Oculoplastic Surgery – Nothing Less Than 4K
There are still many arguments for and against recording in 4K. However, for capturing as much detail as possible in
such a small area, UHD 4K is our top choice…and here’s why.
Firstly, our oculoplastic surgery videos are usually intended for presentations and/or web hosting. This means that the digital cinema standard that convinces many to use 4K is no use to our output goals.
The appeal is in acquisition. We make use of is it’s 4096 x 2160 pixel resolution, which is double the prior 2K (2048 x 1080) standard. In simple terms, we are able to collect much more useable data in our recordings. This is especially useful for small area operations like blepharoplasties as equipment and surgeons can often restrict the positioning of the camera.
By shooting oculoplastic surgery in 4K, we’re able to use our secure, specialist rig to position the camera directly over the patient, but further away from the immediate action. We can then crop in closer to the area of interest in post-production, whilst retaining its original high-quality resolution. Our camera of choice, the Panasonic Lumix GH4 DSLR, fits this approach perfectly.
Its small size and versatile features make it a favourite of videographers and theatre staff alike. This is especially noticeable when compared to the older and larger Panasonic DVcam camcorders.
Soft, Shadowless Lighting
Lighting can often be a problem when shooting oculoplastic surgery, mainly because of the conflicting requirements of surgeon and videographer. The surgeon needs light and the standard operating lights installed in most theatres produce something of a hotspot. Problems also occur when hands and equipment cast shadows across the surgical scene. Many medical videographers are happy to use operating theatre lights to illuminate their recordings. It is fair to say that the standard and quality of theatre lights has improved since the days of tungsten.
We do not rely on this however, and encourage the use of external lighting sources for the best results. For oculoplastic surgery we tend to use a bright LED video ring-light fitted to the camera lens. Ring-lights are widely used in areas of fashion and beauty as they produce a uniform light providing shadowless results. An iconic feature is the glowing halo that is reflected in the subject’s eyes.
LED lights are a great choice for long procedures as they generate very low heat and run relatively cool to touch. In fact, LEDs convert 80% of their energy into light. That’s a level of efficiency unmatched by the 20% in a standard tungsten fixture, resulting in a much cooler and comfortable environment for the patient (who may be awake!) and the surgical team.
Choosing LED lights also benefits the videographer, as many have a CRI (Colour Rendering Index) with adjustable Daylight (5500-5600K) or Tungsten (3200K) balance and bi-colour options. In addition, many can be controlled remotely or via DMX perfect for long shoots involving more congested theatres or positions.
Thanks to our camera’s positioning, the ring-light can be projected directly and evenly onto the area of interest, allowing for soft, flat lighting, preventing shadows that might otherwise be cast over important areas of the image.