We describe a bench top system for digital scanning laser ophthalmoscopy. This system is used for both regular patient screening and experimental imaging studies. The complete set- up is assembled from a number of modules (e.g. launching, detection, scanning, focusing unit) which may be altered readily to offer a high degree of flexibility in the imaging conditions. Both the launching and the detection unit can be used in a simultaneous, multiple channel configuration. This allows the acquisition of true color and false color images of the back of the eye. In particular, the use of infrared lines permits the investigation of deeper retinal structures. Digital image processing methods can then be used to generate differential images of frames taken with different wavelengths, such as red and infrared. Furthermore, the separate detection channels can also be used to obtain recordings in other imaging modes, such as tightly confocal, loosely confocal, indirect or polarization dependent contrast. We discuss the merits and problems of different imaging modes. Cases are presented where the differential imaging shows clear advantages over the standard (monochromatic) confocal method in the perceptibility of deeper laying structures (choriod).