I would like to study cells and looking for a microscope that would allow me to see:

  • groups of cells
  • individual cell
  • cells organelles

I would like to target insects and mammal tissue.
I would be very grateful for info in magnification ranges that I need and maybe some popular models of microscopes.

Is there a difference between digital and non-digital microscopes for that purpose?


1 Answer 1


groups of cells

A normal light microscope. 4x-20x magnification

individual cell

Lo resolution: Light microscope with 40x magnification.

High resolution: Confocal microscope with 40-100x magnification.

cell organelles

Low resolution: Confocal microscope with >=60x magnification. Note: some organelles are easier to visualize while others are difficult. With confocal you can manage to see almost all of them with low resolution i.e you will be able to detect their location and distribution but wont be able view their fine structure.

To view the structure of organelles you would definitely need an Electron Microscope.

Is there a difference between digital and non-digital microscopes for that purpose?

If you are not too much into the optics of it then I guess it wont matter. I prefer if it has an analog mode along with a digital mode. Image acquisition is anyways digital.

Popular models: Leica, Zeiss and Olympus are popular brands. You select the model as per your requirements.

  • $\begingroup$ Is 40x magnification enough to see if a bacteria is dead or alive? $\endgroup$
    – user46147
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ @user46147 you cannot, that easily. Also depends on the type of bacteria. You would need some kind of stain/fluorescence marker to differentiate viable cells from dead cells. $\endgroup$
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 7:54

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