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Christmas Gift Guide

No, it's not the Nikon fan club

The rugged sell

Show spectacle

Not the Nikon fan club, just the obligatory free bags being toted by eager attendees waiting for the show floor to open. Although PMA definitely seems smaller than in previous years, I guess there's always enough interest to draw an opening day crowd.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
I couldn't help but laugh at the differences between Olympus' and Canon's approach to showing how rugged their respective point-and-shoots are. Olympus created elaborate setups where they show the camera under pressure...
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
...and frozen into a block of ice (I touched it, and yes, it's ice)...
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
...while Canon created faux environments that pretty much made its new D10 look kind of wimpy, like this jungle scene with the cameras sitting on rocks above flowing water (C'mon, Canon, everyone has cameras sitting at the bottom of water tanks here)...
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
...and dangling against a fake rock face.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
There are always several manufacturer competitions at the show, like the framing competition, where I guess they're given some piece of jewelry and are supposed to frame it for display. Are cats wearing necklaces the future of framing?
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
One of my favorite trends isn't the incorporation of face detection into cameras, but the increased use of dolls and statues to sell it (though this is actually a display for software that recreates 3D views from photos). Go bobbleheads!
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
HP is the only manufacturer with a recycling bin in the booth.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Noritsu makes photofinishing equipment, not cameras, or flashes, or any of the other reasons company's set up shooting displays like this. So someone please explain the relevance of posing with showgirls?
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The only traditional trade-show spectacle was this contest, sponsored by Mitsubishi and PMA, for the best shots of the AntiGravity acrobatic team.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
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