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Old Jun 11, 2003, 5:16 PM   #1
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Default Camera for personal use, able to use for Real Estate Photos

I am looking for a recommendation for an mid level amateur photographer.

I like to have a powerful zoom like the 10x or 12x on the Olympus 700 series and Panasonic FZ1 for my vacation photos. However, I need to take a lot of indoor pictures for my Real Estate business, so I need a fairly wide angle or have wide angle attachment available.

I need to be able to deal with window lighting when taking a room picture so that the interior doesn't darken due to the misread light conditions.

So far the Panansonic Lumix FZ1 seems to be a good fit for the Zoom, but, I don't know about the wide angle and light handling capabilities.

Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks, Frank
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 12:03 AM   #2
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I can't help you too much on the specific cameras, but I can offer some advice.

To take indoor pictures, you need a wide-angle lens. 28mm or even better, I would bet. And you'll need something with a low f-stop. Because, as you say, the lighting will not be good.

This goes against wanting a long zoom. Not many lenses can do both wide angle and telephoto. And if they can, one end (or maybe both) will not be good. If you really want something for the job, you should concentrate on that, and get the longer zoom by adding a teleconverter. That might get you something decent.

Make sure you the lens doesn't have barrel distortion. You want the lines in the indoor shots to be straight, not distorted.

I'd also recommend getting a camera that doesn't use proprietary batteries. If you are going to shoot someone's house and you find your batteries dead, you want to be able to pick up more on the way.

You also probably want something that isn't too large, to make it easy to carry and stash in your bag so you always have it. Maybe you don't need that flexibility (and therefor larger will be ok) but I could see it being handy.

Sorry I can't recommend specific models, but hopefully this will get you thinking.
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 8:31 AM   #3
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Thank you, Eric, for the advice on my camera selection. I will keep it in ind as I review the possible choices in the marketplace.

Frank
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 8:55 AM   #4
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I just shot a house yesterday, and you've been given some good advice so far...a 28mm lens is an excellent choice for doing interiors-- no distortion due to wide angle, and very good coverage. As for lighting, you need a camera that will set exposure on a target area and properly expose for that. Lock the exposure on the darkest area of the room, and then frame your shot to include what you want in the picture. In that way, your camera should properly expose the dark areas, and overexpose the bright ones. You can post edit afterwards if necessary. Additionally, whatever camera you buy, I would venture to say that the flash included will probably not be sufficient for all your interior shots...I'd strongly recommend getting a camera that has external flash capability.

As for a specific recommendation, I have an Olympus C-2100 with a WCON-08E .8X wide angle converter. A 49-55mm step up ring is needed to attach it to the camera. This gives me the equivalent of a 30.5mm lens. Because the lens partially blocks the built-in flash, I also have a FL-40 flash, which I attach to the camera using the FB-01 bracket and CB-01 cable. This works great for me, and will give you the long zoom you desire as well. If you have any questions about the above, please let me know.
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 1:16 PM   #5
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I appreciate the tips on the lighting and the .28 Wide Angle Lens. Thank you, Frank
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 2:10 PM   #6
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lg

Half way through your post, I thought "oh, I should have mentioned a "hot shoe" for a flash... and then you (basically) did. That could make up for the low light side of the lens problem.

And the wide angle lens is interesting. I would have thought that they would add a lot of distortion (just by their nature.) But I've never use one, so I don't actually know. How do you find it works?

Eric
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Old Jun 12, 2003, 5:06 PM   #7
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@ Fponline
check out Kaidan web site.
http://www.kaidan.com/Detail.bok?no=111
mount that on say a Nikon coolPix 4xxx or 5xxx
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Old Jun 14, 2003, 7:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
lg... I would have thought that they would add a lot of distortion (just by their nature.) But I've never use one, so I don't actually know. How do you find it works?

Eric
Eric, there is no noticeable distortion at the SLR equivalent of 28mm and above. Below that, you start to get parallax distortion that is quite noticeable (straight lines in the image are bent). The WCON-08E I have gathers quite a bit more light, so if you are taking outdoor shots, flare from point sources of light are greatly exaggerated (e.g., lights in a stadium). It's much less noticeable indoors, but you should be aware of this and look for the ghosting of light sources in your pics and determine if they will be detracting or not.

The optics of the lens are excellent - I returned a Kenko .5x converter because the focus was very soft and there was severe corner vignetting in each and every pic. There is no vignetting with my camera when the WCON-08E is placed directly on the camera lens using a required 49-55mm step-up ring. If you stack a couple of filters between, you will get some vignetting, so I recommend removing any filters on the camera before attaching a wide angle lens.

The lens comes in quite useful when you can't get far enough away from your subject to get everything you want in the picture. For example, If you want to show the entire rear of a house, I am able to frame the house from much closer than with the standard 38mm lens. There are times when you can't move back further because of obstructions like fences, cliffs, etc. so a wide angle adapter really comes in handy.

There may be better options available, but you have to take into consideration what parameters are most important to you. While I could get an entire room view in a single shot with the Kenko .5x teleconverter, I wasn't satisfied with the poor focus, parallax distortion, and having to crop the vignetting from each and every shot. I was willing to be satisfied with a narrower viewing angle, with excellent focus and no parallax distortion. In the end, you'll have to make that decision. I hope this info will help you in the selection process, if a wide angle lens is what you are looking for.
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