Exposure Photo and Video Imaging Show
(held at the International Centre, Mississauga)
by Judi "Scoop" McWilliams, Festival Nomad Correspondent
Exposure Photo
"Taking a Shot" at the Exposure Show

Gary, The Festival Nomad, and I are getting better at following our own Festival Tips. For today’s adventure we left in time to miss Toronto “rush hour” traffic and arrived at the International Centre early enough to find what might have been the last “close” parking spot. As we have covered other trade and consumer shows, and since we are expanding our Ontario Visited travels, we felt it might be time to join in with the “techies” and modern technology. The “Exposure” Photo & Video Imaging Show, presented by Henry’s was our opportunity to join in.

Today we were going to combine a “need and desire” to learn, as well as cover an Ontario Visited experience for our readers. At first glance, when we entered, it seemed that there were very few booths and very little to see. Boy, were we wrong! Around the corner we were greeted by large screens showing video, photography, posters and more. Crowds were starting to gather at the entrance, so we decided to take another Festival Tip and walk the show “backwards”. We left the crowds and wondered towards the back. Henry’s booths were all around, including a massive wall of customer’s service in which technical representatives welcome customers to try the equipment, answer questions and show off their new “toys”. Towards the back they had a massive “sales display” with buckets full of “sale items”, just waiting to be discovered. They offered all kinds of accessories from batteries to carrying cases, a variety of photo frames, clips, chips and more.

As “neophytes”, it was a little intimidating asking question. We didn’t know what to ask, partly because the technology and equipment was so “new”. We had never seen most before. A good start was listening into other conversations in each of the booths. It created an opening for us to join. At the “GoPro” booth, we discovered a mini camera that captures “action”. The camera has many accessories that allow you to strap the camera onto a bicycle handle, kayak, your helmet, your motorcycle, surfing, your dog, basically whatever “action shots” you wished to capture. High impact, high speed shots give you an opportunity to “be in the action” with your camera. The applications are endless.

The sales consultant realized we had some specific unique questions (after all), and referred us to the head GoPro, who had travelled from California, to chat and share his expertise and knowledge. I won’t bore you with our questions, but some questions we asked were derived from some of our “less than fortunate” camera experiences. We were curious about the capacity of the memory card, the battery life, recharging capabilities, costs. Did you know that sometimes it is less expensive to purchase two 64 gig memory chips rather than one 124 memory chip?  You might be surprised to learn it can be more affordable to purchase packages. The dealers want to sell their cameras and video equipment of course, but for retailers there is a good profit from selling “one offs”. They can not provide a volume or great discounts as easily after the main sale. I can’t tell you how many accessories we have purchased … after the fact. Recently during a trip to Ottawa, we forgot our back-up battery and charger and found ourselves walking to a Henry’s to purchase our third one.

We stopped by a booth to chat with a representative from “Sennheiser”, a family owned company, where they are proud of the fact that the “family” owns and operates and manufactures in Germany. 100% quality, but does come at a price, but for a wireless mic system that captures conversations without the muffle sounds around was wonderful to hear.

The Exposure Show offered visitors many learning experiences from presentations throughout the day. Lectures were being held at the booth locations, where chairs were set up for the crowds. You could sit in at any time and learn “How to get the most out of your action camera”; Easy techniques & tips for great photos; Tech it out ~ Smartphone’s becoming Smart Cameras; How to create a studio look anywhere, any time; and so much more. They also had “Hands-on Camera Lab” sessions with Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus companies.

Live models were around in booths, where photographers could capture great shots, while trying out the new equipment with experts there to guide them. We had fun taking shots of the large group of photographers taking photos of the models, fighting to get into position. It almost felt like a red carpet experience.

One of our last stops was at the “Sony” booth, where they were introducing their newest mini camera, “Sony Action Cam.”  Similar to the “GoPro”, it too can attach to anything. The quality of the images was stunning. It has GPS built in, speakers, and splash proof. A neat wrist mount allows you to view up to 5 screens from 5 different Action Cams. The sales representative says he drives motor race cars at racetrack. He has learned that capturing 5 different angles and perspectives while capturing the same action is an amazing advantage of presenting a video show. Apparently you can record this information and gather it in action onto your tablet or computer. There is good speaker quality offering different channels to weed out ambient noise. You can sync later to the video. It works well with low light and has good stabilization.

At Sony, the representative said shortly this “New Model” would have a companion “step down model” that would be less expensive and able to be used in conjunction with the “New Model”. I wondered why, immediately thinking all of these “perks” were wonderful. He told us that by reducing some of the “extras”, it would bring the price point down to make the Action Cam that much more affordable for the mass audience. He did recommend one good primary camera regardless of the model; the other cameras don’t need to be as good quality.

The Exposure Show brings in new items, new technology, great sales prices with package deals, professionals, experts, demonstrations and more. We understand that some of the inventory is only offered during the Show, as special stock is assigned specifically for the Show and sold only here. They often sell out before the show is over. Many professional and amateur photographers are catching on to the concept of this special show and come with lists, budgets, goal in mind and time on their hands to explore and discover. We will return next year, armed and ready to roll!