Advancements in technology have made the digital microscope available to students, hobbyists, researchers and manufacturers.
In turn, viewable images continue to improve and advance many areas of science and the world around us.
The basic design and principle of how a microscope works did not change much until the late 1900’s. When computers became more compact and precision optical sensors were created, the standard platform microscope entered a new age.
Using CCD sensors, charged coupling devices, digital microscopes no longer relied on optical lenses alone.
The digital age has incorporated light sensitive pixels to capture images which when compiled by computer software allows an image to be magnified, viewed in real time motion, measured in 2D and 3D and even to display 3D images.
The speed at which CCD sensors capture images can be controlled. These devices are set much in the same way a light timer is set only at faster speeds.
The microscope is connected to the computer via a USB cable unless the microscope has it's own viewscreen.
Also, in some cases, a microscope camera will need to be purchased separately to be set up onto the microscope in order to capture the images.
Using this type of microscope, you can achieve a magnification of up to 1000X and enjoy all the capabilities of a compound light microscope.
These images can be viewed in greater detail as the microscopes project images onto a computer screen, flat panel monitor or some other type of screen device.
Images captured by these microscopes can be enlarged and the size of most images is only limited by how large the size of the viewing screen.
CCD technology provides real time images, allowing living samples to be viewed continuously. Computers can also capture images and real time footage for printing, disc storage, Internet file or as a specific computer file.
This allows images to be transferred via the Internet easily and efficiently.
The applications of computerized microscopes allow a technician to transfer a slides image to a physician in the same building or to one on the other side of the world in minutes.
Computer technology and the Internet allow students from all over the world to see virtual microscopic images as if they were looking into the eyepiece themselves.
Colleges and universities use these virtual instruments to provide students with practical knowledge and observe microscopic images.
Virtual microscopes allow for image manipulation, stain options and some provide information on the object being viewed.
By sharing virtual images, students in remote regions have access to images that may be thousands of miles away.
Reducing travel expenses and improving the speed at which images can be transferred saves hours of research time and money.
Digital Computer Software
A digital microscope requires the use of specific computer software that allows the CCD sensors to function, capturing images then sending them to a monitor or viewing screen.
Some software allows for integration that permits Internet transfers so that images in a laboratory can be transferred instantly for viewing in remote areas.
The advances in computer programming have allowed microscope software to be fully automated. This saves time and improves research and development.
Hobbyists go Digital
Improvements in technology allow specialized instruments to become available to the general public.
Digital microscopes are no different. A digital camera on the microscope allow it to provide printed copies of images.
By removing the eyepiece and inserting specialized cameras, images that would be viewed by the human eye can be sent to a computer, cropped, modified as needed and printed.
Hobbyists and individuals can purchase a small microscope for a few hundred dollars, whereas such microscopes, used by medical and scientific researchers, can reach costs of hundreds of thousands.
The digital microscope allows images to be viewed in a comfortable position, to be printed and seen in real time and as a 3D image.
Technology allows researchers and hobbyists to increase our understanding of the world in which we live. Amazon has a variety of digital microscopes from full size to the handheld variety.
Microscope Camera - capturing images viewed from a microscope, sending them to a computer to email, to crop, to modify as needed and/or print is invaluable to the professional and to the hobbyist.
The Virtual Microscope - read about the sharing of virtual images through computer technology which enables people in all regions of the world to study specimens.
Portable Digital Microscope - Take a look at this small, durable and portable microscope, some as small as an ink pen, yet provide detailed up close images of objects and larger single celled organisms.
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The material on this page is not medical advice and is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment. Although care has been taken when preparing this page, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Scientific understanding changes over time.
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