Taipei International Digital Photography and Media Equipment Exhibition
This is the third time for me to visit the Photo Gear expo in Taipei. Similar to most expos in Taipei, the camera gear event has a lot more to do with selling stuff than introducing new gears.
However, there are definitely people here hunting for newly-released cameras, and they’re in luck this year.
So what’s new at this year’s photo expo?
Two cameras are making their debut at the expo this year – the Nikon 1 series (both V1 and J1; the J1 even have the pink-color limited edition bodies) and the Fujifilm FinePix X10 (the younger brother of X100, so to speak). In fact, I heard of someone from central Taiwan rushing up to the expo ground just to buy the black-retro-looking beauty.
Aside from that, my major objective was to help my friend find a useful backpack for his gear (Nikon 300s with two lenses and a flash). Since he’s someone with strong opinions about aesthetics and carrying comfort, the venue is probably the best place to look because the exhibitors have the different models in stock.
After several rounds at the bag shops, we narrowed the selection down to Crumpler’s Karachi Outpost and Kata’s Minibee (I prefer Think Tank Photo’s Shape Shifter, but the option was discarded because of the way it looks… oh well).
At the end, he chose the Minibee because of the nice material and the design with the two rods and mesh for back support and ventilation. I was pretty moved by the design, but the price tag was a bit too high. Maybe next year…
Now, what really surprised me was the Manfrotto’s booth. This was the first time for me to see their new line of products – camera bags and photographer apparels! Granted, the design of the photo vest was really cool (and I like the huge Manfrotto logo on the back), but the price is just WAY out there. As for the bags… well, I think they’re just mediocre.
Now, as for the booths of the two main camera makers Canon and Nikon, I noticed that Nikon has tried some new things this year – including a brand new telephoto lens try-it-out corner. Even though I think the sign “I AM Eagle Eye” looks stupid, I really like the feel of the D3s paired up with the 600 f/4 (or something along that size – I didn’t look too closely).
I also had a fun time enjoying the view of the lens display set up by Nikon. It’s quite an eye-catcher for people walking by. On the other hand, Canon’s display was pretty pathetic, with the only lens display scattered all over the place; the only place you get to see all the lenses together is the commercial on this wall.
Other things worth mentioning include the Black Rapids booth where the newest Sports R strap was on display and a free camera and lens cleaning service. It’s quite impressive to see an experienced camera craftsman at work, seeing how fast and precise they go about cleaning the gears. However, I’m not so sure whether using Kimwipes on lenses is a good idea though.
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