The picture of the actual unit seen above, was taken by a Canon DSLR camera, and although we here at Buzz only use the latest and greatest equipment to take photos of our equipment, it is worth noting that our camera’s (all of them) are indeed Canons. There’s a reason for this, and there’s also a reason that nearly every other retinal camera (whether it be made by Canon or not) uses a camera back made by Canon. To put it simply, they have superior optics, digital exporting ease, and are easy to use. All this still rings true for the CR-DGi despite the unit’s 2006 birth date and introduction of more advanced retinal technology to the marketplace. While innovation in photography changes rapidly, the DGi still gives a satisfactory 9 megapixels and will export all images digitally to your preferred imaging software. A manual joystick will force you to align the patient without help of intuitive software, and you will need to turn the focus knob to acquire the perfect image; this shouldn’t be the end of the world given most patients have the same face shape. There is a slight learning curve when compared to the latest models– you will need to get used to aligning the unit between each eye.
OUR TAKE: Although the CR-DGi lacks auto-tracking capabilities and other software functions that make snapping a photo easier, the unit still gives you most everything modern-day instruments will, except with only 8 megapixels and a black and white display.
#1. Canon's First Digital
Newer models from major manufacturers offer software that pretty much takes the operator out of the picture– with blink detection, auto-align/focus/capture, incredible resolution, and enormous fields of view- digital retinal imaging has never been easier. However at the same time, it’s never been more expensive either. Canon’s first digital retinal camera accomplishes the simple task of taking a photo of the patient’s fundus without a the new retail price of $20,000 plus. A younger practice seeking the ability to perform retinal imaging, without dishing out tens-of-thousands for something new will find comfort in what the Canon CR-DGi has to offer.
#2. Surprisingly Low-Flash Intensity
Many manufacturer’s first digital retinal cameras usually have severe flash intensities that send immediate shock waves to your rods. However the DGi isn’t that bad. The illumination adjustment knob will require some adjustment at first to capture the desired exposure, however a mid-setting should produce reasonable results without major complaints from patients. It also has an internal fixation light for the patient to gaze at while aligning.
#3. 45° Field, Decent Resolution
Although most digital retinal cameras have 18+ megapixel capability, the DGi comes with a DSLR that produces around 9 megapixels. This is enough to see what you need to see, however when maximized on a large computer screen, it may not look as clear as what you’ll get with a newer model. At the same time, mobile Optometrists whom purchase our handheld fundus cameras receive only 2 megapixels and manage just fine. Our initial concerns with lower definition capability turned out to be unsubstantiated as basic diagnoses and interpretations from our Optometrist network went on without hitch.
Yes, we were able to capture decent images in fully-lit rooms, however its best to at least lower the pre-test room lights. Alignment is difficult with bright ambient light.
4 mm in diameter.
We would recommend a day of training for all staff members using this unit. as mentioned above, alignment is hardly difficult, however there may be a small learning curve associated with getting the unit aligned.
45° is the maximum field of view.