The PMDA (PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association) today announced that Phil Askey of dpreview.com will receive its 'Person of the Year' award for 2008. This award will be presented at the PMDA awards dinner just before the PMA show in Las Vegas on 30th January 2008. The PMDA has members such as Casio, Canon, Kodak, Fujifilm, HP, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax and Samsung.

Press Release:

Phil Askey of DPReview.com Selected as
PMDA Person of the Year

Keizo Ishiguro, Tom Shay, David Vaskevitch, and Frans Lanting
Also to be Honored at Las Vegas Event

Old Bridge, NJ – October 29, 2007 — The PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA) announced today that Phil Askey, Founder and Editor of DPReview.com, will receive the 2008 Person of the Year award. The award will be presented at the annual PMDA awards dinner on January 30, 2008 at the New York, New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Other recipients to receive awards from PMDA at the gala event include Keizo Ishiguro, General Manager, Device Development Center, Panasonic for Technical Achievement, Thomas Shay, former Director of Corporate Communications, Fujifilm USA for Lifetime Achievement, and world-renowned outdoor photographer and environmentalist Frans Lanting for Photographer of the Year.  In addition, David Vaskevitch of Microsoft will be presented the PMDA Visionary Award.

The PMDA awards are given annually to the persons or organizations that have significantly contributed to the imaging industry throughout the year, or throughout their careers, and have had a positive and meaningful impact on the business of photography.

Phil Askey – Person of the Year

Phil Askey is the founder and editor of dpreview.com the world’s leading online digital photography resource.

After spending some time researching the purchase of his first digital camera in 1998 Phil decided to share his experience and impressions of his new Nikon Coolpix 900 on his personal website, askey.net. Bitten by the digital camera bug and having learned everything there was to know about the underlying technologies, Phil contacted other manufacturers about the possibility of borrowing other cameras models in order to review them for a new site he was planning.

The first true review posted was the Canon PowerShot Pro70 on Christmas Day 1998. From that day on Phil reviewed approximately one camera a month, developing and refining a new, rigorous testing regime based on controlled measurement and analysis. As his readership and reputation grew, the influence of his innovative in-depth reviewing style could be seen throughout the photographic industry, and it’s fair to say his testing methods changed forever the way camera reviews were conducted both online and in print.

In September 1999 the site was renamed ‘dpreview.com’ and added its now easily recognizable logo.

At the end of 1999 Phil gave up his full-time job as a Technical Manager for an Internet based business-to-business company and moved with his wife and business partner Joanna back to the United Kingdom to establish DPReview as a full-time concern, which now regularly receives over 20 million visitor sessions per month. In April 2007 dpreview.com was acquired by Amazon.com.

Keizo Ishiguro – Technical Achievement Award

As General Manager, Device Development Center of Panasonic AVC Networks Company (PAVC) Keizo Ishiguro is responsible for the management and development of optical devices while overseeing a team whose size has doubled since 2004. Ishiguro is responsible for zoom lenses for digital still cameras and video cameras; optical pick-up lenses for CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs; optical devices for video products such as Plasma display panels and projectors and aspherical lenses.

Since joining Panasonic in 1984, when he worked in the Research & Development Laboratory, Mr. Ishiguro has maximized his optical design expertise for developing camera element technologies.  He has been key in driving the growth of Panasonic’s LUMIX digital cameras by developing revolutionary optical technologies in the TZ-, FX- and FZ-Series. In addition, he was highly involved in creating and establishing the partnership between Panasonic and Leica, and helped to ensure that Leica lenses would be incorporated into the LUMIX line.

When Mr. Ishiguro first joined Panasonic he was in charge of the optical design and commercialization of zoom lenses for video cameras, developed apsherical lenses and oversaw commercial production of lenses at Panasonic’s Yamagata Plant and developed the auto-focus system for video cameras.  In 1995, Mr. Ishiguro developed and initiated the commercial production of compact camera modules.  By 2000, he was placed in charge of designing and developing zoom lenses for digital still cameras.

In 2006, Mr. Ishiguro revolutionized the “compact superzoom” digital camera category when he developed the 10x optical zoom thin-profile with the TZ1, reducing the retracted size to 33mm, as compared to the conventional dimension of 55mm.  Furthering the evolution of the TZ-Series, in 2007, with the introduction of the TZ3, Mr. Ishiguro developed a thin apsherical lens and achieved a 28mm wide-angle, while reducing the 10x zoom lens to an impressive 30mm when retracted. The TZ3 has proven to be a top-selling and award-winning camera.

Thomas Shay – Norman C. Lipton Lifetime Achievement Award

Tom Shay is a photo industry veteran who has logged over 40 years selling, marketing and communicating photographic technologies and products.

Tom’s career began in the sixties with a photographic importer and distributor and, in 1971, he joined FUJIFILM USA. His 35-year career there closely tracks the evolution of the Fujifilm brand in the US as the company made its transition from film to the digital era. One milestone along the way was his leadership in driving the PR effort in support of the company’s sponsorship of the 1984 Olympics – an industry coup that led to significant growth for Fujifilm in the US.

Tom also made longstanding contributions to Rehabilitation Through Photography, an organization dedicated to giving disabled and disadvantaged people a greater sense of achievement, accomplishment and self-esteem through photography. Tom has been a member of the Board of Directors for 25 years and in addition to raising funds from Fujifilm and other sources, has served in various capacities on the RTP Industry Committee, acting as a matchmaker to fill the needs of RTP with the financial, product, and human resources of the industry.

Tom retired from Fujifilm in 2007.

David Vaskevitch – Visionary Award

David Vaskevitch's career as visionary software architect, business innovator and author spans more than 30 years.

As senior vice president, chief technical officer at Microsoft Corp., Vaskevitch reports to Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates and works with him to develop a focused and unified strategy and
architecture for future Microsoft products and platforms. When digital photography emerged in the mid-90s, Vaskevitch recognized that this was going to be a transformational technology for the computer
industry. Vaskevitch then saw that his personal passion for photography had a direct connection to his work at Microsoft.

Vaskevitch used his position to influence and further the digital imaging agenda at Microsoft culminating in 2004 with the creation of the Rich Media Group (RMG). Under Vaskevitch's stewardship RMG has grown to significant size and is starting to fulfill his vision.

Vaskevitch holds bachelors of science degrees in math, computer science and philosophy, and a masters degree in computer science from the University of Toronto.

Frans Lanting – Photographer Award

Frans Lanting has been hailed as one of the great nature photographers of our time.  His influential work appears in books, magazines, and exhibitions around the world, and has been commissioned frequently by National Geographic, where he has served as a Photographer-in-Residence.  For more than two decades he has documented wildlife and our relationship with nature in environments from the Amazon to Antarctica.  He portrays wild creatures as ambassadors for the preservation of complete ecosystems, and his many publications have increased worldwide awareness of endangered ecological treasures in far corners of the Earth. 

His books have received awards and acclaim: “No one turns animals into art more completely than Frans Lanting,” writes The New Yorker magazine.  His previous books include LIFE: A Journey Through Time  Jungles, Penguin, Living Planet, Eye to Eye, Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape, Okavango: Africa’s Last Eden, Forgotten Edens, and Madagascar: A World Out of Time.

Lanting has received numerous awards for his work as a photographer and conservationist, including top honors from World Press Photo, the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award, the title of BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and Sweden’s Lennart Nilsson Award.  Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands inducted him as a Knight in the Royal Order of the Golden Ark, that country's highest conservation honor.

About PMDA

Founded in 1939, the PhotoImaging Manufacturers & Distributors Association (PMDA) has promoted the photo and digital-imaging industry for over 67 years with an emphasis on photo imaging manufacturers and distributors.  PMDA provides an open forum for its members to exchange ideas and learn new technologies and business trends, in addition to administering programs that promote photography to the general public.  The member companies of PMDA have a box seat on the changing product and business developments of the photo industry and a unique opportunity to network with other industry principals and managers in the receptions preceding each meeting and special event. PMDA has also teamed up with PMA International to create the Photographic Information Council (PIC) to promote photography to the general public.  PIC’s website (www.takegreatpictures.com) provides great photo tips and techniques, celebrity photographers, contests, new product releases and projects. See PMDA’s site, www.pmda.com, for more information.