Being a professional journalist, James knows how to turn any topic into a comprehensive, easy-to-digest text. Even if you've never dealt with telescopes before, rest assured James will explain everything you wanted to know about them better than your physics coursebook.
Charles holds a Master’s degree in Physics Engineering (optics and photonics specialization), has been teaching physics at school for almost 15 years and recently has started teaching a course on optics at a local university. Our irreplaceable website expert.
Last updated: November 04, 2021
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A digital microscope is one of the handiest tools as it can be used for a wide variety of applications. You can use them to discover the world that is invisible to many or even examine and repair small electronic components in your home or workshop. There are multiple brands and models of digital microscopes available and choosing the best of the bunch can be a bag of experience.
We have come up with a refined list of the best digital microscopes on the market to help you make the best informed choice. The list includes products that are suitable for a myriad purposes with different price points. They can be used in the labs, engineering workshops, or even classrooms. Some of the features we considered in our review include; illumination, resolution, power source, type, and construction quality. They determine the durability, convenience and efficiency of the microscopes. For instance, if you want highly-detailed quality images, the type, resolution and illumination of the microscope must be your top consideration.
"This compound trinocular microscope features 40-2000x fixed magnification, powerful 5MP camera and is powered by USB 2.0 cable connected to your computer.6V/20W halogen lamp.Levenhuk ToupView software.movable stage."
"This biological and stereoscopical microscope features 10 – 300 x variable magnification, 5-inch LCD display with IPS technology and is powered by a rechargeable battery.1080×720 image resolution.LED illumination.5mm – 70mm focusing range."
"This compound microscope features 20 – 500 x variable magnification, powerful 5MP camera and is powered by a Li-ion rechargeable battery.3.5” color LCD display.8 white LED lights.video recording function."
"This compound trinocular microscope features 20 – 200 x magnification, 5MP camera and is powered by USB 2.0 cable connected to your computer.LED illumination.Celestron MicroCapture Pro software.clear plastic nosepiece."
"This handheld digital microscope features 75x / 300x magnification, Flex neck stand and is powered by USB 2.0 cable connected to your computer.1600×1200 picture and 640×480 video resolution.LED illumination.suction cup adapter."
This trinocular microscope scooped the top spot for all the right reasons. It has a modern easy-to-use design with powerful features that make it highly reliable and versatile.
The microscope boasts of impressive magnifications from 40x to 2000x. With such superb capability, you can use the microscope for a wide range of purposes. It also comes with a powerful 5pMx camera that offers magnificent image quality that you can even save for future use. The camera also has an installation CD with all the necessary software and drivers.
Btw you can take the microscope’s capability a notch higher by attaching the camera to its trinocular head. The trinocular head design offers superior comfort during lengthy observations. It integrates 2 eye-pieces in a binocular setup to reduce eye stress when you have lengthy observations.
Plus, their 30-degree inclination allows you to sit comfortably when working.
Additionally, the trinocular head design makes group work easy as it can be rotated 360 degrees around its axis.
Another impressive thing about this Levenhuk microscope is its 4 high-quality objective lenses. Not to mention its compatibility with Mac OS, Linux and Windows. If you are new to microscoping, you can read the user manual included.
Why is it special? The microscope has impressive and powerful features and at the same time incredibly easy and comfortable to use. And, it its superior quality is backed by a 3-year warranty.
What are the flaws? It’s hard to imagine there is any room for improvement on this Levenhuk microscope.
This is the ultimate premium grade digital microscope. It is a prime choice for anyone looking for an advanced student level microscope to enjoy viewing high quality images with greater detail.
Despite its compact build, this Meiji microscope is quite a heft when it comes to durability. It has solid construction with an aluminum base that can hold up well to constant scratching or any form of battering that can lead to early wear and tear.
Surprisingly, the highly portable microscope features a USB 2.0 digital camera.
The most exciting thing about this microscope is that you can use it without a power outlet because it is cordless and uses rechargeable batteries. For added convenience, the microscope features an object turret nosepiece in reverse position to allow you to place or reposition your specimen slides easily. It also protects the objective lenses.
Another praiseworthy feature is the LED illumination that has intensity control and provides maximum image brightness when all the objectives are in place. The LED doesn’t produce any heat that would interfere with your samples.
with a powerful magnification that ranges from 40x, 100x, 400x, 1000x you could make the most out of this microscope including biological use in a laboratory.
Why is it special? The microscope is built to last and packs a punch with several first-rate features. It is also easy to use, handle and store because of its compact build and ergonomic hand grip.
What are the flaws? Other than its premium price, nothing could possibly be better with this Binocular Compound microscope.
With its stereoscopical and biological capabilities, the Konus 5024 is a true evolution in the microscope world. You can use it to examine prepared slides as well as observe small objects.
The 5-inch LCD display with IPS technology is the most obvious proof that this microscope is totally digital. It also comes with a software for PC and Mac so you can connect it to your computer or TV. The software is provided in a CD included in the package.
The microscope is powered by a built-in rechargeable battery which will last you a good 3 hours. The only caveat is that it takes 4 hours to charge.
On the bright side, you get a 4GB SD card that allows you to store your recorded videos and pictures for future reference.
With a magnification power of 100x-300x, the microscope is ideal for less advanced works that don’t not require high precision details. That doesn’t mean that it gives sloppy image quality, no! In fact, on top of LED illumination, the microscope features a polarizer for improved video quality.
What makes it special? This is one of the best Digital microscopes for kids out there. It is incredibly easy to use with pretty decent specs. The fact that it is biological and stereoscopic makes it a fantastic option for satisfying kids’ curiosity.
What cons did we find? There aren’t any downsides that are real deal breakers on this microscope.
This is another high-end digital microscope from the world-famous brand Levenhuk. The DTX 500 is designed for performing high-precision works. It is the ideal option for observing the most opaque samples.
The microscope has a serious look about it with a 3.5-inch color LCD display. It allows you to examine or observe small objects under a 20x to 500x magnification. Other than offering crisp clear images, the LCD panel features buttons that you can use to adjust its brightness, color balance and exposure.
The microscope distinguishes itself with an image processing software and a measurement function. They both allow you to edit created files and make accurate measurements of radiuses, linear sizes and angles. The accuracy level of the software is 1 micrometer.
Also featured are 8 built-in LED lights that will light your working surface evenly while ensuring minimum energy consumption. Just like the LCD, this superb illumination system features a brightness adjustment setting to suit your preference.
When it comes to accessories, the DTX 500 does not fall behind. It includes several handy items in its kit like a software CD, a USB cable, a user manual for newbies, an adapter and an AV cable.
What are its best features? It is hard to beat this microscope when it comes to offering high-precision. Its image processing software with measurement function sets it apart as one of the best USB digital microscope.
What could be improved? Some have complained that the resolution of the microscope is not the same as advertised.
Celestron doesn’t play when it comes to producing top-notch quality products. The Infiniview is one of their masterpieces that you can use for your eclectic stamp collection, field trip or lab sessions.
The full-size digital microscope is quite the stunner with a 5MP CMOS sensor. With such capability, you can capture high-resolution videos and images at a flash speed of 30 frames per second. Better yet, you can view the videos and images on the LCD display at a variable shutter speed.
The built-in LCD display is 3.5 inches and colored and it features an easy-to-use control panel that will make saving your work a seamless experience. There’s also a mini-USB data port and a 32GB SD card slot.
You can trust this microscope to provide you with the clearest vivid images owing to the infrared—reducing 5-element glass lens system featured in its optics. The 8 LEDs with adjustable brightness also contribute to its exceptional image quality.
Additionally with a wide focusing range, you won’t miss a single detail.
Essentially the Infiniview is one of those few gadgets that combine superior functionality and comfort. It has an arched frame that you can use as a carry handle and an extra-wide sturdy polymer stage that offers enough room for movement. As if that’s enough, you get 2 pre-loaded metal clips that you can use to secure your specimens.
What stands out? There’s no better way to rock your lab sesh or field trip than with this brilliant LCD digital microscope from Celestron. Its image quality is unparalleled thanks to its exceptional specs like infrared-reducing system in its optics. It can also be used cordless for 2 hours if its Lithium batteries are fully charged.
What cons did we manage to find? Some users have complained that the focus adjustment of the microscope is only coarse.
Yet another compound digital microscope from Levenhuk that is optimally useful. Just like other Levenhuk scopes, you can trust this to deliver its sold performance and build quality. It was designed with professionals in mind as it has a myriad powerful features that offer the best performance needed for research in various scientific fields.
The powerful lab microscope comes with a 3.1M digital camera and a 20Watts halogen lamp that take it a notch higher when it comes to quality image production. The powerful 40x 1600x magnification and achromatic objective lenses also contribute to the vividness and crispness of the images.
The microscope features a 360 degrees rotatable monocular head that makes working in a group simple. Its 2 wide-angle eyepieces have a pointer that lets you study samples that have a complicated structure.
You will be impressed by the number of accessories this microscope packs. It comes with an AC adapter, 3 AA batteries a digital camera plus its adapter, a USB cable, a user manual and a software CD.
What makes it stand out? The microscope has an impressive magnification power with several comfort-conscious features. It also distinguishes itself with the coarse and fine focus adjustment. With a lifetime warranty backup, this is one of the best digital microscopes for professionals.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? The Levenhuk D320L Digital Professional Microscope has a hefty price point.
This is one of the best USB microscopes for both hobbyists and professionals. Whether you are into stamp and coin collection or component inspection and entomology you will make the most out of this microscope.
The Pro 44308 is a low-power microscope with 20x, 200x magnification. Surprisingly, it features a 5MP sensor that captures and saves high-resolution videos and images. Better yet, it has an e-element IR-cut lens and an impressive 1 to 1/1000sec shutter speed that work to offer you the most distinct images.
Specs aside, this microscope is compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 10 as well as Mac OS X. It comes with an intuitive Micro Capture Pro software in a CD. The software allows measurements so you can achieve accuracy when studying your samples.
What makes it special? With a 2-year warranty, this is one of the best handheld digital microscopes out there. It is also reasonably priced and includes a couple of accessories that make it a worthy buy including; a 4-foot cable, an adjustable height stand and a user manual.
What cons did we find? the only downside to this microscope is that you will have to download the latest version of the Micro Capture Pro Software.
If you love to save you some coins but still get a good penny worth out of the minimum spent this is your best bet. The powerful yet affordable digital microscope has given almost everyone the ability to discover the invisible minutia of every-day objects.
The MM-840 comes in a set that includes a flat base, a suction cup neck and the microscope itself. All the components have a high-quality build with a clean ‘science-y’ look and feel about them.
The microscope is incredibly easy to use, and with a 75x 300x magnification power you can get acceptable video and image quality of objects you never knew existed. It also features a digital viewer software that allows the adjustments of resolution, image enhancements like brightness, contrast and hue as well as timed image capture.
What makes it stand out? It is nearly impossible to come across such a highly-functional microscope with such an attractive price tag. It is one of the best digital microscopes for coins or stamp collection and other micrsocoping hobbies.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? The biggest quirk on this microscope is its software’s inability to remember its previous settings in between launches. Every time you open the software when you sue a camera, it takes you back to re-enter the settings which can be tedious and annoying.
Choosing the best digital microscope from all the options available isn’t the easiest of tasks especially if you are totally green on matters of microscopes. This section has all the essential information you need to have a seamless shopping experience. You will get to know how a digital microscope actually works, its benefits and the features to consider before paying for one.
How does a digital microscope work?
A digital microscope is basically just a microscope that uses a digital camera connected to a computer monitor or TV to display results instantly rather than an eye-piece. There is a wide variety of digital microscopes from simple handheld ones to advanced versions that offer measurement functions and several observation methods.
Some versions even use computer software to perform advanced functions like editing images and videos, recording, making measurements and studying 3D samples.
Benefits of digital microscopes
All types of microscopes do the same type of work but there are more pros that come with owning a digital microscope including:
Since the results are displayed on the screen it is easier to share them with colleagues. It also offers premium comfort as you can sit from a distance as you view results rather than stand to look through an eyepiece.
For optical microscopes magnification is usually determined by multiplying the lens magnification by the eyepiece magnification. Well, for digital microscopes, the size of the computer monitor determines the magnification. Quite simply, most digital microscopes have a bigger magnification than many optical microscopes. Therefore, they have the ability to capture images and videos with better quality.
Better image quality
Other than high magnification power, digital microscopes have features that enhance image quality like High Dynamic Range (DNR) to improve contrast and color depth as well as anti-halation to reduce glare. Some models even have a feature that allow you to create all-in-focus images that are beyond the field of view.
Easy to use
You will be able to finish your work or enjoy your field trip with a digital microscope because it is incredibly easier to use compared to standard optical microscopes.
Image and video storage
A digital microscope will allow you to store your images on a computer hard drive, SD card or any other storage device for future reference. This will help you make thorough reports.
Features to consider when choosing a digital microscope
These are the most critical features you must carefully look out for when shopping for a digital microscope.
There are several types of digital microscopes including portable handheld microscopes, compound microscopes, stereoscope microscopes, Wi-Fi digital microscopes, full-size microscopes and digital microscopes with LCD.
Full-size microscopes are the best for professional works because they provide high-resolution, high magnification and multiple advanced features. Compound units are best suited for analyzing small specimens as they provide high magnification and can allow you to study both stained slides.
Stereo microscopes, commonly known as stereo microscopes are highly preferred for dissecting, forensics, manufacturing, fractography and watch-making among other purposes. They are the best for viewing and analyzing solid and opaque objects that are too big to fit on a compound microscope.
Handheld microscopes are the most popular as they are lightweight, compact, and easy to use. You can easily move around with one in your pocket. Microscopes with LCD display their results on the screen in real time. You don’t have to connect it to an external device like a computer or TV. They are the best for teaching and conference viewing.
Different types of microscopes have different types of head configurations. Biological microscopes have the monocular, trinocular and binocular configurations. Monocular configurations are highly preferred by kids while binocular and trinocular configurations are preferred by adults. A trinocular head like the one on Levenhuk D670T Digital Trinocular Microscope allows you to connect the camera or a webcam onto the 3rd eyepiece to take videos or photos of the specimen.
Stereo microscopes are usually fitted with binocular or trinocular heads to allow the attachment of a camera or webcam for digital imaging, teaching or demonstration purposes.
The screen is a crucial determination because it determines the magnification power of a digital microscope. Not all digital microscopes come with a screen but the few that do operate independently. They don’t need any connection to external units screens like a computer or TV to display results.
For teaching or demonstration purposes, they are the best option as the LCD screen offers a common viewing platform. So, the bigger the screen the better the quality of images and videos you will be getting. Some microscopes have screens with an easy-to-use control panel that allows a few adjustments to be made like brightness, contrast and color depth.
This is the capability of the digital image to reproduce the exact same original image of your sample or object components with fine details. Most microscope digital cameras have image sensors with pixels between 1600 X 1200 and 5472 X 3648 Image resolution is usually dependent on field of view of the lens used with the camera.
Quite simply, the better resolution your microscope has the better you will be able to view and identify the fine details of your specimen.
Digital microscopes use computer software that can perform advanced tasks. The software has features that can edit images and videos, record videos, analyze 3D samples as well as make measurements. Some can even help you make reports.
Ensure the software is included in the microscope’s package in a CD in the latest version. it should also be intuitive and able to remember its previous settings after launching to prevent tedious re-entering of the settings every time you load it.
There are different types of light bulbs built in microscopes to provide illumination including halogen bulbs, incandescent lights, fluorescent, and LED. Some microscopes use natural lighting and therefore have mirrors instead of bulbs. LED bulbs are the most commonly used source of illumination for digital microscopes. They are affordable, bright and cool as they don’t produce any heat that would interfere with your specimen or object components.
Halogen bulbs are also popular but they tend to heat up quickly. They have a bright warm light and just like LEDs are easy to find.
Thanks to technological advancements, there are more options than plugging in a microscope to an AC power source. Many of the latest models are battery powered which increases their versatility in outdoor applications.
Size and weight
This is a top consideration if you are looking for a portable microscope. You should check the dimensions to ensure you pick a size and weight that you can handle.
Coarse and fine focus
Some microscopes like the Celestron Infiniview 44360 LCD Digital Microscope only have a coarse focus that allows you to see only a clear view. A fine coarse focus is often overlooked but is so crucial especially if you are doing high-precision works that require further focusing for finer details of smaller particles on the slide.
Just like working distance, field of view also varies across different brands and models. It also decreases as magnification increases and it is usually given for every digital microscope at every power.
Choosing the best digital microscope should be a seamless experience with all the tips provided on this guide. Our product list contains the cream of the crop on the market currently. They all have different capabilities and budgets to satisfy different needs and preferences. For instance, out best overall pick, Levenhuk D670T Digital Trinocular Microscope is the best compound microscope that money can buy. It does a good job of balancing powerful functionality and ergonomics.
Our upgrade pick, Meiji Techno MT-31 LED Digital Microscope has equally impressive specs that make it a top consideration for professionals. Its build matches its superb functionality and it has comfort-conscious features like rubber eye guards that ensure you are comfortable even when you make lengthy observations.
Third on our list, Konus 5024 Zoom Digital Microscope stood out because of its dual-functionality. It is the best digital microscope you can get for kids as it is easy to use and doesn’t require any set up. It is also versatile for various field applications as it powered by rechargeable batteries.