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May  9, 2002
MIC-D Digital Microscope
Integrating Digital Technology and Microscopy
A unique new digital microscope that optimizes IT education and integrated study
MIC-D with Notebook Computer (sold separately) Backside
MIC-D with Notebook Computer (sold separately)
* This news release is only for the Japanese market.
Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. (President: Tsuyoshi Kikukawa) is pleased to announce the MIC-D, an innovative new digital inverted optical zoom microscope. Rather than observing objects through an optical lens as with conventional microscopes, the MIC-D greatly facilitates observation by enabling users to see images on the monitor of a personal computer connected with a USB cable.
The MIC-D is a learning tool that can be used in conjunction with personal computers, and is thereby perfectly adapted to the IT-oriented educational approaches that are becoming more and more prevalent. Its numerous commercial and research uses range from natural science observations to applications in the food, textiles, printing and electronics components industries.
The MIC-D is a digital microscope with durable construction, a compact, portable body, and dedicated software that makes the microscopic world more accessible and enjoyable than ever. With an optical zoom ratio of 13, as well as built-in basic features crucial to microscopy, such as automatic light control capabilities, the MIC-D is easy even for students to make full use of.
The dedicated website (URL: http://www.olympus-pm.co.jp/bio/mic-d/) devoted to providing useful information and after-sale service will be made available.
Top Features
An IT learning tool perfectly adapted to integrated study periods
Unique styling that combines the best features of digital technology and the microscope
Fully equipped with basic microscope features
Able to illuminate objects from many angles, providing users with more varied observational capabilities
Dedicated software providing complete control over observation, data storage, editing and printing
Dedicated website responsive to the needs of an increasingly information society
Development Background
The market for microscopes has become more and more digitized in recent years in step with the increasing prevalence of the Internet in our daily lives. The fact that the Olympus DP12 and DP50 digital cameras for microscopes have been selling so well can be taken as an indication that the need in this market for digitization of the observational image is very high. And in the educational market, IT education has been undertaken in earnest with the institution in April 2002 of "integrated learning periods" in elementary and junior high schools. That has stimulated an interest in a wide range of educational tools that can function as peripherals for personal computers.
In order to meet the needs of an increasingly information society, our company developed the MIC-D, the culmination of a new concept in which the image generated by the microscope is converted into digital data and displayed quickly on a computer screen, thus combining the microscope and digital into a unified whole.
Main features
An IT learning tool perfectly adapted to "integrated study periods"
The combination of experiences such as direct observation of the microscopic world and IT learning tasks like using a PC to observe and edit digitally encoded images is ideally suited to the integrated study periods that are an important part of the new developmental approach to education. And the MIC-D's functional simplicity, durable body and ease of operation make it perfectly adapted to use by students.

(With sponsorship by Olympus, the 43rd Annual Children's Nature Watch Contest will be held this year. This nationwide contest is designed to foster a scientific spirit among elementary and junior high school students. Students are invited to participate by presenting the results of projects such as their independent summer research, their integrated study assignments, and school science department projects. This contest is one proposal Olympus has made for making use of the MIC-D digital microscope in the field of education. Details and application instructions are available on the Internet at: http://www.shizecon.net/.)
Unique styling that combines the best features of digital equipment and the microscope
The MIC-D digital microscope is equipped with a 1/3-inch CMOS color digital camera that converts the observational image into digital data and sends it to the personal computer. This makes it a unique kind of microscope that does not use the ocular lenses found on conventional microscopes.
Fully equipped with basic microscope features
The MIC-D, like the high-end SZX12 stereo microscope, is equipped with a full-fledged optical system featuring a zoom ratio of 13, permitting continuous adjustment between magnifications of 0.7 times and 9 times. In addition, the automatic light control prevents sudden brightening or darkening of the image when zooming between different levels of magnification, enabling even beginners to make competent, satisfying observations. With the use of the Gliding Stage* capable of moving freely within a range of O5mm, and through the full 360 degrees on the horizontal plane, photo framing is simple.
* The stage can be moved freely with the user's fingers.
Able to illuminate objects from many angles, providing users with more varied observational capabilities
A wide range of observing methods can be used to adapt to the properties of the specimen. Transparent specimens such as prepared slides placed on the stage can be observed by training the light source on them from directly above. Greater contrast can also be created by observing the specimen with the light source directed from a point diagonally above it. Objects too large to be placed on the stage can be observed under direct illumination simply by placing the MIC upside down, and specimens in laboratory dishes, or opaque objects, can be observed by placing the light source diagonally underneath the specimen.
Dedicated software providing complete control over observation, data storage, editing and printing
The software is compatible with the Windows98, 2000, Me and XP operating systems, and data can be displayed in both still image and moving image with a 310,000-pixel video graphics array (VGA). The MIC-D software features an easy-to-use interface that enables users to place images in a computer for observation, storage, editing and printing. Since the images are digitally encoded, storing, deleting, adjusting their size and other editing tasks are simple. And by allowing users to add the images to home pages, send them as e-mail attachments or add them to reports, the user is free to make the most of the data.
Dedicated website responsive to the needs of an increasingly digital society
In conjunction with the announcement of the MIC-D, a website devoted to it has been established (URL: http://www.olympus-pm.co.jp/bio/mic-d/) where users can find information on the computer application, as well as information on how to enjoy and make the fullest use of the product.
Specifications
MIC-D
Style Inverted microscope with movable arm
Image device 1/3-inch CMOS color digital camera (pixel size: 5.4mm x 4mm), USB connection
Resolution level 310,000-pixel VGA (640 x 480pixel)
Zoom ratio Variable range: 0.7 - 9 x
Observational field: 7.7mm x 5.7 mm - 0.6 mm x 0.4 mm
Illuminator Fixed condenser, W.D. 30 mm
Built-in sliding frost filter for light intensity adjustment
Movable arm for switching transmitted-light illumination and reflected-light illumination
Light source A White LED
Focus Focusing available up to 5 mm above the stage
Stage Gliding Stage
Weight 1.6 kg
Power supply Supplied from USB cable
Accessories (bundled) USB cable, CD-ROM (software)
Main Software Specifications
Operating system Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 98(SE)
Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 2000
Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Me
Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP
  
Supported languages Japanese, English, French, and German   
PC requirements Computer: PC/AT compatible Intel(R) Pentium(R) III 500MHz or faster CPU and 128MB of RAM is recommended.
CPU: Intel(R) Pentium(R) II 200MHz or faster
RAM: Minimum 64MB
Hard disk space: Minimum 300MB
I/O device: USB port, CD-ROM drive
Display monitor: 800x600 pixel resolution with 16-bit color or better
Image size 640 x 480 (VGA), 320 x 240 (QVGA)   
Still image capturing Data saving format: JPEG, BMP, TIFF Number restricted depending on disk capacity
Movie capturing Data saving format: AVI, MPEG (MPEG1) Number restricted depending on disk capacity
Time-lapse capturing (intermittent movie)
Maximum interval:60 minutes
Minimum interval: 1 second
Library Thumbnail, zoom-up, image comparison   
Movie playback, printing   
Format conversion Not supported MPEG into AVI
Image processing Digital zooming, size modification, trimming   
Rotation, flip horizontal/vertical Rotation by 90 degrees
Text embedding   
Scale and information display   
White/black balance Point/area specification
Color adjustment Hue, saturation, brightness, RGB adjustment, contrast, and tone
Printing   
Help function Text and graphic-based help   
Sample image 15 still frame (JPEG)   
Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of the U.S. Microsoft Corporation. Other company and product names are also registered trademarks or are copyright protected.
*Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. was changed to OLYMPUS CORPORATION as of October 1, 2003.
*The company names and product names specified in this release are the trademarks or registered trademarks of each company.

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