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Tracking the Trends at PMA

(March 2008) posted on Tue Mar 11, 2008

A handful of new DSLRs took center stage at this year's show.

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By Clare Baker

This past January brought thousands of photo enthusiasts to Las Vegas for the annual Photo Marketing Association (PMA) tradeshow and convention. Thousands of attendees divided their time between the booths of the 650 exhibiting companies filling two stories of the convention hall packed with design, photography, and imaging tools and accessories.

The big announcements from this show come in the form of DSLRs. Sony, Nikon, Canon, Samsung, and Pentax all revealed new DSLRs which are covered in this report (see the March 2008 issue for coverage of the Pentax camera). Sony especially made some waves by revealing a DSLR model with a 24.81-megapixel CMOS sensor (the future DLSR has yet to be named). Several SLR lenses also were introduced, including those from Tamron, Sigma, Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Tokina.

Professional photographers, fine artists, and other attendees looking for new printers, software, or media, however, might have come up a little empty handed--there was a shortage of new products in these areas debuting at this year's show. There was an abundance of products more geared toward the consumer and 'prosumer' side of the market: Candy-colored point-and-shoots and digital photo frames, for instance, filled the show floor.

What follows are a few of the highlights from the new products for professional imagers. Mark your calendars for PMA 2009 (, which will return to Las Vegas March 3-5 of next year.

In addition to the announcement of the development of a 24.81-megapixel CMOS sensor, Sony ( also added two cameras to its line of Alpha DSLRs: the 14.2-megapixel A350 and the 10.2-megapixel A300. Both offer Sony's new 'Quick AF Live View' technology, which allows users to frame photos on the camera's 2.7-inch LCD screen while allowing the nine-point center cross auto-focus sensor to focus at high speeds. The two-sensor design of the live view system focus-tracks the subjects and provides live view during burst shooting. The A350 is able to shoot up to 21/2 frames continuous per second, while the A300 is capable of shooting up to three continuous frames per second, when using the optimal viewfinder.