Photo Review Visits CP+ Show

amera and photo imaging show in Yokohama as part of a trip to Japan organised by Canon Australia. (We will be reporting on other sections of the trip next week.) Now in its second year, this show is a leader in the Asian region, although it's small compared with Photokina in Europe and the PMA trade shows in the USA.

 

Photo Review attended the first day of the CP+ 2011 camera and photo imaging show in Yokohama as part of a trip to Japan organised by Canon Australia. (We will be reporting on other sections of the trip next week.) Now in its second year, this show is a leader in the Asian region, although it's small compared with Photokina in Europe and the PMA trade shows in the USA.

When CP+ 2011 opened on Wednesday, February 9, we were among the 8,835 people who pre-registered. However, many of them would have arrived after the 'Premiere Time' which was reserved for members of the media and those related to the exhibiting companies.

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Inside the entrance to the CP+ 2011 camera and photo imaging show venue.

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The floor was relatively uncrowded during the 'Premiere Time'.
Members of the public weren't admitted until midday, which meant stands were uncrowded and it was easy to get close to the products on show and photograph them for this report. Sadly, there were few genuinely new and exciting imaging products on display this year. This is probably because Photokina last September was seen by most manufacturers as a prime time to update existing ranges. The postponing of the American PMA show to September has also removed some of the incentives that drive product innovation.
The pictures below show views of the display stands set up by the major camera manufacturers.

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The major camera manufacturers' stands: top row - Canon and Nikon; second row - Pentax and Sony; third row - Ricoh and Olympus; fourth row - Panasonic and Casio.

For Photo Review readers we feel the Fujifilm X100, which had its first public airing at the show, was the most significant new product release. Even during 'Premiere Time', it was necessary to queue for 'hands-on' time with this engaging new camera. (We plan to publish a detailed 'First Look' at a pre-production unit within the next two weeks.)

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A visitor to the Fujifilm stand tries out the X100 camera while another waits patiently for his turn.

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Front and rear views of the Fujifilm X100.

Aside from the X100, Canon and Pentax were the main manufacturers offering cameras that were genuinely new and in some way exciting. Canon's new DSLR models, the EOS 1100D and EOS 600D, were announced on Monday, 7 February, with the red-bodied version of the creating the most interest because it's the first time Canon has used this colour for a DSLR.

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Visitors to the CP+ show try out the new EOS 1100D and EOS 600D cameras on Canon's stand.

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A special area was set up to demonstrate the low-light capabilities of the new Canon DSLRs.

The 1100D will replace the EOS 1000D at the entry point in Canon's DSLR line-up, while the 600D slots in between the EOS 550D and EOS 60D. Details of both cameras have been published in our news report here (http://www.photoreview.com.au/news/productnews/canon-announces-two-entrylevel-dslrs.aspx).

Canon also unveiled five small-sensor digicams on February 7 and all were on display on the company's stand. However, from our observations, the main areas of interest were the new DSLRs and lenses, although the printing display drew a steady stream of visitors.
Another product of interest was the mock-up of the new Leica lens mount unit that will enable photographers to use Leica M-mount lenses on the Ricoh GXR body. Unlike the current sensor+lens modules, this one will consist of a sensor +mount module that will have a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor measuring 23.6 x 15.7 mm (APS-C size). It will also feature a new focal plane shutter system.

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The mock-up of the new Ricoh GXR Leica M-mount module, displayed on the company's stand at the CP+ show.

We have no details on when this module will be released, although the UK press release states it will be in the third quarter of the year. Pricing has also to be disclosed.

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Ricoh also mounted a display that enabled visitors to try out its recently-released small-sensor digicam, the CX5.

Pentax took the prize for the most colourful camera displays, with set-ups showing all the colour variations for the K-r model and the many 'jazzy' fronts for its Optio RS1000, a camera that enables users to switch the front panel colours to suit their moods.

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The many colour combinations available for the Pentax K-r on display at the CP+ show.

In Japan, this camera comes in 12 body colours with 10 grip colours so buyers can mix and match to their hearts' content and create eye-popping colour combinations or more sober mixes, depending on their tastes. The same 12 body colours are also offered for the DA 35mm f/2.4 AL kit lens that is bundled with the camera. (Other lenses are basic black!)

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Owners of the Pentax Optio RS1000 can customise their cameras to suit their moods.
The Optio RS1000, which was announced last September, features a 14.1-megapixel sensor and 4.9-19.6mm lens (28-110mm in 35mm format) and comes in white or black with a transparent front panel. Users can personalise the camera with graphics, illustrations or photographs printed on a downloadable template that slips in behind this panel.

Pentax also launched a new waterproof camera, the Optio WG-1, which comes with or without a built-in GPS receiver. Waterproof to 10 metres and able to withstand drops of up to 1.5 metres, it tolerates temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius and sports a 2.7-inch LCD screen and 28-140mm (equivalent) lens.

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Front and rear views of the new Pentax Optio WG-1.

Lego enthusiasts were impressed by the displays of the Optio NB1000, which was also unveiled in September. Essentially, this is a version of the Optio RS1000 in which the front panel has the characteristic Lego dimpling. It comes in two colours: safari green and monotone white. Users can attach Lego or Nanoblock bricks to create patterns or scenes.

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The display of the Pentax Optio NB1000, showing how the camera can be customised with Lego bricks.

Given the short time since the CES show, where many new releases were announced, several companies has no major new releases to display and contented themselves with showcasing their 'hero' products and presenting 'teasers' hinting at greater things to come. Among them were Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Samsung, who exhibited small-sensor digicams with little to excite serious enthusiasts.

Not unexpectedly, given the number of camera manufacturers who have added 'toy camera' effects to their latest models, the original toy cameras were on show on a special stand that displayed the Holga, Lomo and Diana brands in all their many configurations (including some 'Holgaroid' and 'Instax' models that use instant film).

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Designer, Doctor And, shows off some of the Holga cameras available at the CP+ show.

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Members of the Japanese press cluster around the A-Power stand where the 'toy' cameras were on show.

Accessories
Accessory products were also displayed in profusion and attracted considerable interest. Lenses were particularly popular, especially high-magnification prime lenses, which few amateur photographers can afford but many find irresistibly attractive.

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Some of the accessory manufacturers exhibiting at the CP+ 2011 show included: top row - Cosina Voigtlander and Nissin; second row - Slik and Vanguard tripods; bottom row - Kenko and a Chinese manufacturer of LED lighting equipment.

Canon announced five new lenses and celebrated the production of 60 million EF lenses, a landmark passed only last month. The company also showcased two Speedlite flash units. All were on show on the company's stand, with plenty of staff ready to demonstrate them to visitors. Details can be found at http://www.photoreview.com.au/news/.

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Staff on the Canon stand demonstrate the latest Canon lenses.

Sigma also launched three new lenses at the show: the 50-150mm f2.8 EX DC OS HSM APO for cameras with APS-C sized sensors, 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 II DG HSM and 105mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM macro, both for 'full frame' DSLRs. Sigma has also announced a commitment to produce lenses for Sony's E-mount (NEX) cameras, following the release of the specifications by Sony.

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Sigma's CEO and founder, Michihiro Yamaki (centre) was in attendance on the company's stand during the 'Premiere Time'.
Tamron had a number of new lenses to display, including the 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 DiII VC PZD and SP70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD extended-range zooms, which attracted considerable interest when the public was allowed into the exhibition.

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A visitor checks out one of the latest Tamron lenses at the company's stand.
Cosina Voigtlander mounted a comprehensive display of fast prime lenses, including the Nokton 35mm f/1.2 with Leica M-mount and 75mm f/1.8 with Canon and Nikon mounts.
Product demonstrations began when the show was opened to the public, with almost all exhibitors providing information and entertainment for visitors. Nikon was particularly prominent here, mounting three demonstration platforms operated by 'expert' presenters, whereas companies like Casio were content to let pretty girls carry their messages.

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The Nikon stand drew large audiences for its more technically-orientated product demonstrations.

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Olympus also ran a few demonstrations, highlighting specific products.
Overall, the show appears to have provided value for the investments made by the exhibitors. Pre-registrations for the first two days were 8,835 and 12,409 respectively - and these were normal working days in Japan. Numbers increased dramatically for Friday, 11 February, which was a public holiday, when 15,259 people pre-registered to attend, falling slightly on Saturday 12 February to 12,865 people. By the time the show's doors closed on Saturday evening a total of 49,368 people had registered to attend. (Entry was free of charge on the last two days.)