Focus on imaging show 2013

Yesterday was the day for the annual visit of myself and my nephew to the Focus on Imaging Show at the national Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. After Photokina there was nothing really new around, unlike last year when the Olympus OM-D and Fuji X-Pro 1 had been announced but were not yet available. 

I had a look at a few things I was interested in. The Nikon D7100 below.

Taped up SD card slots, so no opportunity to try the AA free sensor out. It's marginally lighter than the D7000 and is a typical Nikon.(That is of cause code for the fact that all Nikon DSLR's look pretty much the same, always have and always will. Its obvious that Nikon sacked their design department years ago, simply because they don't need it. You only have to look at the 1 series and the new Coolpix 'luxury' i.e overpriced, compact, to see that. I must have walked around the Nikon stand three times before I could actually spot the D7100. Its probably a good job they write the name on the front, though it could probably do with being bigger!!)  

Now behaving myself and writing about something good that I'd love to see more of, is that Nikon have done the same as with the D600, announced it and are making it ready for sale pretty quick. Its apparently due to be in the shops on March 14th. here in the UK. Nice camera if you like Nikons, but the real interest is going to be in what those non-AA filtered files look like.

Sigma had a nice display of the set of DP Merrils. However they had decided not to have any around for people to handle, which I found odd. Lots of SD1's and big zoom lenses sitting around on the counter but none of these. The DP3 has a slightly longer lens barrel, but apart from that they all do look very similar. 

For my retro sensibility the Fuji stand was the most aesthetic. The X100s at the top is of course virtually identical to the X100. The X-E1 was interesting. It is quite a bit smaller, lighter than the X-Pro 1 and (dare I say it with my track record on Fuji) a bit more cheap feeling. Ken Rockwells review of it and how wonderfully metallic it and the zoom feel, is what some have been suggesting recently that review is, a work of fiction. It didn't feel that metallic to me. Looks nice though and I took my Polaroid sunglasses with me, so I can say that the OLED viewfinder works fine with those. I had my OM-D + Panasonic 12-35mm with me and that felt much more solid and substantial, and in the opinion of my nephew, looks much sexier. Plus the X-E1 was absolutely awful at focusing, it just sat there and didn't move when I tried to focus and I thought it was set to manual, but it wasn't and eventually it did focus, only not on what I had pointed at. Did this time and time again, all over the place. OK it may be a show battered model, but when I heard one of the Fuji staff who was showing a black one to somebody, suddenly blurting out 'Oh no, its locked up again!!' I began to feel my Fuji doubts starting to surface again. Maybe the time to buy one of these is in a few months time!!

Must say though I liked the 14mm, which is a nice chunky lens. I'm still not convinced by these faux aperture rings, but once Fuji get things together they could provide a very nice camera system based around the X-Trans sensor. However, if the X-E1 example I tried is not unique then they still have some way to go to sort out proper quality control. I don't know why the focusing didn't work, it wasn't that dark and all my OM-D pictures (instant accurate focusing of course) are taken at ISO 200. C'mon Fuji, just as I think I'm starting to get all cooey about your stuff, you stick this on me.

General Impressions. 

Last years show was very sparsely attended on the day we went, but this year on the same day and at the same time it was actually quite crowded and some of the stands were difficult to get near. However in the last year two big chains with branches in the Midlands, Jessops and Jacobs have closed down, so there are now very few opportunities in and around the city to actually handle a camera. That may have explained the larger numbers this year, it may not, but it was definitely a lot busier.

Plus at Focus on Imaging there is this phenomenon that others might tell me whether it happens at other shows in other countries. People at this show walk around with their full kit, with big pro cameras and the biggest telephoto zoom lens they own, snapping away at everything. And they have done it every year I've attended. They are always in full photographic clothing and are obviously nothing official. There are so many of them that its obviously their intention to turn up and strut around with their gear to show off and have lots of those "Look what I got and you haven't" moments. These men, (of course they were all men, you knew that already) were obviously making a point, making a statement (or attempting to). The way they did it was to take the picture (as ostentatiously as possible), look at the screen, nod admiringly at what they had just taken and then walk off, making sure of course not to engage in eye contact with lesser mortals. Now whether this is a Birmingham, UK, Photo Show only mode of behaviour or whether you all see this across the world, I don't know. But it is odd. Plus yet again I was virtually the only person I saw carrying a mirrorless camera. In Birmingham, the city where Heavy Metal came from, DSLR's obviously still rule. ('No soft Southerner CSC's here kidda')

Finally as you can see (Picture at the top of the page) there was the usual 'Mines bigger than yours' section on the balcony of the Canon stand . Where else?

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