Color accuracy of commercial digital cameras for use in dentistry

Alvin G. Wee, Delwin T. Lindsey, Shanglun Kuo, William M. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Objectives: The use of calibrated, commercial digital cameras for dental applications is promising. The color accuracy of various calibration models were evaluated as applied to three commercial digital cameras for use in dental color matching. Methods: CIE LAB values of 264 color patches and 65 shade tabs were measured with a spectroradiometer. Digital images of the samples were taken with the Nikon D100, Canon D60 and Sigma SD9 cameras. Four regression models were formulated from the color patch CIE LAB and the digital image values. Shade tab CIE LAB colors were predicted by applying the digital image values into the calibration models and were compared to the measured CIE LAB values. The Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test determined if the 12 camera/calibration models differed significantly from the color measurement setup. Results: Every camera/calibration model (ΔE's ranging from 1.79 to 5.25) showed a statistically significant difference from the color measurement setup. Significance: Commercial SLR digital cameras when combined with the appropriate calibration protocols showed potential for use in the color replication process of clinical dentistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-559
Number of pages7
JournalDental Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Based on a thesis submitted to the Graduate College, The Ohio State University, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the M.S. degree (Shanglun Kuo). Shanglun Kuo was a recipient of the 2003 American College of Prosthodontists Research Fellowship in Geriatric Prosthodontics. This research was supported in part by a USPHS grant from the National Institutes of Health (R15 EY013527). The material was presented in part at the General Session of the International Association of Dental Research meeting, Honolulu, HI, March 2004.


  • Calibration models
  • Color measurement
  • Digital cameras
  • Translucent material


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