Visitors to Melbourne can take advantage of free picture-taking advice and explore the latest imaging technologies at The Digital Show, which runs from 25-27 May at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Distributors of major camera brands, including Canon, Nikon, Epson, Fujifilm, Olympus, Pentax, Hasselblad and Ricoh, will be supporting a new program that provides free and comprehensive training on the show floor to help visitors elevate their picture taking to the next level. The move is a bid by the industry to move away from the concept of just selling technical gizmos to showing their customers how, with a few simple tips, the new technology can be used to improve their photography and find fun new ways of using pictures. The show talks will cover everything from taking better pictures, printing them for home decor and sharing photos on the net, tablets, e-books and smart TVs.

The Digital Show is the largest of its type in the Southern Hemisphere and is expected to attract in excess of  20,000 visitors. More than 100 brands will be on display covering everything from camera-carrying model helicopters that can fly over crowds to get that special picture, or macro lenses that create a work of art out of tiny subjects.

And for those that want to check out their camera skills in comparison to others, a giant photo gallery with more than 1000 pictures will show the talents of both top professional and amateur photographers. The photo gallery will also showcase the Nikon Press Photographer of the Year Awards, pictures supplied by local camera clubs and the work of photography students.

To find out just how the judging of a photo contest works, show visitors will be able to see in progress the judging of the Canon quest to find The Australian Photographer of the Year.   The judges make public comments as they award their points and the winner will be announced at the conclusion of the show.

This year’s The Digital Show will expand its educational program to include digital entertainment and the idea of convergence. The event will also mark the Australian debut of Pixar’s latest original Oscar nominated short film, La Luna.

The show entry fee of $20 has been waived for those who pre-register at website, or visit major retailers such as Camera House, Digital Camera Warehouse, Harvey Norman, Michaels and Teds for a free entry pass. Full details of the show and associated programs can be found at the show’s website.