VIDEO MAGNIFIERS

There are many words for these:
portable reading aid, digital magnifier, LCD magnifier, low vision electronic reader, magnifier camera

 

 

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO BUY NOW

 

If you have a permanent chronic eye condition, then you don't have to pay the VAT, download a form.

 

There are two desk models:

 

Desk model, Look Station with 22" monitor, £708.33 + VAT = £850.00

Scroll down (or click here) to read all about video magnifiers.

 

Desk model, connects to a computer, Aumed-VGA portable reading camera, can be switched to 'distance' £624.17 + VAT = £749.00

Scroll down (or click here) to read all about video magnifiers.

 

There are four handheld models we stock as standard:
Click on each picture to see a larger view.

 

Aumed video magnifier Eye-K (3.5 inch screen) £74.16 + VAT = £89.00.

Scroll down (or click here) to read all about video magnifiers.

 


Aumed video magnifier, model EyeU-5" (5 inch screen) £162.50 + VAT = £195.00

Scroll down (or click here) to read all about video magnifiers.

 

Aumed video magnifier Eye-II (7 inch screen) £625.000 + VAT = £750.00

Scroll down (or click here) to read all about video magnifiers.

 

Aumed video magnifier reader-10 (10 inch screen) £1166.66 + VAT = £1400.00. [available 22 October 2018]

Scroll down slightly to read all about video magnifiers.

In addition to the above there are (as of Christmas 2019) a handful of one-offs ('specials'). Because these are special offers that cannot be repeated, the quantity in stock is listed by each item. Click here to see all handheld video magnifiers including the one-off 'specials'.

Usually I quote prices inclusive of VAT but, above, I have quoted prices both with and without VAT. This is because there is no VAT for any individual who has a permanent chronic eye condition. Instructions: order online, fill in and send us the VAT form; if you are paying by bank transfer don't pay the VAT; if you are paying by card the system will charge you VAT but when we take the money from the card we will deduct the VAT (but make sure you send the form!). You only have to do this once, if you make another purchase, just tell us you've already filled in the form.

 

ABOUT VIDEO MAGNIFIERS

WHAT ARE THEY?

These are known as digital magnifiers, video magnifiers, LCD magnifiers, low vision electronic readers.

The handheld versions are made out of a video camera on the back of a screen, a very bright light and a stand so that it can, if you wish, be slid along the page. They vary from the size of the smallest mobile phone to the a large tablet computer.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF VIDEO MAGNIFIERS:

Advantages

- they have powerful built-in lights. Lighting is as important as magnification. The best magnifier will be of little use in dim light.

- even with the most basic handheld model you can vary the magnification (zoom), something you can't do with lenses. The size of print can vary from tiny (the small print on a form) to large-ish (a large print book) so being able to change the magnification is a useful; also, if you have a degenerative eye condition, you can increase the magnification as your eyes deteriorate.

- a standard feature is to change the colour of the text and background. White on black, for instance, is much easier to see than black on white. Other colour combinations help users with various eye conditions.

- another standard feature is to 'freeze frame' (like taking a photo). If you can't easily see the object (a timetable at a bus stop, a tin on a supermarket shelf) you can point the magnifier at the item, press a button, and the image stays on the screen. Then you can then read it at your leisure (the better models even enable you to magnify the 'frozen' image).

- the desk models have (or connect to) a large monitor. If your eyesight is so poor that you really do need to display each word 12 inches across X 3 inches high - then a desk model really is the only way to do it, if you try to make the print this large on a handheld viewer you will only see one letter at a time. Low magnifications (if you don't need super-high magnification) enable you to see an entire page at one go. The desk model with the integral monitor also gives you enough space to write, paint, sew etc, something that is totally impossible with a lens.

Disadvantages

The price. Whereas the best quality reading lens costs about £50.00 to £100.00, the most basic (and smallest) video magnifier costs about£100.00, and if you want one that will cover few lines at one go (at its lowest magnification) and can be switched from close-up to distance and can also read you the text out loud - then you must pay over £1000.00.

Distance Viewing

The better models can be switched from 'close up' to 'distance'.
Here is an example, the Aumed video magnifier Eye-II (7 inch screen) - click on the picture:



Not only can you 'freeze' the image, but once it is on the screen you can 'drag' it to the centre of the screen with your finger then enlarge it.

Incidentally, on the enlarged image I have (for the sake of pure drama) turned the magnification up to its maximum (32X) . This is exactly what I advise against (see above) - in real life the image is much clearer at low magnifications. But for it to look good on a web page and so that you go 'wow!' I've turned it up to 32X.

Size and Quality

A larger screen will show a larger area (obviously). For handheld models this is like choosing between a small or large mobile phone or tablet. You therefore need to compromise: a small screen that will fit neatly into your pocket, to carry around, or a larger screen that will show you more words at one go, but will be bulky. TIP: when you look at the items on the web site, look at each picture with the hand so see the relative sizes.

The smaller screens are good for occasional use, e.g. menus, supermarket shopping, bus timetables, occasional reading of mail or football results, TV listings etc, but might only show two or three words at a time; larger screens will be bulky to carry around but are much nicer if you want to read books and magazines.

As with lenses, don't get obsessed with magnification: as the magnification gets higher, the quality suffers, and this applies to any size of screen. 2X to 4X magnification? The quality is good. 5X to 6X? OK, just about. 7X to 10X? You really are losing quality here, the image will be a bit fuzzy. Yet you can turn digital magnifiers up to 20X or 30X. The result is the same as you get when zooming into a tiny detail in the far distance in a digital photo - not good. It really doesn't matter if you have the best camera and the best screen, you are still viewing little dots of colour on a screen and at high magnifications you get to see...dots. For this reason do not use a video magnifier as a microscope. For instance, for small insects, inclusions in gemstones, die marks on coins, laser-engraving on diamonds, razor blade edges, soldering on micro-circuits, jewels in wrist watches - just buy yourself an ordinary optical microscope. Or a specialist video microscope...providing you don't turn the magnification up too high.

Why can't you get video magnifiers and video microscopes the same quality as lenses? Surely, with modern technology.

Think of it this way. This (dots) that make up the picture are 0.2mm across. The ‘dots’ of light you see through a lens (in terms of wavelength) are 0.00055mm across. In other words, nature’s light is of better quality than any manmade screen.

However, for reading (rather than scientific applications) and providing you don't expect to get a clear image at amazing magnifications, video magnifiers have features you cannot possibly get with a lens.

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QUICKTEST, Watford, WD18 8PH, Tel. 01923 220206, email info(at)quicktest.co.uk