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PhotoPlus Expo 2015

Create: 11/03/2015 - 17:12

A selection of photos from PhotoPlus Expo at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York in late October 2015.

PhotoPlus Expo is the biggest annual photographic event in the U.S., bringing together a large number of exhibitors.

If you are interested in a particular camera or lens, you will find it here. Even if you aren't buying, it's a great way to spend several hours.

To fully appreciate it, you'll need all of that time, mostly because of the sheer number of exhibitors.

I think this year's expo was larger than last year and certainly larger than the 2013 show.

Photography's big names are there: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Fuji, Leica, Panasonic, Zeiss, Sigma, Tamron and others. As well, there are many other exhibitors from tripod makers to those that still make film cameras to print-on-demand book makers to those offering storage services, software, accessories and anything else that is related to photography.

Just like real estate, location is everything, and upon entering you hit the three biggest names: Canon, Nikon and Sony. Despite my best efforts, there was no way that I could visit each of the booths and do all of them justice. It's simply too massive of an event – even when you consider that I spent two days.

After I got back, I realized that I had spent a decent amount of time at the Sony booth but didn't take many product photos. Other counters were simply too busy for me to spend more than a few moments.

The mirrorless movement is in full swing with all manufacturers now offering these systems. Olympus, which created this category, touted the benefits of a smaller system with a cabinet that compared an OM-D outfit with the weight of a comparably equipped traditional DSLR.

TRENDS

In lighting, LED technology definitely has taken hold. With manufacturers working to eliminate mercury from their lighting products, LED is the way to go. Incandescent bulbs are still used, but they can run very hot while requiring huge amounts of watts to run.

Nearly all lighting manufacturers were exhibiting LED lights, including Manfrotto, which seems to be expanding its product line behind its famous tripods and monopods.

Efforts to remove mercury also have led to other changes. Epson, for example, is beginning to remake its popular photo scanners. Up until recently, all scanners have used fluorescent tubes that contain mercury, and that is causing a problem when trying to sell products in the EU zone. That's why Epson's newest models now use LED lights.

GERMANY

The country has a group of booths in the center of the exhibit floor, and it's where you can find the German vendors, but not Leica or Zeiss. This group of booths included Linhof, Rodenstock and others. I didn't see Schneider-Kreuznach. Maybe it was there, but I didn't see its booth.

Gossen had its latest light meters on display, including one with a smartphone-like interface. This should appeal to many younger photographers who are looking for an accurate meter.

Leica and Zeiss both had their own booths, as just mentioned, and both were very busy. As the digital market matures, amateur photographers have begun to look beyond their own manufacturers when it comes to lenses.

OTHER ACTIVITY

On-demand print services were back again this year. The prints are getting larger, and the prices are staying lower. On-demand printing also is popular among wedding photographers and among pros who want to produce low-volume books.

Speaking of books, Focal Press was back, and their library of offerings continues to grow. Popular this year were astrophotography books. Some of the latest cameras now have features that appeal to astronomy fans.

There were several drones on display, including one from Canon, but with so much attention on efforts to restrict drones, the future for that market segment seems uncertain.

Activity at the Sigma and Fuji exhibits was brisk. At Sigma, people seemed to be looking at either the unusually shaped DP Quattro cameras or its Art lenses. The Fuji cameras continue to be popular. Fuji has done an excellent job in creating a market for its X series cameras.

Panasonic had a billiards table in the middle with a young blonde in a tight-fitting dress. Who said sex doesn’t sell?

Over at the Samsung booth, the DeLorean from the movie, "Back to the Future," was on display and available for selfies. Samsung also let people test the most recent version of its Virtual Reality headgear.

There was one vendor that took your prints and created large 3D prints. These 3D prints were reminiscent of the cards that you used to find in cereal boxes back in the 1970s and 1980s.

If you missed this year's show, be sure to visit next year. It should be on every photographer's calendar as a "must see" event.