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 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.