Digital Stereo Microscope Buyer's Guide and Comparisons

Real Time Three-Dimensional Imaging!

The digital stereo microscope offers the ability to manipulate specimens and send images to a computer and so has become a widely used instrument.

Students, researchers, manufacturers and hobbyists find stereo microscopes to be easy to use while providing real time three-dimensional images. 

Stereo Microscopes

Digital stereo microscopes are stereo microscopes capable of sending digital images to a wide variety of electronic components.

Images can be sent to a computer, storage device or projection system allowing groups of individuals to observe the specimen in real time.

Stereo microscopes employ two compound lenses at slightly different angles resulting in an in-focus three-dimensional image.

In addition, larger specimens can be studied with these instruments using the larger platforms, which can accommodate many specimens that are too large to fit under the turret lenses of traditional microscopes.

Many stereo microscopes are modular in design, allowing components such as adaptive lenses, specific types of platforms and different lighting sources to be changed and added.

They are also lower in magnification strength than most compound microscopes, but the advantages include a larger platform where manipulation of the specimen can be performed and three-dimensional imaging. 

For more info on stereo microscopes in general without the digital capabilities click here.

Adding Digital Capabilities

Not only is it possible to add digital capabilities to stereo microscopes, but it is possible to add enhanced digital capabilities to an existing digital stereo microscope.

Digital microscope cameras, designed to fit into an instrument’s eyepiece, will turn a stereo microscope into a digital stereo microscope. Additionally, these types of cameras come with computer software and connection cords.

Digital microscopes have a wide assortment of modular accessories including colored lenses, light filters, fluorescence units, taller or wider stands, microscope tables that allow multiple people to see the same images produced by one microscope and calibration grids including micrometer calibration slides.

These add on components allow educational facilities to upgrade their existing equipment without purchasing new microscopes.

Pros and Cons

There are two sides to every coin and the same holds true for digital stereo microscopes.

  • While the larger viewing area allows specimens to be seen and manipulated, the lower magnification reduces the visual range of these instruments.
  • Variable light source options provide flexibility and versatility while the large platform allows detailed study of larger specimens including minerals, insects and electrical components.
  • The ability to correct manufacturing errors on electronics, observe small insect behavior and provide accurate images of skin and tissues make these instruments valuable assets to both manufacturing and education.
  • These instruments will not provide the ability to view minute samples unless the lens magnification is increased.
  • Many of these instruments are not portable and can only be used on a stable, flat surface with an available power source unlike some stereo microscopes that can be taken anywhere.

Digital Options

Digital microscopes provide the ability to send images electronically to remote locations, classrooms and viewing screens providing educational opportunities for many students that were once unavailable.

An instructor can dissect a specimen while students observe on their personal laptops or on a viewing screen in the classroom. At the same time, the images can also be sent to remote classrooms around the world.

Digital instruments use a standard USB cord to send images to a wide range of devices including computer monitors, TV screens, computers of all types, flash drives and other electronic storage devices.

Computer software provides options on image storage location, picture definition and file format and most software integrates well with most existing operating systems.


These sought after microscopes are available from many companies ranging from student instruments costing less than a hundred dollars to highly sophisticated research instruments costing thousands of dollars.

Many optical companies produce their own digital stereo instruments for students and hobbyists including Stereo Microscopes and Microscope World.

MicroscopeMaster Recommendations

Check out MicroscopeMaster's review of Omax's 3.5X-90X USB3 18MP Digital Trinocular Zoom Stereo Microscope

It's always worth a tour of as they offer various models at base prices. A hobbyist can certainly purchase all that they need in a stereo microscope from manufacturers, AmScope or Omax. Be sure to scroll through our recommendations below.

Choosing a digital stereo microscope as a first instrument or research tool combines detailed specimen study with computer storage and technology.

Learning to manipulate an image on a computer and learning to manipulate a specimen on the platform provides students with two educational advantages. 

Learn about Stage Micrometers and Measurement - handy with Stereo Microscopes

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