This year’s The Photography Show starts today at the rather cold and snowy Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (NEC).
I’m here at the show today to search out the show highlight, including interesting exhibits and show gear deals.
Here’s my first update from the show; a gallery of shots from WEX, Cameraworld and LCE, who are the main three camera retailers exhibiting this year:
Meanwhile, all the main camera marques are exhibiting. It has to be said the Nikon stand, although located in a prime position near the main entrance, seems smaller and less visible than it has been in the past. Canon has a massive stand at the opposite end of the hall, complete with cavernous presentation theatre. Olympus, Panasonic, Sony and Fujifilm occupy the centre of the hall with spaciously large stands. Pentax/Ricoh are off to one side with a rather more modest sized stand. Sigma again has a large and impressive stand to show off its wares. Tamron’s is more modest. A gallery of shots from the show aisles will follow later.
For more information about the exhibitors attending and the parallel events, including talks by great name photographers, check out The Photography Show official website.
Is Canon heralding a bid for dominance of the mirrorless system camera market?
If there is one thing that emerged from the recent CP+ photography trade show in Japan it was confirmation that mirrorless cameras will finally take over from DSLRs. Canon bosses are reportedly targeting domination of the mirrorless system camera sector after years of fairly innocuous involvement at the fringes. An interview by the DPReview mega site with Sony’s camera division General Manager, Kenji Tanaka, appeared to confirm Canon’s intentions and more.
Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus and Panasonic Lumix, currently own the mirrorless system camera market. Nikon and Canon have, instead, tinkered with mirrorless cameras, carefully avoiding unnecessary competition with their established domination of the DSLR sphere.
Tough times for all system cameras
However, system camera sales across the board, including mirrorless, but especially DSLRs, are facing tough competition from the ubiquity and improving quality and usability of cameras in smartphones. But it seems mirrorless is now recognised as the more profitable and sustainable avenue for the future of system cameras.
Sony’s Tanaka not only expects Canon to invest heavily in mirrorless, especially full frame, but Nikon, too. While they can technically claim to have been a reasonably early participant in the mirrorless revolution, Nikon went for a small 1 inch sensor format for its Nikon 1 system. Sales never really took off and there hasn’t been much in the way of new Nikon 1 releases for some time. Canon has been very conservative with its EOS-M mirrorless system, though its more recent models like the EOS-M5 and M50 show a rapid expansion in Canon’s ambitions, albeit still only in the consumer sector.
Professionals will be key
Despite the arrival of some increasingly impressive professional specification mirrorless cameras, DSLRs are still the mainstay of most high visibility press, sports and wildlife photographers. Nikon and Canon DSLR shooters value not only the excellence of their gear but also the extensive and vital professional support provided by the two big marques.
But there is no getting away from the facts. DSLRs and their lenses are relatively big, heavy, and now no longer as dominant in image quality and performance in other technical areas like autofocus and shooting speed. DSLRs are also mechanically more delicate and complicated to manufacture. A lot of specialist professionals have switched away from Nikon in order to lighten their camera bags.
Meanwhile, features like video, image stabilisation and new trick functionalities are giving mirrorless cameras key advantages and genuine appeal for professionals. Nikon and Canon are going to be duty-bound to provide professional grade mirrorless cameras for their legions of professional photographers. This will finally endow the mirrorless sector with the professional legitimacy it has sought to achieve for so long.
Panasonic Lumix invented the modern mirrorless phenomenon ten years ago when it launched the Micro Four Thirds system via the Lumix G1. It’s taken a long time, much longer than mirrorless fans predicted, but there are now clear signs that the dominance of the SLR era really is about to end.
New addition to Billingham Hadley photographic bag range provides outstanding protection for compact system cameras
14 March 2018: Billingham has added the Hadley Small Pro to its renowned Hadley camera bag range, offering exceptional protection for small mirrorless system cameras, rangefinders and mid-sized DSLRs. Precision-engineered at Billingham’s manufacturing facility in the West Midlands, the Hadley Small Pro builds upon the successful Hadley Small – one of the company’s most popular bags – with the addition of several practical new features designed for professional photographers.
Rugged, weather-resistant yet extremely compact and light, the Hadley Small Pro is perfect for travelling, or for carrying smaller equipment on location shoots or daily photographic work. The new bag will be available in six classic colour combinations from the end of March 2018 from authorised Billingham stockists and www.billingham.co.uk, and will have a suggested retail price of £200 including VAT.
As with all Billingham products, the Hadley Small Pro is made in England, and crafted from the company’s highly durable canvas or colour-fast FibreNyte material. These hard-wearing textiles are bonded to Stormblock material: two layers of fabric fused with butyl rubber for ultimate weather resistance. Due to its special composition, Stormblock never requires ‘reproofing’, remaining water-resistant for its entire life.
Following feedback from Billingham customers, the bag has been enhanced with a number of new features. A strong, padded, leather-reinforced handle has been added to the top cover to provide extra comfort and a secure grip. The adjustable, shuttle woven polyester shoulder strap is now detachable, transforming the Hadley Small Pro into a stylish, compact messenger bag when removed, ideal for photographers wishing to use it as carry-on luggage. A handy rear pocket, featuring a water-repellent zip for protection against adverse conditions, allows owners to stow important documents such as passports or tickets for quick and easy access when on the move.
A durable rear luggage strap enables the bag to be conveniently retained on a trolley suitcase handle for fuss-free transportation.
The Hadley Small Pro’s premium quality fittings and buckles have been manufactured from solid brass, while the trims and straps are made from the finest full-grain leather. Each bag has been carefully finished and numbered by an individual Billingham team member and carries a unique serial code, and the signature Billingham logo has been embossed into leather on the front main flap.
Its sculpted top cover protects the contents from the elements, while inside the bag, a generously padded full-sized insert delivers excellent impact protection for valuable equipment, which can be unclipped and removed if required, to convert the Hadley Small Pro to a work bag, compact travel holdall or day bag for personal belongings.
For additional flexibility, within the insert are two removable, repositionable padded vertical dividers that run the height of the bag, plus two smaller dividers for stacking lenses. The top of the insert features a padded flap, further safeguarding possessions from rain, and delivering added protection in the event of a fall or knock.
Two spacious, expanding front pockets provide extra capacity for storing lenses or accessories, and incorporate studs that can be unfastened or closed for increased versatility. The leather front straps with Quick Release System ensure fast and discreet access to the equipment inside the bag, and can be effortlessly opened or secured with one hand. Two high quality brass buckles allow the photographer to adjust the leather straps to fit snugly around the front pockets and their contents.
The Billingham Hadley Small Pro comes with a five year manufacturer’s guarantee.
Billingham Hadley Small Pro specifications
External dimensions (W x D x H)
Internal dimensions (W x D x H)
330mm x 140mm x 260mm
260mm x 80mm x 190mm
Weight (inc shoulder sling and padded insert)
Main compartment capacity
Front pockets (x2) capacity
0.5 to 0.75 litres each
Removable full insert
Divider set (2 x small and 2 x large dividers)
Removable shoulder sling
Fine leather shoulder pad (SP40)
Fine leather luggage tally
Replacement insert, dividers and straps as above
Harry Billingham, director, said, “Once again, we have listened to the feedback and specific requests from our loyal customers, and have integrated the most-wanted features into this newly-designed model. Created with mid-sized DSLRs and CSCs in mind, the Hadley Small Pro is deceptively spacious and versatile, and can be configured with the supplied accessories and inserts to suit the individual photographer’s needs. We believe users will welcome the additional functionality, comfort and convenience of the Hadley Small Pro, which has been painstakingly engineered for ultimate portability and protection.”
A family business, Billingham thoroughly sources and tests all materials, ensuring that every bag is built for maximum strength and reliability, using the most innovative, durable and authentic components. Manufacturing is carried out to meticulous standards of technical precision, and once the product passes the company’s rigorous quality checks, an individual laser-engraved woven label containing a unique 10-digit barcoded serial number is applied. This represents the Billingham seal of excellence, and allows the bag to be registered, identified and tracked throughout its life.
Somewhere in Italy, photography enthusiast, Samuel Mello Medeiros, is living his dream to bring thousands of neglected film cameras back from obscurity and into the digital era. His project to replace 35mm film canisters with a digital sensor module that can, in relative terms, be easily transplanted in to a wide variety of old cameras, is now in full swing thanks to Kickstarter crowd funding. The product of Medeiros’ labours is called ‘I’m Back’ and designed to be affordable, too.
Laughable? Maybe not
Digital replacements for film in 35mm cameras have had a laughable history. In the late 1990s an outfit called Silicon Film tried to develop a solutions called EFS-1. It never made it to market. More recently in 2011 the idea was re-hashed via a website called www.re35.com. This was launched on 1st of April by a German company that had no product, but simply sought to demonstrate that there was real interest in such a goal. You may be tempted to greet the I’m Back news with some suspicion, but to date the signs are looking positive.
Medeiros has more than achieved his pledge targets on Kickstarter. His design appears to be functional and the specifications look realistically cheap enough to not be vapourware. The electronics are based around the popular and inexpensive Raspberry Pie versatile microcomputer board. It’s mated to an off the shelf Ambarella image processor. Another relatively inexpensive component – a 2/3rd inch 16 megapixel image sensor made by Panasonic. That’s a compact camera sensor, incidentally, with a cropping factor of around 4x.
A mirror diverts the host camera’s field of view downwards to the sensor. Everything is housed in a simple plastic module that can be screwed to the base of the host camera once the film compartment door has been removed. Medeiros says that potentially hundreds of film camera models can take variants of the I’m Back device. A finished ready-ti-use product is promised for May this year. If you’re that way inclined you can save a large chunk of the €175 price tag by purchasing a kit or even the blueprints for your own DIY build.
Clearly I’m Back is not about full frame camera image quality aspirations. Instead, Medeiros says it should interest those attracted to Lomography and pin-hole photography.
Copytrack know all too well that managing content online can seem like nothing but a mess. 85% of online images are used without a licence showing serious work needs to be done to combat digital image theft. Internet users are often left confused when talking about copyright online, especially when trying to get their heads around rights of use – “It’s free to use, right?” It’s vital to understand when you can and can’t share images online to prevent digital theft. This leads to interesting excuses created to deny digital image theft.
But why is digital image theft online so common? Why is little done to prevent it? Despite it being easy to obtaining digital content, it is copyrighted and has to be paid for- shock horror. To help us understand what the hell’s going on, new author and long-time lawyer Marie Slowioczek-Mannsfeld has come to the rescue. Together with Robert Golz she has written the book How to use Photos Legally Online (Fotos Rechtssicher Nutzen Im Internet) that finally outlines all the dos and don’ts when it comes to obtaining and using content online. This is what Marie had to say to Copytrack about image theft online.
Do we all have to pay for images that we share online?
Whoever earns money only should be sure that they’re not infringing on other’s rights. This is especially valid for someone who is using the images on products. It’s just not a question about being fair to the photographer, but also infringing copyright can be expensive, annoying, and take time to resolve. This is where the book comes in, it helps ensure image users avoid these issues, when you know the rules.
The biggest misconceptions when it comes to digital content
The biggest misconception is that everything available on the Internet is for free. Many internet users think that everything they find on Google can be copied and used without further ado. A common misunderstanding is also that copyright notice is needed to protect a picture. That is not true. A photo is also protected without copyright notice. Another common misconception is that you can use an image if you give the source. This is true in a few exceptions, but in most cases, it is not correct.
Why is content online stolen so often?
Because it’s so easy. On the Internet you have constant access to everything 24/7. All you have to do is enter a search term in Google and you will get the image you are looking for, which can then be downloaded quickly and in good quality. You don’t have to register, you don’t have to pay anything. And all this takes just a few minutes. And often there is a lack of knowledge that images are also protected by copyright online.
Why do you think digital theft isn’t taken as seriously compared to theft in the real world?
I think that’s because of two things. On the one hand, image theft is very widespread on the Internet – it is considered a trivial offence. On the other hand, this is in the nature of the digital world. If you steal a carpenter’s furniture- it’s gone. He worked for nothing. If you steal a digital image from a photographer’s website, at first glance they don’t have any damage at all. The picture’s still there, he can sell it on. It’s just a copy after all. One can already imagine: Why does the photographer act like this in the first place? The fact that the photographer makes a living selling prints or copies of his photos is often not thought of.
What are your top tips for business looking to utilize images for their businesses?
Do not rely on free image databases on the Internet. If you want to use photos commercially, spend some money and purchase a license from a reputable agency. If there is something wrong with the rights to the image, you can take recourse at the agency if necessary. And if you buy images from an agency, make yourself familiar with the license terms. Agencies are subject to severe penalties for violating the license terms. Often there are also good overviews, which summarize the rights of use in detail.
“The internet/technology is developing faster than the laws that govern it.” In the future, do you think the law will ever be able to govern the internet affectively without restricting its users?
The legal system is a lengthy one, especially if it works internationally, for example at European level. That is why the legislature cannot react so quickly to any change or new invention. I am positive, however, that one day it will be possible to regulate the Internet in a sensible way. If we look at what has happened in recent years, we are probably on the right track. In addition, there is also the further development of the law by the courts. However, as long as there are still questions about the tolerability of framing, so there is still a lot to be done.
“…no one likes it
when they’re proven wrong.
A lot of digital image theft is
not committed with intention,
but instead a result of a lack
Law varies from country to country; however, the internet is a global body. What kind of issues does this create and what can be done to resolve them?
A picture that is used illegally on the Internet can be accessed around the clock from anywhere in the world. That begs the question: Where did the infringement actually happen? The answer to this question is important, because it determines not only the law under which the use of images must be examined, but also which court has local jurisdiction. However, the question is often not so easy to answer. This is definitely a problem of the global nature of the Internet. Once the applicable law has been determined, the principles of copyright law are internationally similar, but the laws differ in detail. A clearly infringing act in Germany, for example, can be completely legal in the Netherlands. Finally, of course, the question of the amount of damages is also open. For example, Austrian copyright law stipulates that the author may claim twice or their appropriate remuneration as compensation for damages. German law does not recognize such a doubling. All this requires special knowledge, which can often only be assessed correctly by an expert. This often makes cross-border enforcement of copyright infringements cumbersome and expensive.
It would be great if copyright law were to be standardized internationally. But this should remain a dream. It would already be helpful, if the copyright law would have been as evolved as the trademark law, which has been harmonised throughout Europe. When it comes to copyright law, there are some approaches and guidelines at European level, but we are far from being standardized.
Will the internet ever be a safe place to share work, or is the risk just part of the internet’s nature?
Pictures will always be stolen on the internet. However, I think that the advantages of presenting and offering your own pictures to a photographer on the Internet outweigh the disadvantages of digital image theft. It is not the case that photographers are completely unprotected. There are technical possibilities to prevent image theft in different ways. It’s there at the photographer to figure it out. You don’t leave your front door unlocked.
At copytrack we work to try to make the internet a fairer place, and help ensure photographers get paid for their work. However, we’re often met with a lot retaliation, and called scammers, why do you think people react in this way?
Firstly, no one likes it when they’re proven wrong. A lot of digital image theft is not committed with intention, but instead a result of a lack of knowledge. This means many image users have no guilt about using the images and become a little sceptical when someone tells them that they have broken the law. As well as that there are many scammers online, who are always trying to convince gullible people out of their money. So actually, it’s completely understandable that people are sceptical when a service like Copytrack approach them asking them for money. Often, however, even after the explanation of the facts of a case, there is a lack of the empathy and understanding. There is still a lot of educational work needs to be done.
Marie Slowioczek-Mannsfeld, is the Head of Legal at Copytrack, and has been working with intellectual copyright for over 4 years.
Copytrack (www.copytrack.com) was founded in 2015 by Marcus Schmitt and currently employs around 25 people from legal, IT, customer service and finance. The service supports photographers, publishers, image agencies and e-commerce providers. It includes a risk-free search of the global Internet for image and graphics data uploaded by users at Copytrack are found with a hit accuracy of 98 per cent. The customers define if images are used without a license and even determine the amount of subsequent fees supported by an automatic license calculator on the portal. Copytrack is fully responsible for an out-of-court solution in over 140 countries as well as a legal solution in the areas relevant to copyright law. If the image has been successfully licensed, the rights holder receives up to 70 percent of the agreed sum. The pure search function is free of charge.
INTRODUCING THE SNAP-GRIP: A LIGHTWEIGHT AND VERSATILE MOUNTING SOLUTION FOR DYNAMIC SHOOTING
• The Multi-mount clamp has three mounting options allowing for various setups to suit your style of image making
• Modular construction with PICA-POD components for ultimate versatility
• Available soon in a range of materials to suit your lifestyle
With mobile photography and filmmaking on the rise (and rise), mounting and accessory solutions are becoming more crucial for mobile journalists, vloggers and consumers alike.
Supplied exclusively by specialist distributor, InfinityX, the brand-new Snap-Grip from Pica-Gear is built from the very same modular components as the popular Pica-Pod. Demonstrating the same tough qualities and versatility as its big brother, the Snap-Grip comes complete with three camera screw points, which means that it can be extended, giving ultimate flexibility in a wide range of shooting situations.
• Snap Grip is an extendable system supporting both action cameras and smartphones
• Configure digital devices around your action cam to improve image quality or connectivity into social media
• Handle mode: creates steadier blur-free images
Whilst other mounting solutions in the market incorporate a handle, the Snap-Grip’s handle adapts to form a mini tripod. Complete with solid brass screw inserts and aluminium anodised tripod legs, the Snap-Grip is perfect for use in the following scenarios:
Whilst other mounting solutions in the market incorporate a handle, the Snap-Grip’s handle adapts to form a mini tripod. Complete with solid brass screw inserts and aluminium anodised tripod legs, the Snap-Grip is perfect for use in the following scenarios:
• With tripod: Capturing group shots
• Take a break and set your device down for convenient Image playback/browsing with smartphones
• The multi-mount clamp has a wide reach to support even the larger smartphones
Steve Cumbers, Managing Director, InfinityX, said: “The Snap-Grip represents a giant leap in possibilities for photographers and filmmakers shooting with mobile devices and action cameras. The product is exceptional in terms of its versatility and its build quality will reassure users that they will be able to trust the Snap-Grip for many years to come.”
Steve added: “With various extension kits and accessories in the pipeline, users can be assured that the Snap-Grip ecosystem will only continue to grow, ensuring users a reassuring and increasingly capable range of compatible products.”
Designed and produced to military standard, Pica-Gear products offer image-makers the most versatile, reliable and robust products currently in the specialist imaging market.
Pica-Gear products have designed specifically for ‘run & gun’ filmmakers, photojournalists and vloggers, but with the ability to adapt to any situation for both videographers and photographers. They have been meticulously engineered for professional and durable use; offering limitless options for setting up all kinds of cameras, monitors, power and audio solutions; giving the user a distinct advantage in their ability to adapt to any given shooting situation and from hand-grip to mini tripod in seconds.
InfinityX is a brand-new, dynamic, UK-based distributor, serving the specialist imaging and sports markets. Carving a niche in the growing action and mobile image-making markets, InfinityX stand alone in offering exceptional products, coupled with UK support and warranties.
Award-winning British tripod maker, 3 Legged Thing announces the return of their iconic, hero, travel tripod, Brian, with new and refined features.
STAGSDEN, BEFORDSHIRE – 12th March 2018
He’s back! 3 Legged Thing’s most iconic tripod has been given an extensive facelift, and now joins 3LT’s Punks range of tripods. Thoroughly refined and improved, the new Punks Brian is a true travel tripod – lightweight for portability at only 1.45 kg / 3.1 lb, and compact for transportation, folding to just 41 cm / 16.5 “. Brian’s travel pedigree does not forsake any capability as his 2 column sections and 5 leg sections offer ultimate versatility, as well as a maximum height of 1.87 m / 74 “.
Danny Lenihan, 3 Legged Thing’s Founder & CEO explains the return: “Brian was our first ever tripod, and the catalyst for our naming trend, and inspiration for all the brands that have followed suit. We retired Brian after four incarnations – 1st Gen, 2nd Gen, Evo 2 and Evo 3, back in 2015, with a heavy heart. At the time we felt we needed a fresh angle. We’ve missed him every day since, and so I am so excited to announce his return, but this time as part of our iconic Punks range.”
The brand new Punks Brian will be unveiled at The Photography Show, which takes place at the NEC, Birmingham from 17-20th March 2018, and can be viewed at 3 Legged Thing’s exhibition stand no E71 throughout the show.
Designed and engineered in Stagsden, England, Punks Brian is made from eight layers of 100% pure pre-preg carbon fibre, and includes all the premium features users expect from 3 Legged Thing tripods. These include a detachable monopod leg; patented Tri-mount plate which allows the attachment of accessories; removable and reversible centre column; ultra-low-level shooting using the widest 80 ̊ leg angle; and ergonomic, water-dispersing bubble-grips which provide better leverage, even in damp conditions.
Like 3 Legged Thing’s other tripods, Brian includes modular functionality, enabling users to remove, attach and reconfigure elements of the tripod allowing a multitude of uses. This includes the removable centre column which allows use of the tripod as low as 11 cm / 4.3”, and can also be added to the detachable monopod leg to create an ultra-tall monopod that extends to 1.92 m / 75.5”.
Available in two colourways – grey and blue with copper accents; and matte black with accents of British Racing Green – Punks Brian additionally includes an AirHed Neo ballhead which incorporates two spirit level bubbles; a tough nylon drawstring carry bag; and rubber Bootz footwear which grip a variety of surfaces. Brian’s footwear can be changed to suit different terrains, and 3 Legged Thing offers Heelz, Clawz, and Stilettoz for sale separately.
Brian is available to pre-order from 12th March, and will be available online and via camera retailers worldwide from 2nd April 2018.
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Headquartered in a converted chicken shed (The Chicken Shed) on Kinsbourne Farm, in Stagsden, Bedfordshire, 3 Legged Thing is a small, British company of passionate people, creating and innovating camera support systems for photographers and videographers. 3 Legged Thing is the Winner of the Lucie Technical Award’s 2017 Tripod of the Year.