Last Sunday I was lucky enough to visit the annual Focus on Imaging exhibition where I joined the anticipated 35,000 other people that will be coming through the doors of the NEC over the next few days (until this Wednesday 10th March 2010, so it’s not too late for you to pay it a visit) to see what has become the most popular photographic show in the country.
What everyone comes to see is one of the biggest concentrations of cameras and anything vaguely related to them this side of Buckingham Palace, and to see some of the biggest names in the business showing off their best and newest offerings to the market: people such as Panasonic, Nikon, Canon, Adobe, Epson, Fuji, HP… I could go on!
So having spent a good few hours there I’ll give you a little taste of what you’ll be able to see there with a look at some of the highlights (of course in my opinion!) — of course I will only be skimming the surface as with just under 200 exhibitors there is far too much to go into any detail with, but I will try!
One of the first exhibitors I saw was Panasonic (mostly cause of the massive adverts that adorned the walls) where as well as showing off the full range of their cameras and camcorders — all of which could be picked up and played around with — they had some wonderful cases in which they had cameras that had been ‘blown apart’ so you could see all of the inner workings which were incredibly interesting.
But even more so was the world release of both the G2 and G10 both of which were on display, both of which I had a good look at and both of which will be looked at in more detail! They also had a 3D TV set up with short presentations aimed to show you the best that home 3D has to offer, and again we will look at that in greater depth.
Moving onto the rest of the exhibition and not too far away was an Apple ‘theatre’ where they are celebrating Photoshop’s 20th birthday, and are doing so by giving short talks showing the best of CS4, Photoshop Elements 8 and on ‘Colour Management’ throughout the day — which if you are using or planning to use, any of those could well be invaluable.
Another exhibitor offering seminars was Canon who not only offered seminars on specific subjects — the most prominent being wedding photography with various special speakers (Brian Hall, Jeff Ascough and others), and also talks on specific EOS cameras — but were also showing off their vast array of lenses such as the stupidly oversized EF500mm f/4.0LIS USM (along with many similar examples) which they had set up on a little viewing station allowing you to really experience the ‘power’ across the exhibition.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a camera (or tripod, case, memory card or in fact pretty much anything) and have something in mind then ‘Focus on Imaging’ could well be for you as not only are quite a few manufacturers offering various discounts themselves there are a couple of retailers present as well (Jacobs have a particularly big stand) which have got some pretty good deals on and if you can pretty much guarantee to save anything from 5% to 50% depending on what you’re looking for, which easily makes up for the £10 entrance fee!
Moving onto a more commercial scale Epson were present with demonstrations of the more industrial sized printers along with a very informative talk explaining the benefits of it as well as a range of about 20 different well-manned printers up and running ranging from massive to desktop size.
Apple was also present, not only in the form of the Macs and MacBook Pro‘s that everybody was using to show off software, but also at the ‘Apple Solution Expert Theatre’ where despite being plagued by temperamental internet access we were shown through the latest addition of Aperture which included some pretty neat geo-tagging features which promised (perhaps a little optimistically) to change the way we search for images.
One of my favourite exhibitors are slightly different in the sense that they are not selling cameras or software, but still definitely worth a look at — and it is one showing the photos from the BIPP National Photographic Awards which really goes to show what quality is possible from good photography, and is a nice reprieve from the lenses, shutters and printers that are everywhere else!
So that’s a brief taster of the Focus on Imaging exhibition, and I would strongly encourage anyone who has even a passive interest in photography to get down there — it is a really interesting day out! Also, stay tuned for a more in-depth look at some of Panasonic’s offerings from the show (including the newly released G2 and G10) in the coming days!