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Thread: I need a camera

  1. #1
    marshall ray's Avatar
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    Default I need a camera

    I need agood digital camera for my construction inspection job. Any recommendations?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Depends on what you think you are going to do with it?

    I use $100 Nikon Coolpix cameras. I buy the extended warranty. I shoot 100-150 pics a day. After about 6 months they fail due to dirt in the lens, worn shutter parts, etc. Send them back to be fixed. Takes 4-8 weeks. Use second camera while the first is away for repair. I now have 3 because the first camera did not return before the second broke. The very next day camera one returned. Each is a slightly different model because they discontinue the last model.

    I use the lowest resolution setting and store all the pics on memory cards. I remove the card and upload the pics to my laptop. The cameras have a zoom feature which is fine for most HI work. Occasionally it would be nice if they had a more zoom for points high on roofs that I do not climb.

    No wide angle or fish eye view. That would be nice about once a month to fit a wide angle view of an entire house or a room into a single picture for reference.

    I figure it the cameras disappear into insulation never to befound or dropped down a chimny, sump pump, etc. $100 is not a big loss.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    I use a Kodak ZD8612
    Up to 8 meg pics for when I need detail
    Up to 12X Optical Zoom for telephoto shots of roofs
    Has ability for close up for pics of data plates
    Cost was $150, plus $50 for Lithium Ion battery and charger
    I carry a spare Lithium battery (non rechargeable) $10
    2G SD memory card will hold many hundreds of pics even at High Res

    I do not like the digital zoom found on most cameras

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall ray View Post
    I need agood digital camera for my construction inspection job. Any recommendations?
    I have been a fan of the Cannon PowerShot cameras. I have been using a A410 for about four years now. It has outlasted any camera that I use for my inspection business. What I like most is that I can use AA rechargeable batteries in it and they seem to last a very long time. I think I payed around $100 when it was on clearance.

    Keep in mind that you need to make sure that you can take a small photo with the camera. I use the lowest setting on mine and it ends up producing around a 120kb photo.

    I just purchased a new camera to play with, not for inspections. I bought the Nikon S630 CoolPix camera. Really a neat camera and takes amazing photos and it is about the size of a pack of cards.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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    Default Re: I need a camera

    "I bought the Nikon S630 CoolPix camera."

    So, you want to be Ashton Crutcher, do you?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    I use an HP 720 They are out of date now. but you can find them on ebay for $ 30 to $ 50 No moving parts... nothing to go wrong. Ive been using then for years for what we do they take great photos...

    Best

    Ron


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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Ron
    I have hade 3 HP cameras. All three went bad in less than 2 years (each).
    Glad you had better luck with yours, but I'll not buy another one.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Check the Sony line out. Dependable, great pictures. From the lower price end to 3 or 400 is not out of hand. I bought the Sony DSC T300 about a year and a half ago, maybe less, and it is a great camera. I paid a little over three for it and do not regret it. I think they sell for a little less now.

    Check them out at Best Buy and such. I do not think you would regret it.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    I have tried many cameras. The latest is a FujiFilm FinePix S2000HD. It has 15X optical zoom, 10 MP, macro and super macro (take pictures from 1/4" away) settings for closeups, image stabilization, face recognition, and records mp4 in HD. Works on AA batteries. I take about 200 pictures a day. Have had it for nearly a year with zero problems. This is my 3rd FujiFilm camera. Under $250.

    For expert work I use this one and a Canon Rebel xti.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I just purchased a new camera to play with, not for inspections. I bought the Nikon S630 CoolPix camera. Really a neat camera and takes amazing photos and it is about the size of a pack of cards.
    Two days ago I purchased a Nikon S560 CoolPix camera. So far I like it.

    It only has 5X optical zoom (my Olympus has 10X optical zoom, but that camera is getting old and not focusing as fast and accurately now), however, what the Olympus did not have and this Nikon does have is the infrared focus for taking photos in the dark. With the Olympus I had to turn my flashlight on, get the camera to focus, turn the flashlight off, then take the photo, not real convenient.

    The Sony cameras I had before the Olympus had the infrared focus too, I missed that more than I now miss the 10X optical zoom (at least this is 5x, I could not go with only 3x optical zoom).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Canon Powershot A630 and a Canon A1000AS for backup.
    I only bought the A1000AS while I was waiting on my A630 to be repaired, but it has all the features I really need. The A1000AS is a great little camera but it does not have the heft and flip screen that I like about the a630.
    I think I paid about $90 for the A630 to be repaired after breaking the screen while rolling around in a crawl. Check out the repair service for out-of-warranty on Canon products, VERY happy with that service. They totally rebuilt the entire camera for less than half what a new one would cost (if it was still available.)
    The one feature that is hard to get now that the A630 is no longer in production is the flip screen which is great for shooting up a chimney, behind stuff, etc..
    One feature I won't go without is the optical view finder, it is much better for outdoor shots, and low light (attics.) I tried several without the view finder but the LCD screens alone just don't work for me.
    The infared focus like Jerry mentioned is also a must have.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: I need a camera

    "One feature I won't go without is the optical view finder, it is much better for outdoor shots, and low light (attics.) I tried several without the view finder but the LCD screens alone just don't work for me."

    "The infared focus like Jerry mentioned is also a must have."

    Both are good features to have


    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    One feature I won't go without is the optical view finder,
    That was one reason I put off buying a new camera, most today do not have the optical view finder, neither does my new camera, but so ... that has not been a draw back, I could still see the display in bright sunlight on a roof and in an attic. Other displays that would have been a problem.

    Also bought an Acer Aspire Netbook, neat little subcompact notebook computer $270, weighs less than 2.5 pounds, runs Windows XP, keyboard just large enough to use, 160 GB hard drive, 1 GB ram, no CD/DVD drive so you will need to buy a USB CD/DVD drive, got one for $47, to use to load your programs onto it. Battery life is 5 hours.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
    George Bronx's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    I do not like the digital zoom found on most cameras
    You shouldn't like the digital zoom on any digital camera. All it does is take the image captured by the optical zoom (with actual lenses) and stretch the picture. You loose exponentially more information the larger the digital zoom you use. Definately go for optical zoom over digital.

    My company supplies an older model of a Kodak Easyshare camera
    KODAK EASYSHARE Digital Cameras
    The one I use only has 4 Megapixels but I find that is sometimes a lot more than I need for a standard 8.5x11 report.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by George Bronx View Post
    You shouldn't like the digital zoom on any digital camera. All it does is take the image captured by the optical zoom (with actual lenses) and stretch the picture. You loose exponentially more information the larger the digital zoom you use. Definately go for optical zoom over digital.

    My company supplies an older model of a Kodak Easyshare camera
    KODAK EASYSHARE Digital Cameras
    The one I use only has 4 Megapixels but I find that is sometimes a lot more than I need for a standard 8.5x11 report.
    What he said. I turn off the digital zoom on my cameras. If I need to, I use the optical zoom at the highest resolution and then crop out what I don't want.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by George Bronx View Post
    You shouldn't like the digital zoom on any digital camera.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    What he said. I turn off the digital zoom on my cameras.

    Digital zoom makes good ad copy and fills otherwise blank space with a supposed "feature" that is of no practical use.

    Optical zoom is the only true zoom, get the greatest you can in comparable cameras.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Kodak M893IS. Piece of junk. bought it last night, failed today. Cameras need view finders. Screen on rear does not work in bright light. has to use my old olympus again. (12yrs). May try a cannon. I like the cameras that use the AA recharge.batteries. Do not know if they are still around. SD card is nice as well. Will generally fit computer slots.

    sm


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    Default Re: I need a camera

    I keep two on hand. An HP 727 does the bulk of the work. It's not the best for close up or long zoom. I break out the Panasonic DCM TZ-5 for that stuff. I like both.


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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Two days ago I purchased a Nikon S560 CoolPix camera. So far I like it.

    I just found a fatal flaw in the Nikon that I cannot live with and will have to return it.

    That is unless you guys who have the Nikon CoolPix camera's know how to solve.

    In my old Olympus camera I had the file name set to restart whenever I empty the memory card, however ... in the Nikon it puts the photos in a folder and starts numbering from 0001 until 999 then it starts over - and when I delete my photos from the camera, the camera does NOT start back over at 0001!

    Also, the internal camera software does not let the SD card be seen as a drive and does not let me copy to it, not as my other cameras have.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    If you have never tried a card reader, try it out. It is much easier to use that to try and hook up a patch cable, have the camera on, use their software, etc. Pop the memory card in the reader and you have instant access without having to worry about battery level, etc. on the camera. It also works even if you break the camera! Mine was about $15.

    Jim Luttrall
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    Plano, Texas

  21. #21
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I just found a fatal flaw in the Nikon that I cannot live with and will have to return it.

    That is unless you guys who have the Nikon CoolPix camera's know how to solve.

    In my old Olympus camera I had the file name set to restart whenever I empty the memory card, however ... in the Nikon it puts the photos in a folder and starts numbering from 0001 until 999 then it starts over - and when I delete my photos from the camera, the camera does NOT start back over at 0001!

    Also, the internal camera software does not let the SD card be seen as a drive and does not let me copy to it, not as my other cameras have.
    It sounds like you are deleting the pics but not the file. If you don't delete the whole file instead of just the pics it will more than likely do as you say and start the numbering for the next group of pics starts where you left off

    Of course that is all just a maybe. I do not have that camera


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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Another vote for Canon... they're cheap and decent quality. At the rate they get broken from rolling through crawl spaces I just can't imagine spending much more than $100 on one.

    Another benefit to the Canon (at least for me) is the pictures go into MS Word at 3.56" width which is a nice size whereas other cameras go in much larger and you have to re-size each image.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Another vote for Canon... they're cheap and decent quality. At the rate they get broken from rolling through crawl spaces I just can't imagine spending much more than $100 on one.

    Another benefit to the Canon (at least for me) is the pictures go into MS Word at 3.56" width which is a nice size whereas other cameras go in much larger and you have to re-size each image.
    MF: If you insert your pictures into frames you do not have to resize.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    It sounds like you are deleting the pics but not the file. If you don't delete the whole file instead of just the pics it will more than likely do as you say and start the numbering for the next group of pics starts where you left off

    Of course that is all just a maybe. I do not have that camera
    JP: The Fuji FinePix S2000HD has all of the things on your wish list: infra-red focus, ability to reset picutre numbering or allow the numbers to accumulate, serious optical zoom and super macro abilities, shutter priority and manual settings, excellent multiple flas control settings, et al.

    No, you can't buy one for >$100. Any fool who thinks he has a real camera for $100 is just that, a fool. I surely do not understand how some of these guys will spring for a >$5K IR ray gun, but opt for a cheap optical camera.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Jeez, I flubbed up most of that post . . .


  26. #26
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    I've been using the same Nikon CoolPix L10 for the last 4 years, no problems. I take 100 - 150 pic's at every inspection and this camera has done around 500 inspections give or take.

    I'm surprised at how many have had camera failures do to dirt and rolling on the camera. I use a tool tray, out of a small tool box (mine is old and made of metal), to carry everything I need in the crawlspace. Camera, moisture meter, voltage sniffer, voice recorder, probes, surveyor tape, push-pins, etc. The bottom of the tray is lined with rubber shelf liner that has holes in it to keep dirt away from the camera. I never set anything down in the crawlspace unless it goes in the tray. Haven't lost a tool in 5 years, but I have found lots of them. The tray also keeps my hand out of the dirt as I use it to crawl with, the other hand has a handle type flash light in it that keeps me out of the dirt.

    I use the PC setting for the majority of the pics. I use the SCENE mode with Sport setting for note type pics and switch to Camera for flash shots requiring better picture quality. I found that holding a business card over the flash works best when taking macro pics, flash washes out most detail and turning flash off is too dark. When I have down loaded all of the pic's to PC, I delete ALL pic's and numbering starts over at 1.

    Wish the optical zoom was higher but don't know if I could hold the camera still enough to use it then.

    Now that I have bragged on this camera it will self destruct at the next inspection .


  27. #27
    Russel Ray's Avatar
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Back when I had nine employees, we used mostly the Canon Powershot. As employees started asking for six-figure salaries as the market was declining, I declined their requests, so they took off. Their going away present was the privilege of keeping the camera that they had been using.

    The Powershot was extremely easy to use and took the daily pounding from employees dropping them on the ground, in the water, etc. As the Powershot became popular, they became more difficult to find, so one day I resorted to buying an HP Photosmart. The HP finally bit the dust at yesterday's early inspection after 17,249 pictures (give or take -- my Excel database is missing picture data on two inspections from August 2007).

    I replaced it with a GE A735, and it's already been dropped once by me and has 672 pictures on it. I like it better than the Powershop and the Photosmart.

    Business has been so good that I also bought a Canon EOS Rebel XSi, and just did a review on the seller (Real Estate Blog - Camera seller review) and the camera and goodies that came with it (Real Estate Blog - Camera review: Canon EOS Rebel XSi)


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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    It sounds like you are deleting the pics but not the file. If you don't delete the whole file instead of just the pics it will more than likely do as you say and start the numbering for the next group of pics starts where you left off

    Of course that is all just a maybe. I do not have that camera
    Ted,

    I thought of that, but cannot find any way to do anything other than the deleting I am doing.

    Looked through the manual and all too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    I've been using the same Nikon CoolPix L10

    I delete ALL pic's and numbering starts over at 1.
    My newer Nikon CoolPix does not restart at 1 after deleting the photos, I wish it did.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Hey, Jerry.

    Every camera I have allows me to set the camera default to restart numbering or to continue numbering. I like continuous numbering so that I know how many pictures the camera has taken. That tells me whether or not I got my money's worth out of it when it finally does die.

    Russel


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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    My newer Nikon CoolPix does not restart at 1 after deleting the photos, I wish it did.

    I press "playback button" then "Menu" scroll to "Delete" then to "Erase all images" display comes back with "Memory contains no images". If this is what you are doing I need to start shopping for another brand before this one dies.


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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Russel Ray View Post
    Every camera I have allows me to set the camera default to restart numbering or to continue numbering.
    I'm not into seeing how long I can make anything last, I want it to do what *I* need, if it costs a little more and lasts a little less, so be it.

    [quote=Vern Heiler;89091]I press "playback button" then "Menu" scroll to "Delete" then to "Erase all images" display comes back with "Memory contains no images".[quote]

    Basically what I did. I tried everything I could think of and find in the menus, then I gave up and read the manual ... nope .. no manual reset choice, it starts at 0001 and goes to 0999 then resets to 0001 automatically. Even said so in the manual.

    If this is what you are doing I need to start shopping for another brand before this one dies.
    I just took that back and brought home a Sony Cybershot DSC-W220 which also has the infrared AF but only a 4 times optical zoom, and the manual was pretty much useless to tell me anything, so the salesperson went on line and read detailed information about it, it allows either continuous file names or reset when the memory clears ... which is what I need - I need it to reset back to 0001 when I clear the memory.

    If you manually insert a photo here and there into your report, it would not matter which it did, but the program I wrote inserts up to 600 photos automatically, starting at 0001.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  33. #33
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    MF: If you insert your pictures into frames you do not have to resize.

    Tried it.... it works for the cover shot but in the body of the report it won't allow me to put text next to it. I'm assuming you're talking about inserting the picture into a 'text box' as MS Word calls it.


  34. #34
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    I started years ago with the Sony Cybershot becasue it was cheap and had the little orange beam useful in crawl spaces and attics to point and shoot without using the viewfinder or LCD
    It lasted six drops.

    Got another. It also lasted six drops.

    Both times the last drop broke the battery cover. IF I hold the battery cover closed, they still work fine. guess I could send them off for repair but haven't.

    My third Sony Cybershot hasn't hit the ground yet (two years or so) though it has been dropped several times. Wife got tired of me buying new cameras every couple of years or so. Bought me a neck lanyard that reaches to allow me to stick it into the hip pouch with the lanyard around my neck.

    The latest has the lithium battery. Bought a spare to go with it Keep the spare charging in the van. 300 pics a day, the battery lasts several days. Gotta love those rechargeable lithiums. Last a lot longer than the rechargeable AAs.

    Love that little orange beam. Does everything I need it to for HI including video and voice recording.

    Jerry: If you really like that one, you could use Fast Stone Photo Resizer (free download) to rename each pic starting at whatever name you want with a numeric to follow. D001 or JohnsPictures001 or Address001, whatever you use. Fast Stone will do a mass rename of as many as you want. Took me a bit to get used to it after being spoiled with the XP Powertoy Resizer, but it's almost as quick and painless for mass resize and mass rename and works well with my Vista Ultimate.

    -

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
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  35. #35
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I'm not into seeing how long I can make anything last, I want it to do what *I* need, if it costs a little more and lasts a little less, so be it.
    I like to make things last AND have them do what I need them to do. Makes better sense to me.

    You sound like *you* need a camera that starts renumbering at 1, so it sounds like *you* need something other than a Nikon if it won't do that. The Canon, HP, and GE do.


  36. #36
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Erby Crofutt View Post
    It lasted six drops.
    I bought a replacement warranty which covers that for 2 years.

    Love that little orange beam.
    Yep, those infrared AF beams are a great thing. My old Sony cameras had it, my Olympus did not, the new-but-no-longer-have Nikon had one too.

    you could use Fast Stone Photo Resizer (free download) to rename each pic starting at whatever name you want with a numeric to follow.
    That things renames file FAST, but it sure is slow on resizing.

    If I had that earlier today it would have saved me at least TWO HOURS.

    I manually renamed over 150 files, realized I made a mistake on one (004) and had to go through the list AGAIN, then realized I made another mistake on one (this time 054) and had to go through them AGAIN from that point. By the time I got them all renamed correctly, I was ready for a break.

    Thanks, Erby, that is a great little program, if for nothing else at least for the renaming feature.

    Oh, well, I have the Sony now so I will see how I like it compared to the Nikon.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  37. #37
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    Whatever you buy I would recommend the canon over the kodak anyday. I have had the opportunity to use both of the softwares for downloading to and from computers and found the canon more user friendly and quicker!


  38. #38
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    I bought a Canon power shot A590 $140. I am not very happy with it, probably will need a new one by end or summer of sooner.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: I need a camera

    I own a Panasonic LUMIX DMZ-TZ5 it is the size of a deck of cards, has a rechargeable battery and has 10X optical zoom. It has fast focus and recycle time and auto macro focus.

    I used to have an Olympus, which had view finder and LCD screen, got rid of it because the recycle and focus time was too slow. The Panasonic doesn't have view finder. I thought it would be a major problem, but it works great. It also has a laser pointer focus, so you don't even have to look at the camera to see what you're shooting when indoors or in crawlspaces.

    I have an extra battery for back up. Battery does need recharging after three home inspections. (about 250-300 pics)

    I'm very happy with it and will buy another, when this unit craps out.


  40. #40
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    Posts
    60

    Default Re: I need a camera

    I've been using Canon's the last 5 yrs now. I hate learning new camera settings or software.

    I ALWAYS get a camera that uses AA battery's. I don't care for the square rechargable batteries in some of the cameras as I can't always tell when it will die. AA's are quick and easy since I forget things or change vehicles often I can't always be assured I will have a backup rechargable battery with me. AA's I can pick up anywhere and I keep a small pack of them in each of my vehicles.

    Right now I use a Canon Power Shot A2000 IS 6X optical zoom & 10 megapix. Works great for me.

    Austin Structural Inspections
    email: larson@austinstructural.com
    web: www.austinstructural.com

  41. #41
    Gary Cox's Avatar
    Gary Cox Guest

    Thumbs up Re: I need a camera

    I've used about three-four of the small shirt pocket cameras over time and each one bit the dust for various reasons. Good for family stuff but but so good over time with humidity, dust, dirt, bugs...oh and falling out of my pocket and sliding down a roof and hittin' driveways.

    ...went into a Best Buy couple years ago and asked this guy what he'd recommend. Handed me a larger camera...heavier, right off I was not easy with that...but the thing was built like a bunker buster missle head. Heavy gauge metal. Small in size, 14.7 Mega Pixel, 5 optical wide angle zoom, you can leave a verbal notes on each photo with the push of a button on back, set from wide screen HD shot to full screen HD or simple 640 size (which I use for my setting for fast emailing).
    Has the green laser spotter light automatic for dark places to see where your aiming.

    Canon Powershot A10...amazing camera...oh and the battery?...very thick, I can use this battery all week...no charge. I do approx 7-10 inspections a week and take approx 60-100 shots per.

    I've had this camera fall off one roof, and flipped out of my hands onto concrete several times...no problem

    Starting to look really beat up, tiny screws falling out ... but man this thing is a war horse.

    Highly recommended.

    ...and it takes amazing videos of the family.

    Last edited by Gary Cox; 08-10-2009 at 06:33 AM. Reason: spelling

  42. #42
    Russel Ray's Avatar
    Russel Ray Guest

    Default Re: I need a camera

    Hey Gary.

    The Canon Powershot A10 was my very first home inspection camera. I bought it back in 2001. It finally gave out in 2008 after about 20,000 pictures.

    I think Canon makes excellent cameras -- I just bought a Rebel XSi for play time and think I'll get another one for the home inspection business.

    The Canon Powershot A10, however, is a 1.3 megapixel, 3x zoom camera that uses four AA batteries, which is what caused me to buy rechargeable batteries.

    So I'm curious about your review -- 14.7 megapixels, thick battery, etc. I think you're with the G10, not the A10.


  43. #43
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Russel Ray View Post
    Hey Gary.

    The Canon Powershot A10 was my very first home inspection camera. I bought it back in 2001. It finally gave out in 2008 after about 20,000 pictures.

    I think Canon makes excellent cameras -- I just bought a Rebel XSi for play time and think I'll get another one for the home inspection business.

    The Canon Powershot A10, however, is a 1.3 megapixel, 3x zoom camera that uses four AA batteries, which is what caused me to buy rechargeable batteries.

    So I'm curious about your review -- 14.7 megapixels, thick battery, etc. I think you're with the G10, not the A10.
    RR: The G10 looks like a good camera, but the 5X optical zoom is way too light in the ass for inspection work.


  44. #44
    Russel Ray's Avatar
    Russel Ray Guest

    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    RR: The G10 looks like a good camera, but the 5X optical zoom is way too light in the ass for inspection work.
    I don't have a G10, but I find 3x zoom to be perfectly fine for inspection work. Never had a problem in eight years. However, I also think 14.7 megapixels is overkill for inspection work. I set my cameras for 1 megapixel for inspection work, and maximum resolution when I'm out taking pictures of wildlife.


  45. #45
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: I need a camera

    I don't have a G10, but I find 3x zoom to be perfectly fine for inspection work. Never had a problem in eight years.
    RR: To each his own. My work camera has 15X optical, and I would prefer a bit more.

    However, I also think 14.7 megapixels is overkill for inspection work.
    RR: I used to think so until I ran into a few instances when I needed a high resolution in order to make a point or substantiate a claim. I only use 10 MP in my work, but would use 20 MP if I could afford it.


  46. #46
    Russel Ray's Avatar
    Russel Ray Guest

    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    RR: To each his own.
    Absolutely!

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    RR: I used to think so until I ran into a few instances when I needed a high resolution in order to make a point or substantiate a claim. I only use 10 MP in my work, but would use 20 MP if I could afford it.
    I've made many a point and substantiated many a claim with just 1 MP. Nonetheless....


  47. #47
    Gary Cox's Avatar
    Gary Cox Guest

    Talking Re: I need a camera

    Hey Russell!

    Thanks! It IS the G10 model dang it!
    Thanks for the correction.

    Other posts 14.7 overkill...I agree. Never need it. But for the family stuff..amazing quality.

    Batteries...I've yet to have this thing go dead without an occassional..Oh man, I better that thing tonight."
    Very long life.
    I carry a charger in the car in case AC plug in with wall adaptor.
    Now if they could just get a PDA to last this long!


  48. #48
    Dayna Rothenberger's Avatar
    Dayna Rothenberger Guest

    Default Re: I need a camera

    I use a Fuji finepix z33 wp. About $160. It is 10 mega pixels, takes great photos, and most importantly is water proof as is. I drop things all the time and my electronics usually end up in a puddle or worse... the toilet.


  49. #49
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Tampa, Fl
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: I need a camera

    I use the $100.00 Kodak that is available at any Walgreens. It uses AA rechargeables and is good in low light. It is easy to handle with one hand, because it has a little grip on it. Also, it snaps off photos very quickly after you turn it on...a feature I like, because I don't like to wait 5 seconds before I can pop off a shot. It has been pretty reliable, gotten dirt in the lens etc.
    It's cheap, so I don't care if I loose it or break it...if I need another one, there is a Walgreens nearby. Has anybody used the new Ryobi they have at Home Depot? Looks like a tank... waterproof/shockproof/dustproof. $200.00


  50. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Cox View Post
    ...

    Other posts 14.7 overkill...I agree. Never need it. ...
    Except for use in lieu of a high optical zoom. You can take a photo at the highest resolution and then crop way down and still have a decent image. I frequently do this for chimneys I can't otherwise get close to, to show the need for pointing and repair.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  51. #51
    Russel Ray's Avatar
    Russel Ray Guest

    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Except for use in lieu of a high optical zoom. You can take a photo at the highest resolution and then crop way down and still have a decent image.
    I do that often with my 1 MP pictures. Never a problem. I use Photoshop 5.5 and Corel Photopaint.


  52. #52
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Russel Ray View Post
    I do that often with my 1 MP pictures. Never a problem. I use Photoshop 5.5 and Corel Photopaint.
    RR: I don't even keep an image altering software on my report computer. If the photos are ever called into use during litigation, evidence of alteration may negate their admissibility.


  53. #53
    Russel Ray's Avatar
    Russel Ray Guest

    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    RR: I don't even keep an image altering software on my report computer. If the photos are ever called into use during litigation, evidence of alteration may negate their admissibility.
    It doesn't as far as making an image lighter or darker for clarity, or cropping, and similar things. Already been tested in courts here. There is free software out there on the Internet that can detect alterations. Many digital SLR cameras, and some of the better point & shoot cameras come with photo editing software.


  54. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    RR: I don't even keep an image altering software on my report computer. If the photos are ever called into use during litigation, evidence of alteration may negate their admissibility.
    Aaron, I bet you have photo editing software on your computer even if you don't use it. Even the most basic photo viewers have at least some limited editing powers. Do you have MS Word? MS Office? MS Word will compress every photo in the document with two clicks of the mouse. I understand what you are saying, but I'll bet if you look closely, you will find you are not a safe from the taint of photo editing software.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  55. #55
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: I need a camera

    My next camera is going to be the Ryobi Tech4 sold Home Depot. It's the most durable camera I have found so far, at least for the price. It's water proof, dust proof, and shock proof. The thing I like the most about it is that it has a separate dust proof lens that covers the main shutter and lens. I commonly have to take the shop-vac to may camera a suck the dust and dirt out of it to keep it working. They retail for $199.


  56. #56
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: I need a camera

    After running over and crushing a Panasonic, I'm using an Olympus Stylus 850SW, shock, dust, and waterproof. No infrared focus or direct view finder, which are desirable features to have. 3 macro modes including one that uses a white LED for illumination. Aftermarket extra batteries and chargers available online. I normally set to flash to "Fill' so it fires on every shot causing the batteries can go down pretty rapidly; Especially in cold weather. I use a leather case with a fixed belt loop so it doesn't pull off.

    If you go in dirty dusty places, like a crawl space, I really wouldn't recommend a camera that has a lens that moves in and out to focus. One little speck of grit will jam the camera and cause it to shut down.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  57. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    If I had that earlier today it would have saved me at least TWO HOURS.

    I manually renamed over 150 files, realized I made a mistake on one (004) and had to go through the list AGAIN, then realized I made another mistake on one (this time 054) and had to go through them AGAIN from that point. By the time I got them all renamed correctly, I was ready for a break.
    To rename and I think you mean renumber a whole folder of files, do this.
    Open the folder in Windows whatever picture viewer.
    Go to Edit, or using highlight, "select all", select all files, right-click and choose 'rename' from the menu.
    Rename the first file, I give it a date 08-07-06. hit enter. the second file becomes 08-07-06 (2), and the whole folder gets renamed and renumbered.


  58. #58
    sanjugibbs's Avatar
    sanjugibbs Guest

    Default Re: I need a camera

    If you are looking for a camera offering a great amount of resolution, better check out the entire Sony Cyber Shots camera.


  59. #59
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,246

    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    To rename and I think you mean renumber a whole folder of files, do this.

    Nope, I mean "rename". Which includes "renumbering".

    My photo insertion program I wrote will automatically insert up to 600 photos, and all I need to do is make the file "names" match that of the program.

    So now, with that FastStone software, I "rename" the files to "ImageXXXX" where "XXXX" is the sequential number, as in Image0001, Image0002, etc.

    My program now inserts all the "renamed" photo files into the report.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  60. #60
    Scott Murdock's Avatar
    Scott Murdock Guest

    Default Re: I need a camera

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall ray View Post
    I need agood digital camera for my construction inspection job. Any recommendations?
    I just saw this one today at home depot. Not sure how it good it is. If anyone has tried would be interested. On the info sheet at the store will take 800 pic's on a single charge.



    Tek4 Digital Camera

    The Tek4 4V 8MP Digital Camera is available for$199.00. This tool offers a number of advanced features such as: Ergonomic Button Layout for easy and simple navigation, 3x Optical Zoom for excellent image quality and water proof, dust proof and shock proof for the toughest of conditions. This DuraShot 8MP Digital Camera from Tek4 Innovation is the perfect tool for those who need immediate high quality pictures. The DuraShot 8MP Digital Camera is backed by Ryobi’s 2 year warranty.


  61. #61
    Eric Russell's Avatar
    Eric Russell Guest

    Default Re: I need a camera

    I use the Olympus Stylus. It is waterproof, shockproof, and 8.1 megapixels, so it takes really good pics and is very durable. I'm also a firefighter, and this camera is fireman-proof. You know...put a fireman in a round room with two bowling balls and he will break one and lose the other one!


  62. #62
    wes owens's Avatar
    wes owens Guest

    Default Re: I need a camera

    I'm looking for a small digital camera that is dust proof, water proof, and takes AA batteries.

    Seems like most of the proof cameras are rechargeables.


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