PhotoPlus Expo 2011: Show Wrap Up

by Reads (69)

PhotoPlus Expo wrapped up over the weekend and we’re recapping the show with a look at new bags from Lowepro, a peek at some new Zeiss glass and a brief hands-on with the new wireless Panasonic Lumix X90.

Lowepro unveiled the Pro Messenger AW and Pro Roller Lite series. The Pro Roller Lite 150 AW and 250 AW are designed as carry-on luggage pieces with padded compartments especially for camera gear. The 150 AW is somewhat smaller and will accommodate an 11-inch laptop, several lenses and a pro DSLR mounted to a 70-200mm lens. The larger Pro Roller Lite 250 AW will fit up to a 15-inch notebook along with many more lenses, accessories and DSLR bodies. Each piece weighs less than 10 lbs without gear.

The Pro Messenger bag has a unique flap design. It can be fastened either by Velcro, or if that’s not preferable, can be folded over to attach by magnet. It’s made with a durable canvas-like polyester and the interior pocket can be-reconfigured to the user’s liking.

Kata brought new messengers and backpacks to PhotoPlus, including the Light-Pic. It’s designed to appeal to the female photographer. When not utilized as a camera bag, it can convert to a shoulder bag. We also looked at the MultiPro, a new light and durable backpack with a dedicated laptop pocket.

Panasonic Lumix FX90 Hands-on
The FX90 isn’t the first WiFi connected camera by any means. Several manufacturers have attempted before without gaining much traction among consumers. Manufacturers have struggled to compete with increasingly capable smartphone cameras that are constantly connected. Panasonic’s answer, for now, is the Lumix FX90. It’s able to connect with WiFi networks and establish a link to your iPhone or Android powered smartphones, making it possible to snap a photo with your camera and share it with your phone.

Panasonic Lumix FX90

This doesn’t solve the problem of the extra device. More and more consumers are ditching point-and-shoots in favor of their phones. Rather than carrying two devices, they’re down to just one. Panasonic engineers are hoping that there are enough users who would carry both a phone and a camera for the added image quality benefits of a dedicated phone.

There are challenges ahead of the FX90 for sure, but for the moment we took a quick look at the camera’s sleek exterior. Favoring a smartphone approach, the FX90 has very few buttons and controls. It has a 3.0-inch touch display and a small WiFi button to the right of the screen.

From the front, it looks like any other Lumix point-and-shoot, except for the “Wireless” designation on the right side of the camera. On the top deck you’ll find on/off and zoom controls, a dedicated video button and the shutter. The Lumix FX90 sports a reasonably fast f/2.5 5x optical zoom lens and will record 1080 HD video. The system is built around a 12.1 megapixel CCD sensor.

Carl Zeiss F/2 25mm
Canon and Nikon shooters will be able to pick up a new Zeiss lens soon – the F/2 25mm. It’s quite heavy, weighing in around 600 grams. Even with just a few moments to pick it up and play with it at the show, it left a good impression. Build quality is everything you’d expect from Zeiss and coupled with a Canon 5D it was tough to put this one down and hand it back to its caretakers.

See you at CES 2012
The last major photo tradeshow of the year has wrapped, which means one thing – it’s time to look ahead to CES 2012. This year’s show is coupled with PMA, so you can expect plenty of new point-and-shoots and some notable ILC announcements at the beginning of January. We’ll see you in Vegas.

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