We were all keen to see if Melbourne could deliver a decent large scale consumer technology event, and since the entry was free of charge, it really was a no-brainer. The show lasted for 3 days and while Jimmy and Violet went every single day, me and Celina joined them on the Saturday to see what the fuss was all about.
The Digital Show is advertised as being the ‘largest consumer technology event in the Southern Hemisphere’ and while that claim might be hard to verify, it was definitely a pretty big event filled with a ton of people surging around vendor booths offering the latest and greatest in photography and film making gear and gadgets.
The Digital Show featured vendors of all scales and flavours from Canon, Nikon and FujiFilm to GoPro, Boombandit, Phase One, Hoodman and many others! You could buy anything from a $5 disposable camera, Eye-Fi Memory cards, photography & video lighting and random accessories to 25,000$ medium format cameras for super high resolution photography!
One popular gadgets we saw was the Boombandit, a small crane for your phone or GoPro camera.
For an additional $25,000 you could buy medium format cameras from PhaseOne. These babies are used to take incredibly high resolution images for posters and billboards. They sure looked pretty impressive.
Another popular item that we kept seeing in all sorts of shapes and sizes were LED video light panels. LED lights are becoming increasingly popular for photography and film making due to their low power consumption and low operating temperature. They can usually be run off a battery and are therefore a good option for convenient on-set lighting.
Another cool (but expensive) accessory we encountered on our walk through The Digital Show is the DataColor Spyder Cube. This little device helps you balance your photos in terms of white balance and exposure and gives you a sphere map for free in your test photo.
FujiFilm had a big booth in the centre of The Digital Show, with pretty much all of their cameras on display to stare at, play around with and desire. They had a very artistic setup with some fake trees and a wall of FujiFilm Instax photos laid out.
Both Canon and Nikon had pretty huge setups with two opposing gun turrets armed with 600mm lenses aimed at each other. Me and Jimmy went up to try out the Canon lenses, joined up to the mighty Canon EOS 1D. Pressing down the shutter of the 1D made it seem even more like a gun turret, firing at 14+ frames per second.
One of the main events at The Digital Show an annual photography competition called Photo5 run by Canon. They ran 3 separate challenges on the Saturday, each with 3 excellent prices: a Canon photography course at their Canon Academy, a high quality Canon photo printer and a spectacular Canon EOS 6D full-frame camera.
So we went to the Canon Photo5 booth, grabbed our challenge briefs and went to work taking photos. We then used the array of printers they had set up at The Digital Show to print out our entry photos and hang them up at the competition wall.
We then went to the Canon Theatre to watch a few of the talks they were running and then see the judging of the Photo5 competition entries. Violet managed to snatch up 3rd place for the soap bubble challenge.
For the rest of the day, Celina & Violet were running around while I accompanied Jimmy to help him shoot some interview footage for his JimmyAmericaPhoto YouTube channel. Hop over there for some fun footage of The Digital Show!
Me and Jimmy also came across the GoPro booth, which, according to Jimmy, was tiny a few years back. This year they had a massive setup with huge screens, dub-step overkill and a Porsche sitting right in the middle!
Before heading off to meet Celina & Violet, we came across a fully remote controlled drone that can take your GoPro camera to new heights with a total range of 1km and GPS sensors to bring it back to home in case of loss of signal.
The camera mount is fully level controlled and you have remote access to aim the camera at will while in full flight. At $850 the drone was a bit out of my price range though. Maybe some time later in my film making career I’ll get me one.
Overall I was fairly impressed with the size and the number of different vendors they had at The Digital Show. A little disappointed that we didn’t really get to see any new camera gear that wasn’t already out and price wise it was very hit or miss as to whether the show prices were higher or lower than what you would get in store.
The Canon Photo5 challenges (and prices) were awesome, they had some good talks and there was plenty to see. I am sure we will be back for The Digital Show in 2014.