Tools of the trade: Nikon D80 Digital SLR camera


Dr Jerry Basson, Teeth@Mittagong, Mittagong, NSW


I started using a digital SLR camera about five years ago. It was a basic point-and-shoot camera and most of the photographs were pretty poor quality. A consultant suggested I purchase a Nikon D80 Digital SLR and a set of R1 flashes. All of a sudden it was a whole new world of photography. I could take high-resolution photographs of teeth that were better than any intraoral camera I had ever used.


What’s good about it

The camera has 105mm macro lens that I use with some decent mirrors. This allows me to get really detailed close-ups with a fantastic resolution. I use it with almost every patient.

Sometimes, when you’re in the mouth, the lighting can be a little obstructed. However, the flash on this camera throws so much light that the photo captures more detail than a dentist could see with the naked eye. The digitised image also allows you to zoom in to pick up the tiniest details.

We always add photographs to each patient’s record. It’s the next best thing to actually having the patient there. An accurate image also cuts down on the need to write laborious notes in explanation.

It’s a great assist with patient education. Rather than explaining what they need to have done, they can see exactly what I’m seeing. It’s a fantastic education tool.


What’s not so good

If you don’t have a basic understanding of photography—macros lenses, depth of field, framing, etc—your results won’t be great. It’s very easy to end up with things unfocused. There is a real art in using a camera and mirrors correctly, and in positioning your patients properly.

But when you get it right, it’s an invaluable resource.


Where did you get it

Online from USA.


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