PMA Sneak Peek Roundup

Today, several companies showed off their products at the PMA Sneak Peek, an event for press attendees.  In this post, I’ll provide a brief roundup of some of the highlights for me.

Olympus E-620

I had been looking forward to handling the Olympus E-620 since seeing the video of the UArt Students in Philadelphia.  While I didn’t get to bring any sample shots back to show off here because it was pre-production model (above image shot with an E-30 using Art Filters), I have to say that I am quite impressed with this camera.  The Art Filters capability is really a fun feature for those looking to own a DSLR that they can use, as opposed to picking over pixels and specs.  The multi-exposure capability adds some cool possiblities as well.  Some of the sample prints that the Olympus reps were showing featured double exposures of a moon superimposed in various scenes, which worked great in these prints.  I’m looking forward to getting a closer look at this camera soon.

Leica S2

I was tickled (yes, tickled) that I actually got to handle this beast of camera.  Even though it doesn’t have an official price yet, rumor has it that the Leica S2 will cost more than both cars that I own . . . combined (around $40k).  It’s 37.5 megapixels in a 30 x 45 mm sensor built into a 35mm-sized body.  Surprizingly, the Leica S2 is not too far off from the 5D Mark II in size and would be right in line with a 1Ds Mark III or D3x-sized camera.  However, it’s got some heft to it.  It feels like a brick. The Leica S2 produces TIFF files in the range of 70+ MB and will have the ability to capture DNG format images for easy import and workflow in Photoshop.

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM

I spent a few minutes playing with this lens an was thoroughly impressed with its build quality and focusing speed.  The HSM-powered AF motor is very fast and fluid.  The bright f/2.8 aperture helps get enough light to the AF sensor and really speeds the AF along, even in low light situations.  I’ll post a few images that demonstrate the zoom range on a full frame DSLR at a later date.  My initial impression is that the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM is a pro-level lens which builds on Sigma’s popular EX line.  It’s now available in Canon mount and Nikon mount.

Think Tank Photo

Think Tank Photo produces solid and functional camera bags and related gear.  I’ve been testing out a few of these (look for some full reviews at in a week or two) and I can say that I’ve never seen a more capable camera bag, particularly for professionals and demanding amateurs.  One bag, which I hadn’t seen before, was the collapsible Shape Shifter bag, which can flatten down to just 3″ think.  If you’ve got more gear to throw in, then you can simply unzip a panel or two and it will hold a whole lot more. I’ll try to get some pics tomorrow.

LensBaby Composer

I got so busy playing with these LensBaby Composer lenses that I forgot to take a shot of the products themselves.  I reviewed the LensBaby 3G a while back and, while it was fun, it was almost a little too finicky to use casually.  The Composer, however, was much easier to simply pick up and start shooting.  The new, higher-quality optics make the sweet spot much sharper than before.  Additionally, the focus if fully controlled by a traditional manual-turning ring.  Resistance can also be adjusted for fine tuning how easy it is to adjust the sweet spot. Five minutes with these things and I was sold.  The Composer is a simply fun and creative lens.

Crumpler Bags

Crumpler has several cool new bags.  I didn’t really get to spend a lot of time with the Crumpler gear; however, you don’t really have to spend a lot of time with the bags to be stricken with their cool styling and functionality.  Crumpler also has some nice camera straps that are geared toward comfort and, you guessed it, style.

Wrapping Up

There were many, many more great products on display.  I’ll be writing about a lot of them in the coming days.  Stay tuned for the latest from PMA 2009.