WPPI - Las Vegas Trade Show
by Kevin Raber & Videos By Chris Sanderson
The Las Vegas Strip - New York New York Hotel
The WPPI Show
Chris Sanderson, the LuLa videographer and I visited Las Vegas earlier this month to work on some video projects as well as visit the Wedding Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) Trade Show & Convention. We spent three days at the Trade Show visiting vendors and doing a few interviews and we'd like to share some of what we found in this article. Why the WPPI Show you must be asking, that's a show for portrait and wedding photographers. This is an interesting show drawing thousands of photographers most specializing in the social segment of the photography industry. It's an interesting group dominated by women which shows how much this segment has changed over the years. Based on what we hear this market has a large group of part-time photographers especially focusing on the wedding market and children photography. The crowd was large and most attendees were spending a good portion of their time in workshops and lectures. Chris and I focused our attention on the trade show which was quite large and spanned two exhibit halls. There were hundreds of booths and many were color labs offering specialized merchandise products, album and book companies as well as backdrop and frame companies. In our article we will share what we feel is of interest to our readers focusing on hardware, printing, and accessories that make our jobs easier.
The NEW Nikon DF
The Nikon DF seemed to be ignored and spent a lot of time on the case. The focus was on the NEW Nikon D4s.
The Nikon D4s was quite impressive with a very fast frame rate. If you are familiar with the older Nikon D4 you won't notice too much difference in the look of the camera. The upgrades are all under the hood. It is curious that Nikon would do an upgrade and not scale the sesnor to 24mp. However, the image quality we have seen from this 16mp sensor is very good. If you need a high performance camera then the specs on this are quite good.
Gina From Hasselblad with the HV Camera
Hasselblad had their own booth and prior to the show announced the pricing and specs of the H5D-50C their 50mp CMOS digital camera system. We hope to test this system sometime once it becomes reality. We also asked and were shown the elusive Lunar and HV cameras. Hmmm, they have nice grips.
Wonder What This Is - 645D 2014 Product Concept?
Pentax had a small booth and had their 645 systems under glass. Could the image above be the rumored 645 50mp CMOS?
Spider Camera Holster
The Spider Camera Holster
I was very intrigued by the Spider Camera Holster. I have been looking for a way to carry camera to have them available for quick use without camera bags and straps over the shoulder - especially since I use mirrorless camera options more and more,. The demo made by the folks at Spider was quite impressive and they have a variety of solutions to carry cameras securely and which allow fast access. We'll be trying some if these solutions out over the next month and will have a separate article on them.
The Fuji Booth Was Packed
The Fuji booth was jammed for the whole show. If there was a hot product at the show, it was the NEW Fuji X-T1. This camera has been making news all over and has a ton of good reviews. The compact size and speed of this camera got the attention of wedding and portrait photographers at this show as well. We have had two reviews on LuLa regarding this camera. Our initial review by Nick Devlin and a follow up by Michael Reichmann. Chris and I also did a video in Zion National Park comparing the Fuji X-T1 and Olympus OMD-EM1. We'll have this review in our video store in the near future. Fuji has an impressive set of lenses for this camera as well as their other X series cameras and a few more coming. We had the chance to sit down and speak with Justin Stailey of Fuji and you can view this interview below.
Chris Couldn't Keep His Hands Off of The GH4
While other camera companies have been focusing on still photography, Panasonic has been putting emphasis on the video line. Luminous-Landscape has been using the GH2 and GH3 for videos for some time now and the NEW GH4 certainly has gotten our attention. This camera will offer 4K video as well as still captures. Chris spent quite a bit of time discussing the GH4 with the Panasonic reps and I am happy to report we have a camera on order and I am sure that Chris will have more to say on the product once we have it and are producing videos with it.
Chris managed to get both of our GH3s and zooms cleaned, serviced and updated gratis by the technicians at the Panasonic booth. That was worth the price of admission. Thanks Panny!
David Tobie of Datacolor Explains Their Products
Datacolor offers a unique and extensive line of tools to help you handle color management in a variety of ways - from the initial shoot to the post processing side. We had an informative talk with David Tobie and learned how the use of the Spyder Tools can help all of us achieve accurate color. We took home a Spyder CUBE. It is a unique product which allows the setting of white and black points as well as a neutral color target for color balance. I started using it during the rest of trip and it works great.
The Datacolor SpyderCUBE In Use
Phase One Dealer Capture Integration Had a Large Booth
Phase One who recently made headlines not only with their NEW IQ25O but also the acquisition by Silverfleet Capitol was all over the show. Represented by no fewer than 3 different booths and dealers they were showing off the IQ250 as well as their other products and doing numerous live demos. Present at the show were Digital Transitions from NYC, Capture Integration with numerous locations around the country and Samys from the west coast.
A Live Shoot Using an IQ250 at Samy's Booth
Sigma DP Quattro
Over the last few years Sigma has been very busy releasing new lenses and gaining quite a good reputation for the quality of their products. While they had quite a bit of attention for the lenses they offered at the show, the main interest was the DP Quattro. This new camera has certainly generated interest and speculation on the LuLa forum. Sigma was kind enough to set aside some time and meet with us. Rudy Guttosch of Foveon sat down with us and gave a detailed explanation of the Foveon technology going into the Quattro. The video below as well as accompanying graphics may help explain a bit more about how this new camera and the Foveon chip will work.
A Foveon Explanantion
The Quattro Image Sensor
Rudy Guttosch Shows Some Early Large Prints From The Quattro
The Acratech GP Ballhead
I own three ball heads for my tripods. The heavy Arca Swiss cube and the RRS 55BH for my two heavy duty tripods. I have a more compact 1200 series Gitzo tripod with an Acratech original ballhead on it. The Acratech head has been a great and simple head to use on this tripod. It is light in weight and functions flawlessly. Acratech has taken the simple idea and improved on it. The GP Ballhead is small and lightweight and performs with big ballhead specs. Scott Dordick shows us the Arcatech head in action in the video below.
Epson Had Plenty Of Images On Different Paper Types On Display
The question has been asked many times, when will Epson introduce a new printer? It wasn't at WPPI. There were plenty of Epson printers on display and especially a variety of printers suited for different workflows. What was NEW was the introduction of a new paper surface. Epson announced a metallic paper available in Luster and Glossy surfaces. Metallic paper seems to be very popular these days and with the right subject matter and lighting the prints made on this paper can be very dramatic. We took a few minutes to talk to Jeff Smith of Epson about this new paper.
A Large Print On Photo Silk Baryta
A trade show is a good place to visit paper manufacturers and to learn what's new in printing papers. While visiting the Hahnemühle booth we saw some large examples of their papers and I was particularly attracted to the Photo Silk Baryta. This is a lovely heavyweight paper with a gorgeous surface. Another one of their surfaces I really liked was the Photo Rag Matte Fine Art paper. This paper has a very nice rough feel to it. I look forward to doing some printing on these papers. They also had on display a Metallic Canvas and they printed a scene that had a gold statue in it. The gold looked like it was gold leafed. So many options to try out.
One of my favorite paper companies also had a booth at the show. Moab has some incredible papers. For years I have printed on Kayenta papers and still have a large inventory of this paper. They showed all their paper surfaces and like the other paper companies also have a great looking metallic paper.
Weston Maggio Working On A Cintiq Tablet
I have seen them being used and now I want one. The Wacom Cintiq tablets are the ultimate way to work on your files in Photoshop or other programs. Using a pen and touch of a finger you can directly interact with the Cintiq and retouch and enhance your images. These devices have to be seen to be truly appreciated. We spent some time with Weston Maggio and he shared with us in the video below how the Cintiq works in real time.
A Demo Of The Macphun Software Products
We all tend to rely heavily on Photoshop for our post processing and image enhancement. These days though there are other solutions and Macphun has a number of very impressive applications to do some of the heavy lifting without having to rely on Photoshop. I have personally used their programs for a while now and they are very simple to use and provide very good results. Take a look at their products. They will pay for themselves after only one use.
The Rest Of The Show
Below are a few other images made on the trade show floor. . .
Quad Copters Were Shown In Numerous Booths
Ice Light by Wescott - Battery Operated Light Wand - Interesting Possibilities
Bayphoto Had A Huge Booth - They Make Great Aluminim Prints and A Variety Ways To Display Your Work
Sony Was At WPPI But There Was Always Room In Their Booth
Canon, Nikon As Well As Others Had Numerous Live Demos And Talks
Sony and Canon Had Repair Facilities With Glass Walls Where You Could Watch Cameras Being Repaired
Shopping For Photo Products - A Color Lab Specialty
After The Show
Chris and I had some fun after the show walking the strip and doing some night photography.
This is a Photokina year and it's been interesting so far as there have been many announcements with more being planned in the weeks ahead. Seems that Photokina is no longer the big platform for product announcements. I'm sure there will be new products and it will be a good chance to catch up with all the manufacturers and their products.
March 18, 2014