CP+ 2012 Yokohama, Japan

Impressions from the CPPlus Show 2012 in Yokohama, Japan

The CP+ (Plus) Show every year is the world's biggest free photo studio! Tens of thousands of photographers descend onto the show floor to get all the free time you want with hundreds of models and booth girls posing in perfect light conditions for an attendance fee of $12 or free if you pre-register! No model fees to pay, no studio rental, just bring your own camera and flash!

The funniest scene is looking at all the photographers clamoring for space in front of the prettiest girls shooting away… Otaku city to the max...

Today was the second day attending the show (Thurs. and today, Sat.) and there must have been like five times more people today compared to Thursday. The attendance figures for Thursday was just over 11,000, Friday was just over 18.000 and it must have been in the 40,000 to 60,000 range today. At least it felt like it!  And I dread to imagine what it is going to be like tomorrow, Sunday…

The main objective today was to get some hands on with the new D4 and D800 cameras at the Nikon booth. You were able to walk up to the cameras on Thursday but today the lines were over 90 minutes at the hands on corner for five to fifteen minutes with the cameras and lenses and over 45 minutes for the main stage area with the models for a three minute shoot. Luckily we were able to spend about forty five minutes with the cameras in various states trying on various lenses including the 300mm and 400mm lenses as well as shoot D-Movies at the Grass Valley booth within the Nikon booth who were demonstrating their Edius 6 nonlinear video editing software and Storm Mobile capture box and Rexceed M7500 editing workstation with the D800. The auto focusing in movie mode felt a bit clunky but maybe that's my inexperience with the D800 camera and I felt a lot more comfortable in manual mode for movie taking. Being able to switch between FX and DX formats is great!

The D800 felt a lot more ergonomic than the D700 with the controls at more accessible angles for your fingers and thumb including the front dial and back dials as well as top buttons. These slight differences greatly contributed to the feeling that the D800 was smaller than the D700 but still had a very solid feel to it. We tried the D800 with the newly announced MB-D12 battery pack and the additional buttons and slightly angled front dial was nice for vertical shooting. Putting a EN-EL15 pack inside will effectively double your frame shooting to 1,800 frames and up to 1,900 with the AA battery holder, a welcome addition for us time lapse photographers! The price for the MB-D12 will be 42,000 yen retail but is showing at 37,800 on the Nikon Direct shop, the same as the MB-D11 for the D7000. The eight AA battery holder option will retail for 3,700 yen for those with tens of rechargeable Eneloop AA batteries.

We got a chance to shoot with the new 85mm f/1.8 lens which will be a great lens for portrait photographers. And at almost 1/4 the cost compared to the 85mm f/1.4, should be a welcome addition to many photographer's arsenals!

We spent some time at the CaptureNX2 software station with the newly upgraded version since we've never played with it and it was interesting to see the Control Point features in use for color and selection editing in real time. Just by clicking and making several different points on an image, you are able to change the brightness, contrast, and saturation with sliders in real time. Also the selection control points let you select areas with a click, change the size of the area selected and apply enhancements like unsharp mask and lighting with the click of a mouse and sliders. We missed the new moire reduction feature that is supposed to be implemented for the D800E. 

Also I'm glad they're sticking to SD and CF for memory for the D800. We really don't need another memory format with all of our investments in SD and CF cards.

The large format print outs from the D4 and D800 throughout the booth looked absolutely stunning.

Really looking forward to playing with the D800 later next month!

Another major announcement was the new Gitzo Systematic line-up with 16 new or upgraded tripods due to go on sale on February 22nd, 2012, which has now added the Series 2 to the pro line-up with reduced prices!!!  Newly designed features include an all new triangular top casting with a rachet type locking lever instead of the torx screw for closing and releasing the center section, a safety button for the center section, newly designed leg angle selections for better gripping making leg adjustments easier,  the rubber leg feet can be popped off to expose metal spikes, and all Systematic tripods now come with the snow shoe attachments for sand or snow!

The new models: GT2532S, GT2542S, GT2542LS, GT3532S, GT3532LS, GT3532LSV, GT3542LS, GT3542XLS, GT4552TS, GT4542LS, GT4552GTS, GT5532S, GT5532LS, GT5542LS, GT5562LTS and the GT5562GTS.

The series 5 tripods now support up to 40kg of equipment effectively almost doubling the previous capacity!  A new lighter series 5 tripod has been added, the GT 5562LTS which also closes to a very short 49.8cm! Feels so much lighter than my GT5561GTS which has now been upgraded to the GT5562GTS with a top height of 2.77cm compared to 2.60cm! Now with this and the GS5510XLS telescoping center pole, you can reach a height of almost 4.5 meters!  We tried this combo in the booth and it went higher than the overhead spotlight fixtures! Fantastic for aerial photography and looking forward to using this with a remote controlled pan head!

You can get the latest new Gitzo Systematic catalog here by clicking on Gitzo Systematic Leaflet and Online Download: http://www.gitzo.com/service/request+a+catalog/#

Great to finally be able to test out the Benro telephoto lens Gimbal heads, especially the new GH3 with a 600mm lens and DSLR attached! Perfectly balanced and the ease of use is amazing!

http://english.benro.cn/CpListGG.aspx?ParaId=0&id=87&ProductId=971

The Nissin Digital MG8000 Machine Gun Strobe Flash was fascinating to watch in action claiming to be able to fire 1,000 consecutive flashes! Even after taking 100 shots consecutively at 1/2 power, the flash unit was not hot to the touch! They were also demonstrating their new MF18 macro ring flash.  Press release in Japanese here: http://www.nissin-japan.com/files/mg8000cp2012.pdf

Right next to the Nikon booth was the Canon booth, headlining together with the flagship EOS-1 DX and PowerShot G1X cameras was the new Pixus Pro-1 printer (the Pixma Pro-1 in the U.S.) that was announced late last year slated for sale in Japan this June for 128,000 yen or $1,600. Utilizing the newly developed OIG System (Optimum Image Generating System), the Lucia 12 ink printer now boasts five black inks of various shades plus seven colors and the ink cartridge capacities are now 2.5 times bigger than their predecessors and the printing speed has almost doubled! With 1200 ppi input and the chroma optimizer, the black and white prints and metallic print out samples were outstanding! 

At a different booth, the prints made with the Fresco Giclee papers were very vivid with great color accuracy and exceptional resolution, probably the best now for archival prints in the world. Currently it is available only in A3 size but they are planning to come out with A4 later this spring. The papers come in aluminum bags and are roughly $12 a sheet in Japan. The A4 sample printed on an Epson PX-5002 was amazing! The prints take a week to "mature" after printing and only then are ready for framing. More info about the tech on their site at fresco-g.com but it is in Japanese.

The LowePro booth has some new bags including some nice gun metal colored messenger style bags in various sizes as well as some new rollers including the Pro Roller Light 250AW and 150AW.

It's frustrating when the airlines keep making the allowable carry on bag sizes smaller and smaller and you have bags with equipment that have over $10,000 worth of stuff inside. Yeah, like I'm going to check that in! Currently using the Pro Roller X200 and they give me a hard time here trying to carry on even just the inner section!

Got some great hands on demonstrations from Kurt and Joe of Black Rapid's Camera Slings, the RS DR-1 double sling camera strap and the RS-Sport single camera strap as well as their new Snapr 3 in 1 camera bags. A really comfortable and fast way to access your DSLR and compact cameras! You have to try this in person to really appreciate how neat these accessories are. Check them out at http://www.blackrapid.com/ !!!  Also ask for a demonstration at your favorite camera shop.

A lot of photos are starting to show up on the web and here are a few that I found:

Henrick Shyu's photos of the CP+ show: http://tinyuploads.com/pics/cp

Typing CP+ 2012 in the search on Flickr brings you a lot of pics but mostly of the booth models.

Enjoy!

Best,

TokyoAce

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