Focus on Imaging 2012

Focus on Imaging 2012 - The UKs largest photography show.

Focus on Imaging 2012
The UKs largest photography show.

This week the largest photography show in the UK was revisited upon the NEC in Birmingham. It was a good show this year! Amid the hype of new cameras, lenses and other electronic goodies was a great range of seminars, and of course, retail interests of all types.

This year Canon had a major stand back on the main concourse. They have released a number of great new products recently. This week marked the release of the new Canon 5D MkIII. I was firmly informed that this is a ‘new breed’. Apparently it is NOT to replace the Canon 5D MkII, which will continue in production. As impressed as I was with the 5D MkIII the differentiation between the two models was only one of a technological generation. Of course, its a great step forward – the new Digic 5+ chip looks like a powerful system. Nevertheless the new MkIII model was not a ‘hybrid re-invention’ – the representative failed to convince on that one. A big improvement is the contrast recognition. This allows auto-focus functions to work better in low light. Also, the much needed focus point improvements in the focus system looked great. Significant improvements in processing speed allow a number of software enhancements. These include HDR processing in-camera and faster frame capture at six frames per second. The remodelled body felt great, and the quieter shutter/mirror system was welcome. Even so, it is difficult to see how Canon can justify keeping the two models running side by side. For 5D first time buyers the big price lift is probably not justified unless the new features are right where you want your business to be focussed. With prices falling for the 5D MkII the differentiation into a new ‘5D range’ is questionable. Canon are no strangers to quirky strategy – it may prove an interesting route. The scheme worked with the flagship 1D range. A number of stands at the show were selling MkII bodies for around £1400! That represents a big price drop. Will the differentiation stand up between these two? Only the market will realise that story.

Elsewhere in the show were some great stands. As always the Sigma stand impressed. A great range of lenses for the major mounts – beautifully marketed and supporting some superb features. The somewhat odd Sigma SD1 flagship camera was on show, but did not seem to be a centre piece. It seems a great camera. A little under-designed in its looks, it boasts a 46 mega-pixel sensor. I was at the busy stand for about 20 minutes and it did not come out once. It was hidden in a side-counter under a pile of brochures all day. Perhaps Sigma do not believe in this product? I would like someone to prove otherwise to me. Something needs looking at there Sigma.

The Lowepro stand showed an astonishing range of bags and accessories. The great range of sling bags is in my opinion unbeatable. Sling bags can be carried over one shoulder but worn like a rucksack until wanted. Then it simply slides down into a side opening bag. A great idea and a comfortable way to carry equipment and be ready for the quick shot. Worth a look at this range for bags to suit almost every type of photographic equipment.
More after the jump…

As usual there were, aside from the main players, a wide range of side stands. They were showing all sorts of innovations, additions to ranges, specialist operations, services and discounted goods. Too numerous to mention these stands make the trip worth while. Every photographer loves a nifty piece of equipment or the quirky accessory. Several happy hours in these stands provided some interesting finds.

If you love photography, technology and accessories then this is the place to go. It was a great show with many new releases as icing on the cake for the technology buff. I was absorbed the whole day. I am already looking forward to next year.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

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