Camera recommendations for Dentistry / Surgery Videos

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    • #40381


      I am new here.

      I am a dentist and I would like to start videotaping some of my procedures for use during a seminar. Ideally the videos would be from “my point of view” – so it would be best if the camera were attached to a headband / headlamp apparatus.

      The best option I have come across so far is found here:

      This would be awesome, its just that my project is not important enough to me to justify the pricetag of $10,000 !!!

      I was hoping that someone on this forum might have some options that would be more economical and still yield a decent image.

      A dedicated computer and or laptop in the operatory is definitely available.

      I also have available a headlamp mounted fiberoptic light source if this would help the image quality.

      Thank you for your help!


    • #173418

      Personally, rather than spend THAT kind of money, and rather than actually having a cigar/lipstick-style camera head attached to your own and tethered to a recording unit, you would experience much better stability and visual quality by setting up a basic lighting system and having a tripod or support system that parks the camera to your (right, left – from whichever side you customarily operate/work) do the shooting. You could incorporate a foot-pedal-style start/stop record device, leaving your camera at a specific angle and POV (point of view) set wide and close so focus and color/light variation would be minimized.

      From my experiences with head-mounted or body mounted gear, I find that there’s simply too much head movement to establish a steady and solid image. You will apparently be doing in situ work as you conduct these seminar/training programs and even though you wish to use your POV I believe you’re going to be loading yourself up with a LOT to have to focus on: holding the camera at an angle that coincides with the POV you perceive from your eyes; remaining at a specific distance and framing; conducting and thinking about your narrative; doing the work you are presenting.

      Sounds a lot like juggling hand grenades and knives to me.

      Much better IMHO to have a foot switch to start/stop recording, have your camera preset in a rock-solid stable position, along with your lighting direction and angle (watch out for shadows from your head, jaw, chin, hair and/or ears) and use either a headset mic, throat or lapel mic, or even something like a Digital recording device (Zoom H2) comes to mind, depending on if you only want to project to the audience, or preserve audio/visual quality for a subsequent DVD production, sales and distribution.

      You could obtain a suitable camera, appropriate lighting rig and camera support rig, and audio system with redundancy and backup for well under $10k, even $5k – I would venture to guess you could establish a good quality setup with all these components for say, $1k (or less) camera; $200 or so for Zoom H2 and another $300 or so for a wired lapel or headset mice system to feed into the camera (hopefully your selected camera would have audio input/output or you’d obtain a Beachtech audio adapter, or similar – $300?); lighting rig, $500 or so for any of a number of kits available; and perhaps $300 to $500 depending on what you select for a tripod or support system to stabilize the camera/audio setup. What, about $2,600? give or take?

      This would be MY take on setting yourself up for a doable production system. You could play around with some of what you have available and see if it would work well with the rest of what you need.

    • #173419

      Another thought along Earl’s line, maybe have an assistant familiar with the procedure be your camera operator.

      They couldconcentrateon the video aspects, moving, zooming, focusing, as needed on the subject while you stay to task with the operation and narration notes for later.

      I can see you needing to do some post polishing on your procedure narration so just comment on the specific steps of the procedure and do a full narrative voiceover in post.

    • #210971

      I know this is an older post and I don't know if you have come up with a solution but, EarIC hit the nail on the head.  Never use a system that attaches to your body.  There is just too much movement and the light source moves as well.  It can actually make some people sick watching the video.


      I specialize in developing systems for Dentists and oral surgerns.  I worked with 3i for 10 years and understand the special needs of capturing a dental procedure.


      I suggest an auto clutching arm ceiling mounted with a POV camera that auto focuses and auto adjusts for irus etc.  I have desigened many of these systems and would love to speak with you.



    • #210985

      I'm sure Scott has the best solution for you, but from photo, appears to be very expensive.  Still, there's a few things to consider:

      1) Main focus should be the patient, not the video.  Of course you'll get their permission, but might be nice to offer a discount of 10% to 20% for the extra time and for their participation.  Advise the negative is maybe a little extra time, but positive is this will be shown to your peers and they will be critical of everything, particularly technique.  Your work will have to be perfect, which, of course, it always is, but this time extra careful.

      2) I certainly agree head mount is not ideal.  The lights you use now are probably sufficient, but be aware of color balance.  Many over the shoulder shots, but sometimes move your head out of the way and let camera in closer.  These will be some of the shots to use in seminar.  Can use your instrument as pointer, but also use laser pointer during the seminar.

      3) I wouldn't worry about sound recording.  Talk mainly to patient, and make some voice notes, but during seminar I suspect sound will be off and you will narrate live.  Everything will be recorded by the camera, but quality is not an issue as sound track won't be used.

      4) There are hundreds of cameras that will do the job.  I'm thinking small and unobtrusive is best and lightweight for easier mounting.  I'd recommend a Sony camcorder as they have LANC or remote control.  Many other cameras offer WiFi for monitor and remote control.  Be careful of using autofocus.  I'd use for initial focus, then switch to manual to lock on as moving your head in and out of the shot will confuse the autofocus.Return to auto when zooming in or moving camera around when your head is out of the way.

      5) Obviously this will require an assistant to concentrate on the video while you concentrate on the procedure.  Let them run the camera, focus, etc.  Use a remote monitor so you can look at it occasionally and direct the shot, but not as your primary focus of attention; that should always be the patient and the procedure.  LANC or remote control can stop/start/zoom/focus etc.  Sometimes take a still for a critical shot you'll want to hold during the seminar.  A remote monitor either composite or HDMI connected to camera, or WiFi is best.  Can be $40 composite, $120 HDMI, or use a WiFi tablet you already have (ebay prices).  

      6) The mount is the most critical equipment.  Must allow flexibility, but must have hard stops to prevent falling.  Banging your head you shake it off.  Bang your patient is defintely unprofessional.  Scott's mount looks perfect, but $$.  A simple tripod, no matter how good, won't work.  This must mount high and allow camera to move in all axes, sideways and up/down.  Maybe a scaffold type device to hold camera above, looking down at about 30 deg angle?  You know best, but might have to do some engineering or bite the bullet and call Scott.  


      Camera about $400 to $1,200; lights you have; monitor $40 to $150 (don't get a $600 to $2K color balanced monitor, overkill) (your laptop or computer monitor probably too cumbersome); mount $??.  I remote control 3 cameras during event shoots using Bescor MP-101 pan/tilt mounts ($130 + $15 extension cable, B&H) and LANC for zoom/stop/start, but I'm vertical tripod mount.  You are odd angle or horizontal mount looking down at an angle.  Not sure Bescor would work for you; would for very lightweight camera.  Actually, a good mount is what you use for your main light.  Easily adjustable up/down/left/right/any angle.  Not sure how much those cost; talk to your supplier.

    • #212214

      Many of the systems that I develop are for Dentist, Perio and Oral surgeons that need to record a professional level HD video that they use in their educational materials to other doctors.  Most of my clients are presenting all over the world and to study clubs. My sit has more info if you’re interested or call at 561-252-5954.

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