Swords Orthodontics
17 Main St, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland

Dental Photography in Dublin: The Cameras of Swords Orthodontics Part 1

CANON EOS 450D

The first digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera I bought, and still the one Michelle or I pick up every day at Swords Ortho to take intra-oral and extra-oral photos of a new patient or someone we’ve just finished ortho treatment for.

Dozens of photos.

Every day.

Every week.

Every month.

Every year.

Since 2010.

Remarkable service. It’s outlasted the lens I bought with it.

You can’t buy this new.

The camera I bought to replace it in emergencies is still in the cupboard, waiting for the emergency to happen. It’s not unused (it’s our main camera for high quality video) but it’s also no longer in production by CANON and - you guessed it – it’s only available second hand.

A second hand EOS 450D costs less than an average mobile phone. I’m not suggesting you buy one, but you probably won’t go too far wrong if it has a warranty with it. For a bit more you’ll get the new entry level Canon DSLRs (eg EOS 4000D or 2000D) which will have video capability and wifi and various other features.

As a rough guide, with Canon EOS SLRs, the fewer the digits the more expensive. The EOS 2000D costs less than the EOS 200D. The EOS 200D costs less than EOS 80D and EOS 80D costs less than EOS 6D. And the EOS 6D is about half the cost of EOS 5D. And by the time you’ve got there, you’re looking at a camera that’s around 10 times the cost of the 2000D. And 20 times the cost of the one we use every day.

Does that extra expense get you something more?

Absolutely.

Is it much extra benefit for taking photos of teeth?

That would be an ecumenical matter. A matter of opinion. A matter of experience. A matter of “well, in my hands….”

Not really. There are a few significant differences. They might actually need to be compensated for because a good high-end camera is so good. But for day-to-day teeth photographs, if you’re not expecting to have photography as a hobby, then the entry level DSLR is going to keep most people happy most of the time.

In favour:

  • Versatility – interchangeable lenses allow the SLR to handle practically any situation. For dental photography the lens and flash are what makes it special, not the camera. The same camera would be suitable for safaris, sport, landscape, astronomy.
  • Portability - it’s going to sit in the surgery most of the time to be honest, but it’s a comfortable weight and a nice hand grip.
  • Production numbers – easy to get generic batteries, lenses and accessories by other manufacturers, and an opinion on repair (but these things go out of date so fast, it may be better value to buy a new one if it needs significant repairs).
  • Community – millions of people use Canon (or Nikon) so there’s usually easy access to any information you need online.
  • Cost – the entry level for these cameras is not especially expensive, certainly less than popular mobile phones, tablets or laptops. Beyond that, the sky’s the limit. If you’re planning on doing dental photography, you’re going to need a lens that costs more than a simple camera.
  • Simplicity – there are plenty of features on the camera that we don’t routinely use. The great thing is that you have to look for them, rather than have them presented to you as routine options. This means it’s handy for many people to use it, even if they’re not very interested in cameras.

Against:

  • This particular camera is old. It predates digital video as standard on a camera at entry level, which won’t really be a problem for anyone buying a new camera at the level of this one or even the level below.

If you want to find out how to get the best out of a digital SLR camera for dental photography and the types of accessories you’ll need, then contact us for a place on our next Dental Photography Bootcamp.

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