The 86th annual Photo Marketing Association International Convention and Trade Show runs February 21-23. This year's convention is in Anaheim, CA rather than the traditional site of Las Vegas. Often just called PMA by those in the photo business, it is the largest exhibition worldwide of photographic equipment and supplies. Geared toward photo retailers, photo labs, and photojournalists, it is common for camera manufacturers to unveil new products at the show, and for photo retailers to try to cut the best bargain they can on purchases. Here is a list of exhibitors for 2010.
Although Canon might have had the largest booth at last year’s show, they shocked the photo world by announcing they will not attend this year’s show. Instead, they elected to attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in January. Attendance for CES is more than five times the attendance for PMA, but many photo retailers do not attend CES, and one wonders if those retailers will feel that Canon is slighting them. Electronics giants like Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung, who are fairly new in the camera business, chose to be in both shows. It is too early to say how Canon’s absence will affect future PMA shows, but it has no doubt rattled PMA organizers.
Perhaps Canon is just acknowledging the reality that photography is now as much an electronics industry as it is a photo industry. Inkjet printers, digital picture frames, personal media players, memory cards, imaging software, backup storage devices, USB drives—these are all items one associates with consumer electronics.
The traditional accoutrements of photography—tripods , photographer’s vests, studio lighting, backgrounds, waterproof camera housings, presentation folders for pictures, copystands, camera bags, albums, lens hoods, filters—don’t seem as sexy as the electronic gizmos.
Camera junkies, who are always anticipating the “next new thing,” will be checking the internet daily to see what new products might be announced in conjunction with PMA. Since the average time between the announcement of a digital SLR and the announcement of its replacement is about 18 months, everyone is expecting some news. Digital Photography Review is a good website to keep up with it all.