As the Photography Show 2018 draws to a close this Tuesday, I look back at some of the exciting products, live demonstrations and seminars that I found most useful. This year’s show featured over 7 stages that gave advice & demonstrations for the beginners and professional photographers across the four days. One of the fantastic things about the Photography Show is the experience and knowledge available to everyone who walks through the NEC doors, you can be anything from a wildlife photographer to a wedding photographer and there is something for everyone.
With over 200 exhibitors at this year’s show there’s certainly plenty to look at, as a complete camera geek and my love for all things tech, I made sure I got hands on with as many new products as I could. With so much going on over the weekend, I thought it would be a great idea to share my favourite stands from this year’s show:
Let’s be honest Manfrotto lead the way for photography tripods and their up there with the best when it comes to video heads, camera bags, lens filters & video lighting. If you’re a regular visitor to the Photography Show you will know that Manfrotto go all out with their stand and the size of it challenges the likes of Nikon & Canon. This year was no different and I think they had more products on show than any other stall in the whole show, seeing the amount of products they offer in one space really emphasises they’re more than just the leading tripod company. Their own brochure they were handing out states ‘ The best photo and video accessories’ on the front cover and would you challenge that?
As always, I was impressed with their vast range of ergonomic, lightweight and spacious camera bags that I would trust to keep all my photographic equipment secure. They really had a bag for every occasion, whether you’re taking one DLSR on a family picnic to travelling the to the other side of the world with all your equipment they could suggest the bag for the occasion. Obviously their photo supports/ tripods on display gained a lot of attention at the show, I very rarely use tripods, but as Photography and Video become an all in one service, Manfrotto have answered the needs of the industry. Seriously these guys rule the world when it comes to tripods and monopods!
The ever popular Sigma, again had a fantastic set up at this year's Photography Show 2018, showcasing their new lineup of lenses which sums up their approach to lenses and photography. The three new and popular lines on display were Contemporary, Art and Sports, all of which show Sigma's development philosophy and advanced manufacturing systems. The great thing about the Photography Show is that you can bring along your own camera bodies and try out new kit and the Sigma stand was certainly the place to be for photographers.
The Sigma stand was probably the first stand on my hit list and in particular their Art range lenses. For many creative and proffesional wedding photographers, the Sigma Art lens is the glass to be shooting with for unsurpassed expressive performance. The lenses are developed with maximum emphasis on artistic touch, ensuring they meet the expectations of users who value a creative, dramatic outcome above compactness and multifunction. Along with weddings, landscapes, portraits, still-life, close-up and causal snaps, they're perfect for the kind of photography that unleashes the inner artist.
Loupedeck is a photo editing console for adobe lightroom. It lets you be more creative, it makes your editing faster, it means you can focus more on your photo. Loupedeck system blew my socks off and if you're a wedding photographer.. in fact, if you're into any genre of photography, the Loupedeck is a game changer. I used it to edit a full wedding from start to finish, it not only halved my editing time, it made the experience of editing fun again. I was in my element editing with the Loupedeck, I was waking up early to start editing because my workflow had become so smooth and ergonomic. I could end the review here and just say get your hands on one, but if you need more persuading take a read here: Field Test Loupedeck
You're probably aware of my love affair with Instax, especially when it comes to my wedding photography. My photography is all about creating amazing photographs for couples, sure images with gorgeous light, tones, composition and mood certainly help along with a good DSLR or even a mirrorless camera. But ignoring all that good stuff for a minute, the most important thing comes down to creating awesome memories for the couple and their guests. My job as a wedding photographer isn't being good with my camera settings, although that is kind of needed, it's capturing those moments, moods and delivering that emotion through image making.
So getting back to Instax, as a wedding photographer this is why I love the Fujifilm Instax range and why it never leaves my side during weddings. It allows me to create instant memories that couples and their guests will cherish.
If you're not aware of these super awesome cameras, then you've probably been living under a rock the last couple of years. The Fujifilm Instax Camera is a spin on the old instant photography cameras, providing instant prints from the camera body, let's be honest who doesn't love vintage & retro polaroids? The Instax range is a premium, fully-fledged camera design that sets itself apart from the "cute" image projected by its predecessors. Designed for a vintage look, they feature a variety of photography modes allowing more freedom, control and creativity in your photography.
The cameras also have a host of shooting modes, this is much more than a point & shoot camera, settings such Landscape, Macro, Party & Portrait modes allow you to take back some of that control the old school instant cameras lacked. You actually have some control over what image the camera creates and prints, with the added bonus of being able to under/over expose and choose whether the flash (which is brilliant) fires or not.
Furthermore, the Instax range actually looks the part, their vintage look mean they can sit in your camera bag or around your neck with a DSLR and not look out of place. I take a Fuji Instax to 99% of the weddings I capture and I feel comfortable having it with me and I'm always conscious about looking proffesional at weddings!
This wouldn't be a fair review of this year’s Photography Show if I didn't mention the big two names in camera bodies. You may know by now I rarely entertain the Canon vs Nikon debate ( maybe it’s now Canon vs Nikon vs Fuji ?), so I don’t spend too much time comparing the facts and figures, for me I know they both create some fantastic DSLR cameras and I would highly recommend both to anyone. If you’re going to judge the geographical positioning of the two stands Nikon, like Fujifilm, were situated at the entrance to the show with a huge stand to the left of the main entrance. Whilst Canon dominated the back of the whole show and precisely positioned near to the food court to catch people on their way past (to buy a ridiculously over priced burger.. but what do you expect).