Last week, I was one of more than 21,000 professional photographers, photography enthusiasts, filmmakers, students and educators from around the world who attended PhotoPlus Expo in New York City.
PhotoPlus features over 100 educational seminars, Photo Walks and Master Classes, and over 225 exhibitors displaying thousands of the latest products and services to touch, try and compare.
I use the trip as my opportunity to get caught up on the trends in the photography industry and speak directly to the manufacturers about their products and plans.
This year, I found five areas areas that are noteworthy for us:
I titled this episode, The State of Photography 2015. My takeaways from PhotoPlus Expo¬†are focused in five areas:
- Cameras. All the innovation is focused on Mirrorless cameras. When every manufacturer has an option, how do you begin to cut through the clutter?
- Software. Photoshop was the industry standard for so long, it became a verb as well as a noun. Will the new trends in software for editing and post production allow us to cut the Adobe cord?
- Drones. Are UAVs the new frontier in photography, flying where no man has considered before?
- Affordability. Can you find something useful for less than $100?
- Education. Learning opportunities abound. How do you make sense of all the options?
We'll touch on all five of these topics today, and then treat each in more detail in subsequent episodes.
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Much of the camera innovation is happening in the Mirrorless sector, but it's still like navigating a jungle.
If you are buying a DSLR, your decisions are fairly simple. You are buying from one of two manufacturers in most cases. You are purchasing one of two sizes of sensors.
Shopping for a Mirrorless camera is much more complicated. There are plenty of players in that market. There are a wide range of formats - sensor sizes and lens compatibility, for instance.
Mirrorless is not necessarily the compact option anymore. With some of the full frame options and telephoto lenses, it can begin to look and feel like a small DSLR.
What is the use case for your Mirrorless cameras now?
Photoshop is now a noun and a verb. Great news for Adobe in the software market, but they may soon have company.
Many of the software companies started as plugins for Adobe products. Now we are seeing more emerge as standalone products.
The new trend is fixing all the flaws of your photograh with one click. I’m not sure how I feel about that one.
I have also seen new software options to make editing more mobile and help with workflow and storage.
Are drones the new frontier? One of the big differences between the show floor in 2015 and a few years ago is the presence of drones, or UAVs.
With the growth of the drones comes the questions. What are they? Who is allowed to fly them? How do you use them? What are the rules? I overheard conversations and questions about the drones in every corner of the show floor.
Washington has taken an interest as well. The FAA just issued a new set of guidelines, but the rules seem to create more questions than they answer.
If you plan on buying a new camera, even the cheaper options will cost you.
How can you buy something useful for less than $100, for instance? You better think accessories, and even then it will be tough.
Learning at the show was a lot like learning photography in general. There are so many options it can be overwhelming. You really need a strategy to process through the noise. When do you take the free options? What are your best paid options? How do you find the balance that works best for you?
You have workshops galore, tons of books, and don’t forget about your cewebrities all pushing their own training options.
At the show, as in the rest of your learning path, it’s a mess. Let's try to make sense of it together.