What camera do you use?

Starting out and looking at tools I’ll need. I was thinking of using my phone, but I’m wondering if that’s a bad idea. Do you use your phone or tablet? Or a small digital camera with a screen and viewfinder?

If your report writing software is on your phone, it may be best to simply use the camera on your phone, at least for the standard pictures. Some situations may call for a specialized camera and in those situations you will need to import the pictures into your software.
I think more than 90% of my pictures are from the built-in camera.

I also use GoPro Hero series cameras on my camera pole and remote control crawler when needed (which is rare). On occasion I use the GoPro Max on these.

I sometimes use a Drone such as the DJI Air2S if I can’t get up on a roof, or to get some photos that are not possible from the ground. My Flir thermal camera has Wifi to transfer images into the phone, but I like to take a picture of the screen with the wide angle lens of my phone so I can get the room and the thermal image in one shot, straight into the report software.

I have DSLR cameras and waterproof point-and-shoot cameras but I haven’t used them since I switched to report software that I use on the phone. The phone’s cameras are too convenient, and very good.


Here is a good starter camera. I used it for years. I go thru a couple a year, mainly due to crawlspaces.

Sony DSCW830 20.1MP Digital Camera with 2.7in LCD (Silver) (Renewed) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IT0LEPS/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_i_SAYNK03DM0P7J9AF7GD5?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Here is my current camera. A bit more fragile but the zoom rocks. I don’t use a drone, this goes on a Doca pole nicely

I use a Nikon Coolpix S4 and a Coolpix P100 for a backup. Each has advantages I just take pictures (as notes) and do the report at the office. I have phone software but never use it. Remember you are publishing picture on the computer (whether it is HTML or PDF it will be viewed on screen) less pixels is better. anything over 5 mP is for printing a picture (not something you will likely do. If you want to take high resolution pictures use a software tool to reduce the size latter (Fast Stone Photo Resizer - free)


Exactly, or your file size for one report will be enormous.

I use my iPhone exclusively for all in app reporting photographs. I used to take hundreds of photographs for my records but now I just walk through the house with a GoPro for a few minutes.

My reports are 95% complete once I leave the house.


Ipad Pro And IPhone Pro, all mobile nowadays. No going back to the office and writing a report, on-site.

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Same here, it also does not like crawlspaces (dust). I buy it using my Capital One MC which doubles the warranty…

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95% of my inspection is done with my iphone, tape measure, moisture meter, head light, scew driver, and electrical tester. Any specific information (like name tag of hot water heater) and items I want to call out I take close ups with my camera. I do carry a Nikon Coolpix with a telephoto lens to take roof pictures when I find it unsafe to walk the roof. I had the software on my phone to do the report as I was inspecting but I ended up spending too much time on site. Now I just head back to my desktop, download the photos, and type up the report.

I’ve been using an Olympus U Tough camera (new in 2011 & died recently so I got another used one…) as you can take it anywhere (like in the rain or in a tight crawlspace) + Nikon Coolpix WiFi for my camera pole (also use a high end drone…). The only problem with the U Tough is SHORT battery life so I carry a few around. I use image size reducing software etc. Report writing is done with Reporthost & Enzo.

Works for me

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I use a Canon Power Shot model SX620HS. I complete my report on an 8" tablet with 4g, so I can look up serial number ages on the fly. I take 150-200 photos on most inspections, and I think a separate camera is best for that. The extra photos has saved by butt a number of times. I have my phone set up as back up to the tablet, and the once in a while that I need to use it, I find it clunky compared to the larger screen.

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