Low energy electron microscopy (LEEM) and photo-emission electron microscopy (PEEM) traditionally use microchannel plates (MCPs), a phosphor screen and a CCD-camera to record images and diffraction patterns. In recent years, however, MCPs have become a limiting factor for these types of microscopy. Here, we report on a successful test series using a solid state hybrid pixel detector, Medipix 2, in LEEM and PEEM. Medipix 2 is a background-free detector with an infinite dynamic range, making it very promising for both real-space imaging and spectroscopy. We demonstrate a significant enhancement of both image contrast and resolution, as compared to MCPs. Since aging of the Medipix 2 detector is negligible for the electron energies used in LEEM/PEEM, we expect Medipix to become the detector of choice for a new generation of systems.