Focus on Imaging Show

The Focus on Imaging 2010 show at the NEC in Birmingham was, as always, a fascinating insight into the world of photography


This year saw the rise of the video enabled DSLR. In previous years video has been almost non-existent, but this year there were lots of stands featuring add-on rigs for cameras such as the Canon 5D Mk II and 7D.
There was a great demonstration of the Steadicam system from Tiffen. It proved that unlike us, people can get the Steadicam Merlin to balance! The rep. also gave a wonderful impression of a cyborg in his steadicam suit. However it is a serious piece of kit. He jumped up and down, using no hands and the picture was rock steady.

We also tried out one of the Red Rock kits and were very impressed by the Zacuto loupe, demonstrated by Mandy, the lady in the video.

All of this stuff is excellent, but I get the feeling that its all trying too hard to turn DSLR's into video cameras. With the amount of extra kit bolted on, why not buy a video camera? The extra weight is also incredible. However the film and tv industry, cameramen and directors of photography are taking DSLR's seriously, because of the high quality of the images, the lenses that can be used and the cost savings, though with the cost of the extra kit this may not be as great as some imagine.


Seeing so many photographers in one place I realised just what a grip Canon and Nikon have on the photographic market. Many people take their cameras to try out the various goodies on display, and Canon dominated on the day. A rough estimate would be something like 65% carrying Canon, 25% Nikon and 5% other brands. The Canon and Nikon stands were huge, packed and difficult to get near. In contrast to the Panasonic stand which was almost empty.

It was also fascinating to see the sheer size of the kits that people carry. DSLR's with battery grips, heavy zooms, flash guns and shoulder bags full of lenses were the order of the day.

It was good to see a lot of women photographers. The numbers were much higher than I remember in previous years.

Sitting in my internet bubble, the photographic world is a lot different in reality. I suspect that "size matters" still prevails in photographic circles. There was obviously a lot of "mines bigger than yours" going on. I could see no practical reason for people carrying around D3's fitted with 300mm f2.8's other than to say "I've got one of these and you haven't!"

However I did ask someone on one of the retail shop stands, what was selling and he told me that Canon 550D's were selling well (No surprise there) and also that the Samsung NX10 was disappearing fast, something that I helped along!

I must admit I enjoyed it more than usual and both B and I thought it was very useful. Its always nice to see the kit for real rather than on the internet.

Finally the nicest camera I saw all day. Talking to another photographer on the Panasonic stand, he mentioned he had a Contax G1 with him in his bag. I persuaded him to take it out so I could photograph it. Now thats what I call a camera!