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TOPIC: Phone vs Camera

Phone vs Camera 2 years 9 months ago #63318

I was just reading a previous post by Gregg Spear regarding cameras. It seems a lot of inspectors use cameras. I've only been in business a couple of years and just assumed that most inspectors use a smart phone or tablet to take pics.  I do wish I didn't have to spend as much time looking down and poking at my phone, instead of looking at my surroundings and communicating with the client. I'd like to get some opinions from inspectors who have used both on which method you prefer. Thanks

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Re: Phone vs Camera 2 years 9 months ago #63319

I prefer to use a camera personally. I use Olympus Stylus Tough series cameras, a TG-860 and a TG 620. Both are "all weather" cameras, they are waterproof, dustproof and hold up pretty well when banged around, dropped or dragged through a muddy crawlspace.
The lens do not extend on either of these, so the lens does not jam up with dirt or dust.
They both have a flash that can light up a crawlspace or attic pretty well, and they recycle pretty quickly, so you are not left standing around waiting for the flash to charge.
Both have LED lights for use in Macro shots of data plates that will actually be readable and not overpowered by a flash.
Both have some zoom capabilities, around 4X I think, which isnt great but it is pretty much on par with a lot of phones & tablets.
The TG-860 also has built in WiFi and I can control it from my phone. I often put this camera on a long painters pole and using an app on my phone I get a live view from the camera and can zoom in or out, release the shutter or switch from still to video modes.
The TG-860 display also hinges up 180 degrees so that you can use the display to frame shots even at an awkward camera angle.
I like having a dedicated shutter button that is easy to find and easy to operate with gloved hands.

My phone (Galaxy S5 Activ) has a camera that is great when lighting conditions are good, not so much in crawls or attics. I have tried several tablets from Apple, Samsung, Motorola, LG, and Lenovo and havent really found one that works well for me.

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Alton Darty    AR Lic. #HI-1496
ATN Inspection Services, LLC
Home & Commercial Inspections throughout the NE Arkansas and SE Missouri regions.
www.arinspections.com
Osceola, Arkansas 72370

Re: Phone vs Camera 2 years 9 months ago #63323

I'll have to give the Olympus a try, it sounds like a promising cam.

I use a lesser expensive Nikon Coolpix L32, but I have to admit they are not super durable and I've gone through three of them in the last 18 months.  I like the picture quality, I like that they take good ol' fashioned AA batteries, and I found a source where I can buy them refurbished for $99 figuring it was just a matter of time before I broke another one.  I hook mine to a lanyard around my neck, which has made them last a lot longer, but I still break 'em.

I currently use an iPad for my mobile reporting, I'm not an iOS guy, but I had a couple of iPads laying around, so I thought I'd put them to work.  I run and S7 phone...it would work as an all-in-one, but I like having a little extra space on the screen for menus and typing.  The primary reason I chose to use a separate camera was because of the optical zoom quality over the digital zoom, the flash (no flash on the iPad), and because I didn't want to haul my phone or tablet in to dirty nasty crawlspaces and attics.

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Re: Phone vs Camera 2 years 9 months ago #63325

I have a couple Olympus Tough cameras in my truck.  Used them for years.  Left over from days prior to mobile and used in emergencies.  I use my phone camera and have great results as the mobile puts them where I want them.  Using a separate camera requires you to spend time at home loading them into the appropriate areas of the report.  After I went full mobile, I can't imagine going backwards and spending additional time at home to finish the report.

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There is nothing sweeter than the smell of fresh cut grass on a baseball infield, the click of a wooden bat and the taste of a hot dog at a warm sunny daytime double-header.

Phone vs Camera 1 year 2 weeks ago #64621

I've been using the Nikon Coolpix aw series for years. The zoom is only five times which isn't great but the Flash lights up an attic and crawl spaces great because these cameras are made for underwater photography. They also have rechargeable batteries which last me through one and a half Home Inspections normally. They have built in Wi-Fi which will load photos taken directly onto your phone or tablet but I haven't figured out how to integrate them with home inspector Pro yet. I recently tried the Canon sx730 HS which has a 40 x Zoom but didn't work well in low lighting. Even with the flash extended and the Flash setting to maximum the photos still came out dark. I just recently purchased to the Nikon aw300 to replace the aw130 and in my opinion the Nikon is the best camera out there for home inspections. It's even drop proof from 3 meters.

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