Digital microscopes are extremely ergonomic. No-one would argue that it’s more comfortable to look at a screen rather than through eyepieces. The screen offers the added possibility of group viewing and discussion. Many of the functions, such as the illumination or contrast, are software-controlled, so all you have to do is to simply press a key to select the function you want.
The image results are unambiguous. The image that appears on the screen of a digital microscope is identical with the image that is stored for documentation purposes. These images can add clear and significant information when inserted in a report. All those involved then work with the same data set. In traditional microscopy, there are always slight differences between the image in the eyepieces and the stored image. Special care therefore has to be exercised in describing the eyepiece image, and even then, different interpretations are still possible.
Digital microscopes enable measurements in areas that are difficult to access. For instance, the flexible tilting stand of the Leica DVM2500 makes it possible to examine minute structures exclusively on inclined or vertical sample surfaces. Another advantage is that the optics and the screen need not be in the same place, so measurements can be taken in vented hood cabins or gloveboxes without disturbing the sensitive measurement environment.
Digital microscopes have their uses as a stand-alone solution, too: the Leica DMS1000 can be used in small rooms as there is no need for bulky computer equipment. The focus or the camera, for instance, are controlled with a footswitch, so you can produce an image without taking your hand off the sample.