Frequently Asked Questions

What is the 5 Minute Photo Loader/Viewer Software?
What does the 5 Minute Photo Software do?
How much does the 5 Minute Photo Software cost?
What computer operating systems support 5 Minute Photo?
What are the minimum hardware requirements to install and use the software?
How long does it take after my order is placed that I will receive the software?
What do I get when I order the software?
If I buy the full version that includes 2 License Keys, what can I do with those License Keys.
How much is technical support if I have a problem?
Tell me more about your company...
Where can I get more in-depth information about the software and on-site printing?
Can I use virtual devices, instead of computers, for the Viewing Stations?
I don't know much about computers. Do you offer turn-key solutions?

What is the 5 Minute Photo Loader/Viewer Software

The 5 Minute Photo Loader/Viewer Software combo was designed with the onsite "action" event photographer in mind. After trying to do this ourselves with 3rd party software packages, we quickly realized there had to be a better way and so we began developing that better way in 2003. Since then, 5 Minute Photo has become the leader in onsite "action" event photography software, for both small and large photography organizations, allowing customers to view/save/order their pictures quickly and easily, whether its with 1 Viewing Station or 25+ Viewing Stations.

What does the 5 Minute Photo Software do?

The 5 Minute Photo Software is actually two separate programs, the Loader Software and the Viewer Software. The Loader Software is installed on one main computer (Loader/Server computer). It processes the images for archiving, printing and viewing from a digital camera memory card and stores them for use by the Viewing Stations. The Viewer Software can be installed on any number of Windows based computers (Viewing Stations) for customers to view the images that have been processed, save them in their own shopping cart/favorites and purchase prints or other digital products. All computers are networked together to function as a unit on a LAN (Local Area Network). The process from camera to customer viewing normally takes less than 5 minutes! Hence the name...5 Minute Photo.

How much does the 5 Minute Photo Software cost?

Click here to see our current pricing.

What computer operating systems support 5 Minute Photo?

5 Minute Photo software has been tested and is supported on the following 32-bit AND/OR 64-bit Windows Platforms: Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7, Windows XP (Home or Pro, SP3), Windows Vista/SP2 (although Vista is not recommended by 5 Minute Photo), Windows Server 2003/2008/2012. Other Windows operating systems may run the software, but these are neither recommended or supported, nor have we tested them.

What are the minimum hardware requirements to install and use the software?

Any computer running 5 Minute Photo should have at least a 1GHz processor, 1-2GB RAM (depending on version of Windows), and a network card. The single PC running the 5 Minute Photo Loader Software (Loader/Server computer) should have a hard drive with enough free space to hold 3X the size of the original images from the camera (our software automatically makes 3 special/unique versions of each image processed [Original/Archive, Printing, Viewing]) and a memory card reader. NOTE: Our software will only perform as fast as the equipment it is installed on. The more pictures you take and the more Viewing Stations you use, the better/faster the main computer (Loader/Server) should be.

Hardware Specifications: While the Loader/Server computer configurations can vary greatly depending on the number of viewing stations you have connected to it, the operating system on the Loader/Server computer, the number of pictures taken per game/competition and the total number of pictures taken per event, we will provide a few typical configurations that are known to work. Each user's situation will be different and may require additional hardware, horsepower, optimization and network tuning.

LOADER/SERVER main computer running LOADER software: A typical 3 Viewing Station setup would need a Loader/Server computer running Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7, Windows XP Pro or supported Windows Server OS with at least 2 GB of RAM, a 2.20 GHz or faster processor and sufficient free hard drive space to store 3X the total size of the original images. This configuration will handle events with approx. 100-150 images per game/competition and approx. 5000-10,000 images per event. This is based upon 1.5-3 MB sized originals (Med/Fine or Large/Std Camera Resolution).

An advanced 7-20 Viewing Station setup would require a Loader/Server computer running Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7, Windows XP Pro or supported Windows Server OS with at least 4 GB of RAM, a 3.0+ GHz processor and sufficient free hard drive space to store 3X the total size of original images. This configuration will handle events with approx. 100-300 images per game/competition and up to 10,000-50,000 images per event. This is based upon 1.5-3 MB sized originals. The number of Viewing Stations is limited by the operating system running on the Server/Loader computer (ie. Windows 8 = Max 20 Connections, Windows 7 = Max 20 Connections, Windows XP Pro = Max 10 Connections & Windows XP Home = Max 5 Connections). More than the allowed number of connections require either 1) a solution like our Linux In The Middle or 2) a Windows Server Operating System on the Loader/Server computer and applicable client access licenses (CALs). Our custom designed/configured Linux In The Middle solution is a pre-configured Zero Configuration File/Folder Sharing device and will eliminate any need to setup or configure the Windows security/sharing permissions on the Loader/Server computer.

VIEWING STATION computers running VIEWER software: The Viewer software running on Viewing Station computers does not need as much horsepower as the Loader/Server computer but having additional RAM and processing power (Mhz) never hurts. The Viewing Stations should have at least 1GB of RAM on XP (2 GB recommended on other versions of Windows). A lot of our customers buy used or refurbished computers for the Viewing Stations and possibly add additional RAM and a new flat panel monitor to create an economoical Viewing Station.

NOTE: Using a "complete" Gigabit network: gigabit network/LAN cards in ALL computers and a gigabit router/switch with CAT-5 or CAT-6 cables (ie. no wireless devices, no virutal devices and no 10/100 devices) will improve network performance. Adding slower devices to the newtwork may decrease overall network performance.

How long does it take after my order is placed that I will receive the software?

An email will be sent to your PayPal email account within a few minutes after we receive full payment from PayPal (eChecks and payments requiring validation by PayPal will take longer). The email will contain your License Key(s), links and instructions on how to download and install the electronic version of the 5 Minute Photo Loader/Viewer software and User Manual/documentation.

What do I get when I order the software?

You will get one copy of the Loader Software, one copy of the Viewer Software, and the User Manual. You are licensed to install the Loader Software on one computer per License Key. The Viewer Software License is unlimited and can be installed on any number of computers connected to licensed Loader/Server computer. The User Manual is always available online and can be downloaded here.

If I buy the full version that includes 2 License Keys, what can I do with those License Keys.

The full version includes 2 License Keys, so you could either use one of each of the License Keys for 2 different setups (ie. different locations). Some photographers use the 2nd License Key for a backup Loader/Server computer in case of total failure of the primary Loader computer at an event. The License Keys can be unregistered from one machine and then registered on another machine (internet connection required to register or un-register) but if the Loader totally fails where you can’t get into the application to unregister the key, you have to contact us to have the License Key manually reset by a 3rd party (service fee may apply) - which can take a while depending on the day of the week and the time of day we get the request. So the extra License Key registered on a backup Loader/Server computer is a good fail-save for total machine failure while onsite at an event (although rare but does happen).
You can also purchase additional License Keys at any time and just hang on to them or use as backups or on other setups for multiple location usage. Only the Loader/Server computer needs a License Key. You can have unlimited Viewing Stations running the Viewer software (dependent upon Operating System’s concurrent connection limit) as long as they are connected to a Licensed/Registered Loader/Server computer.

How much is technical support if I have a problem?

Email is the best and preferred method of technical support and will receive the highest priority for technical support. NOTE: If we decide telephone support is the best way to resolve the problem, we will schedule a time to call when you are in front of the equipment and have the necessary time available to troubleshoot the problem. This way we can properly diagnose the problem. International callers will have to call into a supplied support telephone number at a scheduled time. Exceptions may apply.

Solutions to most reported problems are addressed in our online Support Notes (PDF) document and should be referred to before contacting us via email.

Tell me more about your company...

5 Minute Photo started in 2003 as a project to improve/increase photo sales after a photographer friend saw onsite printing being done at a large baseball tournament. Several different combinations of software and hardware were tested and nothing made it very easy. At that point we custom-built the software to process the images and share them on the network. This software was basic and did not have any of the fancy customizeable features that our current version has now. We used the software for a while and then tweaked it a little more to fit what we were doing at the time (what we call Version 2). About this time, more and more photographers saw what we were doing and how our sales were going. Photographers begin asking where to buy the software and we told them that we had developed it ourselves. We started selling it to a few photographers and before we knew it, photographers were asking for other features and Version 3 was the first version to be released to the public (2005). The rest is history, as every version has been enhanced and improved and provided more and more options as directed by suggestions from our customers and other onsite event photographers.

Where can I get more in-depth information about the software and on-site printing?

Feel free to download our user manual by going here. You can get an idea of how the software works and what the workflow will be like. The User Manual includes screen shots of both the Loader and Viewer software. If you are new to onsite printing and viewing with computers, our "How To" guide is available by clicking here. This guide was written by the founder of 5 Minute Photo and is constantly being updated. It has many tips and tricks that will save time and money when getting started and prevent you from making a lot of costly mistakes others make when starting out doing onsite event photography. It also lets you know what to expect as an onsite event photographer offering these services. Many things were learned the hard way when we got started. Be ahead of the game by going here and purchasing this very valuable, and affordable "How To" guide. Many have found it to be priceless! After reviewing the User Manual and the "How To" guide, if you still want more info, you can request a copy of our demo/evaluation software by emailing us at the email address at the bottom of this page.

Can I use virtual devices, instead of computers, for the Viewing Stations?

We have tested some virtual devices with our software and have found that our software will run on a lot of these devices but should have a separate computer to act as the host for the virtual devices, that can also be used as a Viewing Station (in other words, don't use your Loader/Server computer as the host for the virtual devices). Since the virtual devices share the RAM and processor of the host you need to make sure the virtual device host has adequate RAM and processing speed to handle the addtional resources used by the virtual devices. With the low price of computers these days and the availability of used/refurbished computers for Viewing Stations it becomes real hard to justify the savings of using virtual devices unless you already own them.

We also found that using the Loader/Server as the host for virtual devices presents some security issues since the users of the virtual devices can actually have full access to the server unit, which is a big security risk. We did find that using a separate host for the virtual devices works pretty good. (not as good performance as using separate computers but acceptable for lower volume events and extra tight budgets)

While we cannot directly support virutal devices or user's networks, we will say that our software can work with these devices when setup/configured properly.

I don't know much about computers. Do you offer turn-key solutions?

We have offered pre-configured systems in the past but currently we DO NOT offer any pre-configured systems. We do provide a lot of good Windows/Networking support in our Support Notes (PDF) document and our How To Guide that will provide you with a lot of help and information in setting up your own system.

More Detailed Information

For the most in-depth information about the Version 7 Loader/Viewer Software download the Version 7 User Manual here.