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Buying Guide: Educational Microscopes for Students

Investing in a high-quality educational microscope is crucial for students pursuing a science-focused education. Microscopes enable students to explore a micro world, observe specimens, and deepen their understanding of various scientific disciplines.

JH Technologies’ manufacturing partner, Leica, offers a range of educational microscopes that are “plug-and-play” and specifically designed for teaching. Leica’s product offering offers robust, durable microscopes with superior optics and design tracing their roots to the days of the iconic Bausch & Lomb, Leitz and Wild families that pioneered microscopy.

In this buying guide, we will explore the key features and benefits of eight Leica models and their variations to help you make an informed decision.


Life Science

Earth Science

Material Science

Forensic Science

Model A B C A B C A B C A B C
EZ4 Stereo Microscope X X X X
DM300 Compound Microscope X
EZ4 W and EZ4 E Stereo Microscopes X X X X X X X
DM500 Compound Microscope X
DM750 Compound Microscope X
DM750 P Compound Microscope X X X X X
DM750 M Compound Microscope X X X X X
A: Begin B: Explore C: Advance

The Leica EZ4 Series–Stereo Dissecting Microscopes

The Leica EZ4 series consists of three models: EZ4, EZ4 W, and EZ4 E. These user-friendly stereomicroscopes excel in hands-on learning experiences. They are ideal for high school or entry-level university and college courses such as biology, anatomy, and chemistry. Some of the features of the EZ series are:

  • 7-way LED illumination, top and bottom, for versatile and adjustable lighting options for different specimens
  • 20 years of bright LED illumination, saving time, energy, and cost of replacement bulbs
  • High-resolution imaging with 4:4:1 zoom and magnification ranging from 8X to 35X for detailed observations
  • Greenough optical systems deliver a flat image, large depth of field, and sparkling 3D views for a comprehensive understanding of specimens
  • Designed for durability and ease of use, ensuring long-lasting performance
  • Sealed, water-resistant bases to protect electronics and illumination
  • Bacteria growth-resistant paint treatment to protect students
  • Built-in carry handles with optional cord wraps for easy storage

The Leica EZ4 is a reliable and accessible choice, perfect for introducing students to the wonders of microscopy.

EZ4 W—Wireless Stereo Dissecting Microscope with built-in digital camera

The EZ4W adds a built-in 3-megapixel camera to keep students engaged in coursework while allowing them to save images. Learning is easy with these Wi-Fi-connected microscopes. Students can connect to the EZ4 W through its internal Wi-Fi signal or the facility network. The EZ4 W offers the same features as the EZ4, plus seamless image transfer to tablets, smartphones, or computers, allowing students to easily capture and share their observations.

EZ4 E—Stereo Dissecting Microscope with built-in digital camera and LAN Facility Network Connectivity

The EZ4 E exchanges WiFi capability for a LAN connection to allow students to take advantage of an educational facility’s wired network. This is an ideal solution if you don’t want to add additional Wi-Fi access points to your existing wireless network concept and want the fastest possible networking.

It offers the same user-friendly design and features as the standard EZ4, making it an accessible option for students interested in hands-on microscopy experiences. The EZ4 E provides ease of use, durability, and versatile magnification options for observing a variety of specimens.

DM300–Biological Student Compound Microscope

The Leica DM300 is a microscope that enables students in advanced high school biology or 2–4-year institutions to study the finest specimen details. The DM300 features:

  • Can be configured with rotating monocular, binocular, or trinocular tubes for flexible, shared viewing
  • LED illumination for consistent and energy-efficient lighting
  • Robust construction designed for student use
  • Ergonomic observation with adjustable eyepieces and a comfortable viewing angle
  • Various magnification options to suit different specimens

DM500—Routine Student Biological Compound Microscope

The Leica DM500 microscope is perfect for students starting their microscopy journey. Suited best for 2 or 4-year institutions teaching basic biology, anatomy, and physiology, it offers durable, student-friendly features that allow students to dive right into exploration while giving teachers and lab assistants peace of mind.

  • A pre-focused, pre-centered condenser eliminates the need for adjustments and simplifies the setup process
  • The integrated eyepiece and preset diopter minimize setup errors and ensure accurate focus
  • LED illumination provides long-lasting, even, and adjustable lighting without the need for manual adjustments.
  • Built-in carry handle, front handling slot, and cord wrap that does not protrude from the microscope body.
  • All metal gearing and a frame that protects the stage from transport damage
  • A wear-resistant finish for protection against friction damage, ensuring long-term durability
  • Robust construction to withstand the rigors of daily student use

DM750 Advanced Student Compound Microscope— The Ultimate Versatile, Advanced Student Microscope

The Leica DM750 is suitable for advanced students making biological sciences their focus. This versatile, advanced education microscope offers a wide range of features and configurations to accommodate various observation techniques. The DM750 can also serve as the optimal teacher’s companion to student stations. In addition to the features of the DM500, the DM750 adds:

  • Energy-saving time delay shutoff automatically turns off after two hours of no use
  • Excellent focus capability for precise and detailed observations
  • Easy shared viewing facilitates collaborative learning with multiple users
  • Centerable and focusable condenser for students to learn proper microscope setup and alignment
  • Phase contrast components for microbiology applications

DM750 P—Student Petrographic Polarized Light Microscope

The Leica DM750 P is the petrographic version of the DM750. This model retains the key features of the DM750 series, such as superior optics, stability, and customization options, while adding the components needed to analyze samples’ optical properties under polarized light. The DM750P includes:

  • Rotating stage with verniers, strain-free optics, centerable nosepiece, and needed polarization components and compensators.

DM750 M—Student Microscope for Metallurgical Applications

The Leica DM750 M is another variant of the DM750 series that focuses on metallurgical applications. It is tailored for students involved in materials science and metallurgy. With specialized illumination and imaging capabilities, the DM750 M allows users to examine the microstructure of metals and alloys, aiding in quality control and research in various industrial fields.

The DM500 and the DM750 variants can all be fitted with modular integrated digital cameras for wired or wireless teaching. The cameras include WiFi or USB image capture, live video preview and Leica’s innovative “Enersight” imaging software for use with smartphones, tablets, PC’s or even standalone with just a monitor.

Choosing the Right Student Microscope

Choosing the right student microscope can be daunting, but it is important to consider the specific needs of your students and your budget. The Leica EZ4 series or the DM300 are great for entry-level students, offering user-friendly features and versatile magnification options. The DM500 is a good choice for mid-level students, providing reliable optical performance and a wide range of magnification options. The DM750 is the ultimate versatile, advanced student microscope, offering a wide range of features and configurations to accommodate various observation techniques.

Some Questions To Ask When Comparing Microscopes:

Does the microscope use brass or plastic in it’s focus mechanism construction?
  • Why? Brass is a soft metal that provides a precise, smooth focus and lasts many years.
  • Plastic wears out quickly and is less precise, but is also less expensive.
  • Who actually manufactures the microscope you are considering?
  • What is their history and will they be around 1-2-5-10 years to support you with service and spares?
  • Plastic optics easily scratch but are less costly to make.
  • Heavier microscopes tend to survive students’ use better because they are typically more stable and harder to knock over.
  • Many classrooms require the students to store the microscope after use, so the microscope must be easy to pick with visible grab handles preventing students from grabbing the microscope by it’s objectives. Cord wraps prevent the cord from being jammed and damaging the power socket.
  • Are the stage and condenser protected from possible storage damage?
  • Is it plastic or metal?
  • Are components locked into place to prevent students from removing and losing or damaging parts.
  • Is the manufacturer willing to show durability by doing a drop test
  • Part of todays learning experience is being able to take hi-resolution images and share them with others. Easy-to-use software, upgradeability, using your personal devices to capture images from the microscope are all part of todays needs and should be considered when choosing a microscope?

No matter which microscope you choose, be sure to purchase from a certified, reputable dealer like JH Technologies to ensure that you get a quality product and the support and expertise you need. Certified dealers will also help you train your students to properly use the microscope to get the most out of their educational experience and will be there to support you with warranties and service.

Need help selecting just the right educational microscopes for your needs?