Optical resolution photoacoustic microscopy (OR-PAM) has been shown as a promising tool for label-free microvascular and single-cell imaging in clinical and bioscientific applications. However, most OR-PAM systems are realized by using a bulky laser for photoacoustic excitation. The large volume and high price of the laser may restrain the popularity of OR-PAM. In this study, we develop a low-cost and compact OR-PAM system based on a commercially available DVD pickup head. We showed that the DVD pickup head have the required laser energy and focusing optics for OR-PAM. The firmware of a DVD burner was modified to enable its laser diode to provide a 13-ns laser pulse with 1.3-nJ energy at 650 nm. Two excitation wavelengths at 650 and 780 nm were available. The laser beam was focused onto the target after passing through a 0.6-mm thick DVD transparent polycarbonate coating, and then aligned to be confocal with a 50-MHz focused ultrasonic transducer in forward mode. To keep the target on focus, a scan involving auto-tracking procedure was performed. The lateral resolution was verified via cross-sectional imaging of a 6-mu m carbon fiber. The measured -6 dB width of the carbon fiber was 6.66 mu m which was in agreement with optical diffraction limit. The proposed OR-PAM has potential as an economically viable and compact blood screening tool available outside of large laboratories due to its low cost and portability. Furthermore, a better spatial resolution could be provided by using a blue ray DVD pickup head.