Digital microscopes enhance or replace the visual observation with an integrated camera. You can observe the microscope picture on a monitor. It is further possible to save images or videos from your samples to the PC. Most of the microscopes have the camera built into the microscope housing, which makes an upgrade of the camera difficult. A modular system with a separate microscope camera is more flexible; one camera may be used on several microscopes. Depending on the model you can watch the live image on the built in monitor, or on the connected computer. For schools this versatility is especially helpful. Depending on price range and application you will find different construction types.
Simple handheld microscopes are used to observe small parts or surfaces and are placed directly on top of the specimen. They will deliver magnified views from printed materials, tools and material samples, but are also useful when checking plants and their parasites, collectors’ items, and much more. Handmicroscopes have their own optics built in and will normally support more than onemagnification. Models with built-in monitor and memory are used for mobile applications and in the field.
A special class of digital microscopes will not differ from the standard construction type, but despite having a separate tube to attach any camera, have a camera module already built in. There are models which can be used normally with eyepieces, but also models which have the visual microscope head replaced by a monitor.