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Photographer FAQs

Tips for better vehicle photography

Shoot your vehicles in a consistent format to give your website a cohesive, professional look.

  • Shoot your inventory in the same location and at the same angles.
  • Make sure you’re capturing the features that your shoppers are interested in. Some of the most valuable vehicle features, like specialty wheels, navigation systems and the latest infotainment technology, are often overlooked.

For more tips on improving the quality of your photography, read our Photography Best Practices guide.

Tips for better online merchandising

  • Get your vehicles online faster to reduce missed sales opportunities.
  • Reduce visual distractions and clutter in your images.
  • Employ an advanced recommendation engine to give your shoppers a more personalized experience.

For more tips on improving your online merchandising, read our Automotive Merchandising Best Practices Ebook.

How do I charge my Ricoh camera?

Connect your Ricoh camera to a computer’s available USB port using the USB cable provided in your hardware kit. The camera’s power light will illuminate while it’s charging and turn off when your camera is fully charged. DO NOT charge your camera on a wall outlet, as this will ruin the Ricoh camera.

How should I clean my Ricoh camera?

If your Ricoh camera’s lens gets dirty, we recommend using a blower to gently blow the debris off or using a soft cloth to gently wipe the lens clean. Do not touch the lens directly with your finger.

If the exterior of your Ricoh camera gets dirty, we recommend using a soft cloth or wet wipe that’s well-wrung out to gently clean the exterior surfaces. Do not use solvents or cleaning chemicals on any part of your camera.

How should I take care of my Ricoh camera?

When your Ricoh camera is not being used, we recommend keeping it in the included sleeve, which is designed to help protect the lens from scratches and smudges. If fingerprints or dust get on the lens, the picture quality will suffer.

Before storing your camera, always make sure it is powered off. You should avoid storing your camera in high-temperature, high-humidity environments, or any locations where there are rapid changes in temperature or humidity levels. Also avoid storing your camera in areas where there is significant vibration or strong magnetism is emitted (e.g. near monitors, transformers, magnets, etc.).

What should I do if my Ricoh camera stops working?

The Ricoh camera won’t be able to take any more pictures through the Impel Capture app if the internal hard drive is at maximum capacity. To free up storage space on your device, you can delete old photos saved on the Ricoh’s hard drive. If your device’s screen is cracked or scratched, please contact your Impel Customer Success Manager for hardware replacement options.

How do I pair my Ricoh camera to an iOS device and what is the password?

Your Ricoh camera is able to connect to your compatible iOS device through a Wi-Fi connection (Note: this is not a Bluetooth connection). The Ricoh emits its own Wi-Fi signal that can be selected for pairing through your mobile device’s iOS settings. The Ricoh’s Wi-Fi signal will be named something similar to: “THETAYJ00123456.”

  1. Select the Ricoh’s Wi-Fi signal that you want to connect to on your iOS device.
  2. At this point, you’ll be prompted to enter a password. The password is 8 digits long and can be found within the network’s name. The password will always start with the first 2 zeroes of the network name, followed by the additional 6 characters.
  3. Input this password to wirelessly pair your Ricoh and iOS devices.

For example: if the network is named “THETAYJ00123456,” the password would be “00123456.”

How do I delete photos save on my Ricoh Theta's internal hard drive?

We recommend using the Impel Capture app to delete old photos from your Ricoh device. To delete photos through Impel Capture, follow the below steps:

  • Make sure your Ricoh device and compatible smartphone are paired together.
  • Launch the Impel Capture app and navigate to the Settings menu.
  • Select the “Clear 360 Camera” option.
  • A prompt will appear asking you to confirm that you want to delete all panoramic photos. Note: Deleting all panoramic photos does not affect spins that are already saved on your smartphone.
  • Once you’ve confirmed, the “Clear 360 Camera” option will dim, informing you that your Ricoh has been cleared of all content.

If you’d rather use your computer to delete photos from your Ricoh camera, follow the below steps:

  • Connect your Ricoh camera to a Windows-based PC using a micro USB cord. A window may pop up, letting you know your computer is setting up a new device.
  • Once your computer recognizes the Ricoh camera, open “File Explorer” on your PC.
  • Within “File Explorer”, there is a menu on the left side of the window with an option to select “This PC.” Click on this section and navigate to “Ricoh Theta SC.”
  • Click on “Fixed Storage.”
  • Next, click on the folder that appears, named “DCIM.”
  • Finally, click on the next folder that appears, named “100RICOH.”
  • This should bring you to a window where all of the images that are currently stored on the Ricoh’s internal hard drive are visible.
  • Select all images, and then hit Delete.

What can I find in Impel Manager?

Impel Manager allows you to access all of your spins, edit hotspots, and it also serves as a home to all of your first-party data.

How do I copy spins?

To copy spins using the Impel Capture app, follow the below steps:

  • On the “My Spins” page within the app, click and hold on the spin you want to copy.
  • Select “Copy” on the menu that appears.
  • Enter the stock or VIN number of the vehicle you want to copy the spin over to in the following prompt.
  • Tap “Copy” in the upper right-hand corner to then enter the “Capture” page, where you can view the content of the spin.
  • Select “Done” and return to the “My Spins” page.
  • To finalize the copied spin, upload the new spin you’ve created.

To copy spins using the Manager platform, follow the below steps:

  • Click on “Move/Copy” and then select the “Copy” button.
  • Select “Enter the VIN”.
  • Input the stock or VIN number of the vehicle you wish to copy the spin over to.

How do I change a spin with an incorrect stock number or VIN number?

If you’ve accidentally uploaded a vehicle with the wrong stock or VIN number, you can easily correct the issue within the Impel Capture app, as long as the spin is still on the “My Spins” page. Follow the below steps to update stock and VIN numbers through the app:

  • Select the specific vehicle with an incorrect stock or VIN number.
  • Rename the spin with the correct stock or VIN number and then re-upload the spin.

Please note: If the incorrect stock number or VIN number that was originally used matches another vehicle in your feed, the spin would need to be deleted within Manager. Select “Delete Forever” when prompted, if this is the case.

If you’d prefer to correct an incorrect stock number or VIN number within Manager, follow the below steps:

  • Identify the spin with the incorrect stock or VIN number, click “Move/Copy” and then select the “Move” option.
  • Select “Enter the VIN.”
  • Input the correct stock or VIN number.

Can I change the colors on the hotspots that display within 360 WalkAround?

Yes, there is an option to customize the colors to match your dealership’s branding. Please contact your Customer Success Manager to make these changes.

Can I use a DSLR camera to shoot spins?

Yes, you can! A DSLR can be used in what we refer to as a “traditional setup”. Your photographer should work with your Customer Success Manager and GM or other dealer representative to decide on a sequence for the exterior, interior and close-up photos that will be taken. Once this photo sequence is decided upon, the order of photos must be adhered to for every vehicle shot in order for your spins to build properly. When the images are uploaded to our server, they are then organized based on your agreed-upon photo sequence.

How can I add close-up photos or change the order in my Impel Capture app?

For additional close-up photo options and adjusting the photo sequence, please contact your Customer Success Manager, or send an e-mail to cs@impel.io. Our team will be happy to help you make these changes right away.

How do I shoot multiple panos?

We offer you the option to have multiple 360° interior pano views. This feature is especially helpful when shooting RVs, since it allows you to show off the main room, bathroom and bedroom. You can also use this feature to capture 2nd and 3rd rows in standard motor vehicles.

To shoot multiple panos, follow the below instructions:

  • After you’ve captured the first 360° pano, you’ll be presented with a “Capture Interior” menu.
  • At the bottom of this menu, you’ll see a “+” icon. Click on this.
  • You’ll then be prompted to add a tag of what the photo should be called (i.e. Back Seat, Third Row, etc.). Note: Be sure to check your spelling and grammar here, since this tag entry will be presented on your website.

How long does it take for a spin to appear on my website?

Completed spins should typically appear on your website through the Impel iFrame between 15 and 20 minutes after you upload.

What time of day does Impel push photos to my feed provider?

Impel exports your photos 3 times per day. Any photos that you’ve taken through Impel Capture and uploaded to our server will be pushed out to your dealership’s designated feed provider at the following times:

3:00-5:00 a.m. EST (0700-0900 UTC)
1:30-3:30 p.m. EST (1730-1930 UTC)
6:30-8:30 p.m. EST (2230-0030 UTC)

Can I upload spins without connecting to Wi-Fi?

Yes, you can choose to upload your spins by using the hardwired upload method. This allows you to connect your device to a computer and manually upload the files. Contact your Customer Success Manager for more details on how to do this.

How do I upload panoramic photos to Facebook?

You can easily upload your 360° panoramic shots to Facebook by downloading the image from Impel Manager. Then, navigate to your dealership’s Facebook page, create a new post and select “upload photos/videos.” Upload the pano image, add your desired text and hit publish!

Why is my Impel Capture app not uploading spins?

In most instances, if spins are not uploading, it’s because of a poor Wi-Fi connection. Check your Wi-Fi settings and select an accessible network. Reattempt the upload once your Wi-Fi connection is strong. Make sure you are not trying to upload while connected to the Ricoh’s Wi-Fi.

At this point, if your spins are still not uploading, the connection to the Wi-Fi network is not stable, or the network has specific settings in place that inhibit data uploads. Try moving closer to your router or check with your dealership’s IT department to determine if any restrictive security settings are in place. Please note: you can enable 4G uploads through Spin Settings in the Capture app’s Settings menu.

Why do my uploaded vehicles show up on the website but not on my 3rd party sites?

For photos taken with Impel Capture, we want to assure these images make it to your 3rd party sites. In order to do so, we need to set up an export push, which allows the images to be sent from our server to a dealership’s feed provider.

Tips for better vehicle photography

Shoot your vehicles in a consistent format to give your website a cohesive, professional look.

  • Shoot your inventory in the same location and at the same angles.
  • Make sure you’re capturing the features that your shoppers are interested in. Some of the most valuable vehicle features, like specialty wheels, navigation systems and the latest infotainment technology, are often overlooked.

For more tips on improving the quality of your photography, read our Photography Best Practices guide.

Tips for better online merchandising

  • Get your vehicles online faster to reduce missed sales opportunities.
  • Reduce visual distractions and clutter in your images.
  • Employ an advanced recommendation engine to give your shoppers a more personalized experience.

For more tips on improving your online merchandising, read our Automotive Merchandising Best Practices Ebook.

How do I charge my Ricoh camera?

Connect your Ricoh camera to a computer’s available USB port using the USB cable provided in your hardware kit. The camera’s power light will illuminate while it’s charging and turn off when your camera is fully charged. DO NOT charge your camera on a wall outlet, as this will ruin the Ricoh camera.

How should I clean my Ricoh camera?

If your Ricoh camera’s lens gets dirty, we recommend using a blower to gently blow the debris off or using a soft cloth to gently wipe the lens clean. Do not touch the lens directly with your finger.

If the exterior of your Ricoh camera gets dirty, we recommend using a soft cloth or wet wipe that’s well-wrung out to gently clean the exterior surfaces. Do not use solvents or cleaning chemicals on any part of your camera.

How should I take care of my Ricoh camera?

When your Ricoh camera is not being used, we recommend keeping it in the included sleeve, which is designed to help protect the lens from scratches and smudges. If fingerprints or dust get on the lens, the picture quality will suffer.

Before storing your camera, always make sure it is powered off. You should avoid storing your camera in high-temperature, high-humidity environments, or any locations where there are rapid changes in temperature or humidity levels. Also avoid storing your camera in areas where there is significant vibration or strong magnetism is emitted (e.g. near monitors, transformers, magnets, etc.).

What should I do if my Ricoh camera stops working?

The Ricoh camera won’t be able to take any more pictures through the Impel Capture app if the internal hard drive is at maximum capacity. To free up storage space on your device, you can delete old photos saved on the Ricoh’s hard drive. If your device’s screen is cracked or scratched, please contact your Impel Customer Success Representative for hardware replacement options.

How do I pair my Ricoh camera to an iOS device and what is the password?

Your Ricoh camera is able to connect to your compatible iOS device through a Wi-Fi connection (Note: this is not a Bluetooth connection). The Ricoh emits its own Wi-Fi signal that can be selected for pairing through your mobile device’s iOS settings. The Ricoh’s Wi-Fi signal will be named something similar to: “THETAYJ00123456.”

  1. Select the Ricoh’s Wi-Fi signal that you want to connect to on your iOS device.
  2. At this point, you’ll be prompted to enter a password. The password is 8 digits long and can be found within the network’s name. The password will always start with the first 2 zeroes of the network name, followed by the additional 6 characters.
  3. Input this password to wirelessly pair your Ricoh and iOS devices.

For example: if the network is named “THETAYJ00123456,” the password would be “00123456.”

How do I delete photos save on my Ricoh Theta's internal hard drive?

We recommend using the Impel Capture app to delete old photos from your Ricoh device. To delete photos through Impel Capture, follow the below steps:

  • Make sure your Ricoh device and compatible smartphone are paired together.
  • Launch the Impel Capture app and navigate to the Settings menu.
  • Select the “Clear 360 Camera” option.
  • A prompt will appear asking you to confirm that you want to delete all panoramic photos. Note: Deleting all panoramic photos does not affect spins that are already saved on your smartphone.
  • Once you’ve confirmed, the “Clear 360 Camera” option will dim, informing you that your Ricoh has been cleared of all content.

If you’d rather use your computer to delete photos from your Ricoh camera, follow the below steps:

  • Connect your Ricoh camera to a Windows-based PC using a micro USB cord. A window may pop up, letting you know your computer is setting up a new device.
  • Once your computer recognizes the Ricoh camera, open “File Explorer” on your PC.
  • Within “File Explorer”, there is a menu on the left side of the window with an option to select “This PC.” Click on this section and navigate to “Ricoh Theta SC.”
  • Click on “Fixed Storage.”
  • Next, click on the folder that appears, named “DCIM.”
  • Finally, click on the next folder that appears, named “100RICOH.”
  • This should bring you to a window where all of the images that are currently stored on the Ricoh’s internal hard drive are visible.
  • Select all images, and then hit Delete.

What can I find in Impel Manager?

Impel Manager allows you to access all of your spins, edit hotspots, and it also serves as a home to all of your first-party data.

How do I copy spins?

To copy spins using the Impel Capture app, follow the below steps:

  • On the “My Spins” page within the app, click and hold on the spin you want to copy.
  • Select “Copy” on the menu that appears.
  • Enter the stock or VIN number of the vehicle you want to copy the spin over to in the following prompt.
  • Tap “Copy” in the upper right-hand corner to then enter the “Capture” page, where you can view the content of the spin.
  • Select “Done” and return to the “My Spins” page.
  • To finalize the copied spin, upload the new spin you’ve created.

To copy spins using the Manager platform, follow the below steps:

  • Click on “Move/Copy” and then select the “Copy” button.
  • Select “Enter the VIN”.
  • Input the stock or VIN number of the vehicle you wish to copy the spin over to.

How do I change a spin with an incorrect stock number or VIN number?

If you’ve accidentally uploaded a vehicle with the wrong stock or VIN number, you can easily correct the issue within the Capture app, as long as the spin is still on the “My Spins” page. Follow the below steps to update stock and VIN numbers through the app:

  • Select the specific vehicle with an incorrect stock or VIN number.
  • Rename the spin with the correct stock or VIN number and then re-upload the spin.

Please note: If the incorrect stock number or VIN number that was originally used matches another vehicle in your feed, the spin would need to be deleted within Manager. Select “Delete Forever” when prompted, if this is the case.

If you’d prefer to correct an incorrect stock number or VIN number within Manager, follow the below steps:

  • Identify the spin with the incorrect stock or VIN number, click “Move/Copy” and then select the “Move” option.
  • Select “Enter the VIN.”
  • Input the correct stock or VIN number.

Can I change the colors on the hotspots that display within 360 WalkAround?

Yes, there is an option to customize the colors to match your dealership’s branding. Please contact your Customer Success Representative to make these changes.

Can I use a DSLR camera to shoot spins?

Yes, you can! A DSLR can be used in what we refer to as a “traditional setup”. Your photographer should work with your Customer Success Manager and GM or other dealer representative to decide on a sequence for the exterior, interior and close-up photos that will be taken. Once this photo sequence is decided upon, the order of photos must be adhered to for every vehicle shot in order for your spins to build properly. When the images are uploaded to our server, they are then organized based on your agreed-upon photo sequence.

How can I add close-up photos or change the order in my Impel Capture app?

For additional close-up photo options and adjusting the photo sequence, please contact your Customer Success Manager, or send an e-mail to cs@impel.io. Our team will be happy to help you make these changes right away.

How do I shoot multiple panos?

We offer you the option to have multiple 360° interior pano views. This feature is especially helpful when shooting RVs, since it allows you to show off the main room, bathroom and bedroom. You can also use this feature to capture 2nd and 3rd rows in standard motor vehicles.

To shoot multiple panos, follow the below instructions:

  • After you’ve captured the first 360° pano, you’ll be presented with a “Capture Interior” menu.
  • At the bottom of this menu, you’ll see a “+” icon. Click on this.
  • You’ll then be prompted to add a tag of what the photo should be called (i.e. Back Seat, Third Row, etc.). Note: Be sure to check your spelling and grammar here, since this tag entry will be presented on your website.

How long does it take for a spin to appear on my website?

Completed spins should typically appear on your website through the Impel iFrame between 15 and 20 minutes after you upload.

What time of day does Impel push photos to my feed provider?

Impel exports your photos 3 times per day. Any photos that you’ve taken through the Capture app and uploaded to our server will be pushed out to your dealership’s designated feed provider at the following times:

3:00-5:00 a.m. EST (0700-0900 UTC)
1:30-3:30 p.m. EST (1730-1930 UTC)
6:30-8:30 p.m. EST (2230-0030 UTC)

Can I upload spins without connecting to Wi-Fi?

Yes, you can choose to upload your spins by using the hardwired upload method. This allows you to connect your device to a computer and manually upload the files. Contact your Customer Success Manager for more details on how to do this.

How do I upload panoramic photos to Facebook?

You can easily upload your 360° panoramic shots to Facebook by downloading the image from Manager. Then, navigate to your dealership’s Facebook page, create a new post and select “upload photos/videos.” Upload the pano image, add your desired text and hit publish!

Why is my Impel Capture app not uploading spins?

In most instances, if spins are not uploading, it’s because of a poor Wi-Fi connection. Check your Wi-Fi settings and select an accessible network. Reattempt the upload once your Wi-Fi connection is strong. Make sure you are not trying to upload while connected to the Ricoh’s Wi-Fi.

At this point, if your spins are still not uploading, the connection to the Wi-Fi network is not stable, or the network has specific settings in place that inhibit data uploads. Try moving closer to your router or check with your dealership’s IT department to determine if any restrictive security settings are in place. Please note: you can enable 4G uploads through Spin Settings in the Capture app’s Settings menu.

Why do my uploaded vehicles show up on the website but not on my 3rd party sites?

For photos taken with the Capture app, we want to assure these images make it to your 3rd party sites. In order to do so, we need to set up an export push, which allows the images to be sent from our server to a dealership’s feed provider.