We have definitely noticed a trend in manufacturers targeting more outdoor uses for cameras at this year’s PMA show. One example is this camera body armour which we spotted on the show floor. It appears to be a thick, but flexible silicon camera skin that wraps around your DSLR and protects it from shocks and accidental damage. It's a neat idea and you can expect to see a range of 'armour skins' for many of the leading pro and consumer class DSLR cameras. In geek terms, it's like a batman suit for your camera.
|A superhero suit for your DSLR - protects your camera and your investment.|
|Camera body armour for all types of DSLR's|
Novelty USB sticks: popular with students and kids
Once upon a time, USB sticks were stale and boring, but that is quickly changing thanks to a bit of ingenuity from Tasco who are distributing a range of 'Action sports drives', which are branded in an array of popular surfing motifs from big brands like Rip Curl and Burton and 'shaped' to look like mini-surfboards. They're brightly coloured and detailed and definitely stand out from the typical USB crowd.
|Surf's up for these cool looking USB sticks!|
All drives sport USB drives are both USB 1.0 and 2.0 compatible and come pre-bundled with mini surf movies on the USB for surfing fans, which is fun little idea. They will retail from $24.95 to $29.95 in both 1Gb and 2GB sizes.
|We expect to see many variations of sporting USB sticks in the coming months|
Foto-Furniture: immortalise your memories onto fabric
Of course, it couldn't be a photographic convention without something a little kooky and unique. We got close up with some very interesting chairs from 'Image Products' that turn everyday photographic images into stylish furniture pieces, be it a photo of your family or a picture of your favourite pet.
|Imagine your favourite photos on your chairs at home...|
The entire furniture piece can be hand crafted to each customer's specific order and choice of photograph and will cost around $1200 for a royal Louis XV style chair. Even your older, unloved furniture can be re-upholstered to turn your favourite holiday snap shot into a functional, arty part of your home.
Portable photo printer from Canon
Among the Canon products that stood was the simple looking 'Selphy', which can only be best described as a sand bucket with a digital printer inside. The yellow, child-like design is aiming to attract younger children with its bright colours and Canon told us the unit is extremely easy to use with just a few clicks to make the unit print.
|It's like a bucket, but with a photo printer hidden inside...|
The unit may look like a toy, but under the hood of this bucket are some surprisingly strong tech credentials including IrDA technology, Bluetooth functionality, and the ability to print from removable flash drive media. The printer prints on post card size paper, perfect for archiving.
|The 'Selphy' is small and portable, and is said to produce vibrant photos.|
The Selphy CP770 includes an area within the bucket to store the paper, ink and power cord. One of the best bits about this printer is its full portability, available by purchasing an optional batterypack. It won't be available until the end of this year, but we expect it to be a big hit with families who have small children.
Carbon fibre screen cleaning
Cleaning photographic and LCD surfaces is not easy unless you want to invest in harmful chemical solutions that have the potential to ruin your equipment. But at PMA, Tasco were on hand to demonstrate a really useful little product that can remove finger prints and grubby smudges off at your camera or TV/LCD screen using carbon fibres to remove that remove the excess grime.
|A carbon based portable screen cleaner for laptops and TV's fits in your pocket|
We were given a demonstration of a couple of portable cleaning products. One which caught our attention was called the Lenspen, and we were very pleased to see how well our camera lens came up in the quick cleaning test. They are going to go on sale later this year and priced under $20, we expect them to be a popular accessory with camera purchases.
|It passed our mini cleaning test with flying colours|
Finally, a copper-lined laptop bag from Tasco looks like a great innovation at this year's PMA. Copper, which naturally repels the long term build-up of moisture and mildew, has been specially added to an inner padded liner, upon which your laptop snuggly fits into. It seems like a natural fit for protecting your laptop in storage.
|i>A copper lined laptop bag is said to prevent moisture and damp build up from damaging your laptop|