Used my MicroExplorer for the first time. (See-Why would this leak?)
1) Good screen & size. I wouldn't like anything smaller.
2) Good camera and lighting. 4 LED's
3) Li-ion battery. Many recharges and lasts up to 4 hours.
4) Digital self leveling. Not always necessary in my opinion but can be helpful.
5) Zoom is good. Actually zooms enough to be useful.
6) The best feature to me is the ability to take a picture or movie if needed. That way I can actually show a customer what's going on and what needs to be done. It's also handy for me in that I can have a picture with me for reference. Helps in planning materials or if I have to show another sub what they need to do after me. (Ex. Redo some subfloor or joists)
The camera & built in memory are very simple and work. And it's very easy to take pictures from the MicroExplorer and put them on your computer.
7) I can increase production and decrease destruction. Ex.-Tub shoe leaking on the second floor can be confirmed with a small hole rather than "guess measuring" where to cut a big hole for confirmation. Then it can be corrected and reinspected through the same hole. Just an example.
8) Lots of uses. Plumbing, electrical, mechanical.
9) If you purchase now, you can get a 2GB memory card free when you register.
10) I've found the price locally better than ALL online retailers. Your experience may be different but I think everyone should check and try to support your local companies.
Cons: (Some are just suggestions.)
1) I'd like the case a little larger to accommadate the flexible camera. You have to put it in a tight circle to get it in. Might be plenty tough to handle it but makes me nervous.
2) The rubber cover on the side protecting the accessory ports. The cover hangs by a little sliver of rubber connected to the cover. EVERY part ever made has a weak link and this seems like one that will break off.
3) Some sort of text writer would be good to add words to pics or video. That way you can label jobs for later records and to eliminate confusion. Water heaters, boilers, PVC, & supply pipes all start to look the same after about 5 similar pictures. You can also personalize the customers pics/video. Be good to have that built right in.
4) While many want one of Ridgids handheld cameras to go through a toilet trap-it pretty much will never happen consistently with this head and flex cable. I think Ridgid would be smart to just start from scratch and sell a "toilet trap camera" with a more flexible cable and a rounded head that connects to the MicroExplorer. It would have to be separate. The current inspection cable/camera needs to be stiff but bendable to do inspection jobs while the "toilet trap camera" needs much more flexibility.
And no. I don't want to be charged to death with accessories either but I do think you need two different flexibilities for the camera cables.
5) Price. I'm sometime too cheap for my own good but...there are alot of devices out now that will access the internet, take pictures, play music, text, GPS for less. I know they don't have a cable-camera connected to them but I'm just giving an example of technology for price. Better hope they don't put a camera-cable on the iPhone.
But now that I have it I almost wish the Micro and Milwaukee version didn't exist. This pricepoint knocks out alot of DIY'ers and would put the professional advantage back in my court.
6) I'd like a right angle camera head. I think alot of times you need the camera to be at a right angle and making a long curve or sweep with the cable to do this just takes more time. Time is $$$ and patience is short.
That's all for now.