Top endoscopes reviewed – Buying guide & Comparison for 2018
If you’re short on time and you just want to find the best endoscope, this short paragraph should help you get the model you need. Based on our research, it appears that the DBPOWER 26121606 is the one you should consider as it comes with a 2.7-inch LCD screen and boasts a 3-meter tube that will enable you to inspect all the areas that might be out of reach. This particular model also supports 360-degree rotation as well as DVR video recording, in case you require any of these features. Another benefit offered by this unit is that it comes with a rechargeable Lithium battery that can serve you for as many as six hours at a time. The circumstances under which you can utilize the device are numerous as it can be employed for purposes such as science, education, outdoor exploration, and any type of maintenance and repair. Despite their denomination, commercial endoscopes of this type should not be used for medical purposes although they often come with a waterproof tube. If the DBPOWER 26121606 is out of stock, perhaps you should consider the Teslong NTS151RS-3M as it came second when we analyzed the best endoscope reviews.
If you’ve been finding it difficult to sift through the many choices available out there but you’re still resolute on discovering the right endoscope for your requirements, you’re in the right place. The following buyer’s guide has been put together to tackle some of the common questions that prospective customers might have in regards to such devices.
For safety reasons, we would, first of all, suggest refraining from using an endoscope for a medical procedure unless you have prior experience, knowledge, and expertise that can enable you to utilize the device as it is supposed to. Most of the endoscopes available for purchase online are, in fact, borescopes or just cameras placed at the end of a rigid or flexible tube, with the help of which you can investigate certain areas.
Learning to make the difference between the many types of endoscopes and borescopes
The definition of an endoscope is rather simple. It is a device with the help of which a physician, veterinarian, forensic specialist, or any other person with a scientific background can find out additional data in regards to tissues, organs, and other components of living or dead organisms.
Some of the conventional endoscopes out there are laryngoscopes, esophagoscopes, thoracoscopes, laparoscopes, proctoscopes, and many others. Usually, the terminology depicts the area for which the device is primarily designed.
For example, esophagoscopes are technically made to be used on the esophagus, but some of these devices may be somewhat more versatile than others, allowing the physician to explore the stomach, as well, in which case the unit becomes a gastroscope.
The simplest way of telling whether you are about to invest your pennies in an endoscope or borescope is by reading as much info about your chosen model as possible. Even some of the models equipped with the best endoscope camera can strictly be designed for industrial applications.
In most cases, if the model is intended for a medical purpose, you may have to buy it from a certified supplier. Several companies manufacture or sell devices destined for such imaging purposes, all of which have been tested and found to be safe to use with humans, animals, or any other organism for which they are designed.
Flexible or rigid
Now that we have established that most of the endoscopes sold online are not, in fact, endoscope, it’s worth noting that even those intended for industrial applications and other purposes can come with a rigid or a flexible tube.
In health care facilities, units outfitted with a flexible tube are used for most procedures ranging from gastroscopy to bronchoscopy. However, those equipped with a rigid tube can only be used in certain situations such as performing a choledochoscopy.
As for any other purpose, it all comes down to the user’s needs. If for example, you have to examine the area under a panel located above your head level, a unit that comes with a rigid tube might be the right solution. Most manufacturing brands nowadays have taken the design of borescopes to a whole new level as they make their tubes from a material that allows the owner to customize the directionality and shape of the device.
While some inspection models are equipped with the best USB endoscope camera, others can only allow you to use DVR recording. Recently, due to many advances made in regards to compatibility and connectivity, you might notice that some devices allow you to utilize an endoscope app for Android or iOS so that you’re not forced to plug anything into your laptop or rely on your recorder.
Some of these apps can either record the data or only allow you to visualize it. Just be sure to read the detailed information provided by the manufacturing brand so that you can choose the device that best works for your mobile operating system. An endoscope for iPhone might not be compatible with an Android tablet.
Who makes the best endoscopes in terms of performance and compatibility? The short answer to this question would be brands like DBPOWER, Teslong, and Depstech. It wouldn’t hurt if you did a background check on the manufacturer before spending your cents on a particular endoscope.
Our 2018 list: Find the right endoscope for your needs
Some of the inspection endoscopes that are worthy of your attention have been showcased below. Once again, it’s important to note that they are not destined for any medical purpose and that you should only use it for viewing areas out of reach.
This product is one of the most critically acclaimed choices out there, so we had to find out what was so interesting about it that there had been so many people raving about its capabilities.
As with all the other units we are going to showcased in this selection, this DBPOWER one is an inspection snake camera, so it is not intended for medical purposes.
The tube at the end of which you’ll find the camera measures three meters, which appears to be more than enough for most situations. Despite being reasonably priced, this unit comes with a monitor that you can utilize for performing the actual inspection and that measures 2.7 inches. The camera has a resolution of 0.3-megapixels.
The end of the tube also comes with a light source consisting of six LEDs of which the intensity can be set depending on your momentary needs. Plus, the unit is outfitted with a Lithium battery that can be recharged via USB.
This endoscope provides a variety of features you will genuinely appreciate when doing closed-area inspections, including a zoom function, Digital Video Recording (DVR), and a 360-degree rotation.
The tool comes with a high-definition, 2.7-inch QVGA color screen that enables you to view live video feeds instantly in the area being subjected to close inspection.
This compact handheld camera comes with an ergonomic design that allows you to control all the buttons using just one hand with ease, while the silicon buttons are backlit to facilitate use with added comfort and convenience.
This tool ships with its own lithium battery, with a rechargeable, 2600mAh capacity that supports up to 6 hours of continuous operations in case you need an in-depth study of the inspected area.
The 3-meter rigid tube is waterproof along with the slim, 8.2mm diameter probe geared with 6 pieces of LEDs with an adjustable intensity to suit the inspection environment.
This tool has been proven to have a decent resolution and good quality but the probe can be hard to position at times to enable you to know what you are looking at. You need to be very close to what you are trying to inspect to guarantee that the image is not blurred.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($79.99)
While it is true that it is slightly less affordable compared to the model we have showcased above, the Teslong unit does offer a set of advantages you may need to consider.
Also, it’s worth noting that this product is available both with a 1-meter and with a 3-meter long cable, so there’s nothing stopping you from selecting the shorter one if that is what you require.
The model comes with a 3.5-inch color LCD screen that you can utilize for viewing live video. The neat thing about this display component is that it has been constructed to be rugged, thus allowing you to use it without worrying too much about getting it damaged.
As is the case with the formerly mentioned alternative, this particular one comes with a Lithium battery with a capacity of 2600mAh, which means that you can use it for as many as six hours at a time.
Engineered with a compact design, this special progressive scanning camera probe measures just 0.21 inch in diameter and makes it easy to do inspections of tight places with its IP67 waterproof rating plus the 6 adjustable LED lights.
The 3.5-inch QVGA color LCD screen is extremely easy to hold in just one hand as it only weighs 0.44 pound so it won’t cause the easy and quick onset of hand fatigue.
The exceptional, semi-rigid cable offers a sufficient flexibility and is still able to hold its shape well enough to get into some really tight spots for a closer inspection.
This device is powered by its built-in 2600mAh rechargeable, lithium-ion battery that provides up to 6 hours of uninterrupted operation time for intensive applications.
The 4X zoom function goes nicely with the 360-degree rotation to enable all-around views of the tight spot being inspected to enable you to obtain thorough viewing.
When the probe gets dirty, it can be difficult to see the image the camera is capturing. In addition, the coating used on the cable easily comes off when used in tough environments.
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Even though it is significantly more budget-friendly compared to some of the units we have reviewed above, this Depstech unit comes with a series of undeniable advantages. If connectivity would be an issue for some models, it most certainly is not in the case of this one.
The model has been designed in such a way so that it is tailored to both Android and iOS users’ needs. It offers great results with any device ranging from smartphones to tablets as long as those come with the formerly mentioned operating systems.
Besides, the app is completely free of charge and only needs to be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
The 2-megapixel camera that this unit has been equipped with is another benefit as it allows you to glance at high-quality images and actually understand what is going on in the areas you are looking to inspect.
This model is designed to accommodate not only Android smartphones above Android 2.3 but also iPhone iOS systems above iOS 6.0, so it is ideal for iPhone users who have to perform close inspection tasks.
This device features a high-resolution camera of 2MP to enable you to enjoy a great inspection experience with a clear, close-range recording of captured video and snapshots for documentation.
This is a wireless tool that provides easy setup and needs no additional adapter or cable as it connects hassle-free to your smartphone through WiFi and with the download and installation of a compatible WiFi View app on your gadget.
High-definition video can be recorded in AVI format, along with snapshot images in JPG format using three resolution settings for personalization so you can get as close and as clear as you need.
Best for car repairs, piping inspection, construction, restoration, and other tough applications, this tool comes with a password that must not be changed in any way as failure to follow this instruction will render the device useless.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($38.99)
If getting a USB borescope or endoscope has been on your mind for quite some time, be sure to check out the specs of the Distianert FT-04 as it’s a winner in terms of convenience and ease of use.
Granted, you won’t be able to take advantage of any wireless connectivity feature, but it’s very likely that you won’t need it since the model comes with a 4-meter cable.
Something that needs to be emphasized about this unit is that it works with Android devices, so if you are an iOS user, you may have to choose a different model. As with the previously showcased Depstech model, this one boasts a 2-megapixel camera.
Although most of the people who have purchased this model have good things to say about its performance, some say that the app might be less user-friendly and you may have to research some other piece of software.
Fortunately, there are many other such alternatives.
With its micro-USB port, this camera is compatible with an Android smartphone with an OTG function, while the USB port accommodates Mac/Win 7/ Win 8/ Win 10 devices.
The supplied black cloth bag provides a means of storing the device and transporting it as needed while keeping the sensitive components and the entire camera kit protected during carrying.
The 2MP, IP67- rated, waterproof camera is supported by the 6 white LEDS for illumination plus a 4-meter, 8mm-diameter, flat, hard cable that can go into tight places for internal inspections.
The camera delivers a good 1600×1200 resolution and can operate at temperatures between 0 to 60 degrees while delivering a framerate of 30fps for an effortless and careful inspection of internal components and conditions.
This tool is compatible with the following: Android 4.4 to Android 6 phone systems; and Win 7/ Win 8/ Win 10/ OS PC systems. It outputs a JPEG photo format and an AVI video format.
The device provides no means to turn the light off fully so there is lens reflection that gets in the way of getting a good image with the illumination at full intensity.
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In some respects, this 85S-5M model resembles the Depstech one we’ve talked about earlier on. The difference between the two is that this particular unit comes with a 5-meter cable, so it appears to be destined for somewhat unreachable areas.
The model has been outfitted with a 2-megapixel camera which is waterproof, which basically means that you’ll be able to utilize it even under the harshest circumstances.
The light source consists of six LED bulbs of which the intensity and brightness can be customized. A hook, a magnet, as well as a user manual, are all part of the package, so you needn’t worry about anything. The operating systems that have been found to be compatible with this unit are Windows XP, 7, 8, 10, MacBook OS, and Android devices.
Android users have two ways of going about things. They either use the Depstech app available for download from Google Play or choose the CameraFi application as even the second is compatible.
This model comes with a convertible USB or micro-USB interface design that eliminates the need for an extra adapter or cables when connecting the unit to your portable device.
The camera is outfitted with a Super high-vision, 2MP CMOS sensor camera that is capable of capturing quality videos and clear snapshot images at close range and with an incredible maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200.
The instrument employs a special blue LED technology via the 6 adjustable blue LED lights on the camera tip to help with the improvement of the clarity and brightness of images for use in dark and low-light conditions.
The IP67 waterproof camera probe makes it easy to explore hard-to-access or difficult-to-view areas including vent pipes, car engines, underwater pipes, and more.
The device features an easily bendable semi-rigid cable that still retains its shape to facilitate access to a wide variety of confined spaces including curved pipes and holes.
Once inserted into a pipe, the probe can be difficult to hold steady so when it is used in a slightly moving boat, for instance, establishing a focal distance to get a clear view can be a challenge.
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What does an endoscopy show?
The term endoscopy refers to the exploration of certain areas that cannot be seen or reached without the use of a special device. The medical purpose of such a product is to identify various types of modifications that may range from inflammation to ulcers and tumors.
In most cases, endoscopes are utilized for visualizing the mucous membrane of a certain tube-like organ such as the esophagus, the stomach, any portion of the intestine, as well as the common bile duct. Of all the procedures commonly utilized these days, colonoscopy is by far the widest known. In most cases, the examination takes place after the patient has been anesthetized so that he or she does not feel any discomfort.
Colonoscopy is one of the simplest and most efficient methods of discovering polyps, ulcers, inflammation, and above all, tumors, in the colon of humans. With an increase in the incidence of colon cancer in recent years, the procedure becomes more and more necessary.
Are endoscopes safe?
As their name suggests, endoscopes have been fitted with a camera at the end of the tube so that the medical specialist can have a look at the surface of the mucous membrane and modifications thereof. Much like borescopes, the structure of such a device is rather straightforward. They do not have any pointed tips or sharp components that may affect the integrity of the surface they are intended to examine.
In order to do what they are supposed to, most endoscopes come outfitted with a waterproof camera that enables the physician to perform the entire procedure without worrying about the camera getting damaged. Endoscopy is considered an overall safe method, but there are several risks that need to be mentioned.
One of such risks is a perforation, and the other is an infection. If the endoscope has not been sterilized properly, danger of acquiring an infection could be high. A reaction to sedation is also possible if the procedure calls for it.
Is endoscopy a painful procedure?
Typically, endoscopy is neither dangerous nor painful. However, some people have been found to experience a mild discomfort. In order to prevent various reactions or any pain, most patients are sedated. While some might be given local anesthesia, others have to be given a general anesthetic.
Esophagoscopy and gastroscopy sometimes call for local anesthesia whereas colonoscopy usually requires general sedation. The reason that the area needs to be numbed for is that most people have a strong gagging reflex that can interfere with the whole procedure and prevent the physician from examining the areas.
Colonoscopy is not a painful process; however, many patients may find it uncomfortable and would much rather avoid feeling anything. Upper endoscopy is usually less uncomfortable, so it all comes down to the organ that needs to be examined.
Can endoscopy detect cancer?
Most imaging methods cannot detect incipient tumors. Radiology, endoscopy, and ultrasonography usually have their limitations. Computed tomography can reveal a greater amount of detail compared to the formerly mentioned methods of physical examination.
If the patient has undergone several imaging methods that have not shown the presence of any tumor, endoscopy may indeed prove certain useful pieces of information. While ultrasonography and radiology fail to show data in regards to the color, and sometimes inflammation of certain organs, endoscopy may be able to do just that.
In the end, one of the most revealing, albeit invasive, methods of diagnosing cancer is a biopsy.