difference between a stereo microscope and a digital microscope is the magnification. With a stereo microscope the magnification is found by multiplying the lens magnification by the eyepiece magnification. Since the digital microscope does not have an eyepiece, the magnification cannot be found using this method. Instead the magnification for a digital microscope is found by how many times larger the sample is reproduced on the monitor. Therefore, the magnification will depend on the size of the monitor. The average digital microscope system, which has a 15″ monitor, would result in an average difference in magnification between an optical microscope and a digital microscope of about 40%. Thus the magnification number of a stereo microscope is usually 40% less than the magnification number of a digital microscope.
Since the digital microscope has the image projected directly on to the CCD camera, it is possible to have higher quality recorded images than with a stereo microscope. With the stereo microscope, the lenses are made for the optics of the eye. Attaching a CCD camera to a stereo microscope will result in an image that has compromises made for the eyepiece. Although the monitor image and recorded image may be of higher quality with the digital microscope, the application of the microscope may dictate which microscope is preferred.