How to Use Barcodes and Memos with the Ricoh G900SE Camera
Updated: Oct 29, 2019
One of the unique features of the Ricoh data imaging cameras is their ability to scan barcodes and link those barcodes to the pictures being taken. Ricoh cameras have had this feature since the early 2000s, beginning with the Ricoh Caplio G3, which used a CompactFlash barcode scanner (tech geeks may remember those!). Released in September 2019, the G900SE is a modern, full-featured point-and-shoot camera designed for business use. The G900SE extends Ricoh’s vision for data collection with enhanced through the lens (TTL) barcode scanning along with many other business-focused security, connectivity, macro and ruggedness features. The ability to scan barcodes and record other data to associate with the photos is done through the Ricoh memo capabilities.
Problem: organizing and finding photos
Keeping photos organized can be a time-consuming process. Often, a user will create folders, or search for photos by date. This approach can be effective for a small number of photos, but many organizations take dozens, hundreds or even thousands of photos on a daily basis. Photos are often shared by email or a local or cloud storage folder. Searching for photos by date or looking at thumbnails can be labor-intensive!
Solution: automatic organization
The Ricoh G900SE has been designed to keep photos organized through its memo capabilities. Memos, including barcode and other data values are selected by the user and associated with the photos being taken. Once this data is associated, software can organize the phones. The Ricoh EX2 software can organize the photos by creating folders using memo values from the photos. For example, the EX2 software can create a folder for each barcode value, then place the images into that folder with a filename that includes the date of the picture; or, create a folder by date and name the pictures from the barcode value with an index (e.g. 123456.jpg).
An alternative to the Ricoh software is the PhotoTag software from SDG Systems. Unlike the Ricoh software, the PhotoTag software for Windows can retrieve the photos from the camera and push them to the cloud. Cloud storage allows many users to view or search the photos, even if they are in different locations. Using a standard web browser, users can search the image by any of the memo values (“tags”), by date, or by location. This approach is much more powerful than organizing photos using folders on your PC or shared drive. You can learn more about PhotoTag at https://www.sdgsystems.com/phototag.
Using barcodes on the Ricoh G900SE is a straightforward process, once the camera has been configured for barcodes. The barcode scanning process requires these steps:
Create a camera memo using the LE2 software. The camera memo is the template for the data that will be associated with the photos that you take. The memo contains the data lists for the person capturing the photos. Per the Ricoh nomenclature, the memo consists of Items and Descriptions, where “Item name” is like a category or list name, and Description is 1 or more values to associate with that Item. For example, you can have an Item called “Category” and Description values of “Quality”, “Safety”, and “Shipment”. The user will select the appropriate Category description value when taking photos. For our barcode example, we will use an Item name of “Barcode” and a Description of “NoValue”. When we capture a barcode, “NoValue” will be overwritten with the value of the barcode.
Transfer the memo to the camera. Plug your G900SE camera into your PC, turn it on and transfer the memo file (Tools -> Transfer to camera with the LE2 software). The memo file is stored in the TEMPLATE folder on the camera’s SD card. You can store multiple memo files on the SD card and select between them. Note: if you change SD cards, your memo files will need to be transferred to the new card!
Capture a barcode. When you turn on the camera you will see the word MEMO on the camera preview display. Press the Adj/Memo button on the camera to show the memo file. Next, press the left directional button to start the barcode capture. You will see a box on the display. Center the barcode in this box to capture the barcode into the memo item.
Select other memos (optional). At this point, you can select other memos or capture additional barcodes if your workflow requires additional values to be set in the memo fields on your camera.
Capture photos. The photos you take will have the barcode and other memo data associated with the photos.
Upload photos. Using a USB cable or WiFi with an FTP server, upload your photos to the PC. The photos can be uploaded with the Ricoh EX2 software or with PhotoTag for Windows.
The G900SE has 8 different barcode modes. You can choose the barcode mode from the MENU > MEMO menu on the camera. Refer to the Ricoh G900SE manual for a description of each mode. The memo modes provide different capabilities when scanning barcodes. For example, one mode can set multiple memo field values with a single QR Code scan.
With the G900SE, Ricoh continues to expand the data collection capabilities of their cameras. The G900SE offers unique value to businesses that capture photos. Learn more about the Ricoh camera features at https://www.sdgsystems.com/ricoh-g900-g900se and contact us today regarding additional questions or our PhotoTag software.
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