by Mike McNamee Published 01/04/2017
The annual bash at the NEC ran from Saturday 18 March through to Tuesday 21 March. Tactically it used to be a good ploy to visit on the Monday as this tended to be quieter but it backfired this year as Monday was being reported by many of the stands as being the most frantic day of all! It was certainly heaving once you had come through the rather large entrance area and moving about was quite difficult. The queues at food and coffee stands were also quite long. This is all good for the industry if a little frustrating for journalists trying to get around as quickly as possible!
The Fuji GFX was perhaps the most striking newcomer to make an appearance (see Tom Lee’s review in this issue). Drones were also much in evidence again, along with panoramas, time-lapse and camera movement gear; a nod, perhaps, to the fusion of the still- and moving-image that seems to be underway.
It is some time since we reviewed Wacom tablets but their stand caught our eye as a lot of stuff on the tables were tablets with monitor capabilities. There have been significant technical improvements all around – the gamut of the small screens has been increased from the previous 70% to a whopping 94% of Adobe RGB. All the gestural features that are commonplace on tablets are of course migrating into Wacoms, so we get the combination of them plus the usual stylus pens. The ability to deliver 4K resolution is an indication also of how the LCD screen technology has migrated across from tablets and laptops.
Wacom also had the simpler (and more popular) Intuos Pro tablets on display. There are four in the range: Medium (A5); Large (A4) then Paper Edition Medium and Paper Edition Large. The paper addition variants look particularly useful for business meetings and brainstorming because their styli also double as a conventional pen. As you draw or write on paper the undelying tablet records and then makes the sheet available for export as a PSD, SVG, PNG, JPG or WILL format electronic file that can be routed through your mobile device or saved for email. Up to 200 pagesmay be recorded in case you get really carried away. The sensitivity levels of these tablets are now at 8,192 pressure levels along with 60 levels of tilt.
Even newer technology is available via the six Mobile Studio Pro tablets or the two Cintiq Pro models (13 and 16). The Cintiqs are passive (in a computing sense) and act like monitors, the Mobile Studio Pro models have on-board computing in one of six Windows configurations with different processors and SSD storage.
There are 104 days to get ready for The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
which starts on Wednesday 15th March 2023