Introducing our new sponsor – Optelec Ltd

About Optelec – The UK’s largest manufacturer of assistive technology.

Logos: Optelec, Enhanced Vision, Freedom Scientific, Schweizer, OrCam
Optelec, Enhanced Vision, Freedom Scientific, Schweizer, OrCam

“Improving the quality of life of visually impaired and dyslexic people – reaching out with simple and effective solutions.”

Since 1985 our products have been designed to help make the most of life: to allow staying in touch with friends and relatives, to participate and succeed in education and the workplace as well continuing to enjoy hobbies.

There is a growing range of assistive products available from Optelec, whether it be a simple optical magnifier for low vision, or the latest device to assist a Braille user to access all parts of the information world.

Our Brands Include:

  • Optelec – Electronic Magnifiers and Text to Speech
  • Enhanced Vision – Electronic Magnifiers and Text to Speech
  • Freedom Scientific – Software, Electronic Magnifiers and Braille Displays
  • Schweizer – German made optical magnifying glasses
  • OrCam – We are a proud OrCam Distributor

Our contact details are:


Tel: 0800 145 6115


Here Optelec share some information about electronic magnifiers, including tips on choosing the correct magnifier

What is an Electronic Magnifier?

An Electronic Magnifier is simply a magnifier that uses a camera to enlarge objects. Optical magnifiers use glass or plastic to enlarge objects.

Electronic magnifiers are often referred to as CCTV (Close-circuit television), this shouldn’t be confused with security cameras also known as CCTV.

What is the difference between an Electronic Magnifier and an Optical Magnifier?

Optical magnifiers have a fixed magnification level (measured in times or dioptres, and a maximum of 14x or 56 dioptres), this is determined by the size and thickness of the glass/plastic. Optical magnifiers are also fixed focus meaning the magnifier needs to be the perfect distance from the object and the eye, known as the sweet spot.

Electronic Magnifiers, on the other hand, have variable magnification, this means if you’re looking at different print sizes you can take the magnification up or down accordingly. Electronic Magnifiers will give much higher levels of magnification and as a rule the larger the screen, the higher level of magnification can be achieved (our larger magnifiers can up to 140x). Almost all electronic magnifiers are auto-focus now, this is certainly a lot more Ergonomic than with conventional Optical Magnifiers.

Electronic Magnifiers give additional features over optical magnifiers, the most common being false colours, freeze/save the image and writing functionality. The false colours are particularly important. False colours mean that words can be changed from colour to white on black or black on white. These colours are person-specific and on most electronic magnifiers you can change these false colours to suit your eye condition.

Other contributing factors to consider when comparing Optical Magnifiers to Electronic Magnifiers is cost and size. Optical Magnifiers are cheaper and as a rule of thumb are more portable, however, Electronic Magnifiers are available in lots of different sizes, including portable Electronic Magnifiers.

Choosing the correct magnifier?

Choosing the correct magnifier is of vital importance. Optical magnifiers are normally issued by an eye-care professional. The Strength of the magnifier is determined by an Eye Chart, similar to an eye test. It is worth noting if you have a degenerative eye condition you may need to be tested regularly so the strength of magnifier can be amended.

Other factors to consider when choosing a magnifier: –

  • What do you hope to achieve from the magnifier or what are you struggling to do?
  • What environment is the magnifier being used?

These two simple questions should always be asked. From these two questions alone our team can advise you what products would best suit your needs.

If you need any assistance please call us on 0800 1456115.