Nov 4, 2011
The 29th annual PhotoPlus Conference and Expo (PPE) was held from October 27-29th in New York City at the Jacob Javits Center. PPE was joined by the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) conference and expo for the first time, which included a complete seminar program and trade show dedicated to wedding and portrait photography, called WPPI NYC. The PPE main show floor seemed smaller than in years past, however, there was more of the Javits Center used because WPPI NYC had an extended show floor located in the North Hall. In all the years of show attendance at the Javits, who knew there was a North Hall?
The show floor was home to over 260 exhibitors, according to PPE’s website. The major players were all present including Canon, Nikon, Sony, HP, and Kodak. Polaroid returned as an exhibitor for the first time in many years and had a wide range of products on display. 2011 was the inaugural exhibit year for Panasonic at PPE where they displayed its line of LUMIX digital cameras and the G Series of Compact System Cameras.
Although there were no product launches at the show, there was plenty of technology, accessories, and print service providers to keep one busy. One of the show’s most notable highlights was the new Nikon 1 camera system.
Nikon had a very large presence on the show floor and showcased many of its DSLR & point & shoot cameras and made them available for demonstration. The exciting product to see and play with was the newest in Nikon’s product line, the Nikon 1 camera system.
The system which includes two models, the J1 and V1, is Nikon’s entry into the compact interchangeable lens camera (CILC) category. The system features a high-speed Nikon 10 megapixel CX-format CMOS image sensor that is capable of capturing HD quality (1920 x 1080/60i) videos. The both models have ultra- compact bodies, and the V1 features a built-in electronic viewfinder.
One of the most interesting features is Motion Snapshot, which captures a still photo and about a second of high-resolution movie footage that begins before and ending after the shutter button is pushed. The Motion Snapshot plays back in slow motion and automatically adds music, and allows a photo to express more than just the captured moment but also shows slight changes in expression or changes in nature depending on the subject being shot. It’s like a photo that you get to see from beginning to end but with its own soundtrack. The Nikon 1 camera system is a nice compact camera and the ability to change lenses is sweet. The downside is that the compact body benefit goes away when you attach one of the higher zoom/telephoto lenses. The pancake or kit lenses keep it fairly portable, not pocketable, but it would fit in a back pack or pocketbook.
Nikon is going to have to rely heavily on the sales of the Nikon 1 system. Floods in Thailand have put Nikon’s DSLR factory under water and production has been halted until at least January. So the supply of entry- and mid-level DSLRs is expected to be limited in the coming months. Fortunately for Nikon, the 1 system is being manufactured in China, which will allow the company to meet the demand for the products during the holiday season. To promote the new cameras, Nikon has released its latest commercial featuring the Nikon 1 Camera System with Ashton Kutcher as their spokesperson, which according to Nikon there were no stunt-doubles used for the circus stunts. These commercials will also be helpful in increasing consumer awareness of the compact interchangeable lens camera category.
Official attendance numbers are not available yet, but from an unofficial standpoint attendance seemed similar to last year yet booth traffic wasn’t as congested during the busy times (like lunch time). Perhaps this was due to the exhibit hall being spread between the Main Hall and the North Hall allowing a better flow of people through the aisles. Exhibitors may not have liked the distributed nature, but as an attendee the technology focus of the main hall and the print/album provider focus of the North Hall was a welcome change. The fact that all the major camera and printer vendors and service providers were exhibiting makes the PhotoPlus Expo/WPPI convention one of the premier digital imaging conventions to be held in the Northeast region of the country.
More blogs from Carrie Sylvester