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Disto E7500i Information And Opinions

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A Brit in California

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I have almost finally decided to step into the 21st century and purchase a DISTO E7500i from Amazon for $599.

But I am having a difficult time getting quality answers from my appraiser friends.

First, I do not use a laptop or a tablet.

I typically walk around a house, hand sketch it and take my measurements with a tape measure.

But...I have been doing a LOT of 2 and 3 story homes in the 4,000 to 7,000 sf range lately. Mini mansions. They take forever to sketch and measure.

Will the DISTO E7500i make it any easier and/or quicker to measure these type of homes? Does anyone have any real hands on opinion about this?

I use rechargeable eneloop batteries in my digital camera and one charge might be good for 400 or more photos.

Using the DISTO E7500i in the daytime, in bright sunlight with the camera function, will a charge last at least one appraisal? I read differing opinions on battery life and it kinda scares me. I recharge my camera batteries after every appraisal.

How much time...do you think using the DISTO E7500i will it save me per appraisal? I know it depends on the size of the house but just a general answer would be helpful.

Any thoughts or comments on this model DISTO would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
 

jtinmichigan

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
I bought a Disto d8 about a year ago, It has the camera feature and the battery life lets me do multiple inspections.

That said, I still use a tape for most of my exterior measurements, those where you need a target for the laser. (outside corners) So it is a combination of both on most homes. It can really come in handy in the winter months in areas where snow is an issue.

Where the Disto really helps is upper levels, mostly from the inside where no reliable measurement can be taken from the exterior, such as a loft area, (and adding for the exterior wall thickness).

Though there is a function that will let you do exterior camera measurements. I have found that this is somewhat of a pain and that I had to get a mono pod to stabilize the camera when trying to shoot exterior dimensions with the camera. A tripod may be better but they're bulky and the mono I have has 3 little feet to stabilize it. The laser is usually not bright enough on most sunny days over about 20 or 30 feet or so as you will have a hard time finding the dot. Using a target for the laser is something that I found is more a pain than just running the tape.

It also works great for basements, partial basements, garages and anywhere there are odd shaped dimensions. You will love the feature that allows you to shoot over or under things on an angle and it will do the calculations for you based on the degree +/- vertical.

It is a time saver but I still find the 100 foot tape is still needed at least part of the time for most properties. Overall I recommend having one on your belt loop. (with the tape still in your hand......). If you are doing a lot of big homes it can be a godsend.
 

jtinmichigan

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
I also still use paper and a clipboard. Tried the tablet and total mobile and that just seemed to slow me down. I know others may disagree with that, but I would rather get things down on site as quickly and efficiently as possible and then move on. I can take my time once I am back at my desk. Also, I am an old curmudgeon and that's just the way I do things......though I wish I had bought the Disto 20 years ago.
 

Randolph Kinney

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
North Carolina
S910 lets you do stand off measurements. No need for targets.
 

jtinmichigan

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
Yes, but there are still a lot of times where that just isn't expedient. Trees and bushes, small yards that don't let you get the right shot etc. Great if you can get a good stable shot from the appropriate distance and angle but worthless if you can't.

Either way, get one, practice at home. The learning curve is relatively short and you will be able to figure out how and when to use it to your advantage and when to go old school.
 

TRESinc

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Ohio
the more you use it the better you will get at it. i always chuckle when people post that they have nothing to target. i have yet to run into any situation where i cannot find a suitable target. sometimes i bounce off the house next door, sometimes a downspout, sometimes a window sill (the side), sometime i shoot one half of the house down to the chimney and then use the "+" function and measure down the other side and it tells me the total. there is always something to bounce off of, similar to how when i was being trained it was ingrained in me that there is no such thing as no comps - you just haven't look hard enough yet.

if you are going to buy a disto grab it from this site. they typically give between 10-20% discount off the published price, you just have to contact them.

http://www.appraiserslaser.com/leica-disto-e7500i.html

since it is listed at the same price as amazon, retail, it will almost certainly be cheaper to get it from there.
 

A Brit in California

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
I bought a Disto d8 about a year ago, It has the camera feature and the battery life lets me do multiple inspections.

That said, I still use a tape for most of my exterior measurements, those where you need a target for the laser. (outside corners) So it is a combination of both on most homes. It can really come in handy in the winter months in areas where snow is an issue.

Where the Disto really helps is upper levels, mostly from the inside where no reliable measurement can be taken from the exterior, such as a loft area, (and adding for the exterior wall thickness).

Though there is a function that will let you do exterior camera measurements. I have found that this is somewhat of a pain and that I had to get a mono pod to stabilize the camera when trying to shoot exterior dimensions with the camera. A tripod may be better but they're bulky and the mono I have has 3 little feet to stabilize it. The laser is usually not bright enough on most sunny days over about 20 or 30 feet or so as you will have a hard time finding the dot. Using a target for the laser is something that I found is more a pain than just running the tape.

It also works great for basements, partial basements, garages and anywhere there are odd shaped dimensions. You will love the feature that allows you to shoot over or under things on an angle and it will do the calculations for you based on the degree +/- vertical.

It is a time saver but I still find the 100 foot tape is still needed at least part of the time for most properties. Overall I recommend having one on your belt loop. (with the tape still in your hand......). If you are doing a lot of big homes it can be a godsend.
Thank you so much for the input. It helps tremendously!
 

jtinmichigan

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Michigan
the more you use it the better you will get at it. i always chuckle when people post that they have nothing to target. i have yet to run into any situation where i cannot find a suitable target. sometimes i bounce off the house next door, sometimes a downspout, sometimes a window sill (the side), sometime i shoot one half of the house down to the chimney and then use the "+" function and measure down the other side and it tells me the total..

And I always chuckle when I see a report where the guy dinking around with the laser thinking he looks cool with his toy forgot to get the 4 foot difference between either side of the chimney and each corner...........................Yes, there is most always something to shoot off, all I said was it wasn't always expedient....................... by the time I get to the other end of the wall with the tape, I already have the measurement.........( the "+" function is between my ears........). I can't imagine how much time I would have wasted trying to hold the laser still enough and still be able to push the button to get that shot of the edge of the window sill. But to each their own.........
 
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