Friday, June 11, 2010

"Second By Second"

Here is a picture of the new camera I recently bought, it is a Canon EOS Rebel XS model. I'm just starting to learn the capabilities of this camera but let me tell you why or one of the main reasons that I decided to purchase a new camera.

My primary job these days is working for a company that performs insurance inspections for various residential property homeowners insurance companies primarily in the Cape Cod region. With each inspection the clients request photographs of any hazard or potential liability issues in addition to photos of the kitchen, bathrooms, garage, outbuildings, basement, main water supply line, water heater, electric circuit panel, wet bars, and a few other photographs of unique features of the property such as docks, and waterfront location shots. Needless to say this amount of photographs adds up over time.

Prior to purchasing this Canon camera; I used a small Kodak digital hand held camera that worked quite well for quite a while. However, everything in life ages second by second and over time this poor Kodak camera started to show its age particularly because I probably helped age this camera through dropping it a few times. One time I was getting out of my car to start a home inspection on a cold February morning and the camera flew out of my hands by mistake and landed on the highway with the camera batteries flying out from the camera, After this fall, the small door to the battery to the battery compartment was slightly bent and wouldn't close tightly enough to get the batteries to work the camera. I thought to myself "This is great! What am I going to do? Here I am up in Orleans about to start an inspection and my camera isn't working." I had to get creative and think like that guy on the old television show "McGuyver" that could make an atom bomb out of chewing gum and string or something like that. I looked around my car and found a rubber band or two and wound the rubber bands around the camera to hold the battery door in place so that the camera would work again.

The problem though with the rubber band solution is that sometimes the rubber band would cause the camera to take two or three shots in a row and I would end up sometimes shooting pictures of my shoes or my face as the camera would just start flashing like crazy. Other times the rubber band would loosen or fly off the camera and then I would have to re-attach the rubber band to the camera and reset the date and time. All these actions waste precious seconds. Everyone in life only has so many seconds to live and I grew tired after a while of having to keep dealing with these camera issues although the first ten or twenty times I did find the camera problems to be somewhat amusing.

Another issue with my old Kodak camera was the amount of time it took for the camera batteries to recharge after the flash went off. It seemed like it took approximately 30 seconds for each interior picture for the camera to be ready for the next picture. The average "regular" insurance inspection requires about 15 pictures and the average "high value" inspection for upscale properties is 33 pictures.

The new Canon camera has a recovery time of 3 seconds between interior flash pictures and somehow this camera knows how to sense the proper amount of light for the strobe flash to emit to get a clear well lit picture even when I'm down in some dark and dank basement. I estimate that this new camera will save me and the homeowners each about 66 hours a year based on the quicker response time of the Canon camera between pictures and that is not counting to time and energy saving of not having to recharge the batteries in the Canon versus Kodak camera. I will also save many seconds by not having to "lighten" photographs in the computer insurance reports with the New Canon camera.

As the Canon camera is still new to me I do find that I do waste a few seconds of time talking with the homeowners about how the new camera is a time saver versus the Kodak; but I'm sure that pretty soon I won't bother to tell these homeowners about my new camera so I can capture back some future seconds.

Now, I'll just have to see what I will do with that extra 66 hours or so of time savings. The "Doobie Brothers" have a song called "Minute By Minute". In this fast paced world we live in I'm focusing on "Second By Second" on trying to life my life more efficiently and this new camera should help me along the way.