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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    3

    Camera for a real estate appraiser

    Budget

    About $300-$400

    Size

    Pocket size preferred. I usually wear it around my neck while I'm walking around doing a building inspection.
    The camera MUST have a strap hole.

    Features

    How many megapixels will suffice for you? 2M-3M.
    All my pictures are roughly 4x6's

    * What optical zoom will you need?
    Standard is fine 3x-4x

    * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
    5"

    Do you care for manual controls?
    Only to turn the flash off on occassion.
    For example, I may have to take a picture through a glass plate
    window at an empty room.

    Settings for dark rooms are also helpful

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for?
    I photo commercial real estate, inside and outside.
    I also drive by comparable sales and shoot them from say,
    across the street. I need a camera that turns and
    off fairly quickly before that truck approaches and blocks my shot.

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
    No

    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?
    Yes, as already commented.

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
    Occassionally I shoot pictures of my family with it,
    but that's about it.

    Miscellaneous
    I have a 1GB Compact Flash card.
    I want a camera where I can use it.

    Are there particular brands you like or hate?
    None

    Are there particular models you already have in mind?
    None

    (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD)

    I would like a camera that can use AA's in a pinch.
    When I'm "in the middle of nowhere", I don't want to find
    a camera shop for a special type of battery. I have a bunch
    of rechargables.

    Thanks for your help,


    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    The only two cameras with wide-angle, compact flash and AA batteries are here: http://dcresource.com/reviews/camera...43&submit.y=11

    I'd say wide-angle is essential for intereor photos. But this goes over your price limit.

    If you're prepare to compromise on the memory card then this is a pretty good option: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....ref=25&loc=PGR

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    5

    Thumbs up Kodak P880 wide angle camera

    John,


    The Kodak P880 looks like it will fill most of your needs. The price
    is in your range, and it goes wide to a 24mm (35 mm equivalent,)
    which will give you about a 84 degree field of view. That should
    be wide enough to photograph most rooms pretty well.

    Good luck.

    Regards,
    aeronaut

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,056
    i agree that the P880 is a prime candidate
    this because it has a 24mm wide lens
    you could optionaly get the P20 TTL flash

    perhaps there are other/cheaper kodak models that the kodak crew can inform about?

    John, do you require whole room shotsor just detail shots of rooms, because that might be done easier

    Riley
    Riley

    Pentax 110 auto SLR

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,099
    Hi John! I know a real estate agent who has a Kodak P880 and he says that he really likes it. While this is not going to meet all of the requirements that you listed above, you are not going to find one that does within your price range. You would really need to think about investing more money in the camera in order to get everything that you are looking for. However the Kodak P880 does fit well into your budget and it can reach 35mm. This should cover at least 84 degrees. I have seen some of the photos of houses that he has shot and they do look good and he is able to photograph most of the rooms really well. I know that Riley suggested the optional P20 TTL flash but my friend doesn’t even have this and the pictures look great. In my opinion this really is the camera that you’re looking for.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    The fact that P&S do excellent real-estate photos makes a bit of a nonsense of the posting on another forum from a real estate agent:

    Equipment needed is to be as close to this as you can get:
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    A Panorama Rotator head having "16 clicks" (every 22.5 degrees)
    for a 360 degrees panorama.


    Nikon D50 camera
    Nikon 18-55mm wide angle lens
    Nikon SB-600 External Flash
    Tripod and Head

    OR

    Canon 20d or 30d
    Canon 17-70mm wide angle lens
    Canon equivalent to Nikon SB600 external flash
    Tripod and Head
    They wanted panorama 3D photos but they can do those just as well with 3D stitching software and a compact. Seemed to me like a load of bother for photos that weren't going to pay anything much!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,056
    im thinking we all read this wrong
    and that John is a building inspection engineer
    in which case he needs detail pics of damage or problems

    in which case he requires s Fuji F30 (dark rooms)

    ********************
    you are quite right Rhys, some peoples ideas go way over the top
    that said there is an international franchise for real estate marketing that uses dslrs and all that stuff, quicktime movies and all.
    all the participants ive met are unhappy about their choice. they have to charge 3x the market price just to cut out a living
    Riley

    Pentax 110 auto SLR

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    3

    Thanks for the help so far:

    Thanks for all of your help so far.

    Ocassionally I do have to do dark rooms. Sometimes, I have
    to appraise buildings to be renovated. Those buildings often
    don't have power and I'm walking around with a flashlight.
    Dark rooms are an occassional issue.

    I do have to photograph a "whole" room as much as possible.

    The basic idea of an appraisal photo-tour is to give the reader a visual
    tour of the property inside and out. We need to convey what is important
    and raise "red flags", visually when necessary. A typical commercial
    report may have 30-50 subject photographs.

    I keep the photo size down a bit so the size of the report is not so huge when it is e-mailed. As it is, my final reports run 75-100+ pages and are usually 5MB to 10MB in size.

    Residential appraisal reports (which I don't do), tend to have a lot
    less photo's, but often convey the same needs.

    I'll read the Kodak and Fuji reviews on my lunch hour.

    By the way, there is a popular real estate appraiser's forum.
    I'll see if they want to link this thread.

    There is always the temptation to go buy another used one on E-bay.
    My only grumble with my old camera (Coolpix 3100, the one that died)
    is that it is so slow to "reboot". If I pause 30 seconds between
    photos, which is common when I'm walking around the building, I
    have to wait for the camera software to prepare to take another shot.



    Thanks,


    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,056
    Id go with the F30 in that case
    learn how to handle its high iso functions
    you would have a pocketable, good performing camera at a reasonable price
    the iso functionality of this camera really is pretty special

    heres a couple of reviews

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_.../fuji_f30.html

    http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/fu...ix_f30-review/

    Riley
    Riley

    Pentax 110 auto SLR

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    3

    About the Kodak P880

    No Good.

    I often have to drive 1-2 hours from my office for an appointment.
    Whatever camera I pick must use NIMH/ "AA's" in a pinch.
    I can't afford to be in the middle of nowhere with the possibilities of dead
    batteries.

    The Kodak doesn't qualify and that's one issue I cannot compromise.


    Thanks,



    John

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