480 30ftps
USB2.0 interface, Can adjust the 4 light-emitting diodes
Basic computer inquires:
Connecting computer to the video endoscope, you must satisfy requirements Below:
Computer must have at least one serviceable USB connection port.
System: Windows 98 / 2000 / Me / XP / Vista / 7 , Mac 10.43 / 10.49
Internal memory: 64MB or higher
Display: Picture element 640X480 or higher
CPU: Pentiums 300 or higher
Hard disk serviceable space: 12MB or Above
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