How to Shoot an Overhead Video to record dental procedures With a Low Budget.

Blog English, Periospot Hacks

I remember when I started my YouTube channel long ago. My initial intention was only to have a page to upload my videos with my friends, guitar videos, or videos with my kids. 

But as soon as I started documenting my first cases of implant dentistry, I thought it was a good idea to also upload surgery videos, animations, and other stuff related to dentistry. 

Today, the channel has more than 3,500 subscribers and is one of my favorite platforms to use to share videos (along with Wistia).

Is a great opportunity to subscribe to my YouTube Channel 😍

Soon, I started receiving questions about my set-up to record surgery videos. My initial set-up was comprised only of a GorillaPod attached to my dental chair lamp. 

The camera was a conventional video camera connected to a TV, where I could control what was being recorded. 

Not a big deal, low budget, and efficient. 

You can check the quality in this video;

Soon, I noticed that I had to upgrade because having a GorillaPod attached to the dental chair light was not fancy or cool, so I bought an arm and a mounter from an Italian store I found online

It works quite well, but I have to say that mounting it was a nightmare. The other inconvenience is that I cannot move it, so if I want to record a surgery, I have to stick to that dental chair. 

And is quite pricy.

Posted by EsiroBarcelona on Friday, 8 May 2020

But then I met Miguel, who is an excellent photographer and producer who sometimes help us with the shooting and recording. 

He has an amazing portable set-up, easy to mount, and ready to record any surgery. 

The way to position a camera directly overhead is to use a combination of a monopod and a boom pole holder.

For this technique, you’ll need:

Boom pole holder and grip head

Monopod (you could also use a tripod)

– Strong light (chair light should be enough, but just in case you have this one) and a stand like this c-stand


Clip the camera into the monopod, then slip the monopod into the boom pole holder.

Important: Double-check that everything is locked tight, from the camera mount to the grip head. Also, use sandbags to weigh down the boom pole stand, as this rig will be pretty darn top-heavy. 

When you’re shooting overhead, we’ve noticed that gravity can cause some zoom lenses to slip and not hold focal length. To avoid this, use a fixed lens like a Nikor 105 mm or Canon 100 mm, and raise or lower the light stand to get the right framing.

This is in case you want to use the DSLR camera. In my case, I prefer something more automated, with autozoom and 4K. So I choose this camera, and it is working great so far. 

Here is an example of the video with the new camera (is not recorded in 4K although I could do it).

Sony 4k is a good camera to record surgery videos with a fair price.

I just made a huge mistake: the TV I was using to watch the surgery was not prepared for 4K video, so we came up with the idea of having a 4K external screen where we could see what we were recording. 

With the camera so high up, monitoring your shot tends to be difficult. If possible, getting your hands on an external display will save you some time and energy.

Or a cheap 4K Tv.

An external display or a 4k TV is recommended to watch what we are recording during the procedure.

And here you can see a surgery recorded with the new Sony 4K. Unfortunately, I have not yet had the chance to edit the 4K videos I have, but they look amazing!

I hope this helps you to answer some of the questions I often receive about what I use to record my surgery videos, but your feedback is always welcome. 

Just one last favor: Rate this article and give us feedback about it during the short survey 😉

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