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Old January 15th, 2011, 12:08 AM   #1
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Dental Video camera needed!

Noob virgin here, first post so go easy on me please!

I am a dentist, and wish to use a video recorder, with an attached light source, to look inside my patients mouth while i am working on them. There would be a screen in front of me, and I would be sitting up straight, looking at it. This is an excellent posture, and many dentists are using microscopes (which cost 20-60k) to work like this

There is a company called magnavu which has something that i would love to buy, but its US30K, and as far as i can see, is just a glorified video camera with four lights attached to it. I have contacted the company to try to get some specific specs, but they have not yet replied

In their system, the end of the lens is between 6 inches and 18 inches from the patients lips. I would prefer it to be about 18-24 inches away.

I would need a lens that, at the most, would be about the width of a smile (ie say four inches), that could zoom in as much as possible, ideally optically, but also digitally. Widescreen output would also be good, as the mouth is wider than it is high

I would also ideally need some sort of remote focusing/zooming device, ideally with aperture, and the ability to take pictures as well (not all that important, as the video feed will prolly go through a computer that could take them anyway)

I would attach the camera to a bracket on the ceiling, so i can work with both hands.

You can see what i am talking about if you go to magnavu.com

In the magnavu system, there are four lights (which i think are led lights) surrounding the lens. These need to be a cool light (in a temperature farenheight/celcious sense) so they do not make the patients face warm or hot

It is really an issue of the large optical magnification of a mouth, eighteen inches away. Color is actually not that important

It sounds like their system may have a number of different lenses, to accommadate their different mag levels. The company claims to get from 1x to 46x (not sure how much is optical/digital/different lenses), so something that changes lenses relatively easily would also be nice

I have posted this in a different forum, but then found this forum, and this af100 camcorder or the sony vg10 camera sounds like it might be able to do what i want. ie slap a different lens on it, some bright lights - think dental surgery light!, and have something that works

Does the vg have some sort of lights and macro lens do do what i am suggesting, or am i barking up the wrong tree?

All help much and comments much appreciated!
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Old January 15th, 2011, 12:51 AM   #2
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$20-60K, I'm in the wrong business, again. :~(
There are lots of DIY folks on this forum who could rig something for considerably less!
Developing a decent rig to hold your camera will be the trickiest part.
For lighting, I'd look into an LED ring-light. You won't need to blind (or cook) your patients.
I would not want to change lenses, a zoom will do the trick. Look for a camera with LANC (or similar) conrtol.

Have fun and save some money!
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Old January 15th, 2011, 02:25 AM   #3
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Rusty's advice is correct about a ring light. There's a wide variety of LED ring lights on the market and LEDs don't put out a minuscule amount of heat.)

Additionally, you can save some $$$ by using a Panasonic GH2 camera (new to the market and currently in short supply but that will improve). This takes the same lenses as the AF100 but is considerably smaller. For what you are doing, you likely won't need any of the extra features the AF100 provides. The GH2 is like a small SLR camera and is likely far less intimidating to a patient.

The trick is finding the correct lens... if you're going for a permanent ceiling mount and a fixed distance to the patient, you can use a manual-focus lens and preset the focus to exactly where you need it. I'll leave it to others to suggest the proper focal length and specific lens.

The GH2 has an HDMI video output which you can connect to most flat-screen HDTVs to allow a clear view and sharp focus.

Disclaimer: I don't own a GH2 but I've been following this camera for awhile and I intend to buy one soon.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 07:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Rogers View Post

Developing a decent rig to hold your camera will be the trickiest part.
For lighting, I'd look into an LED ring-light. You won't need to blind (or cook) your patients.
I would not want to change lenses, a zoom will do the trick. Look for a camera with LANC (or similar) conrtol.

Have fun and save some money!
I am assuming that there is some sort of bolt or bolts that would attach this camera to a tripod sturdily. Pretty sure i can easily fashion a bracket that i can attach to the overhead mount very easily.

Im not sure the standard lens would work. Ideally, i want to be 18 inches away, and the widest thing i want to see is four inches wide. When im working, probably two inches wide, and then sometimes us dentists want to zoom into the tooth which may be half inch wide. WOuld the standard lens do this optically?

Is there a digital zoom on this camera, or not?

WIth the led ring light, is this diffuse, or is it concentrated and fairly straight? Any light that is not falling on the patients lips is just not doing anything, and often gets in their eyes, which really mucks things up.

If anyone has a ring light like this, how big an area does it light up when held 18 inches away in a darkened room?

Many thanks for the awesome feedback guys!
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Old January 15th, 2011, 08:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Stephens View Post
..........this af100 camcorder or the sony vg10 camera sounds like it might be able to do what i want.
I think the AF100 and the Sony VG10 are exactly the opposite to what you may want, for the following reasons, and much the same goes for the GH2.

The selling point of the AF101 is that it has a large imaging sensor which gives shallow depth of field. Quite good for "art" in a film,- not so good in dentistry when you don't want to have to refocus if the patient moves 1/2" - I'd want my entire mouth to be in focus at the same time if your patient! ( :-) )

It seems to me that the smaller the camera the better. Less offputting to the patient, and less in the way. And the smaller the camera, the easier it becomes to position - I'd be inclined to use something like a magic arm bolted to floor or ceiling, a tripod is just one more trip hazard in a surgery. And small cameras tend to have small sensors, so likely to be better for deep depth of field.The smaller the camera, the closer it can be, and the more it can see "into" the mouth, rather than just the front of the teeth.

For this sort of work it's desirable to be HD, so automatically widescreen.

Have a look at Sony Product Detail Page HXRMC1/ACC for starters. A very small head, connected by a single cable to a base end which gives basic viewing, remote control, and a recording capability, (also capture still image mode, to 4 megapixel res max). It also has an HDMI output to connect to a high quality monitor in HD.

Max zoom range is 10x, but I don't see that as a problem as you may get a bad problem with camera shake, even on a support, at anything much more than 10x. Digital zoom loses quality very badly, try to avoid it.

I'd recommend a close up lens, such that it transforms the infinity setting on the lens to something much closer. They are sold in dioptres, which are the reciprocal in metres. (So if you wanted to focus between 25cm and closer, you need a 1/0.25 dioptre lens = 4 dioptre.)

As far as lighting, what about the standard dental lighting that I presume your surgery has anyway? Very bright, and lacking in shadow, and whilst a ringlight may be a good suggestion, I doubt it would be anything like as good as standard dentists lighting.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 08:58 AM   #6
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You might also want to consider Panasonic's point of view camera with remote control:

Learn about Panasonic's AG-HCK10G

Pat
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Old January 15th, 2011, 09:22 AM   #7
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I did initially put that in to my previous post, but then realised that the head is substantially bigger than the Sony unit, so deleted it. The Panasonic head is 2.1" W x 2.2" H x 4.8" D, the Sony one 1 1/2 x 1 11/16 x 3 1/2 inches - so the Panasonic head is nearly 3x as big in volume measurement terms.

Can't find accurate comparison specs quickly, but I believe the Sony head is also quite a bit lighter, and slightly smaller chips, so better (deeper!) depth of field.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 09:51 AM   #8
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The Panasonic is bigger and also more expensive. I think it has 12x zoom. It has more pro features than the Sony, which may or may not be relevant for this application. I didn't compare all of the specs either, but it may be another option for him to consider. Just as an aside, I think I saw the Panasonic used as an aircraft "dashboard" cam in the new Alaska Wing Men series on National Geographic TV.

Pat
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