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Cameras, gadgets and 3D at PMA 2010

It's always a treat to see so many cameras in one place at one time, which is what happens annually when the Photo Marketing Association rolls into town.

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Lexy Savvides
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1 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Humanoid robots

It's always a treat to see so many cameras in one place at one time, which is what happens annually when the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) rolls into town.

Every year, the Photo Marketing Association holds an Australian trade show and exhibition for vendors, manufacturers, buyers and, of course, photographers to check out the latest developments in the imaging field. This year's expo was held in Melbourne from 4-6 June, and most major camera manufacturers showed off their goods.

To our surprise, the 3D juggernaut was only a small element of PMA, with just a few 3D televisions tucked away and a 3D video camera from Panasonic. Sony was also noticeably absent from the show, a surprise after the recent announcement of its NEX cameras.

Alexandra Savvides attended PMA as a guest of Nikon Australia.

To get the gadget lovers excited, Samsung's stand featured a humanoid robot performing a dance routine. The company was also showing off a range of cameras, from the EX1 to the NX10.

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2 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Making a stand

Nikon's stand was one of the biggest, with an area for photographers to get their camera sensors cleaned, a low-light booth to show off the capabilities of its high-end digital SLRs, and a space for talks with Nikon ambassadors.

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3 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Up close

At the top of the Nikon stand, a photographer gets his hands on the D300s and one of the many telephoto lenses on show, the 500mm f/4G. Spying on the tap dancers at the Olympus stand, maybe.

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4 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Shake, splatter and shoot

Canon usually employs a painter to work throughout the day. Last year, a live model was used as a canvas. The global financial crisis obviously took its toll this year, as these more traditional canvases were on show at the end of day one.

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5 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Canon IXUS 300 HS

Taking the opportunity to show off its latest IXUS compact, Canon gave the 300 HS a quiet debut at PMA by putting it amongst the rest of the compact cameras. Elsewhere, Canon also exhibited photo printers, lenses and its range of digital SLRs.

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6 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

SpongeBob

SpongeBob SquarePants can't really be classified as a gadget, can he? But there he was at the HP stand posing for photographs with customers.

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7 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Greetings in 3D

Former Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett, was immortalised in a 3D photograph to greet all those entering the expo.

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8 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Land-ho!

Olympus also took the multi-storey stand route by housing an area to test its SLR and compact camera zoom lenses above the main action.

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9 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Sharing the love

It's not all bitter brand rivalry at PMA; Olympus shows how its lens adapter can be used to mount old Canon and Nikon lenses on the E-P1.

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10 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Peek-a-boo

Samsung had a giant version of its ST550 dual-screen camera on show, seen here peeking into the Nikon stand.

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11 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Under the sea

Underwater housings proved to be very popular at PMA this year. An Australian company, Nauticam, had various housings on show for all of the big name Canon and Nikon digital SLRs. This housing, for the D700, can reach depths of up to 100m.

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12 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

It's not really grass

With the World Cup starting in a few days, a footballer was employed by the Maxwell stand to show off ... well, we're not entirely sure what he was supposed to be spruiking, but there were Lensbabies and Tamron lenses on show.

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13 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

See in 3D

Our first look at Panasonic's integrated twin-lens camera, which turns out to be a fancy way of saying a 3D video camera. It uses 1/3 inch, 2.07-megapixel progressive 3MOS sensors.

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14 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Panasonic AG-AF100

Also on show, tucked away in a box, was the interchangeable lens camcorder from Panasonic that was announced earlier this year. Official word is that the it will be available in Australia in December 2010 – January 2011.

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15 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

More 3D

At PMA last year, Fujifilm debuted the FinePix Real 3D camera. Nothing much has changed this year, except there's now a motorcycle to show off the capabilities of the camera.

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16 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Facebook integration

Kodak had a selection of cameras on show, but more interesting was this photo stand that interfaces directly with Facebook, allowing you to print photos directly from your account. Though Facebook only stores low resolution versions of uploaded images, the Kodak rep assured us that he had seen an 8x10-inch print from a Facebook photo that looked fine. We'll reserve judgement on this one until we see the real thing.

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17 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Samsung NX10

And so begins the onslaught of coloured cameras. The interchangeable lens NX10 now comes in a white version, and the company confirmed that the recently-announced NX5 camera will be making it to Australia soon.

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18 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Pentax K-x

The K-x certainly can't be called conservative, available in a range of bright colours including white. The older model, the K-m, was available in white as a limited edition only.

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19 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

Hasselblad

Got a cool AU$35,000 or so to drop on a camera? You might want to check out these offerings from Hasselblad. No wonder they were behind plate glass.

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20 of 20 Alexandra Savvides/CNET Australia

What's old is new

It wasn't all new gadgets at PMA; at least a few vintage models made it out to play.

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