The Digital Microscope Camera

Technology Improves Image Clarity and more!

Providing sharp, clear images that can be sent to computers is why a digital microscope camera is a popular research and teaching instrument.

A microscope with digital imaging capability provides what was once only possible in laboratory settings. Sharing of research and clinical findings. 


Some microscopes can be purchased with their own viewscreens and digital image capture capabilities already built in.

The digital microscope was a natural progression in the history of microscope development as technological advances improved design.

August Kohler realized that in order to view a sample without obstruction, improvements would be needed. Kohler developed a double diaphragm system that lighted a specimen evenly allowing a true image to be viewed.

Combining Leitz’s multiple lens turret system with these diaphragms permits the minute parts of a cell’s structure could be studied.

Replicating viewed specimens by hand is time consuming and may not always be accurate.

However, the development of a digital microscope camera that sends images to a computer where they can be stored, turned into time lapse photographs, or enlarged for examination, is why these instruments are popular.


The invention of charge-coupled device sensors that send an electrical charge across a processing chip as the image is processed, providing clear, sharp images, eliminated the time-consuming photo development process.

Prior to this, digital instruments used specialized cameras to store images that required developing before they could be viewed.

Complimentary metal-oxide semiconductors, known as CMOS, convert light into electrons using a less expensive type of electronic chip, providing lower cost digital instruments.

Digital microscopes provide real time imaging through the eyepiece and on a computer or LCD screen.

Unlike traditional microscopes, the images seen on the slide are sent electronically to a number of storage devices including a computer, laptop, flash drive and instant transfer via the Internet.

Teaching facilities can send real time images using a digital microscope camera to students in remote locations, providing multiple locations with laboratory study.

Upgrading Traditional Microscopes

Upgrading traditional compound microscopes using an add-on camera unit that fits into the eyepiece, transforms a traditional instrument into a digital one.

The use of a digital microscope camera adapter is a vital part of getting the right fit!

Microscope digital software and a USB cord send images to a computer or flash drive.


Young students and hobbyists as well as researchers, manufacturers and medical technicians can all benefit from the many advantages digital instruments provide.

Observing cellular activity, simple life forms, and details of other specimens can be viewed at leisure once the image has been stored in a computer or printed.

Real time images allow visual progression of life cycles, observation of a specimen over a period of time and the ability to return to a particular image for study.

Digital Providers

Several microscope manufacturers sell at least one digital microscope camera:

  • Nikon provides a ccd photon detector digital instrument with an LCD screen with images 1/3 to one inch in size.
  • Konus offers a child-friendly digital unit with image magnifications from 100 to 450x’s. The microscopes head changes into a web camera for sending images directly to a computer and comes complete with USB cable and computer software allowing picture resolutions up to 640x480 pixels.
  • Leica sells a portable digital instrument that can be used anywhere
  • The Olympus Company has a wide variety of digital instruments and provides online tutorials, specimen images and processing tips for these types of microscopes.
  • PAXcam offers digital cameras, adapters, digital computer software and technical support to transform traditional instruments into digital ones.
  • Dino Lite, Home Training Tools, Celestron and Keyence have many hand held, table and portable digital units appropriate for home or research use. 

The digital microscope camera provides hobbyists and students with high-resolution images once only available to researchers and scientists.

Home computers and printers allow anyone to capture and print glimpses into the microscopic world. Digital cameras from major manufacturers are available on Amazon.

ViTiny Pro10 Plus Portable Digital Microscope- a portable and unique microscope and camera combination in one handy device. Read MicroscopeMaster's review here. 

Check out the interesting technology involving tablets with the Moticam BTU10 Digital Microscopy Camera.

Digital Microscope Camera Adapter - read about specific and universal eyepiece adapters available to fit your microscope enabling images to be viewed on a monitor, sent to a computer for storage or printing and sent live to remote computers or monitors in other locations.

For more detailed information about using a Digital Microscope click here 

Understanding image capture and how it benefits us now and into the future in digital pathology

Learn about Digital Imaging with Digital Colour Brightness and True Colour 3D Technology

Learn about Microphotography

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