Shutterbug's Exclusive PMA 2004 Report

What do you get when you put six ace reporters into a huge hall filled with photo and imaging gear? In our case, these being our contributors, a bunch of kids in a candy store who deliver the most comprehensive reports available on this annual photo show. Held in Las Vegas in mid winter, the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) Show is the biggest US trade fair for all things photographic. The range of products on display covered everything from cameras to lights to printers and more. Each reporter went on a scavenger hunt to ferret out the new, unusual, and technologically advanced gear that will be making its appearance in stores, on Internet sites, and in your camera bags later this year. We also came away with some future tech, products and concepts that are on the horizon but probably won't be coming out until after our next photo trade fair, the giant photokina show in Germany this fall.

While digital everything seemed to dominate this show, as it has for the past few years, we also saw some new film SLRs (and new film!), lighting gear, bags, and handy accessories. But there's no question that the major news from the show was about new digital SLRs, exciting new printers, bigger and faster memory cards, and new lenses from a number of manufacturers. Although some products were announced just prior to show time, we all got our chance to handle the merchandise and talk turkey with the designers and engineers who make it happen. Be assured that as many of these products become available we'll be doing tests and reviews in upcoming issues of Shutterbug.

So sit back, relax, and read on as we walk you through the maze of products that made their debut at the show.