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PDN PhotoPlus 2012 – Our Picks For Best Of Show – Hot New Photo Gear-See Our HD Product Videos



[divider]Hot New Products From Carl Zeiss Lenses, Litepanels, Manfrotto USA, Cokin, Phottix, Tamron, Spinlight 360, IoShutter by Enlight Photo, DeluxGear, Pelican Cases and B-Grip…See our videos and follow the links for more information[divider]

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his year I was excited about covering the PDN PhotoPlus Expo + Conference in New York.  The show is billed as the largest photography and imaging show in North America and is attended by over 24,000 professional photographers and enthusiasts.  Not only is this my favorite show, it also gives me the opportunity to visit many industry friends.  There are always some great new products to see and even test for our product reviews section on IMPress.

The show was held again this year at the Jacob Javits Convention Center and the exhibits ran from October 25 through the 26th and seemed more compact then earlier shows.  Last years show included WPPI exhibitors, that were located in the North Hall, but from my observation and conversations with exhibitors there,  didn’t see much traffic.  The North Hall is a long walk from the main convention center and I believe many photographers would have visited these exhibits if they were in the main convention center.  I can only assume that it wasn’t a success last year to it was not part of this years show.

There were many interesting conferences at the show for attendees seeking to expand their knowledge.  I noticed that there were a number of them detailing the proper ways to  shoot video with a DSLR camera.  I have recognized this transition from photography to videography over the past year or two and have encouraged our IPA members to make the transition as well.  I have written a number of articles and reviews on this subject and have gone through the learning curve myself, sharing my mistakes and accomplishments with our members.

Over this past year I have written product reviews on the Rode Videomic, the Beachtek Audio adapter, and the Tamron 18-270mm lens, my choice for shooting my show videos.  In each of my articles, even trade show reviews like this one, I discuss the proper photo equipment needed, including lights and sound equipment. I  have published a number of articles and press releases that illustrate the proper use of the new LED lights now available for on and off camera use too. Although I wanted attend a few of these conferences myself, I never had the time to do so, maybe next year.

The major camera companies were all there, Nikon, Canon, Sony and over 200 other manufacturers of photographic hardware and software.   I did notice however, that the show was smaller than they have been in earlier years. The economy has hit this industry, as it has all others, and a number of companies that had large booths last year, some offering free demonstrations of their products, cut back this year and have done away with this added expense.  Nikon, Canon and Sony of course didn’t pull the plug and Nikon had professional dancers, actors and sets that gave videographers and photographers some nice photo and video ops.

The challenge for me when covering this show is to try to find companies that offer quality products that are innovative and useful.  So many companies create products that have very limited use and never really succeed, so it is a challenge to find the best of the show.  This year I decided to spend a great deal of time before the show, visiting many of the exhibitor websites.  I wanted to find companies showing for the first time, visit their websites to see exactly what they would be showing and then put them on my list.  This list enabled me to contact the companies in advance, make an appointment to visit them and interview them for my article and video.

[box_light]Preparation For The Show[/box_light]

Click Links For More Info On My Gear
Nikon D7000, Tamron 18-270mm Lens, Litepanels Microlight Pro’s, Beachtek Audio Adapter, Manfrotto Tripod, K-Tec Bracket, RODE M1 Mic
Kata Bag on Trolly

Since I  usually cover this show myself, I had to be ready to shoot the videos, pack the equipment I would need to record good sound in this difficult environment and be ready to direct the company representatives that I will be filming.

My assignment at this show was to visit the previously selected exhibitors and shoot each segment you will see in the two videos in this article.  With my rig in hand and my camera bag on a trolley I had to be a  fast and  freewheeling to cover this show properly and get the material I needed for this article.

I always try to test new equipment at these shows as well.  It is important to take equipment on a real assignment in order to get a feel for how it performs in an actual working situation and then determine if it is worth writing a review on the equipment. It takes a great deal of time to learn how to use a piece of equipment properly and then sit down and write the review.

At this show I was looking for exciting new products and to set up interviews with companies I had on my list. It is a challenge to direct the company spokespersons, film the segments needed,  including some B- Roll footage and to make sure my video, lighting and audio were all spot on.  Certainly not an easy task when you are a One-Man-Band.

IMPress and IPA continues to keep pace with some of the latest equipment and techniques for video taping with a DSLR camera. We have been concentrating on recording these shows in full HD with improved audio and with the help of some of our supporting companies have been given the equipment to do the job.  Shows like this one offer me the perfect opportunity to discover new products that I feel will help our members and readers make the transition.  Some companies have been gracious enough to supply products that I can use and then enable me to write a product review detailing my learning curve and the proper use of that equipment.

[box_light]The Show – Day One[/box_light]

On the opening day of the show, I had scheduled enough time to visit the OmegaBrandess booth.  Omega was the premier manufacturer of darkroom equipment and enlargers many years ago and still offers a line of enlargers and accessories today.  They have been in business for over 75 years and the current OmegaBrandess is now the largest distributor of photo equipment in the United States and  supplies the photography industry with over ten thousand products from over 70 branded lines. For me this is a one-stop-shop.  I was able to see so many new products at the OmegaBrandess booth that is was difficult picking six to feature in our review.  A visit to their exhibit is a must for any serious photographer who attends this show.

On arrival at the booth, I  enlisted the help of Jeff Seidel,  OmegaBrandess director of sales.  He helped me select some of the hottest new products they distributed. In our video you will see some great new products from Cokin, Phottix, ioShutter by Enlight Photo, B-Grip, Pelican Cases and DeluxGear .

My plan was to cover more product this year then in any other PhotoPlus show review so OmegaBrandess was able to help me do just that. Jeff agreed to be the on screen talent and the spokesperson for OmegaBrandess which made it easier for me to tape all the products. As you will see in the video,  Jeff did an excellent job as the principle spokesperson for the group of companies we taped.

[box_light]OmegaBrandess Featured Companies, Best In Show [/box_light]

The following companies were the ones we featured in part one of our show videos.  For further information on these products visit the OmegaBrandess web site or Click on the links below to visit each companies website.


Phottix is a cutting-edge international company specializing in photography accessories. Commitment and innovation best describe Phottix: Commitment to developing original and creative photography equipment and accessories for photographers world-wide. Phottix products run the gamut: From remote shutter releases, flash triggers, and studio accessories, to the innovative and US patent pending Phottix Odin TTL Trigger and Strato Series wireless trigger systems.  Visit their website.

Cokin is known for their “Creative Filter System”. Introduced in 1978 and based primarily around square filters, these need a holder which is attached to the lens via a simple adapter ring of the proper size. Unlike screw-thread circular filters, which are each tied to lenses of a specific diameter, those in the system can be used with any lens, provided they are large enough to cover it sufficiently. “Pure Harmonie filters” Cokin now offers their world class round filters, which are screwed into each of the appropriate size on the lens. “PURE harmonie filters” are characterized by their extremely lightweight and its small thickness. They are being offered in a UV filter, a circular polarizing filter and an ND filter.  Their website is being rebuilt now, but you can visit the official site here.

Enlight photo is an award-winning company creating cool gear and apps for photographers, founded by pro photographer James Madelin in 2006.  Their ioShutter will control your SLR with your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad!  You use the intuitive interface to take photos, hold the shutter button down or lock it on to unleash your creativity in single shot mode, motor drive or “Bulb” for long exposures. See our video or visit their website for more information.

DeluxGear offer the ultimate in lens protection, the Lens Guard is like the bumper of a car. Better than any lens cap, it provides impact protection while preventing mishaps. The Lens Guard is constructed with 0.25? (6mm) of a soft, cushiony inner core made of closed-cell neoprene (diving suit material). This water-resistant inner core is encased in a tough, 0.08? (2mm) Santoprene outer cover.  This powerful combination absorbs impact and prevents scrapes, scratches, and harmful bumps. It’s lightweight, too. Visit their website to see their complete line.

Pelican Products, Inc. is the global leader in design and manufacture of both high-performance case solutions and advanced portable lighting systems.  Their products are used by professionals in the most demanding markets including firefighters, police, defense / military, aerospace, entertainment, industrial and consumer.  Their new backpack combines their hard case protection with a durable fabric bag.  Visit their site for more information.

CPTech’s b-grip belt holder is a unique innovative alternative to the camera neck strap. Safe, durable, ergonomic and simple to use, b-grip allows the photographer to carry their camera everywhere and for long periods without neck strain. So now it’s easy to avoid the inconvenience of a dangling camera swinging around your neck, while keeping your hands and body completely free. Visit their site to see the complete line.


[box_light]Day Two Of The Show – 7 Companies Join Our Best In Show[/box_light]

My second day of the show was dedicated to covering another seven companies we felt had products that were not only exciting, but innovative in design.  In this video you will see some beautiful new lenses from Carl Zeiss,  then Manfrotto USA will highlight some of their latest tripods, LED lights and Kata Bags and Tamron Lenses shows two of their exciting new lenses. We then meet Steve Best, CEO of APA (American Photographic Artists) who tells us about his organization, then on to Litepanels where we see their new on camera LED lights and finally a visit to Spinlight 360 who has one of the most unique products designed to use the existing shooting environment, your flash and  their lighting system to control light and shadow for true studio results.

Representatives from these companies will introduce their sizzling new products.  Some products are available now and some will be available in the early part of 2013.

Camera lenses from Carl Zeiss are used by millions of photographers all over the world: in SLR or rangefinder cameras, in Sony compact cameras or in Nokia smartphones. Carl Zeiss SLR lenses feature exceptionally high-quality workmanship and legendary ZEISS quality. They offer precise manual focus and support all other automatic functions found in standard cameras. Zeiss Lenses offer outstanding image quality • Excellent reflection reduction thanks to Carl Zeiss T anti-reflective coating • Advanced stray light reduction • Almost circular aperture with 9 blades enables an exceptionally harmonious bokeh • Uniform standardized color characteristics throughout all ZF.2 and ZE focal lengths • Optimal distortion correction in all focal lengths. Find out more on their website

Based in Northern Italy at Bassano del Grappa, Manfrotto designs, manufactures and markets a range of camera and lighting support equipment for the professional photographic, film, theater, live entertainment and video markets. The product line includes an extensive range of camera tripods and heads, lighting stands and accessories. Manfrotto Products are manufactured by the Manfrotto Supports and Manfrotto Bags units and are distributed in the United States by Manfrotto Distribution Inc. One of the featured items in our video is their new Klyp.  It is a very cool iPhone case designed to turn your phone into a a steady camera with optional LED lights used for still and video work. Watch this video on the Klyp.    Visit their website to see the latest products now available in the United States.

Sophistication, Function and Protection are guidelines you will find in all KATA products. Kata puts the emphasis first of all on you the user. Giving the person and his working needs top priority. Kata applies an in-depth understanding of the user’s needs to the development of a functional, easy-to-use product. Modular and versatile in design, the user can place the equipment easily. Combining state-of-the-art development, all of Kata’s products are developed by starting with a “blank page” approach to provide an innovative and better solution. Kata uses only the highest quality raw materials (military spec standards). Thus, its products have a much longer lifespan and greater durability than any other product of an equivalent function. Visit their website to see their complete collection and their new Revolver 8 Backpack featured in our video.

Tamron USA, Inc. was established in 1979 as the US sales subsidiary of the Japanese optics manufacturer Tamron Co., Ltd.  Founded in 1950, Tamron has become a world leader in the manufacture of photographic lenses.  In 1957 they developed the worlds first interchangeable mount system known as the “T” mount for use with 35mm cameras and at that time created the 135mm F4.5 interchageable lens for the 35mm camera.  In 1961 they mass produced the 95-205mm F6.3 telephoto lens for the 35mm SLR cameras and was the first in the industry to do so.  This was the beginning of the zoom lens use.  Over the yeas Tamron has lead the industry with innovative and affordable lenses and continues to do so with their new 18-270mm All-In-One zoom for APS-C cameras and now their two new lenses the SP 70-200 F/2.8 Di a high-resolution ultra-compact and their SP 90MM F/2.8 Di 1:1 MacroVisit their site to learn about their amazing lenses and  follow the links their to their blog and informative videos.

Their goal is to establish, endorse, and promote professional practices, standards, and ethics in the photographic and advertising community. They seek to mentor, motivate, educate, and inspire in the pursuit of excellence. Their aim is to champion and speak as one common voice for advertising photographers and image makers to the advertising industry in the United States and the World. APA offers regional chapters and seminar programs to help their members to improve their skills and better methods of operating their businesses. Visit their site for more info

 Litepanels is an Award Winning LED lighting for video, still photo & motion picture production company. All of their products are designed and manufactured in the United States.  Their revolutionary lighting brings the advantages of their unique patented light-emitting diode technology to professional production lighting. At the show they featured two of their on camera lights the Croma and the Luma.  For the DSLR user now shooting video, these lights offer the perfect solution and provides visually accurate color temperatures, flicker-free output at any frame rate or shutter angle, and no color shift when dimming. Visit their site to find out more about Litepanels complete line of Broadcast, ProAV and DSLR lighting solutions.

Editors Note:  Our videos used the Litepanels Croma and the MicroPro as our principle light source.

As photographers on-the-go, sometimes we find ourselves with the need to produce studio-like results with portable flashes on location. The Spinlight 360 system has solved the many problems photographers face in difficult environments.  It is a flexible system that is designed to fit on most flash units and modify the light from the on-camera flash. It can be changed using black cards to subtract light or can be used with a white bounce card,  a dome diffuser or half-dome diffuser. Gels are available to further change the lighting. The system is a complete choice of light modifiers and their site is spectacular with loads of helpful images, tutorials and videos. Visit them now and get ready to change the way you shoot with your flash.


Len Rapoport Administrator
IPA Editor-In-Chief, ID: 1000 • I am an internationally published photographer and the founder of International Press Association. As president and editor-in-chief, my duties at IPA are extensive. For over 50 years I have written articles, had my photos published in millions of publications, record album covers, books, and in the digital media. I was senior marketing and sales executive for major corporations, including my own and as a corporate communications consultant. I have taught photography and formed IPA 20 years ago. I currently work from my home office and continue to actively cover media events in addition to all of my other IPA and IMPress responsibilities.
Len Rapoport Administrator
IPA Editor-In-Chief, ID: 1000 • I am an internationally published photographer and the founder of International Press Association. As president and editor-in-chief, my duties at IPA are extensive. For over 50 years I have written articles, had my photos published in millions of publications, record album covers, books, and in the digital media. I was senior marketing and sales executive for major corporations, including my own and as a corporate communications consultant. I have taught photography and formed IPA 20 years ago. I currently work from my home office and continue to actively cover media events in addition to all of my other IPA and IMPress responsibilities.
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