Live from the WPPI 2013 Show Floor
by John Rettie
The WPPI 2013 Show Floor
March 13, 2013 —
With WPPI 2013 showing off the latest and greatest tech and photography products to hit the market, we sent out Tech Editor John Rettie to the show floor to search out his favorites. He's been sending in dispatches every day. We have them all collected here for you to read.
Trade Show Wrap Up
I found dozens of attendees rushing around the trade show during the last hour of the 2013 Expo as they purchased floor samples and took advantage of special show deals that were only valid during the show. I found a few more interesting new products during a final walk-through:
The Expo is Over…For Now
Day 3 Dispatch: Wednesday
The ability to hook cameras up to an iPad or computer has created a need for organizing all the tethered tools. Tether Tools has a growing array of equipment that makes the chore easier and safer. The Jerk Stopper, for example is a clever little clip that helps prevent an ethernet cable from being pulled out of the camera port. At WPPI, their display of workstation tables that attach to a tripod along with a new TabStrap to hold an iPad hands-free with a BlackRapid strap seemed to draw a lot of interest. Details of all the products can be found at www.tethertools.com.
Lowell Blender 3 Light Kit
The move away from flash units to continuous lighting systems was very much in evidence at WPPI. As LED lights improve in performance and come down in cost they are quickly becoming the lighting of choice, especially for videographers but also for more and more still photographers. Lowell demonstrated one of its latest products – the Blender 3 Light Kit that includes 3 Lowell Blenders with diffusers, AC adaptors and light stands in a bag. Each Blender has two sets of LEDs in Tungsten and daylight that can, as the name suggests, be blended to provide lighting that matches the ambient light. Full details at http://www.lowel.com/kits/blender3light.html.
Sigma continues to refresh its lineup to appeal to more professional photographers and provide an alternative to lenses from major camera manufacturers. A company rep tells me that the lineup of pro lenses is growing in popularity ever since it introduced the 85mm f/1.4 a couple of years ago. The newest lens in this line is the 35mm f/1.4 lens introduced at CES. Sigma has also put its toes in the water with a range of three micro 4/3 lenses.
Day 2 Dispatch: Tuesday
Day two of WPPI2013 was just as energetic as the opening day of the showroom. Here are two of our favorite products from the floor:Manfrotto Klyp iPhone Case
Manfrotto’s first accessory for an iPhone will appeal to those who use their iPhone for shooting video. It allows a user to stand an iPhone on a flat surface or mount it to a tripod. Other accessories can be attached including a soft light portrait LED lighting unit. Currently the Klyp only fits an iPhone 4S but a case for an iPhone 5 will be introduced soon. Details can be found on Manfrotto’s website.
Lowepro Flipside Sport Backpack
It might not look high-tech, but this new lightweight backpack uses top-of-the-line materials that are strong and also weather-resistant. The interior compartments for cameras and gear can be removed in a single unit and be replaced with another one holding made for different gear or left out entirely so the backpack can be used to carry non-photographic gear. Lowepro says it’s an ideal backpack for adventurous photographers shooting out in the desert or in bad weather conditions. Details can be found on Lowepro’s website.
Day 1 Dispatch- Monday
The show floor at WPPI was buzzing today with a slew of new products—check out a couple from today:
Last year at WPPI, PocketWizard introduced the Plus III which was well received by photographers who need to work on complex photo shoots with multiple cameras and many flashes. This year PocketWizard introduced the PlusX which uses the same sleek looking body but has simplified electronics and a price of just $99. This makes it affordable for photographers who have simpler setups and don’t need more than ten channels. It’s still made in America and uses LPA Design’s patented “Auto-Sensing Transceiver Technology” that works as a transceiver meaning each unit can transit or receive as needed.
Sekonic Litemaster Pro Bundle
Sekonic has introduced a special bundle for the recently introduced 478D and 478DR light meters that includes a special edition of the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport and a Gray balance card. It enables photographers to create color profiles for different cameras.
Launch Pad: Sunday
At the ever-popular Launch Pad event, WPPI 2013 attendees got a sneak peek at some of the products being displayed at the Trade Show. While many exhibitors displayed their latest wares, here are a couple that caught our eye.
The two ex-Brooks photography students who developed these new LED lighting systems claim that they provide full spectrum color tuning so they can be used to match other lights. The P360 has an array of specially designed Dense Matrix LEDs that can be tuned to different colors and color temperature settings from 3000K to 5600K. The P200 FlexJet is a similar unit but it is designed to be affixed to fiber optic or acrylic light sources for delivering creative lighting. Details can be found at www.fiilex.com.
As it’s name suggests this is a device that can be used with a Canon or Nikon DSLR to wirelessly transmit photos to an external device such as a iPhone or iPad for viewing images. It can also capture JPEG images instantly and be used to control the camera remotely. It fits on a camera’s hot shoe and is connected to the camera through its USB port. Details at www.hypershop.com.
All Photos by John Rettie, unless otherwise noted
John Rettie is a photojournalist who has been covering digital photography since its earliest days. He resides in Santa Barbara, CA, and readers are welcome to contact him directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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