No Lack Of New Accessories

Many of the reports in this issue were generated by our team of reporters covering PMA, the recent US photo trade show. While some new cameras have come out in the last few months, many of which we now have under test, there were, quite frankly, a lack of same at what is usually the premier site for such announcements. I can’t help but feel that some new cameras are waiting in the wings while the economic smoke clears, so expect a deluge of new tech coming your way this fall (hopefully). In the meantime, there is no lack of innovation and new products on the accessory side of the store, so we decided to concentrate on same in this issue. (Joe Farace, in his Digital Innovations column, does provide us with an overview of the show with some products that caught his eye, including some new cameras, but for the most part our focus was on the other items that are an essential part of a photographer’s kit.)

Given that we view the camera as the mother ship, there are plenty of products that serve as necessary to the running of the fleet, including lenses, tripods, heads, flashes, filters, and more. And without the image produced by the camera, there would be no need for software and all the other associated products that fill our digital desktops. There are accessories for in the studio and for in the field. Each plays an important part in making images and upping our ability to get just the shot we want, when we want.

Most of the reports here are on “hardware,” and while we do cover some of the developments on the digital side of things (like “digiframes,” the latest way to display digital images), there is no question that many of the newest products could serve just as well for those shooting film. This is especially true when it comes to filters, tripods, and bags, as well as many of the specialty items, like heads and minipods, that caught our eye. Indeed, there was talk a while back that because of the amazing array of plug-ins and effects available in post-exposure digital processing, on-lens filters would become a thing of the past. But as we have worked with these cameras in the field we began to see a continuing need for polarizers, ND and even graduated filters. And while most bags now contain the obligatory laptop flap, many of the latest bags are also intended to make travel easier when sticking with the one-bag carryon rules and providing protection for an array of camera bodies, lenses, flashes, and all the odd wires and electronic devices more and more of us are taking along on our travels these days.

The decision to go this route in our reports is partly due to the fact that I feel we sometimes give accessories short shrift in our pages. This is not because we consider them unimportant, but is due more to the fact that much of our space is dedicated to news and reviews of the amazing cameras that have come our way. Now that we have a bit of breathing room on that front (see our February through April issues for a ton of camera test reports, all now available online at, I am glad to give all these great accessories the pages they justly deserve.