Ottawa Photography Show – 2008

Back for another year is Henry’s Photographic, Video and Digital Imaging Show on November 14th to 16th.  I think the title covers pretty much everything you could want out of the show.   Entrance again is $15 for a whole weekend, I usually try to go two days to get into as many seminars as possible.

At the show there is the trade floor area. Every major vendor of equipment will be well represented.  It is a great opportunity to drool over the latest offerings and ask some technical questions of the reps. On my list this year of things to check out: Nikon’s new full frame D700;  the new compact HD video cameras – I really liked the Panasonic from last years show that records to SD cards; neutral density filters – I saw a few photos from a friend with one of these, the results were amazing.  As always you can expect some good deals at the show.  It will be interesting to see if the state of the economy brings out some extra specials!

Last year saw the introduction of the on site lab, along with the seminars from past years.  The lab was a great chance to sit in front of a computer and follow along with a presentation.  I for one always learn best from actually doing something myself.  The seminars are also a great chance to pick up some free tips.  Last year the What You See Is What You Get Colour Management was very interesting.  I also picked up a good tip in one seminar about quickly inverting your selection area in Photoshop.  This year I think the Scanning & Restoration lab will be worth checking out and Choosing The Right Filter for Your DSLR which is sure to help me in my neutral density filter quest.

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Hook It Up

This post has been a long time coming!  Every time I walk into a Future Shop, Best Buy or The Source – I take a little stroll down the cable aisle.  I really should stay away because that little stroll stresses me out – I fly through the emotions of amusement, shock and then anger.  What does this to me is the price of the A/V cables at these various stores.

What a rip off!  A $150 for a 1 meter HDMI cable has to be a misprint.  A quick chat with one of the sales guy confirms that the price is right.  When I express my shock at the price I get the standard sales pitch of “The quality is amazing!” and “You won’t get the same picture from a cheaper cable.”  One sales guy even went so far to suggest that the cable did up converting.  Pretty impressive for a piece of wire – idiot!

What a bunch of crap! Don’t get suckered in.  These expensive cables are all just marketing hype – so do yourself a favour stay away and save your money.  Actually the only cable I have ever had fail on me was a very expensive Monster audio cable.

My background is computer engineering, so I am by no means an expert on signal integrity and such exciting topics.  However, I do work with a whole bunch of these types who share this view.  Debating the theory behind all this would take me way off topic and is better left to A/V sites.

So what should you do when you get that new piece of A/V equipment?  First tell the sales guy to take a hike when he walks you over to the cable aisle, then go home and check out these sites:

  • Mono Price – I have bought a bunch of stuff from this shop.  Prices are almost too low – equivalent HDMI cable to above is less then $5!  They are base in the US. Shipping is usually over a week using USPS so no crazy brokerage fees.  Great customer service.
  • Blue Jeans Cable – I have never purchased from them but I am thinking of giving them my next order.  The reason why is they are sticking it to Monster Cable.  Read more here.

If you really want a laugh then check out this cable from Denon – $500 for a 1.5 meter ethernet cable.  If you bought one of these then get in touch with me because I have a few high quality things to sell you.