Compact camera for clinical photography

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by kirby7777, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. kirby7777

    kirby7777 Member

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    Please recommend a suitable compact camera for use in clinical settings for photographing skin lesions, skin rashes etc.

    Basically need to have on camera flash, macro and preferably the equivalent of 24mm wide angle. Medium to High zoom is not really needed. DSLR is definitely not needed. ;)

    We have plenty of 36W Daylight fluorescence tube (colour 865) in the rooms so flash would not be needed most of the time.

    Maybe most decent cameras would be ok but I just want to know if there is any particular compact camera being favoured over the others for this sort of amateur photography.

    Any suggestion?

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. Trysaeder

    Trysaeder Member

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    Olympus XZ-1's macro is incredible for the price. Like most compacts it has a built in flash. 28mm wide and 1cm mfd.
     
  3. csimpson

    csimpson Member

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    See xz1, s100, lx5.
     
  4. adamadam

    adamadam Member

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    Even the old Ricoh GX100 sounds capable.
    24mm, flash, macro.
     
  5. smorter

    smorter Member

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    I highly recommend a DSLR with a Macro lens and preferably a Macro flash as well. This is what Dentists use.

    They need not be expensive. You can get a decent DSLR for like $400 brand new.

    The internal lights probably aren't going to be good enough because for close range stuff like skin lesions, you will need to stop down to get enough DOF especially when using macro lenses


    The above may be overkill, but if you are serious about a genuine clinical need, the above is what I would recommend. It need not cost an arm and a leg. You can get a decent DSLR + 100mm macro (non IS) or 60mm macro or something for like $850-$900 brand new combined. A macro flash will set you back another $7-800 second hand, or maybe less.
     
  6. OP
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    kirby7777

    kirby7777 Member

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    Thanks.

    DSLR is normally great but it is perhaps out of the question here because ease of portability is one of the most important factor (forgotten to mention it). Furthermore the very high quality of image is not really needed. Also a 3-5 Mega Pixel setting is quite adequate.

    I am trying out an old Panasonic LX3 and it is not bad. So LX5 should not be too much different.

    Canon S100 looks good on paper but macro distance is 3cm while 1cm for the above two Panasonic.

    Hope there is more camera with flip LCD screen and it is often needed in this sort of photography.
     
  7. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    Try a canon G12.

    Also, Pentax do a tough one with some lights on the front for close-ups!! WG-1/2 I think its called?
     
  8. berek

    berek Member

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    NEX-5N

    Our wound clinic uses canon and panasonic p&s's.
     
  9. OP
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    kirby7777

    kirby7777 Member

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  10. hlokk

    hlokk Member

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    Considering you said you only need a 3MP ish final image, are you really going to need to get closer than 3cm? At 3cm, the image would only be a few cm wide. At 1cm closest focal distance, I guess you would be able to make a fingernail almost fill the whole frame, but if photographing skin lessions, you would need to be square to the skin and therefore block nearly all the light. So just because a camera has a flash and a close macro does not mean that you can use both at the same time ;)

    A flash at a few cm is not going to illuminate the area. You'd need to be at least 5-10cm away to get it to fill, and even then it might not be terribly even. Fluroescent lighting is also a problem at higher shutter speeds as you'll get random colour casts. Something to watch out for. I'm not sure how colour accurate it needs to be, because i'm guessing getting the colours accurate would not be terribly easy, especially under fluro lighting. Perhaps you could get one of those tiny 18% grey cards (on hard plastic), inscribe some cm markings on it and use that in every photo?

    Depends how accurate you need to be (i.e. colours, sizes, etc) or if its just "this is a photo of this"?



    The Canon G12, Canon G1X, and one of the Olympus PENs has a flip screen. There should be a few more too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  11. OP
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    kirby7777

    kirby7777 Member

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    You have raised some good valid points. :) Thanks.

    With the room having lots of fluorolight (daylight colour) I am not using as much flash.

    Yes I sometimes tried to fill the whole frame with a thumb nail. :eek:

    Now thinking back on my usage with the Nikon Coolpix 950, I seldom go closer than 4-5 cm.

    It suddenly dawn on me that , instead of take a lesion from 1cm away at 3-5MP, I can take it at 3cm away at 12 or more MP. Would that give about the same resolution? If so Canon S100 is back in the race. I particularly like the size of its CCD. Some review said that the battery life is rather short. May just need to have a few spares around.....

    Canon G12 seems to fulfill every criteria except not having 24mm Hmm... I really like 24mm because I can take it elsewhere to do photographing.
    Canon G1 X has a macro that start at 20cm ? A bit long isn't it?
    Some Fujifilm camera has flip screen but they are huge and heavy with enormous zoom range.

    As accurate the colour the better but it is hard to achieve. My two previous camera are Nikon Coolpix 950 (dead) and Coolpix 5700 (dying because if I zoom in the colour tone become off) both gave a different tone/hue to the photo. Have a Coolpix 8400 with those flip screen which give a good reproduction of colour but my brother would not return it to me. :mad:

    Anyone knows other cameras with flip LCD screen?
     
  12. OP
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    kirby7777

    kirby7777 Member

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    One query.

    Canon S100 has Sensor size /1.7" (7.44 x 5.58 mm) CMOS
    Canon G12 has Sensor size1/1.7" (7.44 x 5.58 mm) CCD

    Does it mean G12 has a better sensor?
     
  13. hlokk

    hlokk Member

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    Well, you'll most likely need to get further away so there is enough light anyways. 1cm close is only going to be good if you're photographing a bug or something where the light can still hit it side or top on. On a flat surface you'll likely block the light.

    Why do you NEED 24mm? 28mm for most things should be fine? 28mm equivalent is what most SLRs will do with their kit lens at widest btw. So 24mm is "above and beyond" standard.

    The G1X has a macro at 20cm because unlike the S95, it will probably be from the imaging plane, not the end of the lens, and because it has a significantly larger sensor. Large sensor = can get further away and get the same "zoom". This is good as you can get more light in the shot, but get a photo that covers the same area.
    However, I dont think the G1X has a high maximum magnification. Testing out in person would make it quite clear, but specs will be around somewhere and someone can translate that into a X cm by Y cm image size.

    Accurate colour under fluorescent lighting can be a complete PITA. Keep in mind any shutter speed higher than 1/50 or 1/60 will give a weird colour cast (usally green or purple) because fluros flicker different colours at about the mains power (50hz). Fluroescents do not give a smooth spread of colour either. So under reasonably even lighting (say sunlight), certain colours will be missing, so if something is one of those colours (quite narrowly) then it wont be as bright as in other lights. So if you get the skin tone right, it doenst guarantee its perfect.

    Using a 18% grey card would be best, then shoot in RAW if you can. Then you can set the white balance later for the actual light conditions. Some cameras may have a custom mode where you can specify a whitebalance and lock it, and most cameras will allow you to half lock it on the white balance card before each shot (AE lock?).

    Two issues are: consistent colour and accurate colour. Using a 18% grey card in the shot will allow you to get it fairly consistent. E.g. reviewing pictures later, you can adjust as necessary so the greys match and they you'll know it should be about like for like as you can reasonably get without fully controlling the lighting. As for accuracy, you will need all the computer screens calibrated as well remember. There are colour reproduction test charts you can shoot too.

    Edit: Theres a brand call WhiBal that make a tiny keychain white balance card with cm marking on it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  14. lithos

    lithos Member

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    Yeah, that's what I was going to suggest for precisely that reason.

    [​IMG]

    That's them on in the pic. You could probably go for the non-GPS version, though.

    Also, in a medical-type situation, you could wash it down with disinfectant, probably, in case the unidentifiable pustules on that guy who just came back from trekking the Amazon patient burst.
     
  15. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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  16. OP
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    kirby7777

    kirby7777 Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Never knew you can get robust camera like that.

    Pentax one looks interesting with those LED at the front for Macro. It is not pricy at about $250.
     
  17. lithos

    lithos Member

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    Aye. The LED ring light's a brilliant idea, especially for a camera that's for underwater use.

    But for medical photography, it'd be good, too. Flat, symmetrical lighting, so that, say, the edge of a mole isn't hidden in shadow (I've got a lot of those, so I know what it's like to ID them). Most compact cams' macro modes are for outdoors, for flowers and insects and whatknot, in nice, wide, diffuse sunlight. With lower overhead lights, your hand and your camera would probably get in the way and cast a shadow.

    Huh. 'Course, there's probably no way that the Pentax is sodium hypochlorite or alcohol safe, but I'm sure washing it down with disinfectant hand wash and rinsing well wouldn't do it any harm.
     
  18. OP
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    kirby7777

    kirby7777 Member

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    Just bought a Canon S100 from Video Pro and got them to price match JB Hi Fi. Bought two extra batteries on eBay. Shall see how the set up pans out.

    The Pentax WG-1 looks good but a few review only gave it a so so in picture quality. Anyway I think this is a good camera not only for the hikers but also for kids.
     

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