Photography in dermatology: comparison between slides and digital imaging.J Cosmet Dermatol. 2003 Jul; 2(3-4):131-4.JC
Clinical photography is an essential tool for any medical speciality, such as dermatology, wherein accurate records are required of pre, intra and postoperative findings, plus quick access to these records for comparison and evaluation purposes. Clinical photography is important not only to the surgeon, but also to the patient, so that a realistic objective assessment of improvement may be made. Conventional emulsion film-based prints from negatives and positive colour transparencies revolutionised clinical records when they first appeared. Now the appearance and rapid development of digital photography is bringing about yet another revolution.
To compare conventional with digital photography from the standpoints of cost-effectiveness, ease of archiving and ease of retrieval. The quality of the imaging was not dealt with.
A professional clinical photographer took images using: Nikon F3 (conventional emulsion based photography); FotoFinder Derma (digital photography).
Although traditional emulsion-based photographs are quicker to take, digital imaging provides an almost immediately available image and is much swifter to use for classification, later retrieval and comparison between serial images.
Despite the initial expense of acquiring digital equipment compared with traditional photographic apparatus, when examined over a five-year period, both formats cost approximately the same. Digital photography offers advantages in ease of archiving and storage, savings in time and space, extremely quick retrieval and very easy comparison of images. Digital photography is very much the way of the future in dermatological clinical imaging.