Digital Cameras

I take alot of pictures during an inspection, does anyone have an idea what camera would be the best for the battery lasting the duration of an inspection? I take about 100 to 130 pictures in a few hours time? I have tried a few smaller cameras and the newer ones that have AA bateries, but I have to change two or three times, and I lost a few pictures that way. If anyone has experienced this please let me know what you have come up with for a solution. Thanks in advance. Greg

Hi Greg,
I use a Canon SX120 (new model is an SX130); I take 300 to 500 pictures per inspection and have no problem with one set of batteries. I use standard rechargeable batteries, I always have a spare set of batteries in my pocket and occasionally have to change them out during a job; more so if I have to use the flash because of dark interior conditions. Standard throw away batteries are good for no more than 100 to 150 pics so maybe going to rechargeable batteries will solve your problem. By the way I have never lost a picture changing batteries.

Here’s what I use.

I take 300-500 pictures during a typical inspection. With any camera you use, the resolution is the single biggest culprit of your batteries life. Personally, I like to take my pics at no less than 5MP, usually 8MP. (Camera is a 14MP, and use it on ground to roof shot’s when necessary). The high MP pics have saved my butt a time or two (zoom in quality). At 5MP, I get about 150 pic’s from standard Duracell AA’s. Many inspectors, and inspection report software companies, claim that 3MP is more than sufficient. Tried it, got about 225 pics from the Duracell’s, but didn’t like the low quality shot’s. Try it and judge for yourself.

Me too. When I purchased it, I also purchased an additional battery. I usually get several days out of each charge, depending on how much I use the flash and/or LED.

But, how many pictures do you take in an average inspection? If I remember correctly, you take very few in comparison.

I use the Olympus TG-610 I get about 250 - 300 pictures out of each battery.

I can’t speak for Jeff, but in a few instances I have taken over 300 pics on one charge. I’ve never had the battery die on me yet (knock on wood). What I have found that kills the battery is excessive use of the the zoom & especially the digital zoom.

My camera charges through the USB port & gets charged daily. I’m using the original battery that came with the camera when I purchased over 2 years ago.

This spring I will be buying another one, whether I need to or not.

I Use the same as Kevin and Jeff i carried a spare battery hardly use it but some days i do, 250 to 300 Pictures . battery life .
Been using 1.5 years no problems dropped in water dropped from the ladder . Before then i went through one every 4 months . always got jammed shutters with dirt. or crushed screen.

I average between 15 to 25 pictures per report, but have included as many as 50, so it just depends. I also complete at least 2 inspections per day and 3 or 4 on long summer days, so I’m taking 40, 60, 80+ pictures per day. Rarely will I change batteries more than once per week.

FWIW - I don’t carry a “spare” battery. I rotate them evenly and use each one until it’s dead before I change it out. Full-charge/discharge cycles helps to extend the life of rechargeable batteries.

I do the same use it till it dies.
about 250 Pictures each Battery

Do not take this the wrong way but why so many pictures? Are you and inspector or a photographer?

Pictures should only be taken when necessary omit the clutter.

I use a Pentax waterproof camera, take as many pics as needed, sometimes a lot, sometimes only a few. I use my camera as basically a recorder of the inspection. This allows me to step through many steps quickly because I have documentation in the form of a photo. I generally do not use all the photos I take but still have them on hand for later use if necessary. It takes no more money to take 200 photos as it does 50. I DO NOT take photos of loose doorknobs. Having many photos on file has saved my buttocks as well as my previous customers a lot of aggravation later. Had a customer who had their compressor unit replaced under warranty, the contractor put a 2 ton in place of a 2.5 ton, swore it as only a 2 ton. The customer had either lost or deleted their photos in the email album I sent them (this was less than a year later) called me to see if I had anything other than the report that indicated it was in fact 2.5 ton. I had the photo of the outdoor unit data plate. The contractor had to admit it was the larger unit and they got a new replacement and an apology. Happy customer

Charles, for me it’s not clutter. It actually reduces the “clutter” of note taking. I did the “notes” and minimal pic’s thing for years. It suked going through my notes and transferring them to my report, and then going through the photo’s. I cut about 25% off my report writing time by going to 100% pics. Very rarely do I take manual notes anymore. Usually only when I cant get a clear pic of a data plate.

Keep in mind also, the type of homes I inspect VS what many others inspect on a daily basis. My ‘typical’ home inspection is over 50 years old, often over 100 years old. Mostly basements and usually full attics, or walkup attics. Frequent “hobby farms” (home with multiple out-buildings on 5 to 20 acres) where the farmhouse has been added on 2-3-4 times over the last 120 years. My inspections are unique when compared to many other areas of the country. Slab-on-grade homes? I see one maybe every year or two. They just don’t exist around here. In comparison, the last one I did, I think I took about 120 pic’s. It’s no wonder the guys in California & Florida, (for example), do an inspection in 1-1/2 hours and can get away charging $199. Gravy work!!! :wink:

Note: I should state that my reports contain whatever pics are needed, but usually around 50-60 average. Occasionally I have one in the 100-120 range, but that is rare.

Like Jeff I haven’t taken notes in several years.

200- 300 pics per inspection.

My camera is my notepad. I use hand signals in the photos to avoid confusion.

Only 30 - 50 go in the report.

I have 2 cameras, 5 Mpixel cannon with 12x optical zoom and cheap kodak 6 m pixel for most shots.

Both take AA batteries and I carry extra non rechargeables so I always have power.

100-300 depending on inspection.
Photos are the best notes .
Anyone thinking photos are a waste of time should read one of those common stories about how 10 witnesses see 10 different things.

Same here. One other way to increase the speed of finalizing the report using your photos as notes is to have two computer monitors. You can put all the photos up on one screen and do the report on the other instead of having to flip back and forth. Saves scads of time, reduces eye strain (monitors are cheap these days so go big or don’t go at all). Rarely take notes as my camera is my notepad. I always carry not only spare batteries (mine seem to last for days as I turn it off when not using it) but I carry a spare identical camera so if I want to swap the SD cards I can. K.I.S.S.

No need for two monitors if you have one big one.
I just split the screen.

Like Kevin and Jeff, I use the Olympus Stylus Tough. It has been a great camera. I have taken as many as 1100 photos in one day with a single battery, probably 1/3 of those with flash.

For those that don’t want to change cameras and use AA batteries, get the rechargeable ENELOOP batteries. They were absolutely great with my old cameras. Not very spendy if you shop around. I would get 700-800 shots out of a set before they slowed down. Couple those with a high speed memory card and you don’t even have to slow down. Yes, the high speed memory cards make a huge difference.

I use a Sony H5. This was our family camera and when I got a better one a few years ago, I started using this one for the business. It’s a little cumbersome at times but I didn’t have to buy yet another camera. I too only take photos as notes and take them at the highest resolution, anywhere from 150-400 pics on an inspection. The batteries are 1,2V/2450 mAh NiMH. They typically only last 1 inspection, so I carry additional ones.