Need wide angle for Real Estate shots D40 or P&S camera ?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by johnw63, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. My dad mentioned, last night, that he needs to get rid of his Sony Mavica ( Saves files on a floppy disk ! ) and get something more modern for his Appraisal shots. My first thought was a D40 with kit lens. They can be had for just over $400, I have seen. However, for what he does, would a point and shoot be better ? At best, the lenses stop at a 28mm ( 35mm equivalent ) on the wide side. That's really no wider than the D40 kit lens at 18-xxx. Which is about a 27mm FoV.
    Is there a 3rd party lens, that I could get, ( used to keep the cost down ) that would be wider that 18 without making the cost move it out of an admittedly low price range ?
    He said he would prefer a SLR with interchangeable lenses, but I know his finances just can't really swing it. Santa may have to come to the rescue, but the cost still should be low.
    Any advice ?
  2. I would suggest a 10-22mm lens but they are pricey, even a 3rd party lens is going to exceed your $400 for the lens alone,
  3. Yeah. I'm finding that too.
    I did some surfing, and found a Sony Cybershot WX1/B that goes down to a 24mm equivalent, on the wide end. It's not a cheap P&S camera, at $299, but it may be my lowest cost choice.
  4. Not a huge difference between 28mm and 24mm f.o.v. for this. You really want one of these ultra-wides to do it right. But there are wide adaptors for some P&S's that aren't that expensive. I wouldn't print 8 x 10s with them, but for web use? Might be fine!
  5. Panasonic has a point and shoot that goes down to 25mm equivilant at Costco for $199 right now (at least the Costco near me anyway). That might be one to look at.
  6. If you find a (refurbished?) D40x body, the image size is larger than the D40, if that matters.
    Nikon does have a 16-85mm AF-S DX lens that may be bought new, or if you check
    for a used one, you may get a good deal. And, from time-to-time, the Photo Net classifieds have a lens for sale....Sigma has a fairly good AF 10-20mm lens that will focus on a AF-S body such as the D40 or D40x.
  7. A used or refurb camera is a very good idea for an application like this, where cameras a generation or two behind the latest are not a disadvantage. Places like KEH camera have lots of very clean digital gear at great prices, and offer a warranty as well. I have purchased used from them and been thoroughly satisfied.
  8. John, another option is to stitch adjacent images to create a wider angle of view. Modern software is good enough that moderately carefully composed shots can be stitched seamlessly through auto-alignment. Fast too.
  9. You might look into Panasonic LX3 - it goes from 24 mm by default and can accept a really wide converter (18 mm I think).
  10. if he would prefer the DSLR, i'd be inclined to take him at his word. after all, would the D40(x) w/kit lens be any worse than the mavica? and the interchangable lens thing means that even if santa can't swing an ultra-wide, maybe the easter bunny can...
  11. Thanks for the suggestions. I had heard about the Panasonic, but I hadn't gotten that far down the brand list, yet.
    As I've read reviews and things, I have begun to think two other issues might come into play. Ease of viewing the image with glasses, as Dad needs them for many things, now, and ease of use. While he uses a computer a lot, learning how to use anything new or complex would probably lead to frustration. I know. I'm his "tech support" hotline. Some of the P&S have not so easy menus, by some accounts. I guess that could be true of some DSLRs too.
    This is all for e-mailing appraisals to lenders, so large pictures are NOT a requirement. In fact, nice looking small file size shots are a plus. Nobody wants to wait for ever as a document downloads.
  12. hanks for the suggestions. I had heard about the Panasonic, but I hadn't gotten that far down the brand list, yet.​
    It is not just the angle of view on the lens that you should care about but also high ISO performance since most of the shots will be taken indoors. In this regards, the mentioned LX3 is perhaps the best option for a P&S as it has a lens that goes out to 24mm at f2, and one can get good images at ISO 400 and reasonable one at ISO800. As far as ISO performance is concerned, D40X is close to LX3. If you get the newer version of Nikon dSLRs (D3000 and up?), you should be able to get one stop better ISO performance and this will also allow you to use wide angle lens that goes out to 18mm (Tokina 12-24mm). Such a wide angle lens will be very useful in shooting smaller rooms, such as bath room, bed room etc. If he can use a tripod, then high ISO performance is not that big a deal.
  13. olympus fx 5020 goes down to 24mm ($140 to 150 on the auction site). xD cards have panoramic option........................but you know the 18-55mm kit lens on a D40should work just fine. i see some appraisers no carrying D40s with the kit lens.
  14. The D40 and related cameras also make it possible to hide Menu options, which is really nice - so that's a plus.
    As far as ISO performance is concerned, D40X is close to LX3.​
    Not by a long shot:
    LX3 ------------------------------------D40X
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  15. I checked out the LX3... Yes, it goes wide enough, but at the price it sells for, I could get a D40 with 18-55mm.
    I did stumble on the Olympus FE series. That might be workable. It may depend on how it handles. I don't know if any locals stores carry that one. I'll check it out.
  16. John, you need to decide if your Dad is a keen photographer or not. If he only wants to shoot wide angle shots for interiors or architectural use, having a small but excellent point and shoot like the Panasonic LX3 is a real advantage - he can carry it in his suitcase or even his pocket! If he is a keen photographer, and will eventually be shooting lots of photographs and getting other lenses to go with this SLR, then go with the D40. But don't get him a SLR when his needs can be met with a small point and shoot. The images by the Panasonic are excellent. I have both cameras and like them both. Don't just look at the price, also match his needs with the weight of the camera and the portability. I find the lighter and smaller the camera, the more likely I am to carry it with me all the time.
  17. While my dad did have both an SLR in the 70s, which I used ( A Topcon ) and a twin lens reflex, which I barely remember, he hasn't taken any steps to get into photography in the nearly 35+ years since. I wouldn't consider him a keen photographer. To be honest, the remark about preferring a real DSLR surprised me, after all these years of both his sons having cameras and not mentioning anything. Too busy trying to make a living I guess.
    I think I'll have to look at the FoV for that 18mm on the D40. If it would be wide enough to get the job done, I think he would be happier with it. For one thing, it's bigger. That may sound counter intuitive, but I think dear 'ol dad just might lose a camera as small as the P&S style.
  18. Or you could forget about a wide angle lens completely.
    Get a copy of Microsoft ICE (Free from )
    Shoot a few frames with a normal lens, dump 'em into ICE and get a wide view without the perspective and barrel distortion problems that are common with wide-angle lenses.
    These were shot hand-held, but a tripod would be helpful.
  19. You could try for a low cost DSLR body and a Sigma 10-20. Or better yet, a used DSLR in the 6 to 8 mp range with the Sigma. The 10 is WAY WIDE!
  20. After talking with my mom, I think I am really thinking of the D40 with 18-55mm kit lens. Adorama has a sale with Case and 4Gig Sandisk card for about $439. I'll see if other family members can kick some cash in the pot. I wonder if anyone is going to have killer Christmas sales that are any better ?
    That is totally cool ! ( I can't believe I just used that word in a sentence. ) I need to look into that stuff !
  21. Hey John! You know me already ;-)
    Nikon and canon both make wide converters for their P&S's, official, so they should give good results. They're usually in the .5x - .67x range, so they should go from ~15-20mm full frame equivalent.
    I have no idea on pricing, but there should be some old model Nikon P+S cameras very cheap (they have a bad rep at the moment), and you might be able to do a bundle with Amazon or Adorama.
    That's my best idea, I think you could get something for < US$300.
  22. That is totally cool...​
    At my age, being considered at all "cool" comes as something of a shock. But a welcome one! Thanks.
    If you're going to do any sort of real estate photography you'll want to check out
  23. John, I'm also a real estate appraiser and appreciate the widest angle lens I can get that does not have a lot of "fisheye" effect. I did a lot of research a couple of years ago and found the Nikon Coolpix 8400 which will go to 24mm wide. The company I work for bought about 12 of them and have had absolutely no problem with any of them despite hard use. I have used this camera regularly for several years for real estate but also on some very long vacations taking 50 pics a day. The camera is 8 megapixel which is way more than you will ever need for residential or commercial purposes. The 8400 is now discontinued but you can find them on eBay.
    Also, you might also look on the Adorama website for the D40x which is the 10 mp version of the 6mp D40. I just bought a refurbished D40x body from them (got it last week) for under $240. 90 day warranty from Nikon. They may also have refurbished D40x's with the 19-55 kit lens. Don't remember as I just wanted a body.
    Good luck with this, Gael
  24. Hey, James! You found my other hobby . :)
    Good idea.
    ( Considering you are an appraiser, after all the crap new laws and regs, as well as being stuck between a lender and a realtor, neither of which care about an honest job on your part, AND the crashed market , I feel for you. )
    I have found, that the camera will be used for more than house shots. And, to be honest, I'm afraid dad will lose a small P&S camera, like he has done with his cell phone. If I could find a better deal, in a Canon or other major brand DSLR, I would go for it.I know the D40 is yesterday's news, on the technology front, but it's for vacation shots, Ford Mustang club events, and houses. 6Mpix is pretty low, these days, but for it's intended use, I think it will be fine.
  25. Yeah, those things suck but we're really busy and fees are inching up!
    The D40 should work well for you. Hope you have fun with it!
  26. Good for you, Gael !
    I wish I could say the same with Dad. Send me a PM. I'd like to know how your doing it.
  27. John, I just sent you an email. I am selling my D40 18-55mm kit and a Sigma 10-20mm if you are interested.
  28. May i recommend a tripod with that? That way he can keep his iso low (200), aperture of about f8,and have a blur free image. He will get really sharp images.

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