Inspectioneering
Inspectioneering Journal

Digital Still Cameras Increase Effectiveness of Inspection Documentation

Save on Outage/Turnaround Related Costs - Improve Communication

By Charles L. Foster at Pacific Gas & Electric. This article appears in the January/February 1996 issue of Inspectioneering Journal

A picture is worth a thousand words and thousands of dollars. There are many instances where in-service inspection reports are greatly enhanced by including photographic documentation. Using a conventional, high-quality 35 mm camera requires cumbersome amounts of equipment and consumes a lot of time. Developing film ASAP is an additional trip away from the inspection site and is an immediate necessity to ensure picture quality before the area is no longer accessible. The inspector must then paste these acceptable photos onto report pages and make another trip to obtain color copies for the report.

Approximately five years ago digital still cameras began appearing on the market. Most early digital cameras fit into one of two categories, either too big and expensive to be practical for in-service inspection work or, when small and inexpensive enough, lacking sufficient resolution to produce pictures of adequate quality.

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