Digital microscopy is one of the hot words in microscopy, there are several facts worth knowing.
What is a digital microscope?
Digital microscope needs optical microscope with digital camera, but doesn't need eyepieces. Observation and analysis of the sample image can be realized directly on the electronic monitor display. The digital microscope can also be a traditional stereo microscope or a compound microscope with eyepieces, but it is also equipped with a camera.
In which applications can I use a digital microscope?
Digital microscope is an ideal instrument for analyzing and recording parts and samples during R&D, manufacturing and inspection, QC/QA and FA.
What are the advantages of digital microscope?
The most obvious advantage is the ergonomics of the instrument. Because the images of samples are displayed on the monitor, users can sit in a comfortable and relaxed upright position, view them immediately and analyze the images of samples using software. Ergonomics of digital microscopes is particularly advantageous if a high sample size must be handled, or if people use microscopes for a long time every day. In addition, many digital microscopes provide software that allows multiple user profiles to be stored. This feature is especially beneficial if many different users use the same microscope. Each user only needs to select his own microscope profile and start working immediately, with little or no adjustment to the microscope workstation.
What are the limitations of digital microscope?
Compared with, for example, stereo microscope or compound microscope, a very obvious limitation of digital microscope is the need for power connection. Because there is no eyepiece, the sample image of digital microscope is always displayed on the monitor. Therefore, at least one power cable is required. Generally speaking, a digital microscope needs to be connected to a computer, or at least an observation screen attached to the microscope. For the traditional microscope, the user can still choose to use eyepiece to get the impression of the sample.
Is the sample image seen by digital microscope comparable to that seen by eyepiece?
In principle, the images are the same. Depending on the type of digital camera and eyepiece, the visual field may be different. However, there is an important difference: the observation of samples through binocular eyepieces of stereo microscope gives you depth perception, which cannot be directly realized by 2D images of digital microscope.
Is digital microscope better than microscope with eyepiece?
Especially, inexperienced users can get images of samples more easily and quickly. The main reason is that it takes time to adapt to the setting and adjustment of traditional microscopes and to observe samples through eyepieces.
What does "encoding" mean?
When the hardware of the microscope communicates directly with the computer software, the microscope is "encoded" when the specific parameter values are tracked and saved together with the image data. These specific parameters are defined, so they are called coded parameter values. Usually, these coding parameters can be called with the touch of a button, thus simplifying repetitive workflow and reporting.
Do I have to be a microscopist to use a digital microscope?
You can't. Digital microscope can be used by both microscopists and novices. The digital microscope provided by Leica Microsystems Co., Ltd. is simple in design and "out of the box", which also minimizes the training time. They have coding functions and allow simple reporting, which makes repetitive workflows more efficient.
Which components is needed for digital microscope?
Components depend on the application. For example, the choice of objective lens will depend on the required magnification range. You can also choose a variety of stands and lighting systems.
These questions will help you decide which components or features you need:
Do you need to get high-quality digital images quickly? If so, you will benefit from high-resolution digital cameras
Do you need fast real-time image display to achieve high sample throughput? If so, the camera should run at 30 frames per second or faster.
Do you need to look at samples from all angles? If so, it is necessary to tilt the microscope head or rotate the sample stage for dynamic observation of the process or object.
Do you need to analyze samples qualitatively and quantitatively? If so, you should carefully select the software functions.