Digital microscope is an advanced microscope that has an LED screen instead of an eyepiece in a traditional compound microscope. The image can be directly seen on the monitor without an eyepiece. The magnification of the image depends on the lenses used in the microscope. The traditional microscope or compound microscope can be often aided with a camera and attached to a computer, having the software to capture the images of the objects. However, these microscopes cannot be categorized as digital microscope.
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The key advantage of digital microscope is that the image of an object can be viewed easily and immediately while in a comfortable position. And it can be discussed and shared with others. Digital microscope is of great help for people who work for longer periods on microscopes or if large number of samples need to be examined.
In terms of type, the digital microscope market can be segmented into desktop digital microscope, portable or pocket size digital microscope, and wireless digital microscope. Desktop digital microscopes are primarily used in life sciences research labs, textile industry for examining fiber quality, surface metrology, and also in forensics. Pocket size or portable digital microscopes can be carried easily and conveniently, and hence can be used in field work by environmental scientists, horticulturists to recognize insects and plant diseases, printers in the printing industry, and art restorers. Wireless digital microscopes enable sharing of captured images on many screens simultaneously.
Based on application, the digital microscope market can be segmented into scientific research, biomedicine, cosmetology, and industry. Scientific research employs considerable use of digital microscope. It is used in life sciences to study the cell and biomolecules, their functioning and microstructures. In forensic science, it is used to find and examine the trace evidences, DNA extraction from blood or hair, and finely examining the questioned documents, signatures, handwritings, etc.
In material science, earth science and chemical science, digital microscope is used to study the fine structure of molecules and nano particles. Digital microscope plays a crucial role in biomedicine and pharmaceutical engineering. It is used by an audiologist to examine the inner ear carefully, and by the dentist for fine examination of teeth. Digital microscopy is of great help to the cosmetologist to closely examine the skin and hair and proceed further with the needful treatment. Industrial uses of digital microscopes are endless. It is used in microelectronics and semi-conductors; metallurgy, medical devices, watch making, jewelry making, metals and machines engineering, etc.
In terms of region, the digital microscope market can be segmented into North America (U.S. and Canada), Europe (Germany, France, U.K., Russia, and Italy), Asia Pacific (China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Southeast Asia), Latin America, and Middle East & Africa.
The digital microscope market is driven by high resolution digital camera, advanced printing techniques, and diversified microscopy techniques. However, the traditional microscope equipped with digital camera in place of eyepiece and computer also serves the purpose and is cost effective as compared to a digital microscope. Despite the versatility of digital microscope, combination of advanced digital technology and the basic features of microscopes makes them appropriate for research, education, and industry.
Some digital microscopes have special features such as ability to tilt objects and view in three dimensions from different angles that enables them to outstrip traditional microscopes. The distinctive features of digital microscope such as ability to form digital still images and videos, easy documentation and sharing, makes the digital microscope proficient enough to dominate the market. Advancement of digital technology and electronics is likely to drive the digital microscope market in the near future.
Major players in the digital microscope market are Olympus Corporation, Celestron, Leica Microsystems, Motic, Carl Zeiss, Keyence Corporation, Jeol, Ltd., Hirox, and Nikon Corporation.
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