Online Apparel Retailer Saves $15k/Yr Using Photosimile DSLR Remote Capture Software
Are you listing items on Amazon, Etsy, Ebay, Bonanza or your own web site?
Are you still going through the painstaking process of adjusting lighting for each photo, shooting with your digital camera, connecting it to your computer to download, and then spending hours matching up photos with products, renaming files, cropping and editing?
If you’re an online seller like us, you need to try Ortery’s Photosimile studio and remote capture software solutions.
We operate the internet’s largest vintage clothing store (RustyZipper.com), with over 30,000 unique items on our site at any given point in time. We take photos of over 2,000 items per month.
We have been using Ortery’s Photosimile 50 for the past 4 years and have taken over 100,000 product photos with this application. We have the ability to shoot all smaller items (under 20 x 20 x 20”) inside the Photosimile 50 studio which provides perfectly balanced lighting that ensures consistent, professional grade results every time. For the larger items we shoot external to the studio, we still take advantage of the Photosimile DSLR remote capture software to control the entire image capture/processing workflow. All camera setting adjustments can be done quickly from within the software without having to touch the camera.
No more adjusting lighting for each item — with a click of the mouse, the Photosimile DSLR remote capture software allows you to adjust all camera settings (aperture, shutter speed, white balance, sensitization, exposure & flash) making lighting adjustments unnecessary. Even better, these changes are reflected in real-time so we know how the end result will look before we even capture the image!
The ability to quickly crop the image while in “live view” before taking the photo is an imperative feature that saves our business countless man hours in post production.
Additionally, the image processing tools allow us to assign a filename (in our case to match our part numbers), resize and watermark (batch processing options available) in just seconds.
We use our Canon DSLR with excellent results.
We’ve tried several other remote capture applications however none had the workflow necessary for high volume photography that we found in Ortery’s Photosimile software. With their tools, we were able to cut our already fast setup and photo process time in half. For us, this adds up to a savings of over 120 hours per month in increased productivity and reduced labor costs. Ortery’s software has increased our production photography speed and accuracy and has saved us over $15,000 each year.
We would strongly recommend Ortery’s Photosimile studios and remote capture software to any business who has high volume photography requirements for selling online. It is the truly the ultimate tethered shooting tool.
Keep up the great work Ortery!
Jennifer Chadwick, Owner
RustyZipper.Com was the first online clothing store when we launched in 1995. With over 30,000 unique items for sale on our website, we are still by far the largest vintage clothing resource on the web.
Oregon based RustyZipper.Com features authentic unique vintage clothing from the 1940s through 1980s for men & women and also features the world’s largest selection of Ugly Christmas Sweaters.
Nutrilite® is the world’s leading brand of vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements (based on 2006 sales). Unlike traditional supplement manufacturers, Nutrilite (d/b/a Access Business Group LLC) extracts or concentrates many of the nutrients found in its products from natural materials grown on its own certified organic farms. These concentrates are processed into a powdered form to be blended and compressed into tablets. Due to the natural variation in color of these plant based materials from weather, season or soil conditions, and as required by Nutrilite’s high quality standards, appearance specifications are developed for all concentrates as well as many raw materials and finished products.
While some specifications are based on spectrophotometric methods, visual appearance is still the most common criteria for concentrate color. However, visual inspection poses several problems for Nutrilite. First, the natural colors in these plant materials can change over time due to oxidation or moisture absorption. New standards have to be validated every 6 months and it is then impossible to compare samples over longer time periods. Second, the visual inspection is highly subjective and is susceptible to error due to variations in ambient lighting, background colors, particle size, mixtures of colored particles and human factors. Finally, when material fails to match the standard, it is often difficult to determine and describe why the appearance is different.
As part of Nutrilite’s Operational Excellence program, this problem was identified and a team was assigned to develop a solution. The team followed the systematic problem solving methodology of Six Sigma and as a result, identified the Photosimile photo studio as an effective solution to these problems. A Photosimile 100 was purchased by Nutrilte’s Buena Park, CA Quality Assurance group and photographs were taken of standards and key concentrate color problems. A database was developed and is now in use to permanently store standards digitally that no longer fade with time. Digital pictures of questionable concentrates can be compared with the standards visually or using software tools, eliminating the subjective concerns with the visual inspections. In addition, the higher resolution digital pictures provide Nutrilite’s Quality Scientists a tool to “zoom in” on the differences in color and the reasons for these differences.
This method of color evaluation was found to be so quick, easy and effective that a second unit was purchased for the Quality Control Lab at Nutrilite’s Lakeview, CA site where many of the concentrates are produced and tested. A third unit was purchased by the Concentrate Development Group in Research and Development to use in evaluating new materials and setting specifications. As a result, Nutrilite estimates it is saving over $20,000 annually by avoiding the time spent evaluating borderline visual inspection results.
After viewing the Photosimile 200, Timex’s Manager of Interactive Marketing, Richard J. Greene, immediately recognized the product’s potential to save time and eliminate headaches. Photosimile 200 provides a controlled lighting environment that would otherwise be impossible in the open environment of Timex’s corporate headquarters.
“What’s great about Photosimile is that it’s all set up and ready for people to use when they need to take a picture” said Mr. Greene. “The fact that you can easily email the images right from the station to yourself or to others completes its utility. With suppliers, manufacturers and distributors all around the world, effective communication is very important and a picture is the ideal format to communicate.”
Pam Steel, Timex’s Graphic Design Manager added: “Photosimile continues to help us in developing product, taking quick photos for the web, or recording packaging/ point-of sale material mockups before they’re put into production, and more and more departments are finding a use for it. This self-serve photography frees up our in-house photographer to focus on higher end photography of final product for TIMEX catalogs and point of sale material. Although the dollar value of this is difficult to measure, we know it has improved the quality of the images everyone takes, it saves time and eliminates the stress of those last minute photos which contributes to the overall efficiency of our organization.”
DC-ASSETS.com is the eCommerce division of 2 high-end, an award winning, multi-million dollar, chain of Washington DC pawnshops with over 100 years pawnbroker experience. At the beginning of 2006, Linda Purdy, eCommerce Manager was put to the task of finding the best solution for photographing incoming pawn items for their inventory program and also for selling online. Armed with a camera and some image editing software, Linda quickly realized that something needed to change. They were taking 25 to 60 pictures per day and the image processing was taking forever. The images had shadows, colors were off and each picture had to be individually processed (named, re-sized, given the proper resolution and saved) before it could be used.
In mid-2006, DC-ASSETS.com contacted Ortery Technologies to inquire about a PC-controlled photography studio and how it could be used to streamline their in-house photography. “Today
The Photosimile Image Creation Software controls every aspect of the picture taking and picture processing workflows. Pictures are composed and taken by clicking Preview, Zoom-in, Zoom-out, Crop and Snap in the software and the captured image appears on the monitor screen within seconds. “Ease of use was a key reason we purchased Photosimile 200. We literally place the item inside the studio and click snap. It’s simple and does an excellent job with jewerly”, said Linda Purdy. The camera settings are optimized to the lighting inside the studio for obtaining the best results with the least effort.
“By providing a complete solution, the knowledge to take a professional photo is built into the workflow,” said the owner, Jerry Bouchard. “Now, we can hire anyone we like and train them in minutes to take excellent pictures.” Looking toward the future, DC-ASSETS anticipates purchasing a second studio, a Photosimile 100, to record the jewelry they have in their long-term inventory.
Raefield Jewelry Designs
I came across this fantastic piece of technology earlier this summer at eBay Live. This is the most revolutionary thing to hit the jewelry photography market since the digital camera. This is an item that needs to be seen to be believed.
We have all seen those expensive $1,000.00 light boxes, and wondered "Why would any one spend $1,000.00 on a light tent?". I agree. I would not spend big money on a basic light tent. The Photosimile is an "Integrated Photography System". System being the operative word here. The light box is just part of the package, not the main event.
The system is a combination of light box and computer program, which works with certain cameras to produce effortless fantastic photography. The computer software is the true gem. Through use of the system, the traditional problems of focusing and color correction are eliminated or minimized. If an item is placed in the correct "focus area" within the camera's field of vision, the item is focused 100% of the time. There is no need to constantly re-shoot to get the best focus. NO FOCUSING NECESSARY, PERIOD. The software is set to balance the light in the box with the camera's settings and produce color-accurate photo's about 90% of the time. The other 10% can usually be managed by getting to know the machine and when to add light or change backgrounds. In the normal course of photographing an estate lot, less then 1% of the photos taken might ever need further editing outside of the Photosimile program. The system is particularly good at getting those hard-to-read marks with ease.
BUT THAT IS NOT ALL
The Photosimile program allows you to crop, zoom and rotate photos before you snap the photograph! After snapping a photo, the images are then held in a thumbnail window, which allows you to go back and look at earlier photos for comparison as you continue to photograph. The system then allows you to batch edit and annotate, as well as batch size and name. The time saving is AMAZING. You no longer need to load photos from your camera into the computer and then later open up in a photo editing program. All your editing can be done either while you take the photos (crop & rotate) OR just before saving the image(s). Right before you save, you have use of full photo-editing software which allows color correction, lightening and brightening, and will even allow you to cut the photo from the background. The system will also allow you to add a watermark to the photo as you save. If you use a 3rd party hosting system able to match photo's to sku's, or even create photo's from sku's using your file name, you will not have to manually add your photos to your item descriptions!
This is a "must see, must have" item for anyone doing jewelry photography.