Cameras, Bags and Helicopters? The Latest at PDN PhotoPlus Expo

Legionographer Johnny Bivera recently attended the Photo Plus Expo in New York. Here's a few notes from his journey.

Okay, normally when I get the chance I spend two to three days covering a photo trade show, but this year during New York’s PDN PhotoPlus Expo it only had to be 4 hours. With work schedule and other priorities, I was limited but did take advantage of a quick stop from a road trip between Cape Cod and Washington, DC.

So with only four hours one applies discipline, stamina and a focused mindset. As usual there’s so much, but having done this before I was focused on my interests of which I will share with you. First is registration, having registered very early online and getting the complimentary exhibit pass for doing so, saved me at least half an hour on arrival and money.

A quick sweep through the aisles, eyes careful to not miss anything, I managed to stop to say hello to a few colleagues and questioned vendors about their products that were new or upgrades.

I stopped and registered my name on the petition run by the Copyright Alliance. An effort to tell the White House to pursue policies that support the rights of artists, I just couldn’t pass up. You can do the same at: www.copyrightalliance.org/letter

I priced the cost of large paper trimmers for the office but ended up buying the latest lens baby ‘the Composer’, a cute lens that makes wonderful images. I find it hard to walk away from something great when you get them in your hands, which is probably why I opted not to put my fingers on the latest Nikon D3S. Too tempting and financially not the right time frame for my office to do that upgrade.

I saw lots and lots of bags, and took a good hard look at Kata’s video One-Man-Band (OMB) travel cases (http://www.bogenimaging.us/Jahia/site/bius/lang/en_US/pid/19391). I could see its use especially for overseas travel, it’s sturdy and versatile. I met award winning photographer and equipment designer Peter Geller, and we talked about his new line of camera straps, harness and laptop bag/fanny packs called the Sun Sniper. Geller and company is widely known for light modulating photo equipment ‘California Sun Bounce’. I gave him my two cents on future design possibilities for the needs of the new media photographer and we exchanged contact info and made commitments to collaborate on a later date.

I visited the booths for external storage drives and looked at the Lacie 4Big Quadra and the latest from Data Robotics, and it was great stuff, but I was very much impressed with the DroboPro (http://www.drobo.com/products/drobopro/) from Data Robotics. This will probably be on my list of equipment upgrades for the new-year. It gives you large business capability with user-friendly operation.

Another piece of equipment to look at if you haven’t already is the NEXTO Extreme ND 2700 (http://www.nextodiusa.com/) handheld multiple memory card slot backup system. I’ve used other brands before but they weren’t very consistent. This one sounds promising and has received pretty good reviews already.

I can’t list everything I saw but what I’ve mentioned is of what was most interesting to me, and to end this write up I want to share my most favorite piece of invention by photographer Jason Lam, creator of the AeriCam (http://www.aericam.com/), a personal portable aerial remote controlled mini-helicopter made from 30-pounds of aluminum that can carry a safe 6-pound payload, so it can attach different types of digital SLR's or video cameras within that weight category. It is remote controlled by a pilot who along with a camera operator steers the still or video camera via a live feed from the ground. Wow, I really could’ve used that in Antarctica where that high vantage point capability would have provided some unbelievable imagery. Mental note, create a project, find sponsor(s), have sponsor buy the helicopter…

Aerial Photography New York from Jason Lam on Vimeo.

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