Cool Office Gadget Makes 3D Animations, Takes Stellar Pics

With a name like Photosimile and an appearance like a desk-sized replicator, you might be expecting this gadget to turn out to be some fantastically futuristic teleporter or solid-matter 3D copy machine. Sadly, it’s not quite that awesome, but it is good news for everyone who’s ever struggled with product photography. As you know if you’ve ever shopped online before, bad product photos can lead you to look for the same product on a different website, which obviously every business wants to avoid. The Photosimile wants to help business owners avoid the bad-photo rut by making product photography simple.

The Photosimile 5000 setup consists of a lightbox, a turntable, and a digital SLR camera on a track that takes it from one side of the turntable, up to the top of the chamber, then down the other side. You can select the camera’s position for single still shots, or you can produce 3D animations of the product inside the chamber. You even have the option of giving customers a 360-degree view of whatever you’re photographing.

A setup like this probably won’t seem revolutionary to experienced photographers, but as far as we know, this is the first time a fully-assembled package like this has been available to anyone who can afford it. It’ll probably be out of the reach of most small businesses, though: at least one dealer is listing them at $17,000. But for those who can afford it – or at least pool resources with other small business owners – this smart piece of technology would be the perfect office addition.

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See more in Camera & Video or under Gadgets. February, 2010.