The Dermlite DL100 vs Dermlite DL1

The Dermlite DL100 vs. the Dermlite DL1 - Which is Better?

A surprisingly common "dilemma" which our customers ask us to help them resolve has to do with which dermatoscope is best for them - the DL100 or the DL1?

Before anything, a good starting point for anyone trying to choose between two (or more) dermatoscopes would be our "comparison chart," as it provides a good reference when discussing the various Dermlite dermatoscope specifications:

First, let's address the similarities between the two - those being that 1) they both offer 10x magnification, and 2) the lens size on both measures 15mm in diameter.

Then begin the differences...

The most obvious difference would be the size/shape. The DL1 is considered the "smallest" of any professional dermatoscope. While that's a plus when it comes to carrying around in your pocket, key considerations when using your dermatoscope in the clinic include both its comfort when using and its ability to be held steady while focusing on the lesion you're trying to visualize. This is worth mentioning because the larger size of the DL100 makes it more ergonomic. The DL1, on the other hand, is largely by the "fingers," arguably making it a bit less comfortable for repeated use throughout the day.

Size comparison between Dermlite DL1 and the Dermlite DL100

The DL100 is also "polarized-only," whereas the DL1 (the full DL1, not the DL1 "Basic") offers both polarized and non-polarized lighting. 

The option of "polarized-only" vs. "hybrid" (both polarized and non-polarized) lighting is best addressed by the customer being honest with him/herself. From a practical standpoint, polarized lighting alone will (in all but the rarest of cases) provide the clinician with the information that he/she needs to see in order to determine whether a lesion is suspicious enough to warrant a biopsy. However, those who are truly into the "art and science" of dermoscopy tend to enjoy a few extra seconds examining any given lesion under non-polarized lighting as well, in order to appreciate the additional perspective it offers (even if that additional perspective doesn't necessarily change the decision to biopsy or not).

An additional advantage of the DL1 is that it's MagnetiConnect-compatible. That is, it can be used with Dermlite cases and the MCC (clamp) to take pictures with your iPhone, tablet, etc.

The Dermlite DL1 can be used with MagnetiConnect adapters.

On the other hand, the DL100 is not compatible with the MagnetiConnect clamp and/or phone cases. You can still take pictures with the DL100 by manually holding your camera or phone up to the lens of the DL100, but doing so definitely isn't as "elegant" or user-friendly as using the MagnetiConnect system to hold everything in alignment.

So with these factors in mind, prospective buyers should first ask themselves, 

"Do I plan on taking pictures? 

If so, the DL1 is the better choice.

The second question would be, 

"Do I particularly care to have non-polarized lighting?" 

If so, the DL1 offers both, while the DL100 is "polarized-only." 

But if neither photographs nor non-polarized lighting are "must-haves" for any new dermatoscope buyer - and especially if you prefer a more ergonomic, comfortable device to use throughout the day - then the DL100 is arguably the more practical choice.

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