This year the show used up about double the floor space from last years event, and Both Canon and Nikon was present. Nikon went full blast with bull-rides and building on their “I am…” branding campaign. Canon lifted their visitors above the crowds on a second storey stand with mounted long focal length lenses for people to play around with. Both Nikon and Canon Demo lenses were mounted on Benro GH2 Gimbal heads supplied by ODP for the expo.
Another big brand at the expo was Sony, but although they had a lot of floor space, they didn’t really do anything spectacular. I was really hoping to see some live demo’s of the new bodies and especially the video functionality, but even though I spent quite some time on the stand looking, and later filming their Nikon-I-Am-Campaignofferings, I was never approached by an attendant. I didn’t see anything fancy there, so off I went in search of something that will make my heart race.
This I found on the Leica stand. The New S2 body by Leica is a 37mp system that was a ground-up design with a different sensor size than both 35mm and medium format (30x45mm) which required a whole new set of lenses as well. Originally launched to take on the 35mm market and priced in that category as well, the Leica has finally landed… at about three times the original price-tag… But that’s ok, because just across the road from them was the H4D Hasselblad! Now here is a true medium format system that I can sink my teeth into (and yes… we do sell them at ODP!). I really enjoyed the Sunshine Co/Profoto stand (which also services Hasselblad here in South Africa) when I learnt that F11′s Brett was just on the other side of the hall with the PhaseOne P45+ and Vertical Grip (which incidentally, already has the Profoto Airport triggers built into it!)

Hasselblad H4D and Profoto Ringlight

Now… if you don’t understand why I like the medium format cameras so much, have a look at the P40+ review we did a while back, and I think you will quickly get the picture.
Although I enjoyed the event, it did seem a bit slow. There seemed to be less people than last year (which is fine, there was more space to walk)  but there were really very little that was “new” or exciting at the show. Everybody showed their wares, but not one exhibitor really caught my eye for doing something outrageously cool and memorable… and no, I didn’t miss the Live Body Painting by Airvolution Studios! What was distinctly missing was the “Film” part of the expo… Although many vendors ‘also’ had products for the cinematography nobody was showing off what must have become the most exciting part of the DSLR Revolution!
Where was the Indy filmmakers duct-taping 550D’s to the side of their VW Beetles to shoot some footage? or the Pigeon iPhone Controlled helicopter? or the distributors of cages, dolly’s, steady cams and follow-focus rigs? Chase Jarvis and Vincent Laforette, Phillip Bloom and Magnus Engsfors… Is there no South African equivalents!? Luba Nel Presenting Photoshop RetouchingAlthough there were some constant light products on show, almost nobody knew much about this “new” product they were stocking (well… almost… I must confess that I am now the proud new owner of a set of Creative Light Fluorescent Lampheads)
My own misery apart, quite a few people walked away very, very happy indeed, with either Canon 7D’s (I believe they were sold out on the second day), Nikon 200-400′s (Sold out on the first day), Elinchrom studio kits (about to be sold out when I came past) all at prices you are not likely to see again soon!
I think by the time you read this, the organizers will already be busy with the planning of the 2011 event. Not sure what will be there, but I am pretty sure that I will be!