My company has had photo booths since they first hit the market around five years ago and has been very successful with them ever since. We have been able to pay each one off within six to nine months of their purchase. After that, it’s only a matter of the cost of consumables and the attendant as expenses against the income that we make from the booths.
But in five years, it’s amazing how far technology has come in both the software and hardware aspects of photobooths. We purchased our units before touchscreens became standard issue for most of the manufacturers. The software that it controls within the photo booth has also seen some amazing developments. Booths also look better on the outside, but the insides are what has made me feel that we have definitely stepped into at least the second generation of portable photo booths marketed to the DJ industry.
For this review, I took out the Kingdom’s open-style Photo Printz, with metal wings and curtains, which is driven by their Photo King software. It was using their 126.96.36.199 version. (The 188.8.131.52 release has been released since my testing. The upgrade primarily focuses on email and Facebook posting options.)
All of Kingdom units have the same driving hardware inside, including a Dell computer, the touch-screen system, a high-end box-type camera, and a dye sub printer. Everything inside is mounted well and is ready for movement, including the computer, which is mounted on the inside back door, making it easy to get to all of the other components. It includes the fastest dye sub printer available, producing 4” x 6” or 2” x 6” prints so you can do the standard photo strip prints or get creative with full-size prints.
Upon arriving at the school after-prom event that I was booked for, I went into the control panel via the passworded system hidden behind what the average user sees and accessed its “Genesis” module. This module provides an impressive pallet of creative layout options for the prints, including on-the-fly text updates, moving around of pictures, enlarging, dropping backgrounds in, and much more. Outside of the Genesis module in the main control panel is where you can change some branding, timing of activities that the users see, turn on and off options such as video event mode, emailing out of pictures, Facebook connectivity and a lot more. While I didn’t clock it to confirm the Kingdom website’s claim of “insanely fast print speeds of only 7.45 seconds,” it did seem pretty accurate.
The look of the photo booth is slick, with very attractive metal construction, and nice graphics that can easily be changed. It pulled the kids in very quickly to get shots with their dates or other friends. The booth was in use heavily for the full 21⁄2 hours it was available to the students.
In the end, the only thing I needed in addition to what was provided by Kingdom was a nice cover to haul it around in. The unit’s fine finished look would have suffered if it had gone through the rigors of the road, so we improvised a cover from packing blankets.
This hardware and software make a powerful, fast team. Students at the after-prom would step in from the left, take their pictures, and step to the right, where they would quickly have their shots and be showing them to friends. While we didn’t use the video features or internet connectivity, we had a blast with the unit, and I’m sure they are going to be wanting to contract for it next year. The only problem is that we only have one of unit and three clients with after-proms that will want it!
Filed Under: Digital DJ, Events, Issue #143, School Dances, Weddings
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