Just about the entire Resource Magazine team was present at this year’s PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo. In case you somehow managed to not bump into any of us: be sure to attend our Black & White Expo After Party, but before we talk after parties, we should talk expositions. We walked the #PPE2016 floors for two days, and here’s what we found interesting.
Canon 5D Mark IV
It really was no surprise to immediately walk into Canon when we entered the exposition. And given the hype and expectation surrounding their 5D Mark IV, neither was it a surprise to have it thrown at us from all sides. We didn’t mint that, of course, as we love this 30.4 megapixel beast. What’s not to love about its 35mm Full Frame Canon CMOS sensor (ISO range 100–32,000), the DIGIC 6+ Image Processor that can deliver 4Kp30 video and up to and 7 fps continuous shooting, and the Dual Pixel CMOS AF with live view tracking and post-shot refocusing? For those of you who wonder: yes, our tech specialist’s full review is still coming. Enjoy his first impressions while you wait.
Nikon KeyMission 360
A short walk to the right, we found that other giant: Nikon, whose $499.95 KeyMission 360 immediately caught our attention. Why? Well, it wasn’t only because we got to wear an awesome head-mounted display. This 360° 4K Ultra HD camera fits in the palm of your hand, weighs next to nothing and is waterproof. So you can take it with you on every adventure, capture not just the view in front of your eyes, but the entire world around you—in every direction, and show it to your friends and family afterwards. They’ll feel like they were right there with you, just like we felt as if we were standing on top of a windmill.
Lensbaby Trio 28
At Lensbaby’s booth, Resource Magazine‘s editor-in-chief was drawn to one of their newest creative lenses: the Trio 28 (or was it the model he could try it out on?). Designed specifically for mirrorless camera users, the 28mm lens features three selective focus optics in one compact lens design—simply rotate! “Twist” gives a large sharp central area of focus surrounded by swirling bokeh, “Velvet” has a sharp, dreamy central area of focus with delicate glow from edge-to-edge, and “Sweet” creates a sharp central sweet spot of focus surrounded by gradually increasing blur.
GoWing Lens Flipper
Since we’re talking lenses: ever heard of The Lens Flipper? We hadn’t, but this thing could make lives of photographers a flip (ha!) of a lot easier. Carrying around two Canon, Nikon or Sony lenses, and tired of the hassle with your bag? Just twist and lock it onto your Lens Flipper and keep it within reach. For when things need to go quick, easy and safe. One tip, though: carry it on the opposite shoulder that you carry your camera on.
Sun Sniper Rotaball
Similarly convenient, we also discovered the “safety belt for your camera,” a.k.a Sun Sniper’s Rotaball. Your camera hangs at the waist an can be hoisted quickly and safely. Sounds like something that would jam in no time? Not when we tried it. Comes with a free spinning steel ball-bearing connector and a back and neck friendly shock-absorber.
SIGMA Cine Lenses
SIGMA’s booth was all about their new Cine line of lenses, with which they set their sights at filmmakers. Their eight “game changers,” divided into three categories, were available for testing on a summery model being merry with some flowers. Their “FF Zoom Line” is compatible with a full frame image circle, and the optical performance is ready for high resolution shooting up to 8K. The “High Speed Zoom Line” offers the constant aperture of T2 throughout the zoom range, and the optical performance is ready for high resolution shooting up to 8K. Ultimately, the five SIGMA’s in their “FF High Speed Prime Line” range from 20mm to 85mm, and all of them are T1.5.
Hasselblad had a prototype version of their X1D camera we also couldn’t wait to get our hands on. This “world’s first mirrorless digital medium format camera” was a pleasure to experiment with. This beauty is handmade in Sweden and comes with some powerful specs: 50MP CMOS sensor, up to 14 stops of dynamic range, HD RAW video, shutter speed range from 1/2000th to 60 minutes, USB 3.0, Wi-Fi, GPS, and an elegant icon-based user interface. And obviously, it fits right in Hasselblad’s iconic design heritage.
Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K & Micro Cinema Camera
Blackmagic Design pulled out all the stops to make us notice their USRA Mini 4K camera (on the right in the picture below). Lightweight, handheld, 4K sensor, global shutter and 12 stops of dynamic range… Something to be justifiably proud of. But we found their Micro Cinema Camera (on the left) even more intriguing—and affordable. An extremely miniaturized 16mm, professional digital film camera designed for remote control, including built in RAW and ProRes recording and 13 stops of dynamic range… Nice!
Videographers would probably love what we then encountered rather coincidentally: Sound Shark. If you don’t really know what a “parablic collector” is, you can also call it “the zoom lens of audio.” With 6x amplification, you can record a speaker from 6 feet as if they were wearing a lapel mic, and it’s also ideally designed to rejecting surrounding noise. We tried it in the middle of a noisy exposition hall, and it worked like a charm.
Of course, it wasn’t all tech and new releases. Take this charming, Poland-originated booth for example. The good people at Woody Woodclick are your go-to destination if you want to embellish your prints in a new and original manner: hand crafted, high quality wooden boxes, with extraordinary attention to detail. They assure that the acquisition of the wood wasn’t harmful to the environment and they don’t use harmful chemicals during the production either. For those of you who think print is a thing from the past: they have wooden USB drives too. All of their products can come with any logo or custom text engraved on it, for no extra charge.
WhiteWall ultraHD Photo Print
Need prints to put in those awesome boxes? Why not stay in Europe and order them at WhiteWall? These were some of the sharpest images we saw on the #PPE2016 floors. That is of course what you get with ultraHD print. If you’re looking for something extra special, you can get your shots printed on acrylic glass, aluminium, canvas, textile and even wood. But WhiteWall also offers “plain” photo books and framing.
60 Years of Jay Maisel
In between visiting as many booths as we could, we occasionally took some time to walk through some exhibitions. Like the one on Jay Maisel, who began his career in photography in 1954. While his portfolio includes the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Miles Davis, Maisel is perhaps best known for capturing the light, gesture, and color found in everyday life. Since the 90’s, he also gained a solid reputation as a teacher.
My Case Builder
Back to the gear, and the most innovating way we discovered to carry it around in. My Case Builder offers you the chance to design your case in ways you’ll never achieve with no matter how many leather or fabric flaps. Just gather the items you’d like to protect, measure them (although they already have an extensive library with already measured gear), and choose a case and/or custom foam size that will fit them all. This works for a case you already have, and if you need a case too: they sell it.
Save the best for last, they say. Sometimes the most brilliant thing is the simplest one. The Phoxi Tog is a flexible caterpillar-like “camera buddy” you can extend or wrap around your lens to assist you while photographing children. We didn’t have any kids at our disposal at the time of our visit, but we could perfectly imagine them being fascinated with thing’s cuddliness. And if its flashiness and shape aren’t enough: you can squeeze it and make it squeak!
Roamin’ with Roman
Being able to sit down every once in a while was very welcome. Getting to listen to some inspiring speakers while resting our feet was a nice extra. Like the chat with Roman M. Kurywczak we attended. Roman got his start as a landscape photographer over 30 years ago, and even though he expanded his skills to macro, bird and wildlife photography since then, his original craft was what inspired us the most. He talked about 15 years of research on night photography, and how that resulted to this e-book. One tip we’ll never forget: whatever you want to shoot at night, do your focusing during the day. Then completely deadlock your lens – tape it if you have to – and come back at night. Now you don’t have to worry about your focus anymore!
Oh, and there were drones too.