Last week, I attended the 2013 edition of the NYC Photo Expo. As a film photographer, I find less reason to visit every year. Pretty much all that remain of the old exhibitors are the lighting people and those promoting accessories such as backdrops and camera bags. Symbolizing the change is the absence of Kodak which was once the most commanding presence at the show.
It's not only the change from film to digital, though, that's stolen the show's thunder. It's also that there are no real surprises for any visitor who's already done his homework. Long before products are released, websites such as Nikon Rumors have already released full details and provided photos along with the manufacturer's specs. The manufacturers themselves provide on their own sites all the information available on any given product once it's on the market. The only reason to go to the show now is the chance to actually hold a new product in one's hands before buying it. (I found myself standing next to one concert photographer at the Nikon counter whose principal reason for attending was to hear exactly how quiet the D610 was in silent mode before deciding whether or not to purchase a blimp.) Since I live relatively close to B&H on Ninth Avenue, this has never really been an issue for me though the manufacturer reps are undeniably better qualified to answer questions than are the store's salesmen. Still, one can always make a toll-free call if there's a technical question.
In the future, I'll probably only attend Photo Expo if I am considering a major purchase such as a new camera body. That's unlikely, though, since if anything I'm concentrating more than ever on analog photography.