Cameras - what do you use?

So this post comes out of a never ending frustration of digital camera problems. …Maybe I am just hard on cameras.

My current victim is a Sony Cybershot DSC-W80. I have taken only a dozen photos and already I am having a problem with the lens opening and closing with an error message that will not go away. It is going to be sent in under warranty.

This camera replaced an HP M537 Photosmart, which was replaced under warranty last May. In fact this was the third HP I have had.

Prior to all these I had a couple Canon Powershots. Every single one with problems of one sort or another. LCD screens that stop working, zoom lenses that have issues, and so on.

Now I am pretty confident that my problem is that I am “getting what I paid for”. Since most of the cameras I have owned all cost somewhere between $100 and $150, it seems that maybe I am expecting too much from cameras in this price range.

After all most people who buy these pull them out every once in a while. On the other hand, we have ours out every day, and likely place them through more challenging conditions.

So now I am looking to upgrade to a more durable camera, and wanted to pick the brains of my fellow NACHI members to see what people are using, and what has been reliable. Thanks!

Good question Harold …i have been having similar issues myself …so what say ye folks…what is the digital camera for the home inspector these days???

I have tried a few different cameras and have had very good luck with the Olympus D-580 & D-560. Some other cameras did not seem to have sufficient flash for one thing. The worst was a HP. The last couple of Olympus’s I bought on ebay for less than $100 - they are older models, but I don’t need more than 2 -3 megapixel. My cameras pretty much always wear out (or break when I drop them onto concrete) after about a year. When I get a new one, I delegate the previous one to the crawlspace. I alway get one that uses AA batteries, and I use rechargeables.

Edit: I alway make sure the camera has at least 3X optical zoom also.

I had numerous problems with my cameras until I bought my first Pentax Optio Water Resistant camera. It is compact, comes with great software, takes great photos. I like it so much I bought two more just to have a spare on hand and one in reserve. The telephoto/zoom (2.8x optical) function is built internally so there are not any external moving parts for grit to foul up the works. If I get it dirty or it gets wet, I can run it under the hose bibb to rinse it off. My model (WR-33) is no longer available but there are newer models that are suppose to be even better. I bought a water resistant camera after one of my earlier cameras gave up the ghost from moisture. For our line of work, I figured a tough,water proof camera was the way to go.

I use the Casio Exilim EX-V8. It uses mirrors instead of a ratcheting lens. You just slide the lens cover to turn camera on and off. I had the same issues with lenses that protrude from the camera body. 2 years and thousands of shots and no problems what so ever.

Canon SD 1000 and 1100’s have three of these, one of them is pretty beat up. :smiley:,accident,adapter,bag,battery,cable,cables,card,case,charger,copier,DVD,extended,flash,instructions,kit,LCD,lens,lot,memory,protector,remote,replacement,screen,service,shield,shutter,slide,tripod,underwater,USB,warranty,waterproof)&sconstraints=PriceMin.Value%3D34%26PriceMax.Value%3D319

Kodak Z710 and a Canon 40D.

Hands down! Kodak EasyShare C310 is the most perfect inspection camera for $100.00

I’ve gone through soooo many cameras (5-6) the kodak C310 has been the last one I’ve purchased and is still going strong even with abuse over two years now. It goes on the roof, attics, and dirty wet crawl spaces.

I get complements all the time about the pic quality in my reports, some think I’m using a 10-12 pixel camera. Nope. Its a lonely 4.0 that I actually have set on 3.0. I attached a sample pic of its clarity.


I own every Sony camera I ever purchased, still working.

I crapped out several cannon and HP cams during the same period.

All I can say.

Pentax Optima

No moving parts. Waterproof. Great camera.

It’s not just you Harold:shock:

I have been through a few, I currently have 5 digital cameras’. I purchase them when they go on sale at Staples. I like to refer to them as disposable.

I have to agree with Ralph. I like the Olympus D-580. I get them used on ebay or reconditioned for anywhere between $40 and $80. Takes great pictures and with a High speed 1GB card I can get a lot of high quality pics with little waiting time between flashes.

For price, ease of use, etc., I use Kodak EasyShare Z712IS or C310.

Another camera I have started using is the Flip video camera. This is an awsome little camera that I use to quickly video every room of house and outside before I leave… more of a CYA for my own records. I like to video locking up and turning everything off if I am alone in a foreclosure. Flip

I am currently using a Sony Cybershot DSC-H2. I have used Fuji, Cannon and Kodak as they were available when I started.

What I like about the Sony is the wider Field of View and the ability to take great pictures in little to no light.

This model of Sony Cypershot also has the ability to add many different lens adapters including wide angle and telephoto.

A chimney on a 3 story house can seem as close as your hand in many instances and clear even on the lowest resolution.

Out of the box without any special settings I took the attached picture.

Buy cargo pants, and make sure to use the wrist strap

I have had so many different cameras through the years I do not know which one has lasted the longest before issues started, but my latest, the Samsung NV11 has served me well for the last six months or so. I got it from WOOT.COM …someone posted a link here for the camera and I am glad I bought it for less than $100.00 if my memory serves me correct.

If I see them on sale again I will buy another for reliable backup…I have a few old Canon’s for back up that the shutters won’t close, the rest of the cameras I have thrown away, off roofs, into traffic, off bridges, etc—:twisted:

Canon has probably been the worst camera(s) I have ever owned, each one had shutter closing problems even with maintenance by me (cleaning).

Bob, if you’ve got cargo pants with wrist straps you must be wearing them funny :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:


I have been using the Canon PowerShot SD 600. I have used it for almost 2 years now with no issues. Great camera, small and easy to use.

KODAK. Can’t remember the model number of the first one but it took over 27,000 pictures for me. It got dropped, rained on, frozen and hit with various objects. I finally had to retire it because it had taken so many flash pictures that the clear plastic over the flash tube had turned yellow and the camera wouldn’t take flash pictures with that reduced flash power.

KODAK is easy to use, robust and cheap. I’m on my second KODAK camera now and hope for the same performance.