As someone who spends a good deal of time taking photographs of new consumer technology, only to subsequently enjoy hours of tedium touching up my snaps in image manipulation software, I have to admit to being pretty excited by the new 3D PhotoBench 260 from Ortery Technologies. Shown at CES 2012 this week, the desktop photography studio is claimed to be the first system in the world to take product shots or create 360 degree Flash/HTML 5 animations with a pure white background.

Ortery says that its 3D PhotoBench 260 will allow just about anyone to create professional-looking 360 degree product animations and still photographs with a uniform white background, even without previous experience. It's compatible with Canon and Nikon digital SLR cameras (and any other camera system with cable release functionality via a custom cord), with a USB-connected Windows computer running Control Software taking charge of the operation and settings of the camera, as well as controlling the light box, turntable movement, and processing workflows.

The 260 can be set up as a fully enclosed studio or an open, bottom-lit photo bench. The system consists of a 39.4 x 39.4 x 37.8-inch (100 x 100 x 96 cm) light box featuring a 3D turntable with transparent platform, on which products up to 33 pounds (14.96 kg) in weight can be placed. The carefully positioned product is surrounded by high color rendering lighting made up of 4,000 LEDs, with the lighting intensity controlled via the software. Ortery says that each LED lamp has a 30,000-hour lifespan, and the system is supplied with four spare lamps.

Once a product is placed on the platform, the user frames up the shot using the Preview, Dimming and Crop commands in the software, there's also a Super Close Up mode for those all important detail shots. With a click of the Snap button, the product shot appears on the computer screen for review. Users can add watermarks, alter the resolution or size, allocate file names, or batch save output to save time. Photographs can be exported as JPEG or RAW file formats, or if you're in a hurry, images can be emailed out direct from the software.

If you need an all-round animation produced for a presentation or web page, the 260 can automatically control the rotation of the platform and the taking of each of the four to 360 images per rotation. It's said to take around 90 seconds to snap and stitch together 24 photos. The stitched photos can then be turned into HTML 5, Flash, Silverlight or GIF animations using the included Ortery TruView 360 software. Interactive elements or hot spots can also be added to animations.

The 3D PhotoBench 260 computer-controlled desktop photography studio is available now for a little beyond my budget at around US$11,000. The product is sold in Europe under the name PackshotCreator.

Have a look at the following short introductory video to see the 3D PhotoBench 260 in action:

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