Last week, I attended the PhotoPlus Expo at the Javits Center in New York City. The event is aimed at the end consumer, particuarly the professional photographer. Over 200 exhibitors displayed their wares. Products ranged from digital cameras to studio equipment and any possible product used by photographers.
There were no new digital cameras introduced for the show as the manufacturers all made their announcements for Photokina, just over a month ago. However, many of the digital camera makers were there with their entire product lines and put on demonstrations of their equipment. I visited the booths of Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Fujifilm, Kodak, and Leica. I also checked out some exhibitors who had acccessories: Joby, Lowepro, and Tenba to name a few.
Canon stage (view large image)
As I mentioned earlier, there were no new digital cameras announced and for this reason, some digital camera makers decided to opt out of this show. Olympus, Panasonic, Casio, and Samsung were some of the more noticeable ones missing. In fact, even though Kodak was at the show and had their digital cameras their, they were emphasizing their other products, like film and photo paper.
As usual, the Canon booth was busy with people checking out their latest products. The most recent cameras that Canon introduced are the Powershot SD800 IS, Powershot SD900, Powershot SD40, and Powershot G7. All of these new cameras feature the new DIGIC III processor. I was most impressed with the G7. It has some great features like a great macro and very nice lens. I can actually see a lot of pros picking this up as a second camera (or even as a backup).
Busy, busy, busy (view large image)
Lowepro was showing off their entire product line (at least that related to cameras). They also introduced a new, larger Slingshot 300 AW camera bag, which I mentioned in this article. I'm always impressed with the thought and quality that goes into their products. They also were promoting some of their replacement camera straps: the Speedster - a light and simple model for easy, quick use; the Transporter - designed for multiple cameras or binoculars; and two versions of the Voyager strap with either contoured (C model) or straight (S model) that feature a nicely padded neoprene strap.
Joby is the maker of the Gorillapod, Gorillapod SLR, and the Gorillapod SLR-Zoom compact tripods. Their booth was quite popular as people got a look at the unique bendy tripods. If you haven't seen them, they are compact tripods made up of essentially a bunch of "ball and socket" joints with rubber external surfaces. You can bend them to accomodate uneven surfaces or you can wrap them around poles or branches. The Gorillapod is meant for compact cameras with a maximum weight rating of 9.7 ounces. The SLR model is good for 1.75 pounds, and the SLR-Zoom model can handle 6.6 pounds. I picked up the SLR model, so keep an eye out for my review. For more information (and a fun site), see www.joby.com.
I've never really looked at Tenba's product line before, but I stopped by their booth to check things out. I was particularly interested in their Shootout line of backpack camera bags since they seemed to fit my purposes the best. I typically have a notebook computer and digital SLR in my possession when I travel. I just recently purchased a Dell XPS m1210 as my main computer. The m1210 is a 12" laptop, so I have been looking for a bag that can contain the notebook and digital SLR (and all the remaining accessories that I carry). Since I had a larger laptop previously, the bags that I have leave a lot of room for the computer. The Shootout line has a nice tripod carrier, weather sealed zippers, a built in rain cover, padded adjustable dividers for camera and equipment and a bunch of other features that come in handy. There are five sizes of backpack, including one with rollers, in the Shootout line. For more information, see www.tenba.com.