Looking back, Canon may someday regret its decision not to attend PMA 2010.
New concept cameras announced by Sony that will compete in the small DSLR market.
Why would I say that? Because suddenly there was more breathing space for those camera manufacturers trying to make a move in the market. And quite honestly, I'm seeing more traction than I had anticipated from the likes of Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, and Olympus. For example:
- In addition to its thriving booth atmosphere, Sony announced today its competition to the micro four thirds mirrorless SLRs. Additionally, their flagship DSLR, the Alpha 900, was touted by a series of talks by top professionals such as Andy Katz, and the presentations were impressive. On top of that, Sony released plans for new Zeiss 500mm F4 and 24mm f2 lenses -- solid equipment backed by big marketing dollars. And thanks to a no-show Canon and scaled back Nikon presence, Sony became the star of the show.
- Panasonic and Olympus aren't just sitting on their lens caps either. Panasonic continues to attract great interest in its Lumix DMC-GF1 and other micro four thirds bodies, plus keeps pushing forward on developing its lens lineup for these bodies. Olympus was showing off its latest entry, the E-PL1, which offers a great feature set, handsome looks, and runs $200 less than its previous micro four thirds offerings.
- Samsung was also making a big push on the PMA show floor. There was interest in their new high-end compact, the TL500, that features a fast f-1.8 24-72mm zoom (f-1.8 at the wide end), a flip out screen, and Raw capability. Many view this as a competitor to the Canon S90 (although I much prefer the S90's look and feel).
I think it's going to be interesting to see how all of this plays out over the coming months. Surely Canon and Nikon will continue to hold their impressive market share. At the same time, however, I wouldn't take my foot off the gas if I were any of these competitors. Sony saw an opportunity with this tradeshow, and they are definitely seizing the moment.
Plenty of Goodies Too
Of course the floor wasn't just all serious hardware. Accessory companies such as Joby showed off their latest wares. I had fun with the Gorillapod Magnetic that features three neodymium magnets that really latch on to metal surfaces. Now you have a whole new way to steady your compact camera.
The Joby Gorillapod Magnetic features serious gripping power on metal surfaces.
Lowepro, Think Tank, and Tamrac each saw a lot of activity in their respective bag booths. Obviously I was focused on Lowepro (since I am their photography evangelist), and saw good reaction to the new SlingShot series that improves on the already popular design. The Pro Rollers were also getting a lot of attention today.
In terms of what wasn't there, a very noticeable omission today was the lack of software of the show floor. In large part I think this was because Adobe chose not to attend the show. But in general, it felt like the trend this year was more about taking pictures than working with them on your computer.
I'm sure other things will jump out at me over the coming days. But these were the standouts on my first walk through the expo. I think PMA is still relevant, and many who attended the event today would probably agree.