Photos are an important element of any inspection. They form a visual record and can be used as supporting evidence during a dispute. And with PIM now available on iPhones your pictures are crisp and remember to use your flash or torch mode in those dark areas! The latest PIM includes the redesigned camera interface, for all devices, plus the ability to annotate photos, support for Ultra Wide Camera devices, ability to import photos from a variety of locations such as DropBox, iCloud Drive, OneDrive, or your own servers plus a few handy camera tools to make taking your photos even easier.
Luckily PIM uses your device's built-in camera to produce high-quality photos automatically used within the report. All photos are labeled, to provide greater context of where the photo was taken, and an embedded Date/Time Stamp is also available in Settings > PIM Admin > Default Settings > Allow Date/Time on Photos. These photos can also be exported as individual high-resolution images using the Sharing Reports & Photos option, including Date/Time if needed.
So let's look at how to take great photos (and even annotate) in PIM. Watch the video below, use the written guide, or head over to our Youtube Channel - Taking Photos in PIM with Annotations.
Expand the relevant Inspection Area (or Sub Inspection Area), you can then tap directly on the Camera symbol on the right-hand side. You can also tap the Photos row, as before. Both methods will launch the camera window ready for you to take your photos if none have already been taken. Should you see a prompt requesting PIM access to your Camera just tap OK.
If you are already editing your Notes you also have the option to take photos using the camera icon from the keyboard shortcuts (at the top of the keyboard) or the right-hand side.
Once on the camera screen, there are three options for taking photos.
Option 1 - Take one photo at a time
Using the camera button as marked below "Photo", you will be able to take one photo at a time. Just tap on the camera to take your shot.
1. Flash - Tap to turn ON, Auto, OFF (available on iPhones and iPad Pro only)
2. Torch - When activated can light up dark areas for your inspections . ie. inspecting inside an oven.
3. Photo Library or Choose Files - Your choices are :
3A. Photo Library - Tap to access and add photos from your devices' photo library, or
3B. Choose Files - Tap to access and add photos via the files app. e.g. Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, or your own servers. (refer to Option 3 below).
For more details on each option refer to Option 3 below
4. Photo - Use this setting to take single images, one at a time. You need to tap "Use Photo" between shots.
5. Multi - used to take up to 20 images in succession without having to tap "Use Photo" between shots. (refer to Option 2 below)
6. Ultra-Wide Zoom - Tap "1x" just above the shutter button to switch to the ultra-wide camera. This function is only available on an iPhone 11 and higher and iPad Pro 2020 or later models. Ultra-Wide Zoo is a great solution when you are struggling to keep everything in the frame. Whether you are taking a photo of a whole room, that perfect cover photo for your report, or zoomed in for a crack in the wall, PIM now caters to all your photo needs.
7. Done - to close the camera window.
Once you take a photo you will see a still image with a number of options on the right.
- Add Notes - You may use this to highlight a specific issue or fault already referenced in your inspection notes. The notes will appear above the photo in the report.
- Include in Maintenance - If you are using the special Cleaning/Maintenance Report, or using Chintaro, you can tap to include a maintenance photo in this report. For more information, on Cleaning/Maintenance reports, contact Support.
- Use as Cover Photo - Tap to make this your cover photo on the Routine inspection finished the report or as customised in your reports
- Use Photo - If you are happy with the still photo tap to save and return to the camera screen. You can now take your next photo
- Back/Retake - Tap to ignore this photo and take a new one.
- Edit - To annotate your image tap Edit to markup/draw your image. Refer to our How-To Guide - here.
Option 2 - Multi-Mode
Multi-mode (or PIM Burst Mode) lets you simply point and shoot without stopping to check or add notes. Just tap Multi above the camera button to turn this feature on. Please note that this feature is exclusive to PIM Premium accounts.
Once Multi is activated, you can then use the normal camera button on the right to take multiple photos without interruptions. The only disadvantage is that if you need to add notes or make changes to where the photo is displayed, you will need to edit them later from the area photo list. (See Viewing Your Photos below.)
Option 3A - Choose From Photo Library
You may have already taken all the property photos on the camera of your device or imported them from another device (Transfer Photos from iPhone to iPad for PIM using AirDrop). Simply tap the Photo Library button to select up to 20 photos at a time from existing photos on your iPad/iPhone.
You may be presented with this permission window, requesting access to your photo library, tap "Allow Access to All Photos"
Select the photo(s) you wish to add into PIM (2), then tap Add (3). This window shows how many photos you have selected, see label (4), and (5) indicates the maximum number of photos you are allowed to add for this session. You can also use the search field to locate tagged photos quickly, whether by property or location, or choose the Album toggle to view whole albums stored on your device.
When prompted if you would like to import the photos tap Add Photos to confirm.
Option 3B - Choose Files
You may have photos saved via the Files app on your device whether that be in Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud Drive, or your own server. Each Location will become available to use when you install that app and log into that app, such as Dropbox, on your device. You can add photos by selecting the storage location (1): e.g. DropBox
Then tap the "3 dots" (2) and tap Select (3). This will allow you to select multiple files. If this step is not done when tapping a photo, the photo will just download to your device from the remote location and PIM will not have access.
Now select the image/s you wish to add to the inspection, then tap OPEN not done.
Confirm your selection by tapping Add Photos and then Done.
Taking a Great Photo
The first step towards taking a good photo is to make the area as light as possible by opening curtains/blinds or turning on the lights. There are also a number of screen options while taking the photo;
- Focus - The camera has a built-in auto-focus, but you can tap on the screen to focus on a specific area.
- Zoom - Use two fingers and spread apart to zoom in or close them together to zoom back out. Make sure you tap to focus before taking your photo
- Brightness - Tap on darker areas to brighten.
- Alignment - If your image is incorrectly displaying as portrait or landscape, rotate the iPad or iPhone in different directions a few times so the camera can get its bearings.
No Photo Limits!
There are no limits to the number of photos you can take in Property Inspection Manager (PIM). Some reports need only a few photos, others need hundreds, (even thousands!). That's perfectly ok, but remember too many photos on your finished report will take a long time to submit, and will use a lot of ink and paper when printing.
Viewing Your Photos
Photos will be displayed in the order they were taken. From this screen you can do a number of things:
- Add Photo - Tap to add more photos.
- Edit - Tap to delete photos from the list.
- Tap Photo - Tap any photo to make changes such as adding notes, sharing the photo (a) or view the photo full screen including the ability to annotate (b). The Sharing Photos option allows you to send the full-sized photo by email or saving to the camera roll. This is great for maintenance or marketing purposes without needing to return to the office first. Refer to our guide here.
After viewing the photo full screen (by tapping b above) tap Edit to start Annotating your photo. Refer to our Annotation Guide here for more details.
If you experience any difficulties taking photos, sharing, or annotating photos, please contact PIM Support.