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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Former Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett, was immortalised in a 3D photograph to greet all those entering the expo.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It wasn't all new gadgets at PMA; at least a few vintage models made it out to play.