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Old Oct 16, 2004, 5:31 AM   #1
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i want to buy a digital cam that has good close up capability. i will be using it for intra-oral photography ( i am a dentist). there was a time when i was using my nikon (non digi) with a ring flash and it gave me great picts but now i would like to go digital. i am considering the Canon IS, MinoltaZ1 or the Panasonic FZ3 but am afraid that they may not give me adequate illumination for in-mouth shots. any suggestions..thanks
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Old Oct 16, 2004, 6:35 AM   #2
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Hiya

This has macro mode and latest technology antishake etc

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz3/

http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/lumix/fz3/index.html

superb !

or look at the FZ20 if you want addon lens :-)
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Old Oct 16, 2004, 11:58 AM   #3
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Jayde wrote:
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Hiya

This has macro mode and latest technology antishake etc

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz3/

http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/lumix/fz3/index.html

superb !

or look at the FZ20 if you want addon lens :-)
I would like to add that there are several differences asside from just the add on lens ability between the FZ3 & FZ20.

Check here:

http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs...ms=71418|71421|

bobc
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Old Oct 16, 2004, 12:19 PM   #4
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docdix wrote:
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i want to buy a digital cam that has good close up capability. i will be using it for intra-oral photography ( i am a dentist). there was a time when i was using my nikon (non digi) with a ring flash and it gave me great picts but now i would like to go digital. i am considering the Canon IS, MinoltaZ1 or the Panasonic FZ3 but am afraid that they may not give me adequate illumination for in-mouth shots. any suggestions..thanks
Your best bet is probably still a Nikon, using a macro ring flash so that you don't get motion blur from shutter speeds being too slow without a flash (especially if you use a smaller aperture for greater depth of field), or unacceptable reflections from the built in flash. Anti-shake would give you a couple of stops. However, the macro capability of some of the Nikon models is vastly superior to most other cameras. So, this is probably your best choice.

You'll want one of the "swivel bodied" models like the Nikon Coolpix 990, 995, or 4500. These are all now out of production. But, if you look around, you can probably find one on the used market easily. Some dealers may also still have the 4500 in stock new.

These can "fill the frame" with an area lessthan 3/4" across, with virtually no distortion (since the macro "sweet spot" is at around half zoom). It will also allow you to stop down the aperture for greater depth of field. Another benefit is that it's swivel body allows you to easily frame closeup shots (you can tilt the body so that you can more easily see the LCD for framing, while still keeping the lens pointed towards your subject).

I found a post from Lin Evans from a couple of years back mentioning theusingthe Digi-Slave RF-50 Macro Ring Flash for this purpose (it seems that it might be preferrable over the Nikon Cool-light SL-1 Macro light).

The Digi-Slave RF-50Ring Flash sells for around $200.00 online in the U.S.

Here is a page with a sample photo of intraoral photography with it:

http://www.srelectronics.com/rf50.html

The Coolpix 4500 uses 28mm filter threads. So, it looks like you'll need some kind of adapter for using aflash like this. You may want to send an e-amil to srelectronics.com to ask them about how it's packaged for use with the Nikon Coolpix 4500.

You may also be able to adapt your existing ring flash to the camera for this purpose with an adapter.


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Old Oct 16, 2004, 12:27 PM   #5
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This is so specialized, I think the best bet is to pick up all of them and keep the one that gives you the best results. I would almost say you're better off with a DSLR in your case, since you can shoot at very high ISO settings - 1200, 1600 with limited noise, and would therefore need less light and be able to shoot at a higher shutter speed. Since I imagine the camera would be mounted on a tripod, the IS wouldn't be needed in your case. You would also want something with a remote to trigger the camera.

My guess is a DSLR in any case for the high ISO setting, least noise, and to pick the best solution based on trial and error. I'm surprised there isn't a special dentist's camera for this type of thing.
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Old Oct 16, 2004, 1:06 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info re nikon and the ring flash this was really helpful.

JimC wrote:
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docdix wrote:
Quote:
i want to buy a digital cam that has good close up capability. i will be using it for intra-oral photography ( i am a dentist). there was a time when i was using my nikon (non digi) with a ring flash and it gave me great picts but now i would like to go digital. i am considering the Canon IS, MinoltaZ1 or the Panasonic FZ3 but am afraid that they may not give me adequate illumination for in-mouth shots. any suggestions..thanks
Your best bet is probably still a Nikon, using a macro ring flash so that you don't get motion blur from shutter speeds being too slow without a flash (especially if you use a smaller aperture for greater depth of field), or unacceptable reflections from the built in flash. Anti-shake would give you a couple of stops. However, the macro capability of some of the Nikon models is vastly superior to most other cameras. So, this is probably your best choice.

You'll want one of the "swivel bodied" models like the Nikon Coolpix 990, 995, or 4500. These are all now out of production. But, if you look around, you can probably find one on the used market easily. Some dealers may also still have the 4500 in stock new.

These can "fill the frame" with an area lessthan 3/4" across, with virtually no distortion (since the macro "sweet spot" is at around half zoom). It will also allow you to stop down the aperture for greater depth of field. Another benefit is that it's swivel body allows you to easily frame closeup shots (you can tilt the body so that you can more easily see the LCD for framing, while still keeping the lens pointed towards your subject).

I found a post from Lin Evans from a couple of years back mentioning theusingthe Digi-Slave RF-50 Macro Ring Flash for this purpose (it seems that it might be preferrable over the Nikon Cool-light SL-1 Macro light).

The Digi-Slave RF-50Ring Flash sells for around $200.00 online in the U.S.

Here is a page with a sample photo of intraoral photography with it:

http://www.srelectronics.com/rf50.html

The Coolpix 4500 uses 28mm filter threads. So, it looks like you'll need some kind of adapter for using aflash like this. You may want to send an e-amil to srelectronics.com to ask them about how it's packaged for use with the Nikon Coolpix 4500.

You may also be able to adapt your existing ring flash to the camera for this purpose with an adapter.

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Old Oct 16, 2004, 2:11 PM   #7
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NickTrop wrote:
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This is so specialized, I think the best bet is to pick up all of them and keep the one that gives you the best results. I would almost say you're better off with a DSLR in your case, since you can shoot at very high ISO settings - 1200, 1600 with limited noise, and would therefore need less light and be able to shoot at a higher shutter speed. Since I imagine the camera would be mounted on a tripod, the IS wouldn't be needed in your case. You would also want something with a remote to trigger the camera.

My guess is a DSLR in any case for the high ISO setting, least noise, and to pick the best solution based on trial and error.
Actually, a DSLR is a poor choice for macros compared to a model like a swivel bodied Nikon.

In order to get the same depth of field you have with something like the Nikon Coolpix 4500 at f/8, you'd need to be stopped down to more than f/22 with a DSLR, for the same focus distance and 35mm equivalent focal length.

As a result, shutter speeds would be prohibitively slow from subject movement without a flash.

There is no way that a DSLR can come anywhere near the capability of a small sensored model for depth of field in low light for closeups-- even shooting at high ISO speeds.

With either camera type, a macro ring flash is a better way to go. Even if you can eliminate blur from camera shake, you've still got to worry about blur from subject movement when stopping down the aperture for better depth of field, in order to get more of the subject sharply focused.

Quote:
I'm surprised there isn't a special dentist's camera for this type of thing.
Actually, there are special cameras for this purpose, but they are pricey.

In lower cost solutions, Olympusstilloffers a package popular for this purpose, based on the Olympus C-2500L (a 2.5 Megapixel consumermodel DSLR with a fixed lens, using a2/3" CCD). I actually owned one of these in 2000 (after it was introduced in 1999). The package sells for around $1,399.95, and includes the camera, a macro ring flash,closeup lenses, and special patient tracking software.

It's a special order package that you can still get, last time I checked, even though the camera by itself has been discontinued for years (apparently the package has not run out of stock yet). B&H lists it here:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...624&is=REG

The Coolpix Swivel Bodied models would actually have slightly better depth of field at any given focal length and aperture, the ability to get closer without any lens adapters, the benefit of the swivel body to assist with framing,less distortion because the macro capability can be used at half zoom, higher resolution, and a much lower cost.
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 10:37 PM   #8
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Thanks for the post, JimC. Makes perfect sense. I stand corrected. You learn something new everyday. The Olympus looks like a nice set-up.
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Old Oct 20, 2004, 1:49 AM   #9
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docdix,

go to dentaltown.com and review the threads about intraoral photography. LOTS of good stuff there. btw in this particular case, nikon dslr is not the best choice. you would be better off with a canon , the rebel or 10d/20d. it has to do with the flash system metering for macro photograpy. canons have it, nikon didnt. best bet to contact photomed.net. this site also is very helpful. i went with the g5 with photomeds flash diffuser. actually, most any digital point and shoot will get you started for ,say ,ortho records and the like. but if you want some close up for shade comparisons/characterizations for the lab, you need a better way to deal with the flash. the diffuser evens out the light so that you dont get the glare and bounce back from the flash. gives a more natural appearance. also, this set up is easy to remove the macro setup for full face and profile shots. the diffuser works with the g3 as well. you wont notice the megapixel difference.

as far as dslr vs point/shoot like the g5 with diffuser, depends who is taking the photos. the g5 is very light and small learning curve. a vrey easy tool to pickup and use. often i have my assistant use it. she couldnt handle a dslr. to many options and choices.

btw, the photo quality of the g5 is very good for dentistry. for most applications in office you will not notice a difference in quality between it and a dslr. i only use this camera in the office. my fun camera is the fz20. if you wanted double duty for the camera, home and office, then personally i would look at a canon dslr. good luck

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Old Oct 20, 2004, 7:49 AM   #10
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Hey great suggestion thanks for the links its just the stuff i was looking for. by the way any chance you guys with Lumix FZ3 can recommend 3rd party lens accesories?
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