PhotoPlus Expo took place November 1st through November 3rd at the Javits Center in New York - and there was an amazing amount of new equipment being introduced. Here are some of the highlights. We'll have more details and reviews on these items as they become available:
Adobe - Acrobat 5.0. Adobe claims this new version includes a number of enhancements both small and large, most notably better Web integration. Since 4.0 had significant problems in this area we'll wait until we see a production copy before we get excited.
Bogen - Bogen has two new affordably priced carbon fiber tripods and a new geared tripod head designed for medium format cameras. Also debuted were a new Elinchrom RingFlash studio ring light and box light - a 12 x 12 flat panel illuminated by two flash tubes.
Casio - Casio introduced it's first 4+ mega pixel digital camera, the Qv-4000 complete with a 34-102mm f2.0-f2.5 Canon zoom lens.
Calumet - Introduced the world's first digital view camera. The Cambo Ultima "D" digital view camera is designed specifically to accept high-end digital recording backs. Calumet also introduced a new compact 4x5 view camera, the Cambo Wide DS which will also accept 120 roll film, a re-engineered Travelite Monolight strobe series that recycles 30% faster with a 25% shorter flash duration, five new models of reflectors, and a powerful Calumet 3000 ws Ringflash.
Canon - The Canon booth was buzzing throughout the show about the new EOS 1D. Based on the EOS 1V film camera, the 1D is a 4+ mega pixel pro digital SLR capable of 8 frames per second for a burst of 21 frames. This is a big heavy pro camera with a price tag to boot. Interestingly Canon has forgone the CMOS chip of the D30 in favor of a CCD chip for the 1D.
Canon has incorporated it's IS (Image Stabilization) technology into it's popular 70-200 f2.8L lens and also introduced a new 16-35mm f2.8L zoom lens.
Canon was also showing two new additions to it's PowerShot digital line, the 3.34 megapixel S30 and the 4.1 megapixel S40.
Dyna-Lite - was showing two new lines of compact lightweight power packs. The new DR line replaces the XL and XR packs while the ER line will replace their "e" power packs. Also debuting at the show was Dyna-Lite's new fiber-optic strobe system, the ML-1000, which they describe as "the world's most powerful and controllable light source for micro and macro photography."
Kodak - Introduced several new digital cameras including the high-res DCS 760 SLR and the DCS 720x digital camera which features a burst rate of 4.3 frames per second for 25 images..
Notable are Kodak's new line of heavy weight inkjet papers claimed to have a life of 20 to 30 years depending on who's printer you use. If these numbers are real, this paper represents a real breakthrough for inkjet users.
Epson - rolled out the predictable, incremental upgrades to it's current printer and scanner lines and a new line of Epson photo papers claimed to have increased light fastness and tolerance for atmospheric conditions. More interesting was the new Epson Stylus Pro 10000 which brings the print quality of the 2000p series of printers to a 44 inch wide carriage.
Epson also introduced the Gemini system which is designed to meet the printing needs of wedding photographers who average 100 to 200 prints per month. The system produces inkjet prints at a 1440x720 resolution in sized up to 13x19 using Epson's archival pigmented inks.
Fuji - Improved versions of the venerable Provia 100F, Neopan 100, NPZ 800 professional, and Press films were shown as well as Fuji's FinePix 6900 6 megapixel SLR which features a built-in 35-210mm zoom lens.
Hasselblad - showed it's new 905SWC superwide format camera that features a high quality 38mm Zeis Biogon lens with a completely new optical design. They also announced a strategic marketing relationships with digital back manufacturers Phase One, Imacon, Jobo, Jenoptik, and MegaVision.
Imacon - showed the world's first 16 megapixel 3-in-1 digital camera back which can capture an image with a 16 bit range up 384 megabytes in size - and an upgraded version of it's Flextight flatbed scanner featuring higher resolution and faster scan times.
Leaf America - showed it's new large format camera backs.
Leica - showed an improved version of their 28mm Summicron wide angle lens, the 28mm Sumicron -M ASPH f2.0.
Lexar - showed their new high speed, high capacity 512 megabyte 12x USB enabled type I CompactFlash card. Also, portable readers for both USB and FireWire. Several camera manufacturers indicated to us that these new cards are so fast that they effectively increase the buffer size of their cameras when shooting in burst mode.
Lowepro - showed more than 20 new bags and accessories as part of it's 2002 lineup.
Luminos - had one of the most interesting items at the show - a six bottle external ink system that replaces the standard ink cartridges in Epson 1270 and 1280 series printers. These systems have long been available for wide carriage printers but Luminos is the first to bring one to desktop users. At just over $200, the cost of entry seems steep until you consider your savings on ink over time (if you do a lot of printing). A side benefit is less head cleaning is required with the Luminos system than with standard cartridges. We'll have a system in-house for testing in the next month or so.
Mamiya/Sekonic - introduced a new light meter, the L-358 flash meter that is said to simplify metering in mixed light situations while being easier to operate than earlier models. The new Profoto Acute "e" 600 w/s and 1200 w/s strobe power packs and heads are the smallest and lightest offerings to date by Profoto and are aimed at "studio photographers on a budget"
Nikon - The big news at the Nikon booth was the new CoolPix 5000 5+ megapixel digital camera. Featuring a high quality 28-85mm optical zoom and an available 19mm wide angle attachment, the camera created arresting images.
Olympus - released a wide array of new digital cameras including it's top-of-the-line E-20N 5 megapixel camera and the D-40 - claimed to be the "World's smallest 4 megapixel camera".
Phase One - introduced its new 16 megapixel digital recording back for medium format and view cameras, the LightPhase H20, using a 4,020x4,020 CCD Kodak CCD sensor to produce a 24 bit, 48mb RGB file.
Sigma - showcased two new wide angle zooms, a 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 EX DG DF, and a 20-40mm f2.8 EX DG DF. The latter is a rectilinear design to ensure that straight lines stay straight at the wide end.
Slik - showed updated versions of their U series titanium tripods for all size and weight requirements.
Tamrac - showed a new line of Big Wheel Rolling Strongboxes which are similar to the rolling cases favored by airline crews but feature extra large wheels for easy rolling and reinforced sides to protect equipment. The strong boxes are just part of an expanded line from Tamrac that includes over 20 new bags, cases and accessories for 2002.
Tamron - the latest additions to their lens line include a 75-300mm f4.0-5.6 LD Ultra-telephoto zoom and an updated version of their popular 28-200mm f3.8-5.6 Super II Macro LD Aspherical IF lens.