Innovative Digital Products

Innovative Digital Products

by Ron Leach

We just returned from Las Vegas after attending this year's PMA International Convention and Tradeshow, and one of the highlights of the event for those of us in the media is the "Sneak Peak" that takes place on the afternoon before the convention opens. This informal gathering provides an opportunity for members of the press to meet with exhibitors in a relaxed setting to discuss the latest trends, products and imaging technologies.

Each year a panel bestows the prestigious DIMA Innovative Digital Product Award to several products on display at the Sneak Peak. These products are recognized for their use of new technologies, and as such they offer a view of emerging trends. We don't have room here to mention all 18 of this year's winning products, so the following list omits compact/point-and-shoot cameras and products designed for minilabs, mobile phones, videography, scientific, law enforcement and medical/dental applications.

The Zigview S2 from Argraph Corporation is a unique, real-time digital angle viewfinder for digital SLRs that provides a live feed from the camera's viewfinder to its large 2.5-inch high-resolution LCD. This innovative device features video output, a motion sensor, intervalometer and high-resolution optics to make low-angle shots, high-angle images and self-portraits easier than ever.

Delkin Devices, Inc. was honored for its SensorScope System that enables photographers to inspect their DSLR's sensor and safely remove all types of wet or dry contaminants. The kit includes a battery-powered inspection scope, a miniature vacuum with a specially designed brush tip, double-sided wands for cleaning and drying the sensor and a special cleaning solution.

The new Stylus Photo 1400 printer from Epson America, Inc. is designed to enable photographers to make beautiful prints up to 13x19 inches. With it's estimated street price of under $400, this latest addition to Epson's line of High Definition inkjet printers offers a unique combination of performance and value.

We first saw the unique Gorillapod from Joby, Inc. last fall while attending Photokina in Cologne, Germany. Now this innovative, flexible tripod is available in three sizes: the original model is ideal for compact digital cameras, while the Gorillapod SLR and Gorillapod SLR-Zoom are intended for larger cameras, compact video camcorders, and SLRs with long lenses. These compact, lightweight mini tripods feature legs that bend and rotate 360 degrees to enable you to securely mount your camera to just about any surface imaginable.

Lensbabies, LLC won an award for its third-generation selective-focus SLR lens, the Lensbaby 3G that includes some new features to expand the versatility of this already popular accessory. The model 3G can be quickly locked in any position desired by pressing a button before using its traditional barrel focusing mechanism to fine-tune focus and precisely positioning the "sweet spot" by turning any combination of the three focusing rails.

Olympus was recognized for its EVOLT E-510, the latest addition to the company's E-System family of digital SLR cameras and accessories. The affordable new E-510 features a Live-View 2.5-inch LCD, a small, lightweight body design, dual image stabilization capability and is available in a kit with a compact 14--42mm (28--84mm 35mm equivalent) zoom lens.