"Simply put, the DL1 is best for somebody whose primary consideration is to find a “lightweight” and “compact” dermatoscope."
In short, the DL1 is best for somebody who particularly values “lightweight” and “compact” in a dermatoscope.
That is, a dermatoscope which is easy to carry, clip on to the pocket, throw “in” the pocket, etc., but above all, not something which is large and bulky.
In other words, something very portable, very light and very compact.
So, if being “light and compact” are not necessarily huge factors for you, then there are other dermatoscopes out there that will probably provide a better user experience and a better image - if not just for the mere fact that the lenses are much larger.
The DL1 Comes in Two Versions
The Original DL1
The standard (original) DL1 includes the device itself and comes with three different options/accessories – a polarized filter and two contact faceplates (polarized and non-polarized):
Among those options, the one which “most” gravitate towards is that of using the polarized filter which slips over the DL1.
As you can see, it’s very compact, flat, it does not stick out, and it just minimally adds to the size of the DL1. And that allows you to perform “non-contact” polarized dermoscopy - which is what most doctors are doing 95% of the time.
The two other options mentioned are these “slip-on” faceplates. One is polarized and one is non-polarized:
The length at which these faceplates extend from the body of the DL1 is right around the focal point of the lens in the DL1. I point that out because the faceplates make “contact dermoscopy” easy.
For example, let’s say you have a staff member who perhaps doesn't perform dermoscopy regularly, but you need them to take a dermoscopy image for the patient’s chart. When they slip either of these (faceplates) on to the body of the DL1 and then connect that to their camera or smartphone - they know that they simply have to press the DL1 faceplate up against the lesion and the DL1 will be in focus.
This "dialed-in" focal length is helpful, especially when it comes to making them more user-friendly for our staff. However, it also means that in order for the lesion to be in focus, the faceplate will be in contact with the patient (and the lesion).
It's worth remembering that one of tne of the advantages to “non-contact dermoscopy” is that you don't have that need to worry about contamination and disinfecting your device with every single patient that you see. But when you use these faceplates on the DL1, contact WILL be involved.
So yes, they kind of “dummy-proof” the system, such that staff can more easily take in-focus dermoscopy images for the patients' charts. However, the downside is that doing so requires the faceplate to make contact with the patient. It’s not a huge issue, but now they will have to wipe it down with alcohol or disinfect afterwards.
But as mentioned, most docs who are using the DL1 for dermoscopy will instead be using the simple “slip-on” polarized filter - which does not extend out and does not require contact.
The DL1 "Basic"
What differentiates the original DL1 from its "Basic" alternative are the included accessories.
The “DL1 Basic” includes the DL1 device itself (with the battery, LEDs, and lens), but then includes (only) ONE polarized faceplate. Notice the word "faceplate" is being used (and not the "slip-on" polarized filter).
So it's less expensive, because it only includes the one faceplate. But by its very nature, if you buy the “DL1 Basic,” then you are buying what is essentially a “contact dermatoscope.”
"The “DL1 Basic” is the DL1 device itself (with the battery, LEDs, and lens), and it includes (only) ONE polarized faceplate.”
However, most people nowadays are looking for “non-contact” dermoscopy for most situations.
So just to recap, the original base model DL1 includes:
- the DL1 device itself
- one “slip-on” polarized filter (which allows you to perform “non-contact” dermoscopy)
- two faceplate attachments for “contact dermoscopy” (one of which is polarized and the other which is non-polarized).
Having all three accessories provides the user with the option to perform either “contact” or “non-contact” dermoscopy.
With the “DL1 Basic” you get:
But again, having just this one faceplate means that with the “DL1 Basic,’ only “contact dermoscopy” can be performed.