PhotoPlus Expo is one of the biggest photo shows held in the US. For as long as I can remember PhotoPlus is the place to be to learn about the latest cameras, printers and related photographic products. A long time ago there used to be two PhotoPlus shows. One on the west coast and one on the east. Now at the end of every October the Javits Center opens it doors for the photo community. Thousands attend the show and this is the show to go to if you want to talk to manufacturers and hold and try out some of the gear on your wish list.
This year it is somewhat refreshing to see many companies make announcements of new products at the show or just ahead of the show. Last week Sony launched their new RX1rII camera and gave the first public demo of the A7s II. Just yesterday Leica announced the SL Mirrorless camera. And, today Epson and Canon announce new printers and papers. There also is a lot of other companies making announcements and showing off some of their latest products.
Walking onto the show floor can be overwhelming if it is your first time. It appears giant. Some of us though remember when it was even larger taking up almost twice the amount of space. Let’s not forget Photokina held in Germany every other year. That show takes up numerous buildings. No matter what though, attending a show like this can be a great experience.
I arrived to NYC on Wednesday and within an hour of checking in to my hotel I was off to my first party of the evening. Did I mention there are numerous vendor parties. Well there are and they can be a great chance to catch up with old friends as I did. So, let me take you through my first evening and first day of PhotoPlus Expo 2015.
Wednesday night I attended two parties. Canon and B&H Photo both had events within blocks of each other. Canon’s event was top shelf all the way. They were featuring their new line of ImagePROGRAF Printers. It seems that the printing side of our industry is heating up again. Canon has entered the market with a big push with a new line up of printers and new ink sets. More on this below. The event was fun as they actually were making the prints for the Canon Gallery during the event and hanging them as they were completed.
For me I got to catch up with old friends Stephen Johnson and Henry Wilhelm. Henry is a brilliant and well regarded expert on print permanence. We enjoyed a lengthy discussion about printing and archivability of both inks and papers. Stephen is a well regarded photographer and recognized for his printing of fine art photographs. We’ll be doing more with Henry over the coming months.
B&H Photo if you have never visited it is a place you must have on your bucket list. If you have a love of photography then B&H will be like going to heaven. If there is something photographic it will be found at B&H. They hosted a party that was jammed wall to wall, and there are some pretty big walls. It was another chance to catch up with friends as well as see some cool gear.
The Show Opens
My first stop was the GTI Graphic Technology booth. I have an interest to purchase a print evaluation station. GTI makes a viewing booth on wheels that would work well at my studio – gallery. We’ll be sharing more about the art of printing over the coming months on Luminous-Landscape.
If you wanted to learn from some of the best photographers in the business then all you had to do was visit the lectures given at all the camera manufacturers booths. All of these lectures drew large crowds.
I had a great talk with the founder of Lensrentals.com. If you haven’t heard of Lensrentals then you have been missing out on a company that has made it possible to shoot with the latest lenses and cameras with out having to purchase them. On many of our workshops we see a lot of people with long lenses and extra camera bodies. These in many cases turn out to be rented from Lenstrentals.com. Roger Cicala the President and founder of Lensrentals has quite a story to tell about how the company got started and how the company has grown to meet the needs of photographers from around the world. Roger and I will be getting together to do an extended interview and video in the coming months.
I wonder if it just a fad or a passing trend? Drones and many of them in every shape and size as well as capability were everywhere. The drone market is pretty hot right now. It is also confusing as far as what type of drone to buy as well as what kind of licensing may be needed under the new US Laws. For the time being they seem to be flying off the shelf (no pun intended). A friend and owner of a major camera store and I have made it a point to learn how to fly these drones. We’ll be covering that adventure when it happens. I have a great fear of crashing a drone and that has been my major reluctance to purchase one. I am told that anyone can fly them. We’ll soon find out.
Talk about enthusiasm; Jeff Smith, Epson Product Manager was showing off the new Epson Legacy paper line like it was his own baby. Seems he had a lot to do with it and based on what I saw both he and Epson have a lot to be proud of. Epson, after many years of being quiet has announced over the last couple of months numerous new printers and now a new line of papers. The Legacy paper looks incredible and has some really impressive specs. We will be testing all the papers out in the near future. What I really was interested in was the new Epson SureColor P9000 44inch printer. Presently I have an Epson 9900 printer and it has served me reliably for many years. While the new printers don’t look much different, all the changes are under the hood. Sporting new print heads and technology to prevent the frustration of clogging along with new inks, Epson promises to take printing to a whole new level. Luminous-Landscape will be following up with Epson and we look forward to sharing more about printing and what Epson offers in the months ahead.
Peak Designs has certainly made a name for itself over the last few months. We have featured Peak Design products on our Toy Shop videos in the past. Their newest product the Everyday Messenger bag has become a Kickstarter sensation and 1000’s of photographers have preordered this bag. It certainly is a different design and has some cool features. Being a bag addict I am left to wonder if this is the bag of my dreams. We’ll soon find out as I’ll be getting an advanced production model to review in the not so distant future. They also have some other cool products like the Capture Lens Clip (see image below). I look forward to trying some of these products out too.
With so many photographers getting into video with the various cameras offering video capabilities Atomos has found a real strong position in the market. If you are a serious videographer then Atomos is a household word. They offer a number of capture, viewing and storage devices to make doing pro videos easier and better. Plus they have some really crazy and cool names for their products.
Luminous-Landscape recently published an article and video where Brooks Jensen, Michael and I had a discussion about the state of our industry. Coming out of this conversation is a commitment on Luminous-Landscape’s part to feature more articles on printing. Part of making a good print is locking down the calibration and profiles of the monitors and printers that you are using. The Spyder 5 kit does all of that. We have a Spyder 5 kit and will be doing review in the near future.
While there wasn’t a lot of news on the camera front from Canon at this show, there was a lot of news on the printer side. Canon announced an new line of Pro printers and a serious commitment to be a major player in the pro-photo printing market. Pictured above is the newest Pro-1000 17 inch wide printer. The list of specs are pretty staggering. The paper transport, print head and inks are all new and the images on display at the Canon booth certainly were gorgeous. We’ll be testing this printer in the near future and we’ll see if it is all it says it is. The 17 inch printer is the first of a new line of pro printers. We’ll keep you posted as other printers are announced.
That wraps it up for day one at the PhotoPlus show. There is still a long list of things to see and I’ll have more to report and share over the weekend.