Photo Imaging World 2006 Review

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The aim of the annual Photo Imaging World exhibition is to bring together “major photo and digital companies from Australia and overseas showcasing today’s cutting-edge developments and trends in imaging technology, software and output printing systems”

I recently attended Photo Imaging World 2006 held at the Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre in Sydney, and this review is from my viewpoint as an enthusiast photographer. Entry was free to people who pre-registered online and cost $12 to people who turned up on the day and registered before entry.

Some of the stands at the exhibition clearly stated that they were Trade only which was good because that meant enthusiasts like myself could concentrate on the stands which were demonstrating new products sold by photo and imaging wholesalers/retailers.

All the big guns in photography and imaging were there showing off their latest cutting edge equipment including:

  • Adobe – promoting Creative Suite 2
  • Canon – displaying their market leading Digital SLR’s
  • Fujifilm – who had banks of DIY photo printing machines
  • HP – showing off some really really large photos printed from their pro range
  • Kodak – with its new photo kiosks and cameras/printers that can communicate wirelessly
  • Sandisk, Lexar & Kingston – promoting their range of memory cards
  • Nikon – with some new lenses and lighting equipment
  • Nokia – trying to flog their latest phone/camera/pda products
  • Panasonic – with their unbeatable OIS equipped prosumer digital cameras
  • Ricoh – selling their latest digital compacts
  • Sony – displaying their latest digital video/photo products

Notably missing were companies like Konica Minolta who recently quit the consumer photography business selling those assets to Sony and I could see no mention of film cameras or related accessories which is a huge change compared to the photography business 10 years ago.

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The Executive Director of PICA highlighted this massive and continuing change in his welcome message in the official catalogue/programme:

Ours is an exciting and dynamic industry, but you have to keep up with emerging trends and be ready for them. So, if you’re serious about being in the imaging industry, you will be at Photo Imaging World 2006.

Never before has the photo business been so challenging. Fortunes are being made, and fortunes are being lost. Digital camera sales this year are still growing! Another two million units are expected to be sold this year. Plus, more photos are being taken than ever before. And this year, we expect to make more prints than ever before.

New applications for commercial photography are opening up almost daily. Yet while some businesses are booming and many new outlets are opening, sadly scores of other Australian photo industry businesses will not survive the year.

What is the difference between success and failure in this dynamic market place? The answer is simple: complacency. No one wanting to have a share of this exciting market can afford to be complacent. The market is just changing far too fast for that. You have to be bang up to the minute on equipment developments, service trends, marketing techniques, customer handling and, most important of all, your insight into the minds of your competition must be bang on the money.

And the only way to achieve that is to be at Photo Imaging World. Walk the show floor, take advantage of the special show deals that more than pay for your trip, find new products and services to sell, attend the helpful business conferences for photo dealers, professional photographers, labs, picture framers, camera repairers and photo educators and meet, listen and talk with your competitors.

You have to visit this show. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the business, how many shows you’ve been too, or even how well you’re doing right now. If you can come away with just one idea, you could be set for life!

No one, who is serious about being in the Australian photo imaging business, can afford to not be at this event. See you there!
Paul Curtis. PICA Executive Director.

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Besides being able to see and try out the latest photo/imaging products the other major drawcard for attendees at Photo Imaging World is the accompanying Photographic Exhibitions, details of the photos on show in 2006 follow (quoted from the official catalogue/programme):

The Best of the Best exhibition featured professional works from the Canon AIPP travelling exhibition, The Fuji ACMP Collection and Nikon Walkley Press Photographer of the Year winners and finalists.

The NSW Federation of Camera Clubs had a major presence, with over 500 images on display. This included a collection just returned from a tour of China. A group exhibition by a digital artists group including Emeritus Professor Des Crawley also featured, along with outstanding work from the state’s photographic colleges. An international show from the PIEA — the photographic educators association — completed the involvement from the education community.

Among companies who took the opportunity to give us their best shots was Epson, which featured the best of the work in its collection from sponsored photographers. Celebrity Photographer of the Year, Catriona Rowntree from Getaway, added a touch of star quality to the show with a mini exhibition of her own work from some of the exotic locations she is forced to endure!

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