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Canon PowerShot S200 ELPH

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Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Just bought an Elph--anyone else use one? What is your opinion? What feqtures do you like---don't like? My main atttraction to it was it"s steel case and size (slightly smaller than a cigarette pack). Hopefully will be easier to carry while I on crawling on my hands and knees across a cactus patch under the rose bushs as a pit bull knaws on my ankle.

Bought a second recharable battery so I have two. Also bought a 128MB compactflash card ($39.99). My current Kodak 215 and Polaroid 1000 also use the same compactflash card so that I will be able to switch around if needed in the field. I hate the appearance of the Polaroid photos and after Kodak repaired my 215 the lenses doesn't extend automatically, have to turn it off and on several times before it extends the correct length. So since I was in the big city with camera stores available, decided I better buy a new camera while I had a chance before one of my current ones completely broke.
 

Leon Stewart

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Just bought an Elph--anyone else use one? What is your opinion? What feqtures do you like---don't like? My main atttraction to it was it"s steel case and size (slightly smaller than a cigarette pack). Hopefully will be easier to carry while I on crawling on my hands and knees across a cactus patch under the rose bushs as a pit bull knaws on my ankle.

Bought a second recharable battery so I have two. Also bought a 128MB compactflash card ($39.99). My current Kodak 215 and Polaroid 1000 also use the same compactflash card so that I will be able to switch around if needed in the field. I hate the appearance of the Polaroid photos and after Kodak repaired my 215 the lenses doesn't extend automatically, have to turn it off and on several times before it extends the correct length. So since I was in the big city with camera stores available, decided I better buy a new camera while I had a chance before one of my current ones completely broke.

Jo Ann:

On a 128mb Card it's my estimate that you could possibly accumulate 800 images on that disk. With that many photo's to keep up with, how do you label or anotate each picture as to what's what? Or in general, how do you keep up with the identification of photo's when taking a large number.

leon
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Jo Ann

I have a 128MG card in my DC5000 and at low setting, that's 1580 pictures before I have to clean it off and start over again. Are there that many cacti in Arizona?

Seriously, the owner of a house I did Friday just bought a new Canon and he really likes it. I think I might have trouble with the small size (It would get lost somewhere in my big winter coat.

Leon;

Here's what I do to label my pictures. Last Friday I came back with about 140 pictures. One job was a forest fire damage job on two houses and required a bunch of photos. I pull the card and put it in my Sandisk card reader. Windows XP opens the download program automatically and pulls in the thumbnails for downloading. When they are all ready, I clear all selections of pictures and then go through the pictures and select the first house I did. I label it by file number and then address such as 3056 - 1238 S Sheridan Rd, Frederic. Then I just select the target file where they are to be stored so they can be found for the appraisal software; in this case 2003-Jan-June. That holds 6 months worth of photos that will also go on a CD later. It's a simple click and the photos are downloaded and numbered. Then back to select the next house and so on. Once I am finished, just for protection, I select all of the pictures and label them with the inspection date and download them to bulk photo file storage on my D drive. That gives me a backup set of photos if I ever need them.

The whole process only takes a few minutes and the time saved searching for photos to insert in the report is much, much greater than I spend saving them this way.

BTW, I went to a 128MG card because one day forgot to download the photos and the next time out cleared off 93 pictures. That cost me a Saturday, 7.5 hours and 245 miles of driving just to reshoot all of the pictures. I wanted a card that I did not have to download every time if I did not want to. My practice now is to not clear off any photos until I visually see them in the file where they are supposed to be and properly labeled.
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Everything in my office is filed in assessor's parcel number order. When ever I gather any kind of information on a specific site, I identify the APN and then everything on that property I have found since mid 1996 (sometimes earlier) is stapled together. When I take a photo of something I write down the number the camera assigned that photo on my information. Gone through 4 digital cameras since starting, so there are four different types of photo numbering systems on some of my pages, depending on which camera was used. I have all my photos stored on my computer, a back up computer and zip drives. So I can access any photo I have taken since 1996 immediately when I pull the APN data out of my file. Except for the Polaroid camera, the other cameras notes the time and date the photo was taken--so I know if I am looking at a 1997 or 2002 photo. Interesting on some properties of how they have changed through the years, painted different colors, carports enclosed, additions, removals, etc and I have photos that show those changes that I can access instantly. Luckily I had saved my photos on zip drive and the backup computer because several years ago my computer was attacted by a virus and over 6,000 photos were wiped out. But with the saves on the zip drive I was able to reload to the computer all except for about 20. Before getting such a large compact flash card I had done the "dummy" thing a couple of times--erase a group of photos on my camera or on my computer. If from the camera, would have to go back to retake a batch. So since I am not erasing on my camera, that has cut down on the number of "dummy" episodes. When it starts to get to about 1,000 I will erase the oldest 100. It is suppose to handle over 1,400. I think it might hold more, the camera says I have 952 shots left, I have taken 812--but I did erase a lot of test photos, so maybe it is telling me I have taken 952, it did start out at 1452. And after 3 months I have become very, very pleased with it. So small and lightweight it is very easy to stick in a pocket or have slung around my wrist. Photos at the lowest resolution look good and take up less than 50KB.
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Richard and I were posting at the same time. I use a compact flash reader also, just highlight the latest photos to copy, then paste into my folder for my elph photos. Then paste into several other folders so it is saved in several locations--having lost 6,000 photos once has made me paranoid! I don't do anything to the number the camera assigns--will be interesting if it does continue onward from 1452. Last summer my 6 month old Kodak 215 went on the blink, had to send it to the factory for 2 weeks. So had to go back to the Polaroid, which I hate, and it uses the same numbers over and over, so had to change photo numbers through the computer on the camera before I could download--that was a hassle. Got the Kodak 215 back, it worked but the lenses wouldn't always extend properly so I would have to retake photos several times before getting a clear picture. Gave up finally and bout the elph, very glad I did. The compact flash card fits the elph, Kodak and Polaroid--carry all three with me at all times just for emergencies. My original camera was an Epson 500 and it came with its own photo processing software which I liked real well. Have used it for all 4 cameras, Polaroids was terrible, Kodaks wasn't very good, so I didn't even try the elphs because the Epson worked so well. I have created an album for each month, photos are saved individually by number and then in an album. So if I remember taking a photo in June of last year, but for some reason can't find the number, I can just page through the album (200 maximum) until I find the photo I am looking for. No two properties look alike in my area--that sure wouldn't work in the Phoenix area!! Since every house in Phoenix whether it is $100,000 or $1,000,000 look alike--all cream color stucco with red tile roof.
 

Leon Stewart

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Richard:

I must be missing something. I still don't see how you are identifing each photo at the time the photo is taken, and how since it doesn't appear as though you do, how can you tell what's what after you have downloaded it to your Computer. You can identify the Photo in Quick Pic, but how do you know for sure what photo you are identifying. As Jo Ann indicates, do your Camera put a time on the image. I use to use my 35mm to use the date time stamp to impring a part of the address on the image, but the Digitals I use don't have a data/time indicator, and the Polaroid I use seem to list the Photo's out of the order that they were taken and the last photo might appear anywhere on the disk.

Jo Ann:

As I indicated to Richard, you don't see where you are identifing the photo at the time you take the shot, unless you are using the date/time indicator to do as I indicated I use to do with my 35mm camera. My Polaroid don't have a data/time stamp that I can put on each image. If it did that would work good, but maybe I'll just have to buy a Camera with a date/time stamp.

leon
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Leon;

Good question.

When I'm in the field I have routine that I go through so I don't miss anything. That includes taking the photos. Road, front, rear, garage, pole buildings, etc. Then measure outside and start collecting data. Once the data is collected, then I shoot all of the interior photos I want.

When I'm finished for the day and slip the compact flash card into the SanDisk reader, the program opens and gives me previews of the pictures I've taken. I know what my schedule was and the houses are identified from the thumbnails. I select the photos of the first house I visited and then tell the program where to save them on the hard drive and what to name them. This is where I use my file number such as 3052 with the 3 being for the year 2003 and the 052 being the 52nd order we've received in 2003. The address is then added to the file number and the photos of the 1st house I visited are save in the working file on the hard drive as 3052 - 232 Center St, Gaylord 001. The next will be 3052 - 232 Center St, Gaylord 002, etc. The numbers 001, 002, 003, etc. are added automatically by the program since all of the pictures being save have the same name. When all of the photos of that house are saved (15-20 seconds) I do the same thing for the second house I visited that day. When I am done, the photos are all saved by file number in my working file in the computer and we can easily search them out using a la modes photo search. We don't have to know what day or date the picture was taken. All we need is the file number or I supose we could search by address.

What is really happening here is I am not letting the camera name the photos but I am giving them the name that I want them to have and doing this during the download process.

As I said, I also save all of the photos to a "Bulk photo" file where they are named for the day of the inspection and each is automatically given a number. This is my backup just in case.

Hope that clarifies it. I'm sure this is one of those things that makes a lot more sense if you see it done.
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
JoAnn,

I have one of the little buggers as a back-up camera that I leave in the car. You know, when you forget to bring the "real" camera on the assignment :oops: :roll:

Honestly, I would hate to keep track of the photos downloaded from the Elf camera. I use a floppy disk with my Mavica for each appraisal and the disk is filed with the report for fast retrieval.

The Elf is really small and does take photos faster than the Mavica but the zoom lens is not as powerful. I love the Mavica zoom lens to take rear photos on new homes from a dry spot when it's muddy. Last week, I found myself standing in my socks in a rear yard after the mud sucked the shoes off my feet in Delaware........ 8O 8O .Yuk. Worst part was I had to do another new home that was finished on the inside...in my bare feet as everything else was covered in mud.

Ben
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Thread Starter
Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
The photo itself doesn't have the time and date, but the file number extensions does. I either makes mental or written notes as I take photos. Then when after I have transferred them to the computer and installed them in the album for the month, I look through the album. First place I went that day was 123 main street, rear photos from several angles, living room, kitchen, master bedroom, anything odd or unusual, front photos from several angles, street photo--make notes on the job folder of what the photo number is for each shoot, then on 456 s 1st avenue, etc, etc. Then I start taking comp photos, #1, #2, #3, etc gets written on the info that I have with me, after they are in the album I can match up the info with the photo, write down the real photo number on the info. It would probably be all confusing to someone watching, but after using the same procedure with 35 MM photos and then digital photos for 20 years it all makes sense to me. With 35 mm the address was written on the plastic sleeve for the negative and then filed in situs address order (somebody else's office--that didn't use APNs).
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
JoAnn,

I wish the digital cameras had data backs like my old Minolta 35mm-they were around $200. I was able to burn the address number on the photo/negative for future reference.

Ben
 
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