NIDEK’s AFC series fundus camera’s rank highly on our list of the best all around camera on the market today, and the AFC-210 (NIDEK’s base model) doesn’t disappoint. Although no longer made by NIDEK/sold by Marco, we can’t really see major improvements (in software or hardware) from this base AFC model in current models (AFC-230). The unit does everything you’d ever want a non-mydiratic camera to do; it takes a high quality photo with easy operation, sends it to a friendly and attractive user-interface, and demands aesthetic notice on your pretest table. Except it does all these things better than most. Aligning a patient has become child’s play as the unit automatically aligns and focusses itself- it’ll also adjust the patient’s chin rest if you’re way off too. NIDEK claims it was the first to invent such a thing in a retinal camera, and while we don’t really care who was first, the AFC tracks the eye better than any other brand we’ve tested to date. Although the AFC-230 (its big brother) tracks the eye on all X, Y, and Z axis’, the 210 does just fine tracking the eye only on the Y axis. While this does require you to move the unit side to side, it isn’t laborious– and you’re not that lazy. The unit’s 5.7″ LCD screen is good too, although not “brilliant” in clarity. All this integrates with a 18.1 megapixel Canon camera offering full frame in 45° field of view, anterior segment options, unique blink control, and “small pupil mode” capturing pupil’s down to 3.7mm in diameter.
OUR TAKE: NIDEK’s AFC retinal camera is a terrific option for those whom need an easy-to-operate unit that offers decent resolution, and an intuitive user interface. The unit offers modern retinal imaging at a great price, although, is not as “automated” as a DRS Centervue, and does not compete well with more advanced (and far more expensive) camera’s that offer greater resolution and wider field of views.
#1. Auto Tracking, Focus
The AFC-210 automatically does just about everything, besides take the photo– that’s your job by pushing the button on the joystick. It does not however, track the eye on the X-axis- meaning you’ll need to use the joystick as well to slide the unit over to align between OD/OS. Although once you do that, the unit will automatically scale up and down finding its optimal position. It will also automatically focus the lens awaiting your click.
All in all, its not a laborious task, and retakes should be minimal. It does not however, compete with fully-automated cameras such as the DRS Centervue; it requires more than a click. Regardless, the tracking system on the AFC models should be celebrated- they are incredibly intuitive and user friendly.
#2. 18.1 Megapixels Performs
The photo on the right is directly off the AFC model, and we’re happy with it. We should note that this image has not been doctored- it was simply sent to NIDEK’s software “RETINAphile” directly off the camera.
The AFC’s 18.1 megapixel camera, a Canon DSLR, produces a satisfactory image with field of view up to 45° and enough resolution to see what you need to see. The unit’s 5.7″ LCD monitor is also vivid, bright, and clear displaying photos in real-time. Of course, NIDEK’s imaging software will automatically import the photos you take, and there are a bunch of editing options via the computer interface including zoom, color control, effects, measurements, and drawing capabilities.
#3. Operator Friendly, Always
Many fundus cameras on the market require serious training and scouring of user manuals and then you still take a picture of nothing but darkness. That’s frustrating, but the AFC is not. From the moment you turn it on, throughout the photo capture, the unit is easy-to-use and requires minimal training. We’ve already talked about how it could be more automated, however it’s never difficult to find the patient, and its auto-focus takes all the work out of it.
It also has some cool talents, such as “Blink Control,” “Smaller Pupil Mode,” “Stereo Photo Mode (w/ an attachment), and “Anterior Segment” capabilities.
Yes, we were able to capture decent images in fully-lit rooms, however its best to at least lower the pre-test room lights.
3.7mm in diameter.
It’s a software feature within the camera that stops the image capture while the patient blinks, and then resumes it once they open again.
45° is the maximum field of view by utilizing a 35mm full frame.