Check out The Photography Show this weekend
If you are within striking distance of Birmingham this weekend it’s well worth going to The Photography and Video Show, which following the demise of the German Photokina event, has become one of the biggest and best photography shows in the world.
The Photography Show really does have something for everyone: it’s not just a trade show, so there is a lot of great stuff to buy, with bustling stands from all the major camera, lens and accessory makers and top retailers (most of whom offer exclusive show discounts).
Don’t worry if you are giving the credit card a break, however, as there are hundreds of talks and workshops for photographers, giving you access to tips and insight some of the world’s best pros. Many of these are free.
The show runs from September 17th through to the 20th, though it is closed on Monday for the Queen’s funeral. Here’s a run-through of the highlights this year.
See the hottest new gear
Apart from Leica and Pentax, most of the big camera and lens makers are out in force at the show. A lot of great new products have been released over the last year, which you can handle on the stands now Covid restrictions have been lifted.
At the higher end of the camera range, highlights include the Canon EOS R7, a high-end 32.5Mp powerhouse which still offers a lot of resolution and superb autofocus features if you don’t need a full-frame sensor. For full-frame fans, Canon will also be showing of its mirrorless flagship camera, the EOS R3.
Then there is the Nikon Z 9, named camera of the year in the latest EISA awards, delivering outstanding image quality from its 45.7Mp full-frame sensor – it’s blazingly fast too, able to record 30 frames per second in JPEG mode or an astonishing 20 frames per second if you shoot raw. It’s got powerful video features too.
Sony is now one of the biggest names in cameras, and the innovative company will be showcasing its Alpha 7 IV, which EISA crowned the best full-frame camera of 2022-3.
Fujifilm and OM Digital Solutions (formerly Olympus) will be well represented too. Check out the OM System OM-1, which proves there is still a lot of life left in the Micro Four Thirds format, or the Fujifilm X-T30 II, which offers pro performance at a more amateur price.
We live in tough and uncertain times economically, so don’t assume the show is just for well-heeled punters with a spare five grand in their pocket. Major retailers, such as CameraWorld and LCE, have large stands offering a wide range of discounts on cheaper cameras and lenses. They sell used gear too, which is carefully checked and comes with a guarantee (unlike eBay). Watch out for some great show discounts, particularly on accessories like bags and tripods.
There is even a camera jumble sale at the Disabled Photographers’ Society stand, so you can get some real bargains, particularly with older film cameras (there are plenty of other film photography specialists with stands at the show too, so it’s not just for digital shooters.
Talks, talks, talks
In previous shows, the Super Stage has hosted some of the world’s greatest photographers – Don McCullin, Bailey, Salgado – and there are some great speakers this year too. Check out landscape ace Colin Prior, for example, or the well-respected nature photographer, Cristina Mittermeir.
You need to buy separate tickets for the Super Stage, but there are hundreds of great free talks and workshops too.
I particularly recommend going to listen to street photographer Brian Lloyd Duckett, who is discussing how to conquer your street photography fears on the Sunday from 12.30 to 13.10, or Angela Nicholson of the SheClicks community for women photographers – Angela is talking about how to banish imposter syndrome on the Tuesday, from 10.15 to 10.45. There are way too many great talks to flag up here, so make sure you get a programme, or check out the speaker list here.
Gathering of the tribe
Film photographers are well catered for in the Analogue Showcase section, and many stands also give free talks on photo-editing – so even if you don’t buy anything at The Photography Show, you can come away with new skills and insights.
Last but not least, the show is a wonderful gathering of the photography tribe; everyone is very friendly, and you can chat to other photographers at the coffee shops and bars.
If you are particularly unlucky you might meet me, too! I will be at the Amateur Photographer magazine stand (L607, Hall 3) so do drop by and say hello.
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