PhotoWorld Asia is the country’s prime photography tradeshow, and there’s something for every photographer, from product displays to seminar sessions. For 2011, the Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF)-organized event is being held from the 27th of January up to the 1st of February in Makati City. The trade show booths are set up at the Glorietta Activity Center, while the seminars are conducted at the Asian Institute of Management along Paseo De Roxas.
I went to PhotoWorld Asia’s tradeshow section on their third day of exhibition and my initial impression is that there are more visitors than last year’s edition. This reflects the recent increase in number of people going into photography for pleasure or business, and I think this is good for the local photography industry; the more buyers there are, the more great stuff gets brought in.
The usual big camera brands were there. Nikon had their latest cameras and flash on display. Olympus had their E-5 DSLR, fast telephoto zooms lens and mock-up copies of their upcoming E-PL2 EVIL camera. Camerahaus represented Pentax. Even relatively-new camera manufacturer Samsung also had a booth featuring their latest compacts and interchangeable lens cameras.
Canon had the biggest manufacturer booth there and in addition to having product displays there was free printing and free camera and lens cleaning (the latter available only on the weekends).
They also had some of their nicer lenses for visitors to touch and try, including the “ultimate walk-around-if-a-bit-heavy” 28-300 L lens, a TS-E tilt-shift lens, and the “many-a-wedding-photographer’s-favorite” 85mm f/1.2L lens. The crowd favorite was obviously the cannon-like 500mm supertelephoto lens.
My personal favorite lens among those available to try out was the EF 15mm f/2.8 fisheye lens. I had brought a full-frame DSLR body to the event, and wanted to see what a fisheye can do. The Canon people were nice enough to let me try it out to my heart’s content. It’s a fun lens to have on full-frame. Canon Ambassador and veteran commercial photographer John Chua saw me with the fisheye lens and humorously challenged me to shoot the model with it.
Aside from the camera companies, there were also other photography vendors such as Aperture Trading (PocketWizards, Eureka dry cabinets, Hiti printers, video and studio lighting/setup specialist), Vet Specialists (Op/Tech straps, Lowepro bags and Elinchrom lights), JT Photoworld (Sigma lenses and Tamrac bags), Island Photo (Manfrotto tripods, National Geographic bags), Abacus Computer (Western Digital Hard Disks, QNAP storage arrays and CF/SD cards), Benro (tripods). Avenue (general photography products) and Echostore (Think Tank Photo products and then some) shared a booth.
There were also booths that displayed other photography-related products, such as photographic paper, photo albums, large-format tarpaulin printers, and consumables. While these items are aimed towards those who have photography-related businesses, it’s also a great way for enthusiasts to know more about their chosen hobby.
With regards to discounts, the discounts weren’t really immediately obvious. Elinchrom strobe sets , Op/Tech straps, picture frames, and Think Tank products were some of the items that caught my eye; none of the big camera brands had discounts on bodies or lenses. However, there were some booths who would offer discounts on items if one specifically asked. In these cases, one should always try to ask for a discount.
The seminar series, conducted by prominent professional photographers, were 10-15 minutes’ walk away at the AIM conference rooms and had applicable attendance fees. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to list up for those, so I really can’t comment on those.
Best of all, PhotoWorld Asia is a good place to meet fellow photography enthusiasts. One meets old shutterbug friends, make new ones, and if one is a member of the local photography forums, get to see other forum members in person. I met a lot of people I know there and had a great time catching up.
PhotoWorld Asia 2011 is the country’s biggest photography event, and while it doesn’t compare to the really big photography trade shows in other countries, there’s still really a lot of stuff here for local photographers of all levels. Hopefully the next one will be bigger.
More information on the event is available at their website.
Were you at PhotoWorld Asia 2011? How did you find it? Please do let us know in the comments section below.