Best Display Devices for clients

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by motown01, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. motown01

    motown01 TPF Noob!

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    Hi there,

    I work at a company that does dance photography.

    Currently, we have a desktop system with mutliple monitors set up to display sets of photos in each dance's folder. To preview the photos, an entry number must be requested, then we drag and drop the dance folder to the appropriate monitor, which opens a slideshow program that plays through that folder's photos in a slideshow. This isn't the ideal system.

    We're looking at alternative display methods. Ideally, we would like to bring 3 or 4 handheld devices to each event, and have the user be able to browse through folders and preview photos at will.

    My question is: what would be the best device for doing this? An iPhone type device, photo frame or an audio/video playing device? Key features would be the ability to run in a kiosk mode so that these devices can only view photos, and a folder browse function so that the user can look at different photosets themselves.

    We would probably shrink the pictures to fit on the handheld device - and either (ideally) transmit them wirelessly, or copy them to a storage card - SD card or flash card, to use with the device.


    Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Billy
     
  2. CxThree

    CxThree TPF Noob!

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    Have you looked at the Microsoft Zune HD? The screen on that thing is AMAZING. Its small but it's very sharp.

    You could also look at something with a good OLED or AOLED screen. Te Samsung Omnia II mobile phone will be out by Thanksgiving and has a very cool screen on it too. It also comes with the ability to do HD 720P video and flash photography at 5mp.
     
  3. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What demographic is your clients? If you are selling to young hip types then a iPhone style device would sound good. (iPod touch maybe?).
    If your target is somewhat older than you're likely to get complaints as people squint at their very sharp but incredibly small displays.

    People like to know what they are getting, and not all people have the 20/20 vision needed to assess a photo on a device with a 3" screen.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How about some netbooks? Lock down the user account with the ability to point a picture viewer of your choice to a share on a server via wireless. You can set permissions on the share to read only.

    Bigger screens, familiar interface (windows I presume), a world of applications to leverage, inexpensive, good battery power.

    If I were doing it, I'd probably be managing the photos via Lightroom running on a server. I can quickly dump the downsized jpegs to a flash driven webpage presented on a private wireless network. The same server would also be a email server from which people can send their orders via email. Go home, open the mail box, start filling out the orders.


    Lightroom manages photos
    Lightroom can generate the flash webpage
    Apache for the web server
    Object Dock to present a customizable front end on the netbooks

    There are packages out there that you can take it a step farther and set up a point of sale via the private web page.
     
  6. motown01

    motown01 TPF Noob!

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    We're actually selling to parents of dance kids, so the iPod Touch device has been brought up.

    We're using a PC setup...Is there an app for the iPod Touch that can view and browse a shared PC photo folder over a wireless network?

    The smaller the device, the better. We fly to many of these events and also do video, so the smaller the equipment, the better.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Rather than looking for an application to load on the ipod touch, could you simply set up a web page on a server and have the ipod touch browse to it? There are various ways to quickly take a batch of photos and automatically generate a webpage (does ipod support flash) to showcase photos.
     
  8. loopy

    loopy Brave little froggy...

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    No Iphone will not support flash.

    Look into Archos. I have an Archos 605wifi and it displays photos nicely. Plus it has 160gb. Mine is a couple years old, but the newer models look really nice. I can load photos on the 605 through a docking station (usb).
     
  9. motown01

    motown01 TPF Noob!

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    Interesting idea, usayit. I've worked with HTML Photo Album generating software before - but is there software out there that will dynamically create a new page every time new photo folders are added to a main directory? This way a new page doesn't have to be generated each time new photos are taken.
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A little research is in order... but it doesn't have to be totally dynamic... If you can just have a while-true-sleep type script to regenerate the photos once every 1 minute or so.

    Just a quick google (I am at work so time is limited)

    themeable HTML photo album generator

    Is a HTML photo album generator that began its life as a command line invoked application. You could create a simple batch file (or unix/linux script) to call the appropriate command once every few minutes. Of course it will need to be tried out as I haven't actually tried.

    I'm sure something similar could be done using PHP or Perl or something similar... google might turn up something prebuilt. I am just guessing that a web page driven solution might require more research or setup time but will be a lot easier in reality than making iPhones more functional and all iTouch/Phones already have a web browser which can be leveraged from the get go.

    In the interim, you could just use whatever HTML generator you are accustomed to and give it a trial run. Just hit "GO" every-once-in-a-while. MIght be good enough solution for you already.
     
  11. motown01

    motown01 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all of your help.
     

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