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Old Sep 20, 2006, 3:01 PM   #1
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I'm a commercial real estate agent, and I need a new digital camera for work. It needs to be small enough to be discrete and I need it to have as wide an angle as possible. Any recommendations? Or should I use a magnetic wide angle lens only when I need it?
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Old Sep 20, 2006, 6:31 PM   #2
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I would recommend that you not use "the widest angle possible." This will produce distortion (rounded corners and walls) that may not be in your best interest, particularly in commercial properties (do prospects really want to see buildings with low ceilings and converging, not parallel walls). :idea:

Try an modest priced, pocket size camera. My wife's Nikon 7600 is an example. However, if you're dealing with warehouses and such, you will want a camera with a stronger flash to reach the far walls.

Glenn:-)
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Old Sep 20, 2006, 6:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice. I am dealing with warehouses and office buildings. I can't really use an external flash because I have to be very discrete (the owners don't want their tenants to know the building might be for sale).

Perhaps I should get one like you suggested, use a wide angle converter only when needed, and crop the egdes to minimize the distortion. I am thinking about the A710 because it has a threaded lens ring.
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 3:04 AM   #4
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Try the Panasonic FX01.
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 4:26 AM   #5
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Budge
there are very few choices when it comes to wide angle compacts
In this sort of work you need 24mm (35mm equiv) or wider
I do this sort of stuff all the time for real estate agents but I dont use compacts, nonetheless I understand the limitations, I imagine all you need do is record images, distortion if not excessive isnt an issue. Image resolution (Mp) might be important for recovering details later.

I would suggest you look at the Ricoh camera range (28mm) which have a wide adapter for 21 to 23 mm. Theres a Ricoh 400G weatherproof, Ricoh Caplio G4 28mm, and the Ricoh GW and Ricoh GR wide adapter. Wide Adapter bought separately
Kodak P880 which comes with a 24mm lens and has a low distortion 'in camera' setting


My advise, look very hard at the Ricoh GW-1 and wide adapter, which is 28mm without and 21mm with the adapter. Also the weatherproofed 400G, but if the bulk proves too much with the added lens, check out the Kodak P880.

Riley



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Old Sep 22, 2006, 9:50 AM   #6
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This has come up before here, and it seems alot of real estate people tend to like the Kodak V570. It's maybe not quite as good as the larger P880, but it's pocketsized, and has a 23mm wide angle lens.


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Old Sep 22, 2006, 10:16 AM   #7
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Thank you all. I will check these out and let you know what I find.
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 10:51 AM   #8
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I tend to agree with gsrunyan:

Ultrawides like the 23 mm of the Kodak V570 tend to have considerable barrel distortion. The closer the camera is positioned to the edges of the walls, the more noticeably curvedthey are. However, if you are computer saavy, you can use a barrel distortion correction tool in photo editing softwares such as Photoshop to correct this - the only thing is, you don't get the wide "23 mm" field span anymore afterwards, because of cropping involved in the correction process.

I think for an average small point & shoot camera, 28 mm WA is a good compromise.

I don't mean not to go for an add-on WA converter (if the camera allows the attachment), but I won't go for a "magnetic WA lens" - those generic WA converters tend to produce poor results (particularly barrel distortion, not to mention blurred images etc). It is always true for camera optical accessories - OEM parts are designed for the particular camera(s), and $$ means quality.

I also won't trust the weak flash of these small cameras, which only work properly for up to 6 feet of so. Itwill not help to illuminate distant building and walls. If you are taking pictures in dim light without using the flash, you can either get the best quality using low ISO (like 100, set manually) and a tripod, or use higher ISO (probably 400 or higher) handheld. If you want to be discrete, a tripod is out of question.

High ISO will make the pictures grainy or blurred, depending on how much in-camera noise reduction is applied. However, if you are only posting the pictures on websites, you don't need a large picture of several megapixels, only something small like 2 MP or less (most web pictures go only as large as the average comptuer monitor resolution eg. 800 X 600, up to 1600 X 1200, which are 0.5 and 2 MP respectively). You may get by with high ISO with a decent picture at these lower MP settings. This way your choice of cameras is not only limited to those with acclaimed low light performance such as the Fuji F10/30 series. Many newer models have low light or "lamp" modes, which automatically set the camera to the highest ISO and lowest resolution setting (eg. 0.3 or 0.5 MP). These may be adequate for web posting.




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Old Sep 22, 2006, 7:56 PM   #9
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Actually the Kodak V570 has the distortion correction software in camera, so you're not losing anything to crop there either. And I forgot they have a newer 7MP version out now, the V705, which is probably a better choice. There is also some distortion of perspective though, so you don't want to take 23mm close ups.

And, while you could possibly get away with a 28mm wide angle, you should maybe check with others actually doing real estate work and see what they use. I think the Panasonic FX01 is a bit better camera than the Kodak, but I recommended it to someone else here once, whose wife was in real estate, and she ended up trading it in for the Kodak.

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...highlight=v570

Also, check this review, where it says "the ultimate real estate camera" for an idea of the difference a 23mm lens makes. It is quite a bit wider than 28mm.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/V570/V570A.HTM


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Old Sep 23, 2006, 12:12 AM   #10
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Im wondering if some form of OIS might be usefull, given the flash situation
in the mean time, heres the GR to look at

http://www.letsgodigital.org/html/re...amera_EN2.html

Riley
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