Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Focus On Imaging 2013

It's been time for my almost-annual trek to the NEC for Focus On Imaging, Britains' premier photo geek-fest.

And it really is a geek-fest, judging by the propensity for grey hair, no hair and/or a paunch in the predominantly male crowd outside (I count myself as having 2 of the 3!). But one thing I've never understood though is why people take their cameras and even tripods to this show?

Sorry, I just don't get it, unless just possibly you're hoping to put your body onto a lens you're thinking of buying in order to take some test shots? Even then, you don't need the camera dangling round your neck like some grotesque bit of male jewellery!

Anyway, enough of my whinging. I don't spend hours trawling round and getting into conversations with salespeople about thing's I've no interest in buying, I just home in on the half-dozen or so things I might be interested in.

So here's my list of what I personally found interesting and some observations from this years show:
  • Paramo are now distributing F-Stop camera bags. Long story short is some pretty well-designed and made rucksacks with separate Internal Camera Units (ICU) available in various sizes, allowing you to customise your bag depending on how much photographic versus hiking gear you want to carry. I already have some good rucksacks, but the ICUs look interesting and could fit in one of these.
  • Paramo also had the £130 Halcon Traveller jacket. I'm a big fan of the full-fat Halcon jacket, but this is a different beast, lighter, not waterproof (probably OK in a shower though, as it should dry quikly), but it does inherit the capacious pockets of it's big brother. It could almost be fashionable to, just may be not in green though!
  • Gitzo - always like to look at this stand as it's a rare opportunity to see most of the line-up in one place. Shocked though that the tripod I bought just 3 years ago seems to have gone up by nearly 50%!
  • Elinchrom - I'm not a big user of studio lights, but the new D-Lite RX Ones are tiny and feel robust as well as being compatible with loads of accessories, including the Skyport wireless transmitter. If you can live with the 100Ws power then they represent superb value.
  • No D7100 brochures on the Nikon stand - why?
  • The Focus On Imaging iPad app resolutely stuck on the countdown page (at around 9 days!) as I queued to go in, so my hopes of going 'paper-free' were thwarted as I couldn't access the online floorplan (this despite trying ee's 3G and 4G networks). The app got removed before I got in the hall.

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