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Camcorder


Terence McCann
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Anyone use a camcorder on your inspection?

I have a few times. Not for regular HI work though.

It's useful in litigation support work, when I'm sometimes surrounded by hostile people. It allows me to make a very detailed record of what's present and what I did while I was there and it makes people shut up. As soon as the camcorder comes out, everyone stops talking. Also, it can record a sequence of events such as those that follow flicking a switch or turning a valve. You can do the same thing with short video clips on a digital camera.

There used to be a guy in the upper midwest -- Michigan, Minnesota, one of the M states -- who did his entire inspection on video tape. He didn't give a written report. He just taped & talked, then handed the tape to the customer when he was done.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Nothing to stop an HI from having his customer sign a contract that specifies any type of inspection/presentation that the parties agree on. (Well, as long as it doesn't run afoul of the law.)

If I wanted to do video walk-and-talks, I'd just do 'em.

That said, I think it would be kinda risky. Video could include things that the HI might've missed, or didn't describe properly. Stuff like that...

WJ

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Jim,

If we're thinking of the same guy, his name is John Geiger and he's from Milwaukee (an upside down M state [;)]).

He does an optional inspection using only video. I've seen a sample and it is very impressive.

Personally, I can't see doing video inspections, especially of roofs. The video of me falling to the ground (or the ground rushing up to my camera) might be a bit too much! [:-dunce]

Jeff Beck

Foresight Home Inspection LLC

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I tried video thinking I could get more information but it really didn't work out. It was basically the same as a camera. Any movement and the screen was blurry. The second draw back was storage. Unlike a camera where I can make the pictures smaller in memory, I couldn't do the same with a video camera.

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Jim,

If we're thinking of the same guy, his name is John Geiger and he's from Milwaukee (an upside down M state [;)]).

He does an optional inspection using only video. I've seen a sample and it is very impressive.

Personally, I can't see doing video inspections, especially of roofs. The video of me falling to the ground (or the ground rushing up to my camera) might be a bit too much! [:-dunce]

Jeff Beck

Foresight Home Inspection LLC

Yes! Thanks. That's the guy. Very nice fellow. I've been trying to remember his name. Back in the mid '90s he had referred a client to me since, at the time, I was one of only two or three ASHI members in this corner of Oregon. We chatted on the phone for a while and he explained his video technique. I've always remembered it and wondered if he was still doing it that way.

By the way, after reviewing my report, he was the first person to point out to me that, on an air conditioning circuit, the circuit wire can be smaller that you'd expect from the breaker size.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Michigan, Minnesota, Mwisconsin . . .

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Anyone use a camcorder on your inspection?

Yes, although I'm using it more as a marketing tool than for inspecting.

Testimonial VDOs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTAgFl1wrvA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=midwaP8YXRs

Instructional VDOs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLIWYMjeYKs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1_ZdWDPGMU

I've got two more in production about frost-free valves and one I call 'dishwasher muffler'.

They are a lot of fun to produce.

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The other day I had a couple following me around and the husband was snapping pictures with his digital camera like a cub reporter at his first accident site. After he didn't seem to understand something very well and asked me to re-explain it to him several times, I realized that his digital camera, which looked like any garden variety camera - more like a rangefinder 35mm camera than a video camera - was a video camera and that he was asking me to re-explain stuff so that he could get it on his memory card. I told him, "Hey, this is a home inspection, not a movie; I'll explain it to you once and put it in the written report but we aren't going to be doing second or third takes here."

He got the message; sort of......than after a while he slipped and asked me to re-explain something again and got my Sergeant's stare in return.

One of my customers was telling me a couple of weeks ago that the only thing negative about my inspections said on one of the big intra-company message boards was the fact that I don't do photos. I responded that I have enough trouble cutting and pasting photos into a report, let alone be constantly snapping pictures and, because I already do what is probably the longest inspecton in these parts, I didn't want to do anything that was going to increase my time onsite.

That day or the next, I got an email from him wherein he told me that Costco is selling some kind of video setup that has a headset camera. He thought that it would be a big plus for my service if I were to incorporate that into the process; so that, at the end of the process, I could hand the client a disc that would show what I'd been looking at along with my running narrative. I'm still not real comfortable with the idea for just the same reasons that Walt and a few others have expressed here.

Still, it would be nice to someday get this profession to the point where we very experienced inspectors could still contribute without going out into the field. Kind of like, .

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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  • 1 year later...

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