Choosing the Right Medical Camera

A medical camera is an electro-optical system designed to capture images for the purpose of diagnosing and monitoring pathologies, providing information or training healthcare professionals. These images can be viewed live, but also recorded and shared.

View our medical cameras

  • What are the main types of medical cameras?

    There are two main types: Cameras used with medical devices and cameras used for teleconsultations or filming.

    Camera heads for Olympus endoscopes

    Olympus camera heads for endoscopes

  • What features should be taken into account when choosing a camera for medical use?

    When buying a medical camera, it is important to consider the following characteristics:

    • Image resolution
    • Digital zoom power and quality
    • The type of sensor: CMOS or CCD
    • Video formats available
    • Lens type and magnification capacity (suitable for capturing close-ups or distant shots, depending on the focal length of the device)
    • Connectivity (available connections: USB port, coaxial cable output, etc.)
    View of the connections of a Zeiss camera for 4K microscopes

    View of the connections of a Zeiss camera for 4K microscopes

  • What resolution do you need for a medical camera?

    Medical cameras are available on the market with numerous resolution options, the five most common being 480p, 720p, 1080p, 2160p, and 4320p.

    • 480p: 720×480 pixels
    • 720p: 1280×720 pixels
    • 1080p: 1920×1080 pixels
    • 4K: 3840×2160 pixels
    • 8K: 7680×4320 pixels
    Eizo's operating room camera

    Eizo operating room camera

  • What type of sensor do you need for a medical camera?

    There are two types of image sensors for medical cameras: CMOS or CCD. Both use proven technology and are now the two standards used in digital cameras, not only for their image quality and manufacturing but also for their competitive prices. To know which one to choose, it’s important to understand the differences between these two types of sensors:

    • Energy consumption: CMOS sensors generally consume less energy than CCD sensors. For battery-powered cameras, this means more battery life.
    • Image quality: CCD sensors provide sharper images with less noise (better signal-to-noise ratio) than CMOS sensors.
    • Sensitivity: Generally speaking, CCD sensors are more sensitive in low light conditions, although CMOS technology has improved considerably in this respect in recent years.
    • Cost: CMOS sensors are still more affordable than CCDs.
    Laboratory microscope camera with CMOS sensor from Leica

    Leica laboratory microscope camera with CMOS sensor

  • How do you properly plan your video setup?

    You don’t just have to take the camera’s features into account. Other components of the video system are equally important, in particular, the following elements:

    • Camera compatibility (resolution, video inputs/outputs, and available formats)
    • Maximum resolution of the monitor/camera
    • Storage capacity: the higher the frame rate (FPS) and definition of the videos, the more space you need to store them.
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