In a year chock full of imaging tradeshows, PhotoPlus rounds out the bunch with three days of seminars, demos and show floor madness. DCR was on the scene taking a look at all of the odds-and-ends we didn't catch at Photokina. And as an added bonus, all of our show floor images are full-resolution, final production Canon 60D samples - two for the price of one.
Spider Holster Man
Our first stop was Spider Holster, where we took the new Black Widow holster for a spin. It's a new, simplified version of the SpiderPro. The Black Widow holster was rigged with a Nikon D3100 for a demo.
The new holster is a thick plastic construction, and the D3100 felt secure attached to an optional accessory belt around my waist. For those unfamiliar with Spider's holster line, a pin attached to your camera's tripod mount clicks in to a slot on the holster so that the camera is secured at your hip. The Black Widow clicks the pin into place and a press of a lever will release it for quick shooting.
In the Bag
Lowepro had its new S&F Street and Field series of utility belts, vests and bags on display. It's a modular system designed to accommodate a photographer's extra lenses, flash units, even cell phone in a series of small detachable bags.
The owner can customize the system to his or her liking by choosing from the accompanying bags. One of the pieces is a lens bag with two collapsible compartments so that a photographer can place the lens he or she is using in the bag and take the other lens out for a quick swap.
The Lowepro Pro Roller features another unique design with a compartmentalized, removable bag inside of a larger rolling bag. Each bag can be used independent of the other one. It's a thoughtful design with obvious appeal to a frequent flyer.
Looking for even more ways to accessorize? Lensbaby had a colorful booth on the show floor with samples of their lens accessories. For those unfamiliar, Lensbaby produces a series of unique lenses for your DSLR. The lenses allow the user to compose an image as you normally would and then move the front piece of the lens to fine-tune your "sweet spot," which is the area of your image that's in sharp focus. You'll effectively make other parts of your image blurry to emphasize wherever your sweet spot is.
The latest releases were on hand, including a Tilt Transformer for Micro Four Thirds mounts. Like the other Lensbaby mounts currently available, it accepts a number of different optical elements including fisheye, pinhole and plastic options to create a variety of different effects. We left the show floor with a Canon mount Composer, so look for a review shortly.
Pentax on the Medium Format Map
Making a rare stateside appearance was the Pentax 645D medium format camera. I was reassured that this camera really will be available to US customers, ideally before the end of the year. High demand in Japan slowed down plans to bring it to the US, but Pentax now seems fully committed to launch it here.
The working 645D sample on display was a major draw for show floor attendees. A member of the Pentax team told me he'd been accosted by onlookers for a demo when he'd only been walking the camera across the room. It's hard to mistake that big 645D body for anything else, so you can hardly blame anyone for getting excited about it. Holding it in my hand, I was impressed by how much it resembles any of Pentax's K series of DSLRs since the controls are very similar. It was explained to me that the buttons were enlarged for the 645D to take up more space on the very large camera body.
In the hand, it's lighter than I expected. The familiar "thwack" of the medium format class is produced when you press the shutter button. Any Pentax user will feel comfortable with the control layout and the menu system.
Show's Over, Folks
Though it may be caught in the massive shadow of Photokina, PhotoPlus continues to hold a charm all of its own. It's smaller and more focused, and US audiences got a chance to see the technology announced in Germany this year. With the year's major tradeshows out of the way, now the real work starts for photographers everywhere - putting together their holiday wishlists. To that end, we'll be chugging through reviews of cameras, lenses and other accessories, so stay tuned. And if you're still hungry for more 60D samples, check out some more images below from Manhattan's newest Italian foodstuff mega-mart, Eataly. It's a feast for the eyes.