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Old Nov 8, 2004, 11:59 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2

Please help me choose a camera. If I haven't provided enough information please let me know so that I can give you the information. Thank you in advance.

I work for a real estate appraising company and we use our digital camera on a daily basis for business. We currently have 3 Kodak DC215 which the owner purchased over 3 years ago. 2 of these cameras no longer work at all and the third is on its way to dying. We need a new camera and I have been doing some research and feel that I have it down to two possibilities:

Casio QV-R40

Olympus D540

Either would be a HUGE improvement to the Kodaks that we currenty have, but I want to make a wise investment as this camera will probably have to last another 3 plus years.

The cameras are used to take pictures of houses. To give you an idea of distance, etc, on a normal city lot we would take a picture of the whole front of the house from the other side of the street. The pictures are then downloaded into an industry specific software and printed out on an HP in 4x6's within the form. I'm not trying to bore you with all of this information; I just want you to have a good feeling for what we need from the camera.

Specifically I need:

1. Cost at $150- although I can go up to $200
2. Point and Shoot- a MUST (good auto focus)

3. VERY user friendly- when the guys get in the field and have issues they call me so I have to be able to fix the problem over the phone

4. VERY durable- I don't know how many times the other cameras were dropped
5. A built in flash

6. Some zoom capability- sometimes we have to take interior photos and zoom in on "problem spots"

7. Good battery life is preferred

8. Fast turn on time and fast turn around time to review- the guys also take pictures from their cars of other houses for comparison and while they actually stop (most of the time) they are in the process of driving

9. An acceptable viewfinder as the LCD screen drains our batteries too much.
10. Did I say good auto focus? :-)

My last few comments are this- On the Kodaks, all of the battery packs broke and we had to keep them in place with rubberbands (worked great). While this is a minor problem, it may indicate the true wear and tear that the new camera will also experience.

Also, (sigh) we are a little lagging on our computer technology. We are running Win98 on PII's with about 256. Our server (where the pic's will be stored) is the same only with about 5-600 in the memory department.

It must sound like I am asking for a miracle, but our company is going through a divorce right now so we have negative money. $200 total is my absolute limit. But please keep in mind, ANYTHING will be an improvement.

Thank you for taking the time to read all of my information and any help that you can provide will be GREATLY appreciated. Also, if you have another camera in mind that you think would suit our needs better please let me know. (And yes I know that they are different megapixels, but that is low on my priority list as my Kodak's less than 1 is sufficient for most of our needs)

Thanks again!

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