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Just wondering what you all use for landscaping software? Is there a good easy to use program out there? Do any of you just draw your design for the customer on maybe graph paper or something? I just want design software not accouting. Thanks!
 

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Right now I just draw the design neatly on graph paper. I have been looking at design software this year but so far have found better investments with better returns I think. I will eventually get design software though. Many customers do not know enough about plants even when I draw them. They cannot picture the finished product. This is where the software would come in handy. I bought a cheap program when I got my computer but it was hard to use and I didn't like the results.
 

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I use DIG Designware for presentations. I go out and take a digital photo of the property and do the photo-realistic design on the computer. People love the 'pretty pictures' because they know what they like when they see it and its exciting to see how good their landscape could look. Makes closing the sale much easier and makes selling larger total tickets easier because the client falls in love with the finished look. Also if you look back at old posts, several others also wrote about this topic.

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Lanelle
 

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Lanelle how well does the digital camera work, I was told when I purchased DIG that a good quality regular camera would work better than digital. Although with the speed of technology today, what is new today is obsolete tomorrow. Also what camera would you recommend and # of pixels. Thanks Tom
 

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Our company bought the Sony Mavica FD-91 because it uses a regular 1.44MB 3.5" floppy disk for storing the photos which is easy since five of us use this camera and we don't have to worry with special hook-ups or media cards. Each disk hold 11-12 photos and disks are cheap and easy to buy. It has a 800,000 pixels progressive CCD chip, so the quality is pretty good and it cost a little under a thousand dollars as I recall. It has a 14x zoom and 'steady shot' technology so it seems to meet our needs. There are less expensive Mavicas that will probably do the job. I love being able to come in from the jobsite and immediately work on the new photos instead of taking film to a shop and waiting for the photos. Also I can immediately see if a shot is lousy and retake it rather than waiting for film development. Also, maybe some others have other types of digital cameras that are good. I think Paul said he bought an Olympus.

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Lanelle
 

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I like my olympus 2500 not cheap but much higher resolution than sony. Also has more features not quite pro camera but nowhere near price of one (about $1500) pro cameras are about $3000. Like the quailty of shot even at lower resalutions (can do 640 X 480, 1024 X 768, 1280 X 1024, 1600 X 1280) can make great prints at 8" X 10" at highest res. plus hot shoe for real flash and thru the lens focus and zoom. bad part need card reader for fast down loads

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paul
 

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Hello,

I use a cheaper design program but just use a plain old 200 dollar 35 mm camera and scan the pictures in using a flatbed scanner. I'm sure the digital cameras are nice, but the scanner and 35 mm can both be bought for around 300 bucks. A big savings.

With all the one-hour photo shops aroung here anymore, its really not a big hassle at all to get them developed. Its quite easy to take a picture, get it developed, scan it, design, and print it out all in one night. The digitals are a convenience, but considering every other supermarket has one-hour photo these days, it doesn't seem like you have to have a digital just to speed things up.

Also, I'm sure many know this, the way you take the picture is very important. You have to have the right sun to get it right. No matter how good you camera is, if conditions are wrong, the pictures never come out quite right. I'm still experimenting myself. Though the pictures may look good, they always getter altered in the process of scanning/printing them.

steveair
 

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I too use DIG design software. I use a 35mm camera and top quality 100 or 200 speed film. Scan it into the computer and it works great. I do use a tripod to get good shots. So far I have been able to see the difference between mine and ones taken w/a digital. Save your $$$ for now, maybe the technology will be there shortly.
 

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steveair, what cheaper program do you use? does it do 2d images, and will it layout sprinklers?

Probably not, but had to ask. Thanks
 

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Here's the website: http://www.designimaginggroup.com/

Remember that this post was started THREE years ago. Since then, some other software has been improved and I am no longer convinced that DIG is the only way to go. In fact I am shopping for new 2-D software now. The photo-imaging makes a great sales tool so I may keep what I have but look at ProLandscape and some of the other professional suites available.
 

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Hey fellows,

I have been looking for a good software program. I bought "Punch Master Landscape" and found its to complicated to add a photo and get a good finished look.

Pro Landscape is probably going to be the better program but that dude cost $1300.00 scoops........ouch.

Designware is a bit cheaper and will probably do the same as Pro L.

How about Designware. Is it fairly simple to use.

You can find these products at the following website.www.amerinursery.com
 

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i was at sam's club tonight and noticed they had one for $53. Looked like it would do everything i need. I'm thinking about going back tomorrow and geting it.
 

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What was the name of the software?
 

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did you check out the gopher graphics program? it has like overhead 2d design and also nightscape lighting thing that shows how the house would look before and after lights were installed. www.gophergraphics.com. I think the two programs go for like $20 or something cheap.
 

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I've use ProLandscape, Gopher Graphics, LSI, DIG, Eaglepoint,Grow It Gold, and Earthscapes.

The best one for me is the Earthscapes software. Similar to DIG but has the edge on quality and some other cool features such as a "cloning" tool which I always use.

None of the good software is cheap. Those $69 programs can't do anything near what the $1000 programs do. These programs will also produce your estimates and plant care sheets as well.

I use an Olympus D-460 digital camera or just scan photos...both come out great. And if a picture isnt so great, the photo-imaging program's editing features can make it look good.
 

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Georgiehopper
I am interested in your level of use with these programs. I am currently considering PRO Landscape but am not familiar with the other one you prefer. Could you explain your choice some more and share with me some of the pros and cons.
Thanks in advance for your response.
 
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