What Is a Digital Microscope Used For

What Is a Digital Microscope Used For?

Dennis Vermeulen

Dennis Vermeulen

Business Development at PreciPoint. Supports customers in the digitization of their laboratories throughout Germany.


Digital microscopy is a relatively new term in microscopy. When a classical microscope is merged with a great camera, you get the possibility of observing a sample directly on the monitor. In the case of a digital microscope, USB is usually connected to a digital camera and a computer or monitor. You can see the image output displayed on the monitor. Digital microscopy encompasses scanning and the analysis of the sample via an LCD monitor. It developed around the year 2000 when the number of microscopes using digital technology increased. Since then, this has become a very helpful and powerful tool for diverse types of jobs requiring microscopic analysis. The best digital microscope gives all the answers to your questions.

What Are the Uses of Digital Microscopes?

Digital microscopy is becoming more widely used among researchers, pathologists, quality inspectors, etc. Digital microscopes make it easier to establish workflows and make analyzing easy. With a great digital microscope, you don’t need to spend endless hours bending your head and racking your eyes. Easier documentation of your work is one of the best features of an optimal user experience. You can automatically save and store your data and discuss your work with colleagues. The possibilities are endless. Many users can work with samples at the same time. In most cases, if the digital microscope in your lab or institution is used for research purposes, multiple users can provide inputs to the stored results. With a good intuitive digital microscope, you do not need to spend hours on training.

Analog Microscope vs. Digital Microscope

Feature Analog Microscope Digital Microscope
Higher the magnification, the shallower the depth of field.
Higher the magnification, the sharper the depth of field.
Three-dimensional imaging
Surface characteristics are difficult to determine.
Fully focused images.
Quantitative data
Does not provide measurements and other data.
Most digital microscopes come with tools for real-time measurements.
Data sharing
Only possible during the discussion with colleagues.
Images can be easily stored on-site.

However, compared to the traditional microscope, there is one disadvantage. Digital microscopes need at least one power cable because they are connected to a PC, laptop, or at least the monitor that usually comes with them.

Many users are interested in the quality of the image produced by the digital microscope. It’s much easier to achieve a deeper perception with the digital microscope because there is no need for many adjustments. It’s simpler to handle than the traditional microscope.

Digital Microscope: Advantages and Disadvantages

One of the most notable advantages of a digital microscope is the possibility of close examination. That way, a digital microscope becomes a necessary tool in investigations, research, and innovations, ensuring the quality of your work. The high resolution of the imagery allows users to observe every detail of the subject at the same time and incorporate the observation into their research. The saved imagery has clarity and depth and can be observed from multiple angles. It’s also very helpful to make a presentation.

Balancing the Pros and Cons of Digital Microscopes
Balancing the Pros and Cons of Digital Microscopes

Very often, the nature of your work may have time constraints. With a high-resolution digital image saved on the cloud platform, the team can work remotely. An ideal digital microscope can be used for digital pathology imaging, digital pathology information flow, interactive telepathology, and high-content pathology, among other fields. Before starting the analysis, only minimum adjustments are required. Digital microscope such as PreciPoint’s iO:M8 saves time as you do not have to send the physical specimen to all the team members involved.

The disadvantages of digital microscopes are not many. The biggest of them is the need for a power connection. However, because almost every laboratory today has an electricity connection, this is no longer a drawback. The second disadvantage is the need for a PC or a screen for viewing. However, as most researchers work with computers these days, most of them don’t see this as a big problem.

How to Choose the Best Digital Microscope?

There are many types of digital microscopes addressing multiple purposes. Some of them come with a digital camera, and some offer HDMI and USB capability. Also, some microscopes come with an LCD screen attachment, while others have a separate USB or HDMI monitor. Most digital microscopes come with a monitor and software supporting the purpose. The users can magnify, edit, store, label, and do other things with the images. The best digital microscopes even have the possibility of magnifying the images in multiple ways. Additionally, the handheld unit allows you to easily take it from one place to another, and work on automatic and manual modes. No more complicated tasks! Everything is simplified so you can increase your productivity and get the best possible results.

The best digital microscope makes life uncomplicated!
The best digital microscope makes life uncomplicated!

Digital microscopes are excellent tools in various industries. Ear scopes are just an example of the units that are used in digital microscopy. If you are a biologist, a digital microscope can magnify an object up to 100 times. Fluorescence digital microscopes are the best solution if you require fluorescence and phosphorescence as the primary sources of light. Other types of digital microscopes include metallurgical, phase, polarizing, and others. In the end, it depends on your industry and your need. If your workflow requires additional equipment, contact your vendor. He can also help you set up the whole workstation to successfully manage your tasks.

What Are the Requirements for Using Digital Microscopes?

Digital microscopes and all the equipment require continuous maintenance, and that is the way to keep your digital microscope the best digital microscope. For example, if the quality of the specimen seen on the monitor is different from the quality of the specimen under the microscope, that can gravely affect the result. So, when working with digital microscopes, attention must be paid to every detail in the work environment. Often, the setup of a specially adapted workstation is a better solution.

A specially adapted digital microscopy laboratory
Basic requirements in a digital microscope

When talking about digital microscopy, if you use, let’s say at a conference, more monitors, the colors can be different. That’s because of the resolution and settings. However, while you can configure each monitor to your liking, it is often difficult to match the color of the specimen with the color on the monitor. That’s why digital microscopes are helpful because you can very easily set up the end-to-end calibration that helps to keep the quality of your research and presentations at the highest level.

Monitor resolution depends on the screen size, which is very important for adequate viewing of the images. If the image of your sample is of a higher resolution than your monitor, you won’t be able to see the details clearly, and the image will be pixelated. Therefore, the minimum recommendation is a color-calibrated monitor with a resolution of at least 1920 x 1080 pixels. You can even buy pre-calibrated monitors that make digital microscopy usage easier. Another option is to calibrate it using some of the software available on the market.


When using a digital microscope, a USB cable is typically used to connect a digital camera to a computer or monitor, allowing the user to view the image output on the display. Digital microscopy involves using an LCD monitor to scan and analyze samples. This technology emerged in the early 2000s as more microscopes began to utilize digital technology, and has since proven to be a valuable and effective tool for various types of microscopic analysis. A top-quality digital microscope such as fully-motorized digital microscopes by PreciPoint can provide comprehensive solutions for all your analytical needs.

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