Sony Announces 3D Camcorder for Operation Microscopes

Aug 11, 2012
Takuya Otani, Nikkei Electronics & Digital Health Online
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
The "MCC-3000MT" attached to Mitaka Kohki Co Ltd's operation microscope
The "MCC-3000MT" attached to Mitaka Kohki Co Ltd's operation microscope
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

Sony Corp will release an HD camcorder that can be attached to an operation microscope and record 3D video Sept 17, 2012.

It is the industry's first general-use 3D camcorder that can be attached to commonly-used operation microscopes, the company said. There is no manufacturer's suggested retail price, but the expected price of the camcorder, "MCC-3000MT," is ¥2.6 million (approx US$33,129).

"We will promote the use of our 3D technologies, which we have developed for the field of consumer electronics, in the medical field," Sony said. "We will establish a position so that everyone will say, 'Speaking of 3D in the medical field, it's Sony.'"

Use of broadcast/commercial 3D camera technologies

An operation microscope is a device that is used in a surgical operation on a micro region. Especially, it is used in the fields of neurosurgery, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, etc. While a surgeon who is looking into a microscope can see 3D video, the other staff members can see only 2D images on a monitor. The MCC-3000MT enables to record the same 3D video seen by a surgeon.

The camcorder consists of two (right and left) camera units and one control unit. It becomes possible to record 3D video by attaching the two camera units to an operation microscope. Each of the two camera units is equipped with a 1/2-inch three (red, green and blue)-plate CMOS sensor having a pixel count of 1,920 x 1,080.

The control unit automatically adjusts color shift, which is generated when 3D video is created from video signals coming from the right and left camera units, as well as white balance. This was realized by utilizing know-how that Sony accumulated in the field of broadcast/commercial 3D camcorders.

To record 3D video with an operation microscope, it is necessary to have two (right and left) cameras and manually adjust color. But the new camcorder eliminates the need for those operations.

Sony to offer 3D 'total solutions'

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Sony to offer 3D 'total solutions'

Sony emphasizes that the release of the new 3D camcorder enabled the company to provide total solutions in the workflow related to medical operation video including "shooting," "display," "recording" and "delivery."

For example, Sony has already released the "LMD-2451MT" medical 3D LCD monitor. When video taken by the camcorder is displayed on the monitor, it becomes possible to share realistic video with trainee doctors, medical students, etc who enter an operating room for training.

Furthermore, Sony has already announced that it will release the "HVO-3000MT" 3D medical recorder and the "VMI-40MD" image multiplexer in the fall of 2012. If video recorded with the camcorder is stored in the recorder, it can be used for educational purposes at university hospitals, clinical training facilities, etc. On the other hand, if the camcorder is combined with the image multiplexer, real-time 3D video transmission will advance telemedicine services, the company said.

Sony to launch 3D products in field of endoscopic surgeries

This time, Sony decided to provide 3D video solutions mainly for the field of operation microscopes. But, from now on, the company plans to launch products for the field of endoscopic surgeries, where the need for 3D video is high. For example, Sony has already announced that it will consider applying its 3D head-mounted display (HMD) technologies to endoscopic surgery.

"At this point, there are few 3D endoscopes in the market," Sony said. "But, in the near future, several major manufactures are expected to launch products. We will expand the product line of 3D video products for endoscopes in response to that movement."