After months waiting with excitement, I finally attended this year NEC Birmingham The Photography & Video Show event on Saturday 16th March. In case you do not know about the event here is a quick summary:
The Photography & Video Show offers almost everything for any professional or enthusiast providing them with the opportunity to see the latest kit by leading brands to inspiring talks and demos from some of the best names in the industry.
Before I attended I made a list of gear that I was aiming to look out for at the event and although this was a rather large list, it helped me to determine the best pricing and get one-on-one with the manufacturer to determine the best gear for my needs.
I spent most of the day scouting around various stands such as Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Zhiyun and Sennheiser and tried out some interesting new types of equipment. Although at times I felt that a few companies at the event were too ambitious about there gear and the demos didn't justify the product.
I had the opportunity at the event to try out the brand new Canon EOS R with the 24-70mm F/4.0 lens. I felt the information about the camera was very useful and ambitious, however, I didn't feel "connected" with the camera, let me explain: The EOS R camera body is perfect in the hand and 27-70mm f/4.0 felt very high quality which is not a surprise for Canon! However, the button layouts, lack of two card slots and the dreadful touch bar was a total turn off!
I do feel that Canon will improve on there Mirrorless line and this is only a matter of time. Let me clarify that EOS R is a not bad stills mirrorless camera, however, there is lots of room for improvement in the video side!
With any new product, the features and improvements take time and I have faith that Canon will learn from this mistakes and do well in the future!
I had a great time at the Sony booth where I got to try out the 85mm f/1.4 G-Master and compare it to the 85mm f/1.8, both lenses are great! At the event, there was a special deal going for the F/1.8 which tempted me to buy the lens!
Talking about 85mm lens, I also got to try out the newly announced Samyang 85 F/1.4 lens for the E-Mount. I thought the lens was incredibly light and well built! Much lighter than the Sony 85mm f/1.8!
However, I noticed the lens had some issues such as hunting to get things in focus and a few images not looking very sharp around the edges.
Remember this lens is still very much in development stages, so I'm hoping before its release that Samyang will be able to fix the issues because I believe this could be a fantastic lens providing quality images at an affordable price!
Lens will be released this Summer and priced at £699.
Here is a list of products I got to see and a short summary of what I think of it:
Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art DG HSM Lens - Nice solid lens, built very well and produces nice photos on the A7II sample camera I used both in Auto and Manuel mode.
Sigma 24mm f1.4 Art DG HSM Lens - Again nice solid build, beautiful image quality but I found the lens quite big and designed for DSLR camera instead of a Mirrorless camera.
Benro Phoneogrpher P1 - Small stabiliser to fit any smartphone, 10 hours battery life and 2-3 hours to charge up. The demo version Benro provided consistently had issues. The device wouldn't connect to the iPhone X or 8, power up or function.
Let's just hope this was a small technical glitch with that model which can fixed with firmware updates.
Atomos Shinobi - One of the best monitor displays I've ever seen, bright, vivid and so many features included. This may become one of my external monitors in the near future replacing my Ninja 2.
Sennheiser Memory Mic - A very small portable microphone that can be used for interviews or capturing audio at a small distance (around 2 feet), it uses a small magnetic strap that is easy to attach on any piece of clothing. Some of the information provided was great, however, I would need to test this device before providing any more details.
Overall my day at The Photography & Video Show was really great, I got to leave with a brand new lens and a bag for my A7III and two lens. I want to thank Wex Photo and Video for helping me choose the right bag for my needs.
I hope to return to next years event, thank you to The Photography & Video Show for putting on a great show!