We’re nearly half-way through 2019 and I don’t know about you, but to me it already feels like trade show overload. Now that we got the big one – NAB out of the way, and before we start the countdown to IBC 2019, which is a good five months out, we have CineGear Expo coming up at the end of May. But what about more local trade shows?
The trend in the last couple of years is that more and more trade shows on the more local level are popping up and getting traction among photographers and video enthusiasts and professionals.
It’s time for my belated Video Show 2019 Highlights post, which I wanted to post earlier last month, but better late than never.
Back in March, when I heard that The Photography Show 2019 in Birmingham, UK was expanding to include also more video oriented products on display for this year’s inaugural Video Show 2019, I got my ticket and booked my parking in advance.
The Atomos Stand – busy as usual
Coming from London, the 2 hour drive to the NEC outside of Birmingham went by quicker than my train commute from Southwest London to East London for BVE Expo. The NEC parking was super organised and easy to get to from the main highway (or motorway), and even I didn’t get lost, which happens frequently to me in giant, unfamiliar placed I visit for the first time.
Getting to the building was easy and even though it was DAY 1, and there were quite a lot of attendees, the place didn’t seem as hectic as some other similar trade shows I’ve attended in the UK.
The Photography Show in itself is a big deal each year – it is the biggest photography industry trade show in the country and being located in the middle of the island, which makes it easier for everyone to get to.
So this year, The Video Show debut in the same building – basically these were additional exhibitors with more video oriented gear. There were also lots of masterclasses and seminars for those working or interested in doing video professionally.
Among the hot new cameras announced earlier in the year was the Panasonic S1, which had its own booth that was really busy. I managed to get a quick menu walkthrough of the video features – mainly frame rates, which you can see in the video below.
(Note: I wanted to do a longer video, but there was quite a queue for eager attendees waiting to get their hands on the camera, and I felt bad for hogging the camera; I hope this is useful to those like me, who had the camera in their hands for the first time).
Panasonic had a separate booth where they had a couple of EVA1 cameras and even a Varicam LT, fully rigged with an Angenieux zoom, that you could have a play with.
The Lumix S1 though; that camera feels like a beast, just handling it feels much more like a DSLR than a mirrorless camera. Which can be a good thing, but I somehow wish that maybe the lens they had on it (not sure if it was the 24-105) could have been lighter. The menu seems really straight forward and reminiscent of the GH5, at least to me.
Moving on to the Sigma stand, they had their Cine Zoom and Cine Primes on display and a few Sony and Blackmagic cameras rigged with their new 40mm T1.5 cine prime and the 18-35mm T2 zoom (which just happens to be my favourite lens).
Their stand was very busy as usual, but their display kit was ample so you didn’t have to wait a long time to get some hands on. They also had quite a few reps on hand to answer questions, which is always nice.
Rotolight Stand / Video Show 2019
Nikon and Canon had their respective huge stands at the opposite corners of the hall with their Nikon Z7 and Canon EOS R taking centre stage respectively, and sure, maybe their stands weren’t as gigantic as the ones at Photokina in Cologne last year, but then again this was not Photokina. And that’s a good thing.
On the other hand, whereas Photokina was absolutely rammed and if you were hoping to get some hands on the new Canon EOS RP or R, then good luck, The Video Show was much more user-friendly. Yes, there were crowds, but they were manageable; the big stands didn’t feel like the pit at a death metal concert in the heart of Camden Town – you could actually get hands on and spend a few minutes taking photos or shooting video, browsing the menu etc.
Sony and Fujifilm had a presence at the show, but I didn’t have a chance to spend time at their booths. I cut a quick video of some of the highlights of The Video Show 2019, for those of you that missed out.
Atomos also had a big stand, and as usual there were huge crowds getting hands on the Sumo19, Shogun line and the new Shinobi monitor. Holdan, UK which are a big distributor of popular brands such as Wooden Camera, Blackmagic Design, Ledgo, Teradek, SLR Magic, CORE SWX and many more had many of their brands on the display as well.
You could even get some really good deals during the The Video Show 2019 and the Photography Show, since they happen in the same building at the same time, as some of the big photographic retailers had stands where hundreds of people were queuing up to get the exclusive show promotions and discounts.
On the way back to the parking lot in the shuttle bus, there was a guy carrying a massive printer, so there is something for everyone – the casual enthusiast, the deal seeker, and the busy professional who’s more likely to stop by a couple of stands and catch up with colleagues over a quick coffee.
All in all, I had a really nice day at the Video Show 2019. I had never been up to the NEC in Birmingham, but the track up north was a breeze. The event was very organised and I even had a chance to catch up with some friends from the industry I had not seen in a long time.
The amount of video kit on display was generous, everyone was really friendly, and most of all – the atmosphere was conducive to an enjoyable stroll through the booths around the hall, and despite the crowds, I didn’t have to queue for half an hour to get some food or use the restroom as it sometime happens at bigger shows.
Sure, there were no ARRI ALEXAs or Panavision DXLs, or big Techno cranes, but there are other trade shows for that sort of gear – this show was designed for photographers dabbling in video, or those video creators, who often shoot with mirrorless cameras that want to explore more video kit to increase the production value of their videos.
Canon Stand Video Show 2019 NEC Birmingham
Despite the cold that had taken a toll on me and prevented me from coming back for DAY 2, I had a lot of fun at the Video Show 2019 and I am looking forward to attending in 2020. This time I’ll bring some more cash and maybe get in on some of the deals too…
Did you attend the show this year? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.