Oct 142014

NEW YORK, NY – October 14, 2014 – Attention PhotoPlus Expo attendees, the trip of a lifetime is just a few stamps away when you participate in the “Passport to the Expo” promotion during this year’s show.  Sponsored by Foto Promos (Booth #1072), Passport to the Expo is a fun and exciting way to see all the new products and technologies on display at the show while having a chance to win a two-week, all-expense-paid photo safari in Australia.

While you’re waiting for PhotoPlus Expo and the Passport program to begin, head over to the official PhotoPlus Facebook page to enter the annual bi-weekly sweepstakes for a chance to win prize packages ranging in value from $250 to more than $800 through October 24, 2014, including PhotoPlus VIP Expo passes for the show.  Prize packages for this year’s sweepstakes include products and services from exhibitors including Datacolor, Hahnemuhle, Think Tank Photo, Shutterstock, LaCie, Peter Hurley, Rogue, and more.  Registration to participate in the Facebook sweepstakes is free!

Fans of PhotoPlus Expo’s Facebook page are not obligated to participate, but will still have access to exclusive information about PhotoPlus events through announcements made only on the Facebook page. Information about the Conference’s 80+ seminars, from October 29 – November 1, will also be posted to the Facebook page, making it an important resource for attendees and fans alike.

PhotoPlus Expo “Passport to the Show” Program

Attendees will receive their Passport when they pick up their expo badge at the registration desk inside the Javits Center.  The passport includes the names of participating exhibitors. To qualify for the trip, attendees must visit all participating exhibitors and have their passport stamped by each.  When the whirlwind tour is complete and all stamps have been captured, attendees can drop their passports off at the Foto Promos booth on the PhotoPlus Expo show floor. Alternatively, people may enter for a chance to win the photo safari online at fotopromos.com. One winner will be announced at PhotoPlus Expo on Saturday, November 1st, but does not need to be present at the time of the drawing to win. 

“Our new Passport to the Expo program is a fun and exciting way for attendees to see all the great products on display at PhotoPlus Expo, while having an opportunity to win a two-week paid photo safari to Australia,” explains Lauren Wendle, vice president/publisher of PDN and the Photo+ group.  “Until the Expo begins, PhotoPlus Facebook fans will have dozens of opportunities to win prize packages worth as much as $800 in exhibitor products and services. We hope everyone participates in the Passport promotion, or as they say in Australia, “give it a burl.”

The two-week photo safari is provided by Udesign Photography Tours and includes paid airfare, meals, and accommodations. The itinerary for the photo safari includes:

·         5 Days – Kakadu

·         3 Days – Uluru (Ayres Rock)

·         6 Days – Sydney (Blue Mountains, Harbour Bridge Climb, Opera House, and Bondi Beach)


The promotion was created by Foto Promos, a company that partners with key photographic manufacturers and businesses to offer once in a lifetime photo tours and discounts on photography equipment.  Their partnership with PhotoPlus Expo is also sponsored by Bay Photo, CamRanger, Flixel, LED Light Cube, MZed, Perfectly Clear, StickyAlbums.com, and X-Rite.

For more information or for frequent updates, visit the PhotoPlus Expo website or become a fan on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Website:          http://www.photoplusexpo.com

Facebook:           http://www.facebook.com/photoplusexpo

Twitter:                http://www.twitter.com/photoplusexpo

About PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo

Designed for professionals in the photographic and imaging industries, PhotoPlus Expo showcases the latest advances in photography, digital imaging and filmmaking. Held annually at the Javits Convention Center, attendees have the opportunity to explore an inspiring array of photography and imaging products and services – everything from image capture and color management to retouching and storage – all from the industry’s leading manufacturers.  The show also offers Seminars and intimate Master Classes taught by world-renowned experts that focus on cutting-edge innovations and techniques.

Oct 272012

PhotoPlus finished up today with me wandering around seeing if I missed anything while scurrying from interview to interview the previous two days. There were a couple things that I did manage to notice.

Storage Vendors
In previous Expos the only storage vendors to show up were Drobo and LaCie (who were there) but at this show storage companies Synology and QNAP were there showing their network attached wares along with direct attached storage (DAS) vendor CruDataPort. 
The Synology unit pictured above has dual Gigabit ethernet ports and can handle up to eight SATA drives in a classic RAID configuration or Synology’s Hybrid RAID (similar to Drobo). The system is designed for business class use so it has a ton of features that pro photographers can really use. Multi-unit backup, offsite backups, cloud backups and Dropbox like services are just some of the features offered. 
QNAP, like Synology, makes business-class NAS devices with a ton of features useful for pro photographers. These are networked attached devices and the eSATA and USB ports on the back are for attaching external single drives or for daisy-chaining units together.
CruDataPort makes some of the studiest data enclosures on the planet. This is military-grade stuff. I had reviewed one of the products a few years ago. This particular model supports RAID right in tthe device itself. No special card needed. Just jack it into the USB 3.0 or eSATA ports. For the record, I forgot to photograph the new model of the above pictured unit which has eSATA and USB 3.0 ports.
Carl Zeiss

Carl Zeiss had their new X-mount and E-mount prototypes on display on their intended camera bodies. These lenses are autofocus and on the X-mount lens there is an aperture ring. I, for one, cannot wait  for these lenses to arrive in May.

The iPro System is a lens system for the iPhone 4/4S. It is a case and lens combination that adds a super-wide and telephoto adapter to the iPhone 4/4S. There is an optional fisheye lens as well. A new case is being designed for the iPhone 5.
The item on the bottom is a polarizing filter for the iPhone (all models). A small metal ring is attached to the body of the iPhone with adhesive tape and the lens is attached via magnets. This will also take care of any flaring that has been reported on the iPhone 5.

Digital Transitions had several high-end medium format digital systems on display. Pictured above is the new Cambo WRC-400 compact technical camera. This is my dream camera. Never going to happen to me unless a miracle occurs to the tune of $20,000.00 (including the IQ140 digital back).

Creative lensmaker Lensbaby was there with new Composer Pro body, Sweet 35 and Edge 80 optics. The Sweet 35 and Edge 80 differ from their other optics as the actually have internal apertures instead of the washer system used by the rest of their line. Alpha mounts are now available so that means that Sony users can feel the Lensbaby love as well. I will posting a review of the Sweet 35 and Edge 80 on the A99 in the near future as well.
That wraps up the show reports. Please visit this site for updated reviews and information. If you enjoyed reading these reports or have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and don’t forget to share this with your friends.
Thank you and take care.
Oct 272012

October 26, 2012 – Day two of the 2012 PhotoPlus Expo started of with SpinLight360, a small company that produces a light modifier system for SpeedLight strobes. The system looks very versatile allowing for blocking as well as diffusion. The SpinLight360 system includes tungsten filters, but there are plans to expand the filter selection. Filters may be used with diffusion domes and blockers freely. The system is not vendor specific and can be used with pretty much any brand of SpeedLight. Contact http://www.spinlight360.com for more information.

Next, I trotted over to the Mitsubishi booth to have a little chat about dye sublimation printers. According to Wikipedia dye sublimation is a

printing process that uses heat to transfer dye onto medium materials such as a plastic card, paper, or fabric. The sublimation name is applied because the dye transitions between the solid and gas states without going through a liquid stage.

These printers are mostly used for event photography that requires fast, high-quality prints available on site. Historically, dye-sub printers were notorious for poor image quality and high consumables cost, but that has changed in recent years. Mistubishi has constantly improved the image quality of their printer line and lowered the cost of their consumables below the level of some professional print laboratories. Dye-sub printers also have the advantage of consuming ink and paper uniformly making budgeting of consumables easy and predictable.

Mitsubishi had two new models on display: the CP-D70DW (above, left) and the CP-D707DW (above, right). Both units are deisgned for high-speed printing of smaller print sizes (2×6, 4×6, 5×7, & 6×8) with the CP-D707DW capable of printing a 4×6 in 5.9 seconds (after data download). The printers are direct attached (no built-in network connection) but can be shared on a print server. I will be reviewing one very shortly.

Next on Hill Street Blues, I made my way to the Brenthaven booth to check out their new line of BX2 camera bags.Brenthaven has been around for 30 years making bags for mountaineers and have now expanded into the photography space.

Decked out in a sedate gray color that is a fresh departure from the black or brown ussually reserved for pro bags, the BX2 line (pictured above) includes an amazing new foam lining that disperses energy extremely efficiently. This was demonstrated at the booth by the dropping of a 1 inch steel ball bearing onto both standard foam liner and the BX2 material. The ball bearing bounced as expected on the regular foam lining (both were about 1/4″ thick), but landed with almost no rebound on the BX2 liner. I will pop a video of this test here tomorrow. The bags are very reasonably priced and I will be reviewing one of their backpacks very shortly as well.

Next, the Manfrotto family of companies gave me a tour of their rather extensive booth showing off the new product from theor various brands. Under their own brand, they showed me their new 290 series of affordable carbon fiber tripods. Then I was bustled over to Elinchrom and Lastolite where I saw some very interesting pieces of gear.

The Elinchrom D-Lite RXOne studio flash is the new low-end starter light system. While there are less expensive startes lighting systems, none that I know include all of the features of the Elinchrom lights. Even this basic model includes a SkyPort receiver built-in. Another nice touch is that the accessories for this light can be used on all of the higher end models. Truly, this is a system that can grow with you. I will be testing the RXOne Starter Kit in the near future as well.

Lastolite had two new products to show me: the Strobo Kit for SpeedLights and the EasyBox II series of light modifiers.

The Strobo Kit (pictured above) includes filters, grids, gobos, barn doors, collapsible snoots, multi-flash brackets plus a host of other features. The components adhere magnetically to the base unit which is held on the SpeedLight with a Velcro strap affair. Very flexible.

The EasyBox II pictured above is not some weird asymmetrical design. It can be easily converted from a strip light to a moretraditional shaped softbox. Just zip/unzip a couple of zippers and swap out some tension rods and you are good to go. Again, the EasyBox II can be used with any light in the Elinchrom family.

Over at the Sigma booth, I ogled at their 120-300 mm f/2.8 zoom. The new version of this lens will be the flagship of the S line. Currently available in the Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts, I inquired as to the future availability of other mounts like the Sony Alpha A-mount or the Pentax K-mount. I was told that negotiations were under way with Sony, but there is nothing definite at this time.

Afterwards, I trundled over to Times Square to check out the new Microsoft Store that opened there.

The Store is located next to Forever 21 and was quite full even at that late hour of the day. Plenty of Surface Tablets were on hand and all were packing theofficial release of Windows 8 RT. I have personally been using Winddows 8 for the last nine months at my day job and while it can be quirky on the desktop, it is right at home in the touchscreen powered world of tablet computing. The Surface Tablets are solidly built and I would get the fullt keyboard cover over the Touch keyboard. The difference is $30 and totally worth it. Microsoft elect not to offer a 16GB model, instead opting for a base 32GB model at a starting price of $499. The MS App Store is still a little empty compared to the more mature App Stores from Apple and Google, but MS is heavily pushing for Modern UI application development. Expect the quantity of apps in the Store to rapidly increase. Interestingly enough, the Surface Tablet ships ships with Word and Excel 2013 built in. Looks very nice if they can get more apps out there for photographers.

That’s it for today. Stay tuned for the Day 3 report tomorrow.


Oct 262012

October 25, 2012 – PhotoPlus Expo 2012 opened formally this morning to fairly sizable crowds. As usual, the main entrance was dominated by the Big Three (although Canon and Nikon would call it the Big Two Plus One). Needless to say, the Canon, Nikon and Sony booths were completely stormed by the early onrush.

To be perfectly honest, the Canon and Nikon booths garnered the lion’s share of the visitors. The Sony booth saw a fairly steady stream of visitors. Not surprising considering the number of new products they introduced recently.
Nikon 1 Models V2 & J2

As you can see from the photos, the cameras were under glass. All of the V2’s & J2’s were prototypes and none were availble shots or even handholding. Diasppointing, really.
More frustrating though was the interminalble crowds clogging the Canon booth. If I had to call it, it would be Canon, Nikon, and then Sony.
Undaunted, I proceeded to my first interview of the day:
I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. David Tobie, Global Product Technology Manager for Datacolor. This man loves color. The product he was so passionate about is the Spyder Capture Pro.
The Spyder Capture Pro is an end-to-end color management solution consisting of the following products:
Spyder Lenscal – Camera lens focus calibration tool. David explained that with Spyder Lenscal you can adjust a zoom lens very specifically. For example, a 70-200 lens can be adjusted to front-focus at the short end  for portrait work and back-focus at the long end for landscape work.
Spyder Checkr – is the ultimate color patch tool. Combined with software, the SypderCheckr will profile your camera’s sensor giving you a preset that can be applied to all photos from that body. This assists in correcting the dynamic range of a photo.
SpyderCube – this is a white balance adjustment tool for color correcting your shots. According to David, most shots only really need adjustment of their dynamic range rather than their color balance.
Spyder4Elite –  this is Datacolor’s best known product, their monitor calibration tool.
These four components, when taken together, allow you to control and calibrate the one piece of the image capture workkflow that was never previously calibrated: the camera.
I will be providing a complete review of the product once my review sample arrives.
Cullman Titan Tripods
On my way to another interview, I passed the Cullman booth where they were showcasing the Titan line of tripods. The Titan tripods are kind off unique that the lower leg sections are thicker than the upper pieces. The leg segments are not round but rather a gentle curved trapizoidal shape. When put together, the three legs form a cylinder, making it easier to store.
Tiffen is an umbrella company for a large number of brands. I will need to go through their press releases when I get home to properly report on all that I saw.

Camera accessory maker Fotodiox introduced two new productsL the WonderPana Filter System for super wide-angle lenses and the WonderBurst wireless photo/flash trigger. The WonderPana comes in two models: the WonderPana 145, which sports 145mm circular filters; and the WonderPana 66 (pictured above) which adds on to the WonderPana 145 and allows it to mount square filters. These square filters can be used alongside the 145mm circular ones.
The WonderBurst also comes in two flavors: the plain WonderBurst for NEX cameras without a standard hotshoe and the WonderBurst HS8000 for cameras with a standard hotshoe. The latter has been tested on Canon and Nikon cameras and it is highly llikely that it will work with the Sony NEX-6 and SLT-A99V. I will test the HS8000 on those cameras once all of that kit arrives.
Sony had all three of its big Photokina announcements present and available to touch/fondle/drool over. Pictured above is the SLT-A99V aka the Alpha A99. Currently the “king of the hill” in Sony’s SLT offerings, the A99 is made for professionals. I will be providing a full review of this product in the near future.
The Alpha NEX-6 is the newest member of the NEX family, sits squarely between the NEX-5R and the NEX-7. However, is sports some features that the NEX-7 does not have like built-inn WiFi and camera apps.It does have a built-in electronic viewfinder like the one in the NEX-7 and A99. The sensor is 16 megapixels instead of 24 megapixels and has much better high-ISO characteristics. Again, a full review is pending once my copy arrives.
The Sony Cybershot RX1 is a bit of an odd duck. A point and shoot camera with a full frame sensor (the only P&S camera with a sensor that big) a super-high quality fixed Carl Zeiss lens (35mm). I think that this is a  marketing experiment on Sony’s part to gauge the market’s receptiveness to a full-frame interchangeable lens camera. I say bring it on.
Fujifilm X-E1
Fujifilm shook the photographic world up with their X-series of digital cameras. Last year they introduced the X-Pro1 a surprisingly high-end model. This year they brought us the X-E1, a camera with all of the best parts of the X-Pro1 minus the really expensive bits. I hope to have a review sample sometime in the future as well.
That’s it for Day 1. Stay tuned for Day 2.
Nov 152011

Here’s something that caught my eye over at the Arca Swiss booth at PhotoPlus: The Ultimate NEX Rig

IMG 20111028 0771
This contraption mates the NEX camera to an Arca Swiss F-Camera System giving you the ultimate in tilt/swing/shift controls. Add the NEX’s focus peaking to the mix and you have a badass landscape/panoramic setup. Pity the setup costs 10x the price of the NEX ;P