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Using a Nikon D3300 for Appraisal Photos

by Administrator on Nov 27, 2015 Technology 1092 Views

I have transitioned my appraisal photography from my Nikon D5100 to the new Nikon D3300.  The camera is in my opinion a big step-up from my old camera.  The 24 megapixel (MP) photos that you can take using its standard "large" format will cover your entire office wall if you are into that kind of thing.  The photos taken with the D3300 are sharp and the color reproduction is stunning. 

The D3300 is small for a DSLR, but it is fully functional, and it offers an automatic shooting function that unburdens those who just want the camera to make the decisions.  I've seen it for sale as a package deal with lens, carrying case and extras for around $ 500 at multiple retailers.

I paid for the Ken Rockwell iPad D3300 guide app and it was worth the few dollars asked.  There are tips and tricks on how to set up the camera for the best results.  As suggested in the app I also bought a SB-400 Nikon flash for the camera and it is an awesome addition, no waiting for a charge between shots, walk through a home or commercial building and there is no waiting for your flash to recharge.

I'm sure there will be some of those who read this short article who will feel that even a starter Nikon DSLR is wasted on appraisal photos that are mostly taken of land and buildings.  Of course I don't agree, as an appraiser I want well exposed, sharp photos with extraordinary detail so that I can review them once I have left a property.  Yes, it's a utilitarian purpose, and I admit that this camera could be an artistic tool, but I do take the time to shoot the odd sunset or memorable landscape.

Following is an original photo, on the left, that I took recently took in the field.  the building on the right is a blow-up from that original picture, the detail is simply part of the photograph you simply have to zoom in.  It's amazing that I can go back to a set of photos that I have taken and look so much closer at the quality of the exterior and interior of a building, the neighborhood and the comparable sales.

Since appraisers have to buy a camera to do their job some may want to consider one that they can count on to provide great photographs.  A camera that can enhance your presentations, help you identify property details not always visible to the naked eye and buy a camera that you can take anywhere and marvel at its stunning results. 

How detailed are 24.2 MP photographs?  As a rough comparison you can use pixel resolution although there are some drawbacks.  The digital cinema 4K movie quality standard that is used in your local theater is 4,096 X 2,160 while your 4K UHDTV displays about 3,840 X 2,160.  My Nikon D3300 takes standard photos at 6,000 X 4,000.  It’s not great when compared to an IMAX frame at 10,000 X 7,000 (or at about 70 MP) but it’s impressive taking your photos at a much higher resolution than most other sources allow.

I'm not trying to sell you anything, I don't get anything from anyone for talking about this camera.  I am however excited about it.  There is cool equipment that comes out from time to time and I like to try it and see if it helps me get my appraisal assignments done or improves them.  I think this camera does improve my reports.

For more appraisal information contact Glenn J. Rigdon MA, MRICS, ASA is a Las Vegas / Henderson Nevada based appraiser who can be contacted via email or via his business website known as Appraiser Las Vegas  (, or you can also click on “Contact Us” on the home page of this website or visit my public profile at LinkedIn at

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