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Photographic British

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JUNE 2021 • £3

Putting the photo trade in the picture for over 35 years

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SNAP RESULTS! AWARDS SPECIAL BPI NEWS TRADE AWARDS Your winners revealed!

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TIPA WORLD AWARDS Tech experts’ top picks!

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IN THIS ISSUE…

ANALOGUE REVIVAL

CLICK TEASE

PROFIT FROM PRINT

BUSINESS ADVICE

How BCE Photo Lab is helping photo retailers take advantage of increased demand for the processing of new and old film – and how you too can profit!

More details of new rangetopping mirrorless cameras on the way this issue from Panasonic with the Lumix GH6 and Canon with its EOS R3

Epson reseller the DPS Group tells us how the manufacturer’s new EcoTank series can cut your printing costs up to 90%, while boosting your bottom line

With restrictions set to potentially ease further this summer, we look at making the most of the ‘new abnormal’ retail landscape, post-lockdown, post-Covid


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES THAT DISPLAY THE TIPA LOGO IS YOUR ASSURANCE OF THEIR OUTSTANDING

QUALITY, DESIGN AND PERFORMANCE

Every year since 1991 TIPA awards have been given to the best photo, video and imaging products. The TIPA logo is awarded by a large group of respected editors of technical magazines and websites from around the world including the Camera Journal Press Club of Japan.

Visit our website to learn more about our organization and TIPA World Awards www.tipa.com


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Photographic British

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Editorial | June 2021

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EDITOR Gavin Stoker Tel: 020 8274 0578 Tel: 07990 974 367 ART EDITOR Michael O’Connell EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES Please direct all editorial requests, news and press releases to info@bpinews.co.uk

Gavin Stoker, Editor gavin@bpinews.co.uk @GavinStoker

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ello and welcome to the June issue of BPI News. Hard to believe we’ve reached the mid point of the year already, when in some respects it feels like we’re just getting started. With the sun finally out (and no reported UK daily deaths from Covid for the first time since the start of this dreadful outbreak as I type this), are those the faint rumblings of optimism sweeping the photo industry that I hear? With the much-trumpeted ‘freedom day’ of June 21st within touching distance, when all restrictions are proposed to be lifted, will we finally get to see, feel and experience what our post-lockdown(s) ‘new normal’ is (even if that date gets pushed back a little)? As well as new camera releases for this summer announced by Panasonic, Canon and Nikon this issue – along with must-stock accessories from Sigma and Sony – all reported on in our news section over the page, further welcome news comes from the fact that, since last time we spoke, BPI News is now a member of TIPA. The trade will be aware that the respected association, made up of editors of the worldwide technical press, gathers together to vote on the best photography

gear each year – and has just done so. Turn to page 10 now to see 2021’s winners in the TIPA World Awards. We’ve double the reason to celebrate this month, though, as this edition additionally coincides with our own BPI News Trade Awards, voted for by you, the reader, with more industryfocused categories including Retailer of The Year and Campaign Of The Year. Flick to pages 16 through 18 to meet your winners for 2021 and read their extended acceptance speeches. Inevitably you’ll find familiar faces, but perhaps a few surprises too (and, given the year we’ve battled through, it was only modesty that held us back from awarding BPI News itself, for services to the industry). Finally, it would be a big help for you, the reader, to let us know how you currently ‘digest’ BPI News in the present climate – in print, online or both – so we can focus our future efforts to maximum effect. Also, do let us know if we should be changing the address on your posted issue, particularly if you’re spending an increased amount of time out of office, working from home. We’d be happy to re-direct it, so you continue receiving and hearing the essential voice of your one and only UK photo trade magazine. Now that is something worth supporting.

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BPI News | June 2021 3


News

FUJIFILM LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE PHOTO RETAIL BRAND With some big industry changes over the past year – the pace of most quickened by the pandemic – it literally pays to keep eyes on BPI News for developments. A case in point is Fuji’s latest move: a directto-customer online print service under the retail branding of ‘myFujifilm’. This follows the streamlining of its operations in both the UK and Japan earlier this year and, the manufacturer tells us, is in response to the ‘increasing photography retail trend throughout lockdown’ for creating and purchasing photo products. This new direction is claimed to be part of a wider roll-out of the platform across several European regions, including Spain, Germany, Sweden and France. “This is an important step in our evolution as a brand,” believes Fuji UK’s General Manager Theo Georghiades. “Covid-19 has made many of us appreciate our loved ones and the memories we have made with them – and we’ve seen increased demand for personalised gifts.” The website allows customers to order photo prints of varying sizes and wall art options including canvas and acrylic prints. While ‘myFujifilm’ is the new online brand, the manufacturer is retaining its House Of Photography store in London’s Covent Garden as, it says, ‘the physical element of Fujifilm’s photo retail experience, available to all consumers.’ It

has also consolidated its X-Series, GFX, Instax and Photo Printing social media ‘handles’ into a single @FujifilmUK across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Naturally, at BPI News we are wondering how Fuji increasing its direct-to-customer offerings may impact photo independents – particularly those 160 directly partnered with the brand and already offering their own photo gifting and fulfilment services. We put that question to the manufacturer’s Commercial Marketing Manager Gloria McCann, who responded: “We fully support all of our retailers and the value they bring to countless customers across the UK and Ireland, who receive a personalised, high-quality service from their local photo retailer. We celebrate

their successes and continue to work with all our retail partners, who benefit from ongoing business and marketing support. “The new online platform, alongside our Retail Partner network, will only increase the ways customers can access Fujifilm’s inspiring range of photo products and gifting ideas. “In particular, myFujifilm will help to build brand awareness of Fujifilm’s capabilities as a 360 degree photo imaging business. As well as strengthening our position in the photo printing market, it will also benefit our retailer partners, who continue to bring quality photo printing and gifting to the high street as well as online.” www.myfujifilm.co.uk

BPI NEWS JOINS TIPA The big news at BPI towers this month – in case you’ve not read it elsewhere – is that we’ve become a voting member of the TIPA association. There can’t be many in the UK photo trade not already familiar with the Technical Image Press Association, which has a history stretching back to its foundation in 1991, due to its annual awards (covered on page 10 of this issue) or the fact that it is made up of a global panel of knowledgeable experts who have earned a reputation for honest and trustworthy appraisal of photo and imaging products. Each member publication is engaged in the selection of and final vote in the TIPA World Awards process to name the

Photographic British

Industry

best photo and imaging products of the year. These then serve as an important benchmark and guide for consumers in making their purchasing decisions. In fact, a recent survey revealed that over 65% of the readers of the member magazines know

that a TIPA award is one that recognises excellence in the photo industry. Echoing BPI News’ own sentiments, TIPA Chairman Thomas Gerwers says: “We believe that now more than ever our support of the industry and the people who work so hard, be it in production, distribution, or marketing, deserve our thanks and appreciation for their efforts to continue to develop new and exciting products that both expand imaging creativity and potential and point the way to new and exciting technologies in the future.” www.tipa.com www.bpinews.co.uk

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News

CANON TEASES MORE R3 SPECS Back in April we had the development announcement of a flagship, high-speed pro-level mirrorless camera in the Canon EOS R3 (see page 10 of our April/May edition for interview), aimed at those shooting (or filming) sports, wildlife and news, and which will sit between the EOS-1D X and the R5 in its line up. Now the manufacturer has got back in touch, not with a release date or a price for the R3 as yet, but to drip-feed further details for retailers to prime their customers with. These include the addition of Auto Focus tracking for motorsports, including racing cars and motorbikes, alongside the ability to track people and animals (including birds), as found in the existing EOS R5 and R6 models. Filmmakers may also like to know that the RF mount and RF lens compatible camera can capture over-sampled 4K resolution video. And, claims Canon, low light work is also possible thanks to the ability of the camera to find focus in extreme darkness, equivalent to -7 EV or lower, while built-in image stabilisation affords up to the equivalent of 8 stops of protection

against visible camera shake. In addition there’s the ability to shoot Raw files at a whopping 30fps with full AF/AE tracking, thanks to a brand new back-illuminated stacked CMOS sensor coupled with Canon’s latest Digic X image processor. In terms of pro-grade construction, Canon tells us the R3’s dust and water resistant magnesium alloy body is as tough as that of the EOS-1D X series, while power is courtesy of the same highcapacity LP-E19 battery found in the EOS-1D X Mark III. A choice of controls includes both multi controller and smart controller for intuitive operation – along with vari-angle LCD screen – plus three custom dials on the body, which, alongside

a Lens Control ring on each RF mount lens, allows users to control shutter speed, aperture, ISO and exposure compensation while the camera is held up to their eye (it also includes Eye Control AF point selection!). Connectivity comes via a built-in Wired LAN socket and Wi-Fi, plus a new accessory shoe, which provides data communication and power for new accessories when attached to the camera. More details will follow as we have them! In related high-end camera news, Canon has announced firmware updates for several of its Cinema EOS cameras and lenses, based on user feedback. These include tweaks to the EOS C70, EOS C500 Mark II and EOS C300 Mark III cameras, plus the EF-EOS R 0.71x Mount Adapter. Following updates, two Compact-Servo cinema lenses – the CN-E18-80mm and CN-E70-200mm – will also become fully compatible with the mirrorless EOS R5. A total of 24 Cinema EOS firmware updates offer enhancements and new capabilities to the above products. Head to the support section of the Canon website for more. www.canon.co.uk

Photography Show set for September return Event organiser Future Publishing has been in touch to tell us plans are well underway for its live event, which plans to re-open doors to visitors this September 18th through 21st (Saturday to Tuesday). Pro speakers confirmed to draw crowds to its ‘Super Stage’ include Rankin – currently fronting The Great British Photography Challenge on BBC4 – and fine art photographer Brooke Shaden. We’re also told ‘hundreds’ of exhibitors have signed up, including Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, Epson, CEWE, Pixapro, Vanguard, Lee Filters and Loupedeck, with regular retail partners London Camera Exchange and CameraWorld making a return alongside Wex Photo Video to offer those enticing show deals. In fact the exhibition floor is said to be 90% full at the time of writing – so anyone still thinking of exhibiting is advised not to drag their heels and contact Richard Macey on 020 7042 4284.

Event Director Ruth Folkard enthuses: “We’ve very positive that The Photography Show & The Video Show is on for a cracking year. Photographers and filmmakers have been unable to get hands-on with kit or get that all-important face-to-face time with the brands they want to purchase from for months. It’s a top priority now – and our visitors are telling us daily how much they’re looking forward to the show.” Canon Marketing Director UK & Ireland Tracey Fielden confirms: “We’re really excited to be planning Canon’s presence at The Photography Show

in September and can’t wait to see customers face-to-face at the NEC.” Naturally despite the excitement, the pandemic hasn’t been forgotten and measures to help exhibitors and visitors alike feel safe are being put in place, including, Ruth says, “staggered entry and enhanced sanitisation, alongside wider aisles and improved crowd control to keep traffic flowing, as a minimum. We are following guidance carefully and are ready to implement further adjustments as required.” Those already holding tickets for 2020’s postponed event will automatically have them transferred to the new dates and will receive communications from the event team over the coming weeks. www.photographyshow.com

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News

NIKON SHOWS US NEW NIKKORS It’s all about mirrorless at the moment with the ‘big two’ brands. Not content with recent Z 6II and Z 7II camera releases, Nikon is bringing in some new ‘glass’ in support with the expansion of its Z mount lens range and the development of Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 and Nikkor Z 40mm f/2 lenses. Described as compact and lightweight, the pair of primes have been made for full frame, Nikon FX format cameras, such as the two mentioned above, and are scheduled for release in 2021, it says here, though again no actual date and pricing has been revealed. If you’re wondering who to pitch these to, the 28mm is described as a wide-angle prime perfect for everyday use, while the 40mm is pitched as a standard prime allowing users to achieve beautiful ‘bokeh’. However a June 24th sales start date has been given for two further new Nikkor lenses in the Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S at £999 SRP and Nikkor Z MC 50mm f/2.8 for £649 SRP. These are noteworthy for being the first two dedicated macro lenses to join the Nikon Z family. The 105mm is described as a professional S-line macro lens capable of stunningly lifelike depth and detail, while the 50mm is claimed to be compact, lightweight and versatile, and is aimed at macro photographers starting out, who nevertheless want to achieve vibrant close ups. “The long-awaited 105 mm macro lens brings astonishingly beautiful macro performance to the Z system for both professionals and macro enthusiasts,” enthuses Senior Commercial Lead for Nikon Northern Europe, Rob Harmon. “Its smaller and more affordable sibling has a lot to offer too: the new 50 mm macro lens is ideal if you want to start shooting true macro images. Or if you simply want a versatile 50 mm lens that will also let you capture incredible close-ups, then this is it.” For professional news and sports photographers, there is also a new Nikon NX Field app available, allowing users to link multiple Nikon digital SLRs, operate and adjust settings remotely and automatically upload images captured with the cameras to an FTP server. The manufacturer says that (with the Olympics no doubt potentially in mind) it could, for example, enable the operation of cameras positioned in Tokyo from

outside Japan – or of course allow the positioning of cameras in places, such as near the finishing line or the ceiling of a stadium, that people cannot easily access. In addition, Nikon currently has a summer ‘instant savings’ promotion running until July 19th, which can save potential purchasers up to £360. As it sounds, and existing retailers will no doubt be aware, no registration is required and there is no need to submit proof of purchase as savings are deducted right at the time of purchase (savings cannot be paid out retrospectively). A full list of the products featured in the promo – including full frame mirrorless cameras, fourteen Nikkor Z lenses and binoculars from its Prostaff 3S series – plus the required small print

can be read at: www.nikon.co.uk/ en_GB/promotions/instantsavings Finally, in terms of trade news, there are a couple of changes of roles and responsibilities at Nikon here in the UK. John Walshe has transitioned all operational aspects of the Imaging Division to Charlotte Kemsley, who recently stepped up into the role of General Manager for Nikon UK and Nordics. At the same time John has been appointed Director for Nikon Europe BV as well as to MRMC Ltd, another wholly owned Nikon subsidiary here in the UK. He will continue to have regional leadership responsibility for Nikon’s UK and Nordics business, but the individual business units now have direct reporting structures too. www.nikon.co.uk

BPI News is your mouthpiece to the photo trade, so use it! Send your press releases and news items direct to: info@bpinews.co.uk 6 June 2021 | BPI News

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Advertorial

ANALOGUE REVIVAL BENEFITS BCE’S CUSTOMERS W ith film photography making a comeback along with increased demand for everything analogue, BCE Photo Lab, the photo-processing arm of the Bradford Camera Exchange since 1987, has a very tempting proposal to put to the trade. Whilst many outlets own a device for printing digital files, via a dry lab and kiosk, only a few have the facility to develop films. As a result, BCE Photo Lab, a specialist in C41 film processing for many years, has devised a special trade-only deal, allowing dealers to offer the service and show a good profit when customers need a film processing. For just £2.50 inc VAT, they will develop any C41 process film – including 35mm, 120, 126, 110, APS or singleuse cameras – and scan the negatives at 3089x2048 dpi. These are sent as JPEG images via WeTransfer back to the sender, usually the same day, for printing. Sleeved negatives can also be returned via Royal Mail for just £2.50 P&P per batch (so, if 10 films are sent together, the

the digital age, while, at the same time, older photographers are revisiting their former hobby. This has resulted in a lot of unprocessed films from 10 or 20 years ago turning up, which it has been successful in getting ‘excellent’ results out of. If a film proves a failure, there is no charge made at all, so it’s worth even sending your customers’ old films in for BCE Photo Lab to take a look at. Please see the advert immediately below for all the relevant contact details.

Above: BCE Photo Lab processes many types of C41 film Right: Film being fed into the processor and negatives being scanned prior to being We Transferred back to the sender

sender will pay just one return charge of £2.50). An identifying sticker will also be applied, so the correct images can be returned to the correct customer. BCE Photo Lab is happy to accept payment by card or bank transfer. Demand is building. BCE tells us today’s students are some of the keenest film users, despite having been born in

FILM SALES ARE INCREASING & SO IS DEMAND FOR DEVELOPING & PRINTING SERVICES If you own a Dry Lab or Photo Kiosk you can offer your customers a fast, economical, Film Developing & Printing Service by using our popular Develop & Scan Package

E TRAD E C PRI 2.50 £ ONLY AT C IN V ILM F R E P o charge (N ures) for fail

• All C41 Films Developed - 35mm/120/126/110/APS & Single Use Cameras • Jpeg images sent within hours via WeTransfer ready for you to print • Sleeved negatives returned via Royal Mail if required (£2.50 per batch)

Join our growing network of dealers across the country using this profitable solution Get in touch NOW. Ring Paul Jones on 01274 723622 for more information or to set up an account 17 Northgate, Bradford BD1 3JR Tel: 01274 723622 Email: sales@bcephotolab.com NEVER MISS AN ISSUE! Read BPI News online at issuu.com/bpinewsonline

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Developing Films Since 1987 BPI News | June 2021 7


BPI News Extra

NEW PANASONIC FLAGSHIP CELEBRATES LUMIX 20TH Hard to believe it was 20 years ago BPI News was invited by Panasonic to its HQ in Osaka, Japan, for the unveiling of the first Lumix digital compact. Now the new Lumix GH5M2 and GH6 celebrate the anniversary

M

arking two decades of the manufacturer’s involvement in digital stills cameras, plus increased demand for high quality video for online blogging, a new Panasonic Lumix GH5 ‘M2’ arrives this month, while a range-topping GH6 has been announced as ‘in development’. Also promised in the near future is a Leica DG 25-50mm f/1.7 lens (which can be combined with 2019’s Leica DG 10-25mm f/1.7 to provide the 35mm equivalent of 20mm to 100mm). For L-Mount camera customers, a compact splash and dust resistant L-Mount Lumix S 50mm f/1.8 lens (SS50) arrives this June at £429 SRP. It’s said to excel in both video and stills recording, while delivering beautiful ‘bokeh’. A new 24mm and 35mm f/1.8 large aperture lens are also under development to further enhance the Lumix S series lens line-up. But back to the GH-series ‘successor’ cameras for now, which, according to Panasonic, ‘open up a new world of video shooting’, their development based on its study of ‘evolution points’, which revealed it needed to subdivide its GH series to appeal to pro videographers on one hand, and YouTube-rs on the other. For the latter there’s the Micro Four Thirds Lumix GH5M2, which offers a 25% wider dynamic range and improved detail, wireless live streaming (up to 1080p) with the aid of a ‘Lumix Sync’

Two new Lumix, two audiences: Pro shooters are directed to the forthcoming GH6, teased very top of page, while You Tube-rs wanting superior video are catered for by the new GH5M2, shown immediately above

Future focus: The forthcoming Leica DG 25-50mm f/1.7 is shown left, while the Lumix S 50mm f/1.8 sits on the right

smartphone app, plus C4K recording and V-Log L shooting. With a 3-inch, free-angle 1840K dot LCD providing touch control plus a double SD card slot, the selling point is ‘one camera with everything’. As well as the above features, the menu system has changed significantly and live streaming connectivity is offered either via smartphone or router. Unsurprisingly the splash and dust resistant GH5M2 is both Windows 10 and Mac OS compatible. Dimensions are said to be the same as the GH5, the accessory battery grip for the GH5 will still fit and it’s compatible with the same remote control. It also supports a new DMW-BLK22 high power battery. In terms of future proofing, Panasonic will continue to evolve the GH5M2 via firmware upgrades, with a facility for USB tethering promised by the end of 2021. With a late June release date at £1,499 SRP body only (£1,699 with 1260mm Lumix lens or £1,999 with 1260mm Leica lens), we were told ‘anyone can be creative with this camera.’ Dealers have the chance to piggyback a DMW-XLR1 microphone adapter as a compatible accessory, enabling users to

achieve 24-bit depth stereo sound. As Panasonic noted in its launch presentation, when it comes to professional video and audio ‘one cannot do without the other.’

‘6’ OF THE BEST? Alternatively, for pro video shooters, the forthcoming Lumix GH6 flagship model supports 10-bit Cinema 4K up to 60P and unlimited video recording, along with 10-bit 4K at a 120P frame rate, plus 5.7K video recording at 60P. Key to the GH6 is a new high-speed image sensor and new Venus engine, says Panasonic. More info on the range-topper is promised in coming months, with delivery expected by the end of 2021. Finally, in terms of free-of-charge Firmware, Panasonic has asked us to tell your customers to look out for Lumix updates online for its GH5S, G9 and G100 cameras, enhancing both AF performance and video functionality. Head to the Lumix Global Customer Support website for updates. www.panasonic.co.uk

Two new mirrorless cameras from Panasonic in the GH5M2 and GH6, plus equally new 25-50mm and 50mm lens announcements 8 June 2021 | BPI News

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BPI Product Focus

NEW INTRO 2020 PRODUCTS WORTH LOOKING INTO We catch up with the latest offerings from Cokin, Samyang, Steiner, Cotton Carrier, Summit and Slik, via BPI News Award winning distributor Intro 2020

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roactive distributor Intro 2020 has ploughed on through the pandemic, releasing multiple products with which photo specialists can safeguard their retail businesses. Conceived and optimised for wideangle lenses and long exposures, the compact and lightweight Cokin NX-series Filter Holder System (right) is worth spotlighting. Compatible with Nuances Extreme Filters, Nuances Clearsky and Infrared IR72, plus Cokin adapter rings in L (Z-Pro) size, compatibility is further offered with 100mm filters made by other manufacturers with a 2mm thickness. Available individually, there are also five kit options with SRP’s as follows: Starter Kit (£219.99), Long Exposure Kit (£269.99), Landscape Kit (£359.99), Expert Kit (£539.99) plus a Professional Kit at £689.99. Discover more at www.nx-series.com Two new lenses in the Samyang AF 12mm f/2 E lens (immediate right) (£359.99 SRP) and the Samyang AF 24mm f/1.8 (immediate right, below) are aimed at Sony E-mount (APS-C) and Sony FE (full frame) users respectively. The former is the Korean brand’s first AF wide-angle prime lens for APS-C mirrorless users, provides the equivalent of 18mm on a 35mm camera, and is suitable for astrophotography or interiors due to its f/2 aperture. Compact and lightweight at 213g, the 12mm is weather sealed and boasts quiet and smooth AF for both video and stills. At £459.99 SRP, the large aperture wide-angle 24mm prime is described as tiny at 71.5mm in length and lightweight at 230g. With a 9-blade iris and 58mm filter thread, tell your customers that close focus distance is just 19cm. For astrophotography, a new Custom Mode feature with LED indicator allows users to automatically move the focus to infinity. Having been previewed on our news pages, the Samyang VDSLR MK2 Cine lens range (right) arrives for Canon’s mirror-less RF mount and comprises five of the most used focal lengths: 14mm (T3.1), 24mm (T1.5), 35mm (T1.5), 50mm (T1.5) and 85mm (T1.5). All of the above

Holding a good profit: Cokin’s NX series filter holder system comes in several kit options, as well as being available individually

are available in a five-lens kit for £2599 SRP, or it’s £1499 for the trio of the 14mm, 35mm and 85mm. Key selling points here are fast T-stop values, image quality of renown plus user-friendly features. Binoculars have sold like hot cakes during lockdown, so Steiner Navigator Marine Binoculars (below) are worth stocking. Integrating features from old Navigator Pro models, these boast new innovations and optimised handling, thanks to an ‘open bridge’ design. Choose from two different sizes in the Navigator 7x30c and 7x30, or Navigator 7x50c and 7x50 (the ‘c’ indicating an integrated analogue compass). SRPs range from £399 to £599.

Want a means of carrying all the above? Check out the Cotton Carrier SlingBelt and Bucket System (right), plus self-explanatory Drybag in either small or large. At £100 SRP, the one-size-fits-all SlingBelt is a comfortable and versatile carrier for cameras, lenses, binos and more. It features a twist and lock mount that secures kit to the user’s

hip, thereby distributing the weight. An accessory to attach to this is the Lens Bucket, featuring a drainage hole in case of rain. Great for transporting lenses and flashes at £49.99 SRP, it will also hold a water bottle. Alternatively grab a waterproof DryBag (£25 SRP). We’ve all become over-familiar with the Zoom videoconferencing app this past year, so the Summit Zoom MultiPod table top tripod (right) with ball head feels very timely and relevant to customers’ needs. Designed for DSLR/mirrorless and smartphones, weight is adjusted via five position press-and-adjust buttons on each leg. Its centre column can be twisted to allow for increased stability. Supporting 3kg in weight, it’s £29.99 SRP. Finally, direct customers wanting something bigger and more-heavy-duty to Intro’s range of Slik Vari and Pro Carbon Fibre tripods (below), available either ‘legs only’ or with ball head. This is a lightweight system delivering maximum strength and durability that matches a broad range of budgets.

To order stock of any or all of the above, speak to your local Intro 2020 rep or get in contact direct NOW on 01628 674 411 or via sales@intro2020.co.uk www.intro2020.co.uk

To order stock of any or all of the above, speak to your local Intro 2020 rep, or get in contact direct on 01628 674 411 @bpi_news

BPI News | June 2021 9


BPI News Extra

TIPA AWARD WINNERS 2021 Despite the operational challenges of the preceding 15 months, some things are sacred – like the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) selecting the great and the good from the past year’s products. We survey its key choices…

E

ven if it feels like launches in recent months have passed with less fireworks than they would have done pre-pandemic, familiar names are once again out in force when surveying the winners in 2021 TIPA World Awards. Canon has bagged three plaudits from the voting magazine journalists (now including BPI, see News this issue), taking Best Entry Level APS-C Camera for its EOS M50 Mark II, Best Prime Telephoto Lens for the RF 600mm f/11 IS STM, plus Best Photo Printer for its imagePROGRAF PRO-300 (above), which featured in our July/August edition last year. Of the M50 Mark II (right) the judges said: ‘has appeal not only to hobbyist photographers but also to vloggers and content creators.’ Getting the nod twice is Fujifilm. Its X-S10 (below) takes Best Advanced APS-C Camera, while its chunky GFX100S has been awarded Best Medium Format Camera.

Named as Best Expert APS-C Camera and making a single showing is Pentax with the K-3 Mark III (below). Of the latter, the awards committee said: ‘Fans of DSLR type viewfinder camera systems will find lots to like.’

Nikon gets in on the act with its full frame mirrorless models this year. The Nikon Z 6II has been awarded Best Advanced Full Frame Camera – see also our trade awards on page 16 – and its Z 7II (above) Best Expert Full Frame Camera, while Best Wide Angle Zoom Lens is the compatible Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S. Likewise making a strong showing in this year’s TIPAs with four ‘gongs’ is Sigma. Named Best Advanced Photo/ Video Camera is its fp L, while its 100400mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Contemporary lens has bagged Best Ultra Telephoto Zoom Lens and the 105mm f/2.8 DG DN Macro has claimed Best Macro Lens. Lastly, its 85mm f/1.4 DG AN Art series optic (above) is Best Portrait Lens according to the experts, who said: ‘Numerous lens controls and functions make it an apt choice for both still and video photography.’ Not overlooked either is Sony, with the Alpha 1 (left) named Best Full Frame Professional Camera and its Alpha 7S III taking Best Expert Photo/Video Camera. Best Prime

Standard Lens is its FE 50mm f/1.2 GM. As a sign of the times, the Sony ZV-1 won the judges’ praise as the ‘Best Vlogger Camera’ with its Xperia 1 III bagging Best Photo Smartphone. The uniquely boxy Lumix DC-BGH1 (above) from Panasonic took Best Professional Video Camera, while Tamron also made its mark with Best Standard Zoom Lens going to its 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD and the 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VXD being named as the Best Telephoto Zoom Lens. Print media and accessories haven’t bypassed the judges either, with, among them, Best Fine Art Printing Solution going to the Hahnemühle Print Protect range – of which the judges noted: ‘gives photo artists a complete package, including their world-renowned archival papers, portfolio boxes ad Certificates of Authenticity’ – with Best Photo Service going to the CEWE Photo Calendar A2 Gold Edition and Best Retail Finishing System named as the CEWE Photocenter. Best Photo Lab meanwhile is the WhiteWall Room View. Best Lighting Technology has gone to the Profoto AirX, while Best Portable Flash is the cylindrical Godox Pocket Flash AD100Pro. Gitzo also makes an appearance with its Ball Head Series 4 taking Best Tripod Head and the Manfrotto Fast Gimboom and Gimbal series highlighted as the Best Gimball System. Best tripod overall, meanwhile, is the Vanguard VEO 3GO series (right). Best Photo Accessory is/are the Hoya Prond Grad Circular Graduated ND Filters. For the full list of winners and further details on the TIPA Awards head to www.tipa.com

For the full list of winners and further details on the TIPA World Awards head to www.tipa.com 10 June 2021 | BPI News

www.bpinews.co.uk


BPI News Product Focus

YOU’D BE ‘BATS’ TO MISS MAC GROUP’S BENRO OFFER Distributor MAC Group has a host of new Benro-branded tripods and ball heads, offering retailers a great margin and their customers a great deal…

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oly tripods, Batman! Dealers will want to prepare their own bat caves to receive stock of six new ‘Bat’ series tripods from Benro, a key brand for pro-active distributor MAC Group Europe. These versatile products come in a choice of aluminium or carbon fibre construction, offering potential users five pre-set leg angles for shooting in awkward spaces. Why the ‘Bat’? Well, the tripods’ legs can be folded back on themselves to lean up against a wall or uneven surface, as well as the legs being individually height adjustable to cope with ‘unconventional and unforgiving’ spaces. In short, they can be placed in settings impossible for conventional tripods. A dual locking centre column provides extra height, while a lengthened locking knob enhances locking strength. SRP for the Bat tripods is from £190 to £270 SRP. An equally new alternative comes in the shape of seven Tortoise series tripods. These include two options aimed at videographers, plus five pitched at photographers – including one that’s ideal for a tabletop set up. The selling point here is that Tortoise tripods are the most compact and portable options in the Benro range. They manage this feat by omitting a centre column, ensuring they will collapse down to less than 8cm diameter. At the same time the series can extend up to 164cm in height and support a maximum load of 18Kg, making them more than capable of supporting mirrorless cameras, DSLRs and camcorders. It’s also worth noting this iteration has the auto hold leg adjustment feature that was first seen on the Benro Rhino series range. SRP’s for Tortoise tripods are between £220 and £360. MAC Group Europe’s Benro Brand Manager Mark Hoskins concludes: “Bat tripods are ideal for photographers who put their kit through a great deal in pursuit of the perfect image and don’t want to compromise on performance for portability. Tortoise tripods are small but mighty, offering great stability.”

NEW BENRO GEAR AT-A-GLANCE: Bat tripods: „„ Five pre-set leg angles allow the Bat series to be placed in settings that would be impossible for traditional tripods „„ Versatility is key to this series thanks to quick, multi-level leg adjustment, plus the ability to seamlessly invert the central column for low level shooting or remove it completely, combining the legs for use in monopod mode „„ Super light, super strong construction designed for absolute precision

Tortoise tripods:

GET AHEAD, GET A BALLHEAD Animal magic: Benro’s Bat & Tortoise series tripods will delight both photographers and videographers with their strength, flexibility and portability

Head turners: Check out the panoramic capabilities of Benro’s VX and GX ballheads, which offer full 360° rotation

Available in kits with the Bat series tripods are brand new dual panoramic Benro VX ballheads, newly available alongside GX ballheads – the latter featuring a low profile design in order to enable both a higher ‘payload’ and a smoother operation. Inform your customers that there are six VX and GX Ballheads to choose from, promising a second-to-none strength to weight ratio. Dual panoramic capability means they offer full 360° rotation from both the lightweight Arca-compatible quick release platform and base of the ballheads. Crafted from CNCmachined aluminium, the heads offer reduced weight but no loss of payload. Prices range from £80 to £150 SRP.

„„ Omission of centre column means Tortoise tripods are one of the most compact in the Benro range (less than 8cm diameter when folded) „„ Multi-angle leg adjustment and Benro auto-hold feature makes setting up shots easier than ever „„ Ultimate balance of portability and strength for photographers who want to travel light

VX & GX heads: „„ Feature a 3/8-inch female thread in the base, meaning they will work across Benro’s tripod range and with other tripods using the same size attachment „„ Updated elegant and lightweight design means the heads are both pleasing to use and transport

Benro gear aside, as we went to press MAC Group was additionally teasing imminent new product from bag specialist Tenba (www.tenba.com). We have no specifics as yet, but make sure to reserve some shelf space and check out our forthcoming July/August issue for more! For stock of both Benro and Tenba, contact MAC Group direct on 01902 255500 or via info@macgroupeu.com www.benroeu.com www.macgroupeu.com

Be sure to have sufficient stock of Benro tripods and ball heads by emailing info@macgroupeu.com or calling 01902 255500 NEVER MISS AN ISSUE! Read BPI News online at issuu.com/bpinewsonline

BPI News | June 2021 11


News

Wex Leeds the way with ‘Yorkshire’s largest camera store’ Retailer Wex Photo Video has been back in touch to tell us its new Central Leeds branch, teased in our April/May issue, is now open. Boasting what it claims is over 3,000 square feet of ‘customer friendly’ space – making it, the retailer claims, the largest camera store in Yorkshire – products are displayed across high tech tables and modern store furniture. To create a safe environment for visitors, Wex has introduced a range of safety measures described as ‘comprehensive’, including regular cleaning, social distancing and mandatory use of face masks for customers and staff. Despite the fact that its online presence now represents the majority of its business, it nevertheless remains ‘fully committed’ to such bricks and mortar premises. Before the start of the pandemic last year, Wex had already undertaken a major expansion strategy, plus the refurbishment of all its locations, including the opening exactly one year ago of a new branch in the centre of Milton Keynes.

CEO Louis Wahl remains optimistic for 2021 and beyond: “The last year has been challenging, but Wex remains in a strong position, thanks to thriving online sales driven by a spike in demand during lockdown. We’re committed to multichannel growth and will continue to invest in physical stores to serve our customers all over the UK. With such a high density of photographers in the Leeds area, alongside a growing media presence, this was the natural location for Wex’s 10th store.” Opening

hours are 10-6 Monday to Friday, 9-6 on Saturday and 11-5 on Sunday. Photography and filmmaking aside, Wex claims it has benefited from the rise of new hobbies away from its core business during the successive lockdowns, including astronomy, bird-watching and computing. For astronomy alone, Wex saw a 260 per cent increase in web traffic compared to pre-pandemic levels, with a number of other categories also showing strong growth. www.wexphotovideo.com

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Grays of Westminster

‘WE’RE LEARNING FIRST-HAND WHAT’S ON CUSTOMERS’ MINDS’ Celebrating 35 years this July, customer loyalty has ensured that Nikon-only retailer Gray Levett has again been awarded our BPI News Retailer of The Year. We hear how loyalty is nurtured & maintained

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or its 35th year, Grays of Westminster has embraced regular customers while adding new ones. As the world locked down, the company expanded its horizons, building on an enviably loyal customer base by entering the world of live streaming and podcasting. “We’ve added an extra 1,000 subscribers in the past few weeks to the weekly live-streams, and our US audience is now slightly larger than that of the UK,” founder Gray Levett (pictured below) reveals. “We’re also finding the same people continue to come back, comment and engage in lively exchanges with our two talented and knowledgeable presenters, Becky Danese and Konstantin Kochkin. This gives us ideas for the future, as we’re learning first-hand what’s on customers’ minds.” A particular curiosity is that the more niche the subject matter, the bigger the response. “One of our earliest streams examined the difference between pre-AI, AI and AI-S lenses, and the audience for it was huge, because it’s not the sort of information you can readily find on the Internet. “Being a Nikon-only store, our one issue has been a supply problem rather than a sales problem. Nikon has faced some really difficult challenges over the last fourteen months. First of all, the effects created by the lockdown, then the massive fire that took place at

Nikon’s components manufacturer, AKM Semiconductor in Japan, in October last year, and, finally, stock that was being transported in a giant container, nearly a quarter of a mile long, ran aground in the Suez Canal. Despite the fact that stock is now coming through, it will be a while until it’s back to pre-pandemic levels.” That said, the market for Nikon mirrorless cameras is increasing all the time and it continues to push forward that aspect of the business. “DSLR sales may be declining, but where we remain strong is with people who buy the high-level equipment such as the D6 and D850, as well as the D780, once they understand its capabilities.”

‘Cast aways: Konstantin Kochkin and Becky Danese present popular podcasts and live streams to keep their customer base engaged and informed

NO LACK OF PEOPLE BUYING

Gray matter: the Nikon-only retailer is celebrating its 35th anniversary via a special publication

Where Grays of Westminster is the envy of other retailers is with regard to customer loyalty and enthusiasm – the product of having gone the extra mile when needed, literally hand-delivering purchases by train – plus the fact that its Westminster location has historically brought it into contact with a wide variety of clientele. The result is that Grays of Westminster has found that customers are still spending, whether as a form of retail therapy or simply because photography is a hobby they love. “During the past five days we have made three lens sales: one at £12,000, one at £10,000 and one yesterday at just under £8,000,” Gray reveals. “So if you can get the stock, it is turned over rapidly. The big lens’ sales, I think, are perhaps due to the easing of lockdown restrictions, and a number of people are beginning

The Periodical

for the Nikon

The Decisive D6

by Moose Peterson

Nikon Z 50 Mighty Mini-me

by Becky Danese

A Tribute to Michael Putland Nikon D780

Cometh the Hou r, Cometh the Z 9 Simon Stafford rev iews NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8S & 20mm f/1.8S lens es

and much more… GRAYS OF WEST

to think, ‘I’m going to make sure I get these lenses before I go off on my safari.’” That begs the question: who is Gray’s typical customer, currently? “I don’t think there is one,” he chuckles. “We still get such a broad selection. A lot of the younger customers want a 35mm camera like the Nikon FM2 or FM3A or F3HP – they’re shooting film for the same reason people are increasingly buying vinyl records. Then there are those customers who can’t decide whether to keep their DSLR or go mirrorless. We say: ‘well why not do both?’ The glory of the Z series is that you can take full advantage of F-mount lenses using the FTZ mountadapter with your Nikon Z camera and of course second-hand continues to be a very large market for us. I hope, with major movie-making starting back up again, we’ll see a return to a lot more manual-focus lenses being bought.” Jumping ahead from the present, where does Grays of Westminster see itself in another 35 years? Gray pauses momentarily, then responds: “The great thing about the future is it’s a blank page. You can create whatever you want. As long as Nikon still produce cameras in 35 years’ time, and there’s a market for what we do, we’ll continue.” To celebrate 35 years of trading, a 70-page magazine – the Grays of Westminster Gazette – is being published this June (join the mailing list for details: https://bit.ly/3uh6aOc) – while, as well gazette as our award, the company bagged a Platinum Good Service Award from Amateur 35th Anniversary Grays of Westminst of er Photographer by Gillian Greenwood AF-S NIKKOR for the fifth year 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED running. “That means, hopefully, we are doing more things right than wrong, and it certainly gives us the encouragement to carry on. We are honoured that the public have voted for us.” Devotee Foun ded

1992 • Issue no.

71

MINSTER • 40 CHURTON STREE T • PIMLICO • Tel: 020-7828 4925 LONDON SW1V • info@graysofwestm 2LP • ENGLA inster.co.uk • www.gra ND ysofwestminster.co. uk

The Grays of Westminster Gazette

1

Grays of Westminster, 40 Churton Street, Pimlico, SW1V 2LP. Visit www.graysofwestminster.co.uk or email info@graysofwestminster.co.uk

@bpi_news

BPI News | June 2021 13


News

NEW PEN & PRO LENS ‘WRITE’ A NEW CHAPTER FOR OLYMPUS OM Digital Solutions, the new owner of Olympus’ imaging division, has unveiled the first new PEN camera in a while in the 20 megapixel, 4K video shooting E-P7. For the enthusiast and professional there’s also a new high-end M.Zuiko 8-25mm f/4.0 PRO Micro Four Thirds system wideangle zoom lens that, at £900 SRP, is claimed to be ideal for shooting landscapes and videography. A further point to note is apparently that a filter can be screwed on its front. Available from mid June, the new PEN E-P7, which features a five axis bodyintegral image stabilisation feature, is described by Content & Community Senior Manager Mark Thackara as “quite different, quite niche”. It will be sold direct, as well as being available through distributors at £749 SRP body only, or as a kit that adds a 14-42mm pancake zoom for £849 SRP all-in. “It’s a lovely looking product with a monochrome and colour dial on the front that borrows from the PEN F. This isn’t a second PEN F however,

but something we’re aiming at a younger audience who nevertheless love good design and retro looks. It’s got both style and substance.” With aluminium front and rear dials helping to create a look that’s described as ‘refined’, there are two body colour combinations to choose from: white and silver or black and silver. Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth feature as standard as does

a tilting LCD screen and charging via USB. Available accessories include a genuine leather body jacket (CS54B) plus camera straps and cases from the PEN ‘fashion’ range. The new pro branded 8-25mm lens meanwhile offers the ultra wideangle 3.1x zoom equivalent of 16mm to 50mm on a 35mm film camera. It features a weather sealed build at 411g in weight, and is described as perfect for those who want to travel with as little luggage as possible without having to sacrifice professional quality. www.olympus-europa.com/ site/en/c/cameras

SIGMA OFFERS ‘ICONIC’ NEW ART LENS Got customers looking to capture a perspective close to that of the human eye? Third party lens specialist Sigma is touting a bright/fast new 35mm f/1.4 DG DN lens, which joins its ‘Art’ series line up and which it describes as ‘fantastic’. Available for owners of L-Mount and Sony E-Mount cameras, it’s available now at £749.99 SRP. “As you may know, our first ever Art lens was the much-loved 35mm 1.4 DG HSM, which

was designed primarily for DSLRs and then adapted for mirrorless systems,” recalls Sigma UK Marketing Manager Tim Berry. “We’ve just redesigned this iconic prime from the ground up specifically for mirrorless cameras, and have introduced a range of new features including a de-clickable aperture ring with lock switch, a customisable AFL button and a lockable hood. We’ve also improved optical performance.” www.sigma-imaging-uk.com

DNP discontinues media Dai Nippon Printing has been in touch to tell the trade it’s discontinuing its DS80DX media, Simplex and Duplex, as used exclusively with its DS80DX Duplex dye sub professional printer. But don’t fret just yet, as there is a fairly long notice period. Last delivery dates for Duplex media will be the end of May 2023, while it’s December 2024 for its Simplex media. Unsurprisingly the DS80DX itself has been discontinued. Any queries should be directed to your local supplier or intsales@dnpphoto.eu www.dnpphoto.eu

BPI News is your mouthpiece to the photo trade, so use it! Send your press releases and news items direct to: info@bpinews.co.uk 14 June 2021 | BPI News

www.bpinews.co.uk


BPI News Product Focus

GO BIG ON SAVINGS WITH DPS GROUP & EPSON’S ECOTANK Running a printer need not cost the earth if you contact the DPS Group to arrange delivery of the Epson EcoTank ET-2750 or ET-15000…

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fficial Epson re-seller the DPS Group is always looking for the next big thing from the leader in print. Enter Epson’s innovative EcoTank series. The enticing selling point here is that your printing costs can be cut up to 90%, dependent on model, thanks to cartridge free printing. The secret is the ink tanks themselves, for which the additional claim is that users can go for longer between refills. Of the current Epson EcoTank options available, the DPS Group recommends the A4 ET-2750 printer as one that you’ll certainly want to ‘phone home’ about. This next generation model is a 3-in-1 device that comes with an LCD screen, offers double sided printing and three years’ worth of ink. And at a low cost too. The claim is that the included ink will provide 14,000 pages in black or 5,200 in colour. What’s more it comes with a three-year warranty that can be activated when registering the printer. “Epson’s EcoTank series is simply brilliant,” enthuses DPS Group MD Maneesh Patel. “With the ink tank now housed at the front, it protects against leaks and spills, while being engineered for mess-free refills.” Offering to cut costs by up to 70% for this particular model, the new bottles also incorporate a mechanism to ensure that only the correct colours can be inserted. And thanks to that front ink level display, it’s now easy to see when it’s finally due for a refill. As we’d expect from Epson, this thriftiness doesn’t mean a compromise when it comes to print quality either. With pigment black and dye colour inks allied to a Micro Piezo print head, it produces prints with

“Epson’s EcoTank series is simply brilliant. With the ink tank now housed at the front, it protects against leaks and spills, while being engineered for mess-free refills.” DPS Group MD Maneesh Patel

‘Tanks a million: Two Epson EcoTank printers offer the chance to save big on printing while increasing your profit. New A4 ET-2750 shown above, existing ET-15000 is below

crisp, clear text and vivid colours. Offering convenience with it, the printer comes with Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct, enabling users to print from smart devices using the Epson iPrint app. Of course the 3.7cm LCD screen and SD card slot also allows users to make prints independently of a PC if desired. Plus, with a VAT-inclusive SRP of £259.99 it’s a very affordable option for any retailer looking to add a printer to their retail/minilab set up.

TANKS A MILLION The bigger more heavy-duty print option from Epson’s EcoTank series is the EcoTank ET-15000, which, thanks to its large ink tanks, again offers cartridge-free printing for sizes up to A3+ plus, here, the ability to cut costs by up to a whopping 90%. Despite its ambition, the footprint of the multi function device manages to remain fairly compact, while offering a low cost per page, a 250-sheet paper tray, print speeds of 17 pages per minute, plus 35-sheet ADF. Again, further peace of mind comes via a three-year warranty, activated upon registering the printer. As well as A3+ printing via the rear media feed, users get the ability to scan, copy and fax. Thanks to a front-located

LCD screen, retailers can print without the need for having it hooked up to PC at the time – although of course once again Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct is offered for printing via smart devices using the Epson iPrint app. It’s worth noting the ET-15000 features a heat-free PrecisionCore print-head, promised to last the lifetime of the printer, while delivering quality, reliability and efficiency with it. Interested parties are strongly advised to get in touch NOW about Epson’s EcoTank series via sales@dpsb.co.uk or by calling 020 8466 7230. www.thedpsgroup.co.uk www.dpsb.co.uk

The Epson EcoTank advantage at a glance: „„ Extremely low cost output per page „„ Cartridge-free printing „„ Ink tanks located at the front for easy access and spill-free re-filling „„ Pigment black and dye colour inks; producing prints with crisp, clear text and vivid colours „„ Three-year warranty, activated when registering printer

Go big on savings in 2021. Contact the DPS Group about Epson’s EcoTank series on 020 8466 7230 or email sales@dpsb.co.uk NEVER MISS AN ISSUE! Read BPI News online at issuu.com/bpinewsonline

BPI News | June 2021 15


BPI News Awards 2021

BPI NEWS AWARD WINNERS TAKE IT ALL

AWARDS 2021

It’s been a tumultuous 12 months since we last totted up the votes and revealed our readers’ roll call of the UK photo trade’s great and good. But, just as we have continued to publish this magazine, so too must our awards be presented…

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ormal service may have been sorely disrupted this past year but, stock and supply issues aside, the products have kept on coming, while retailers have kept trading to the best of their ability (and within the governmental restrictions). So

it only makes perfect sense that our own awards – and winners – continue to be given their annual place on the podium. Having encouraged you, the reader, to send in your votes the four months prior to this issue’s publication, without further ado we present

RETAILER OF THE YEAR:

PROMOTION OF THE YEAR:

GRAYS OF WESTMINSTER

WINNER RETAILER OF THE YEAR GRAYS OF WESTMINST ER

“All of us at Grays of Westminster are over-the-moon to have won this highly coveted award for the third year in a row. In what has been a difficult 14 months, achieving this award in our 35th anniversary year fills me with huge pride for our resilient and hard-working team who continue to deliver the highest standards of service in the photographic industry – all whilst retaining the Grays of Westminster sense of style and fun. I would like to thank everyone who voted for us. We are enormously grateful for all your support”. S Gray Levett, Owner Grays of Westminster

those selected for recognition and acclaim. Dispute any of those published, or, alternatively, want to add your own voice of congratulations? Then get in touch at our usual address…

AWARD 2021

FUJIFILM SHOP LOCAL CAMPAIGN Editor Gavin Stoker on why it won: Fuji has always maintained a very hands-on approach with its retailer partners, with Business Advisor Wendy Gray regularly in touch with photo independents to advise on everything from store layouts to displays to promotions. With the majority of us in localised lockdowns for a large chunk of the past 15 months, its ‘Shop Local’ campaign felt like an obvious but clever move, helping to galvanise already

WINNER

THE YEAR PROMOTION OF GN P LOCAL’CAMPAI FUJIFILM‘SHO rial

Fujifilm adverto

it “As a result, Gloria believes. help photo Fujifilm’s that we is really important most of this demand the retailers make in order to have the result, it “As are-open as they recovery.” Fujifilm’s Gloria believes. of business shop chance photo we help “When customers in is really important thatbest demand She thiscontinues: businesses retailers make the most of are supporting as getting theythe to have as well as they re-open in orderlocal For those their communities, of business recovery.”

Fujifilm advertorial

Minilab News Minilab News AL’ PROMO PROMO OP LOC LOCAL’ RS ‘SHOP M ‘SH FUJIFILM S FUJIFIL AIL PARTNE PARTNER RET TS RETAIL SUPPOR SUPPORTS

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supportive local customer bases and helping stores survive through very challenging times. It was a promotion that DSfelt AR AWand of the moment for 021 the moment, in this 2 pandemic year.

News 2020 | BPI

Your garlanded BPI News Trade Award winners for 2021 include: Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Sigma, Panasonic, Grays Of Westminster, 16 June 2021 | BPI News

www.bpinews.co.uk


BPI News Awards 2021 PRODUCT OF THE YEAR:

INNOVATION OF THE YEAR:

NIKON Z 6II

SIGMA FP L

“It’s a real honour to be presented with this award from BPI News. The launch of the Z 6II last September sought to build on the success of its predecessor by listening to the important feedback we were, and continue to be, so grateful to receive from our photography community. To achieve ‘Product Of The Year’ is testament to our photographers’ insight and recommendation as much as it is to our ability to create what they need. We would also love to take this opportunity to thank BPI News and the photography ARDSfor AWsupport trade as a whole for their resilience and 1 202year!” photographers in the midst of a very bumpy

“We are absolutely delighted that our incredible full-frame fp L mirrorless camera has won the BPI News Innovation Of The Year Award 2021. Sigma has always been a highly innovative company, and over the past 60 years we have pushed plenty of boundaries in the imaging world. The fp L certainly follows in this tradition, being the smallest, and joint-highest resolution, fullframe mirrorless camera ever built. We’d like to thank BPI News for all of its support this year and for choosing the fp L for this fantastic innovation award. It means a huge amount THE YEAR INNOVATION OF to us as a business, and it’s great SIGMA fp L to receive recognition that we have created an inventive and ARDS original product that really stands AW 2021 out from the crowd.”

Julian Harvie, Head of Marketing at Nikon Northern Europe

Tim Berry, Marketing Manager Sigma UK

WINNER PRODUCT OF THE NIKON Z 6II Product of

YEAR

the Month

T OF THZE 6II PRODUC NIKON MONTH:

the first. years after it exactly two ? We heft to upgrade

arrives almost rs compact full frame existing custome ion of Nikon’s retailers encourage Second generat and should out… changed slab to find So what’s News test onto the BPI but, being a DSLR, espite not camera, pick rather, a mirrorless literally feel up and you the Z 6II That’s to in your hands. Nikon’s DNA and handles like you’d looks with added say it still to – only this come with expect a Nikon bonuses that being operational These include by class of camera. camera’s AF point the able to direct on its tilting rear panel point which both tapping a with a fingertip, accuracy. LCD screen and improves on this second saves time continues Accessibility the newly model with SD card generation standard offer of a cards. implemented second one for XQD was a slot alongside for common SD cards Lack of support first generation camera, to of the has listened a criticism to see Nikon means so it’s good slots also Having two feedback.

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2020 / January

2021 19

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WINNER ct Focus

BPI Produ

ORLESS MA MIRR NEW SIG OF A DEAL IS ONE ‘L’

fp from two joins the existing photographers in the fp L pitched to 61MP sensor how it’s being s with a huge is new and frame mirrorlesfinds out what else A new full ago. BPI News summers back to Photokina nt ast your mind the announcemea 2018 and Alliance, of the L-Mount of Leica, Panasonic coming together camera bodies to produce Leica’s and Sigma based around and accessories system. While we high existing L-Mount Sigma to bring expected compatible may have L-Mount quality, affordable– and indeed it has lenses to market in 2019 by unveiling us – it surprised camera body equipped on, an fp an L-Mount ‘fp’. Two years to sit in the Sigma been introduced of the L model has a huge part it. Again, alongside

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All of Sigma’s NEVER MISS

ACCESSORY OF THE YEAR:

AN ISSUE!

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MEDIA OF THE YEAR:

SARAMONIC PRO AUDIO KIT

LEXAR 1066X SD CARDS VIA TRANSCONTINENTA UK

“On behalf of MAC Group EU I’d like to express our sincere gratitude for the Saramonic ACCESSORY Blink 500 Pro B2 BPI News OF THE YEAR SARAMONIC PRO AUDIO KIT VIA MAC GROU P EUROPE Accessory of the Year Award. The last year brought the most difficult challenges, and it is with no exaggeration to say Covid 19 has been a seismic event globally. MAC Group EU would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers who have given us the greatest of support during these difficult times. MAC Group EU appreciates BPI in honouring us with this award. Thank you.”

“This award is greatly appreciated as it reflects the great efforts Lexar put into product development and quality. This has helped us and our dealers to expand our Lexar business with a portfolio of products that lead the way in meeting the requirements of the latest cameras.”

WINNER BPI News Product Focus

‘BLINK’ & YOU’LL MISS SARAMONIC’S PRO AUDIO KIT

With lockdown having seen a boom in video blogs and live streaming, it’s obvious great videos require great sound. Enter the Saramonic brand, available via MAC Group Europe

G

ot customers asking for a high quality yet affordable external microphone set up for shooting videos with either a mirrorless camera, DSLR or even mobile phone? Point them in the direction of the Saramonic audio brand, available to the trade via MAC Group Europe. New for spring 2021 are ‘Pro’ versions of its popular Blink 500 B1 and B2 kits from 2019, in the Saramonic Blink500 Pro B1 and B2. “The Saramonic Blink500 Pro B1 and B2 are complete professional wireless microphone kits at affordable prices, ideal for broadcasters, podcasters, vloggers, live streamers YouTube creators and filmmakers,” explains MAC Group Jit, with such connectivity allowing for Europe Business development Manager use with DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, Jit Soni of the latest update. “Compared recorders, mixers, computers and more. to the original Blink500, this ‘Pro’ version has the advantage of separate audio levels THE NEXT GENERATION OF giving selectable mono/stereo output on WIRELESS AUDIO the receiver when recording two people, allowing you to record each person’s audio As teased above, the latest generation level separately on the Blink500 Pro B2.” ‘Pro’ system features a bunch of extras The Blink500 Pro TX that the original does not. This includes Transmitter features a built-in an updated design, vivid OLED omnidirectional microphone, displays on both transmitter and with an impressive receiver, real time headphone sensitivity of -39dB, the monitor, selectable stereo output option to plug-in the mode, longer battery life – with supplied Saramonic SR-M1 up to 8 hours of run time from a single Lavalier Mic. “The inclusion charge – plus a sound quality described of both TRS to TRS and TRS as ‘elevated’, while operational range has to TRRS cables, really make the also been extended to Saramonic Blink500 Pro B1 and 328 feet (100m). With B2 the ideal choice for wireless the transmitters audio recording,” concludes featuring a built in

omnidirectional microphone as described, this can be clipped to a shirt collar or pocket, or alternatively set on a table or podium to pick up the content of a speech. Of course the TX transmitters

Windows of opportunity: Vivid OLED displays feature on the new ‘Pro’ audio kits (Saramonic Blink500 Pro B1 kit shown)

www.macgroupeu.com

Blink500 Pro system advantages

The Blink500 Pro has the following features, which the original Blink500 does not:

 Portable charging case for transmitter & receiver  Vivid OLED display on both transmitter & receiver  Selectable mono/stereo output mode  Real time headphone monitor

Order the Saramonic Blink500 Pro

NEVER MISS AN ISSUE! Read BPI

B1 & B2 via MAC Group Europe direct

News online at issuu.com/bpinewsonline

also operate as traditional body pack transmitters with the included SR-M1 pro grade omnidirectional lavalier microphones providing an even more discreet solution. These can be used handheld by themselves or with an optional, sold separately Blink500 Pro HM Handheld Mic Holder. Finally, as we noted in last issue’s news, the alternative of the entrylevel Saramonic Blink 500 wireless microphone system now also comes in white via MAC Group Europe – in the shape of the Blink500 B1W and B2W models (£180 and £240 SRP). Thus the B1W joins the existing B1 in black, both being comprised of a receiver, transmitter and lavalier microphone to be worn by a presenter or interviewee. The B2W unit slots in alongside the flagship B2, both uniquely enabling use of two independent wireless microphones with a single receiver and automatic balance output, and an additional transmitter for dual use. The promise here is crystal clear sound in a small, portable and robust package. Again, the models are compatible with DSLR, video and mirrorless cameras. To order stock of any or all of the above Saramonic products, get in touch with MAC Group Europe direct NOW on 01902 255500 or email orders@macgroupeu.com

at a glance

Also worth mentioning to customers:

 Dual-channel stereo receiver for cameras and mobile devices  Mic input and Line input  8 hours battery life on one single charge  One button easy paring  Lavalier microphone, windscreen and ‘deadcat’ included in the package

Jerry Martin, Category Manager, Transcontinenta UK

NOW on 01902 255500 or orders@macgroupeu.com

BPI News | February / March 2021 17

AWARDS 2021

Jit Soni, Product Marketing Manager for Saramonic at MAC Group Europe

WINNER MEDIA OF THE YEAR

LEXAR 1066x SD CARD

S VIA TRANSCONTINEN

TA UK

BPI Product Focus

TRANSCONTINENTA UK: YOUR STARTER FOR 10

AWARDS 2021

Whilst Lockdown has been a challenge for businesses, proactive distributor Transcontinenta UK has forged ahead, adding a brace of new brands to its already comprehensive offerings

W

e first wrote about Transcontinenta UK at the close of 2019 – with the UK arm of the Netherlands-based distributor eager to crack on with ambitious plans for 2020. And then Covid hit. But, impressively, while having to make some challenging calls like the rest of us, Simon Coleman tells us that the UK team hasn’t stood still – the result being they now have 10 big name brands on board. The latest three – Bushnell, renowned for its binoculars and latterly its trail cams; B&W for his hard cases; and Lexar for its removable media – have all been added in the first three months of 2021 alone; and while the UK has endured a third national lockdown. As a refresher, the other brands already on Transcontinenta UK’s books are: Tamron lenses, Godox Lighting, Angelbird SD storage, Hyper USB hubs, Cullman tripods, bags and accessories, Kodak Instant 4 Pass products, plus camera accessories manufacturer Peak Design, added just before the first lockdown in February 2020.

Ever expanding: Transcontinenta UK has added B&W hard cases (right) and Lexar media cards (below) to its already tempting product portfolio

involve, says Simon: “consolidating the brands we have. However it’s time to be optimistic. Being able to conduct business online is great, but we want to get out there and meet clients who want to meet us. And when they do we’ll be ready to support that.” Get ahead of the game by getting in touch with Transcontinenta UK head office direct via sales@transcontinenta. co.uk or call 0203 9665947. www.transcontinenta.co.uk

RENEWED FOCUS “With regards to Bushnell, we see ourselves very much as building the brand back up and supporting it from a specialist perspective,” outlines a confident Simon. “We see real opportunity there, with additional focus and attention.” Supporting the optics division of Bushnell’s business when it comes to interacting with UK specialist optics retailers on Transcontinenta’s behalf will be a familiar name to some in the trade: Tim Hunnable, who, like Simon, is ex-Nikon. While many may think of

binoculars when it comes to Bushnell, it has also done really well in recent years, and in particular during lockdown, with ‘trailcams’ or trail cameras – sensor controlled devices hung from trees or other vantage points to observe wildlife from afar, day and/or night. With shops, offices and sources of entertainment shuttered until recently, a lot of us have felt the appeal of getting closer to nature, and product sales have reflected that. Also added to the distributor’s offerings at the start of the year was media card stalwart Lexar. Transcontinenta UK’s parent company in the Netherlands

Worth looking into: The trade will know new addition Bushnell for its binoculars, but its trail cameras are currently doing great business too

already had a relationship with the brand across Europe – so furthering the relationship over here made sense, Simon reasons, adding that his team will be “re-presenting it to retailers in the UK and Ireland photo channel.” Here Transcontinenta UK’s Category Manager Jeremy Martin highlights the ‘1066x’ range of SD cards, previously covered in our news pages, as being the new kid on the block, as well as the fact that the brand was a recent recipient of a Red Dot Design award. Needless to say, the presentation and packaging of Lexar products ensures they look as great on the shelves as they are effective in your customers’ cameras and smart devices. When it comes to B&W cases, the wider business of Transcontinenta has, again, already been working with this brand for some time. Worth investigating further here are the B&W products that are doing particularly well at the moment – the 3000 and 4000 sized cases, according to Jerry. With us all hoping society will be opening up more, as planned, immediate future plans for Transcontinenta UK

Your key contacts Simon Coleman – Interim MD Tel: 0203 966 5947 Email: s.coleman@transcontinenta.co.uk Jeremy Martin – Category Manager Tel: 07552 244129 Email: j.martin@transcontinenta.co.uk Tim Hunnable – Optics Specialist Tel: 07736 551967 Email: t.hunnable@transcontinenta.co.uk Andy Loughlin – National Sales Manager Tel: 07919 148697 Email: a.loughlin@transcontinenta.co.uk James Finch – Area Sales Manager Tel: 07770 370828 Email: j.finch@transcontinenta.co.uk Tadhg Leonard – Ireland Area Sales Manager Tel: +353 (86) 032 9680 Email: t.leonard@transcontinenta.co.uk Alex Cooke – Internal Sales & Customer Support Tel: 0203 966 5947 Email: a.cooke@transcontinenta.co.uk

Contact Transcontinenta now to discover what its brands can do for your business via sales@transcontinenta.co.uk or 0203 9665947 @bpi_news

BPI News | April / May 2021 9

Intro 2020, Saramonic via MAC Group Europe, Lexar via Transcontinenta UK & Epson via the DPS Group @bpi_news

BPI News | June 2021 17


BPI News Awards 2021 PRINTER OF THE YEAR:

EPSON SC-F100 & SC-F500 VIA THE DPS GROUP “We’re delighted and very grateful to BPI News and its readers for this recognition after what has been a challenging year – with this award going someway to redress the balance of the hardships endured. Big thanks also go to Epson for continuing to furnish resellers such as ourselves with excellent equipment that meets the demands of photographers and retailers alike.”

WINNER PRINTER OF THE

EPSON SC-F100

YEAR

& SC-F500 VIA

THE DPS GROUP

AWARDS 2021

Maneesh Patel, MD of Epson re-seller the DPS Group

CONSUMER CAMERA OF THE YEAR:

DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR:

PANASONIC LUMIX G100 “We are delighted to win the Consumer Camera of The Year award for our Lumix G100! A huge thank you from the Panasonic team for your support this past year; we are thrilled to receive such recognition from the industry.”

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AWARDS 2021

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| BPI News

Barnaby Sykes, Head Of Imaging

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR:

CANON’S GAME CHANGERS

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with s relationship able to The photographer’ he’s been such that – much range, but Canon is in Canon’s to its engineers that be the flagship moved on so much into the provide feedback to have fed has in EOS technology very quick of which seems the new EOS R5 and it is. It’s also of cameras. – taking just it feels like development X MKIII quality setting A3 print EOS as EOS-1D an its highest about the R6 as well to output 10 very excited important a few minutes taken more than “I’ve been because what’s have ago.” that would a few years R5 in particular, intent when it comes achieve just in minutes to a recent online to me is Canon’s are designed for; that during have lenses it would Recalling up to now to what its asked whether too, series lenses Q&A he was Things have that the RF photography the bodies. for event the in the be suitable outperformed whole new level with responded the to a had high the photographer though that’s not been taken I already While the – even even though – citing its affirmative really listened ImagePROGRAF EOS R5, primary objective may not be Canon has speeds talked OUTPUT, PRO-300 PRO-300’s operational expectations. when we’ve as the new build and intended great entryINPUT THROUGH lightweight Canon’s to its ambassadors, “This is a IT COVERED flagship in certainly as a big advantage.printer,” he concludes. CANON HAS his own range, that’s across professional who prints comes level how it also someone Sanjay is to the photographer winning competitions regularly & Portrait images – Wedding Society of WPPI – so, held by the (SWPP) & Pro-1 Photographers used Pixma having previously AF Pro-1000 to and ImagePROGRat the opportunity he leapt from a video printers, TIFF files them extract 35MP and output AF on the R5 sequence A3 ImagePROGR to new on the brand had the rare chance “I’ve RF 100-500mm using wholly PRO-300. (R5 only), to output Wi-Fi adapter go from input he confirms. grip, WFT-R10B to .co.uk new technology,” isn’t intended www.bpinews battery, BG-R10 PRO-300 “The new printer, LP-E6NH

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August 14 July /

News 2020 | BPI

Editor Gavin Stoker on why it won: At the end of last summer we were all being told to get ready for the bounce back upon the (temporary) lifting of restrictions. This coincided with a veritable blitz of new product from Canon in the EOS R5 and R6, new battery, battery grip, Wi-Fi adapter, compatible lenses, lens extenders and large A3 ImagePROGRAF PRO300 printer – a TIPA Award winner – to output all the resulting images on. In short, Canon was throwing its full campaigning weight behind full frame mirrorless, and we also got to chat with pro photographer WARDSSanjay A Jogia, a thoroughly pleasant guy, on why 21would 20this all help transform his workflow, and potentially that of your own customers too.

“The whole team at Intro 2020 is delighted to receive this prestigious BPI News DISTRIBUTOR OF THE YEAR INTRO 2020 Award. We would like to thank all of our amazing customers who have supported us and battled through the past year of Covid chaos. We are so grateful that all of our hard work has been recognised, as we have adapted and continued to deliver our portfolio of leading brands to the photo and video trades. We would also like to thank Gavin and his team at BPI News for continuing to deliver superb content; keeping the imaging trade updated with everything that matters to the industry.”

WINNER

Keith Ruffell, AWARDS Director & General Manager 2021

Think we missed anyone deserving? Then email your alternative winners to info@bpinews.co.uk 18 June 2021 | BPI News

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News

LEICA LAUNCHES NEW SL SYSTEM ZOOM & SETS Taking storage to the Extreme Pro photographers & videographers are being targeted with the release of new SanDisk Extreme PRO SDHC and SDXC UHS-II cards, which support 8K, 4K and Full HD video capture for cinema quality results. Shooting speeds of up to 260MB/sec and transfer speeds of up to 300MB/sec are offered, as are capacities of 64GB and 128GB. Further peace of mind is offered by virtue of the fact these cards are also shock, temperature, water and X-ray proof. Extreme PRO SD cards start from £74 SRP. www.sandisk.com

Described as ‘the quintessential universal lens’, the Leica Vario-Elmarit 24-70 f/2.8 ASPH zoom has been unveiled. In addition, the brand is offering what it identifies as ‘SL system newcomers’ the choice of two lens and camera bundles. Described as ‘elaborate’, the lens design includes 19 elements in 15 groups, with three elements featuring aspherical surfaces on both sides. With internal focus mechanism and robust metal body, the lens is further protected against water spray and dust for use even in harsh environments. While there is

no in-lens optical image stabilisation provided, Leica claims this nevertheless allows the lens to remain compact and ‘refined’, and, when mounted on an SL2 or SL2-S camera, proves equally suitable for shake-free stills photography and video recording. Minimum focus distance is 18cm at its shortest focal length and 38cm at its longest. SRP for the lens is £2,300. As mentioned, there are also two lens and camera sets available for newcomers to Leica’s system. These are the SL2-S with the new lens priced at a total of £5,850, or the Leica SL2 with the same lens priced at £7,200. www.leica-camera.com

PARK CAMERAS MOVES TO EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP Following last month’s news of London Camera Exchange transitioning to employee ownership after 65 years, Park Cameras, with stores in Central London and Burgess Hill, is likewise passing on the reins to its team, after 50 years (this year) as a family-run business. Announcing the sale of its investors shares to its employees, the move is being made, it claims, to ensure the business continues to go the extra mile and provide the best possible service to its customers, as well as helping to retain and reward its team of 65 workers. Park Cameras expects to attract new talent, expand its team and exponentially increase sales in-store and online. With second-hand doing especially well, it expects to double its sales of used stock in the next two years.

According to the retailer’s website, Current MD Roscoe Atkins and the management team remain in their roles in order for there to be a seamless transition for the company. He adds: “The employee ownership trust (EOT) will give us the chance to unlock value within the company and enable the team to become more invested both financially and emotionally in the business. Despite a challenging period during the pandemic, we have increased revenue by 65% over the last five years. Thanks to the continued development of online sales, advancements of camera and lens technology and the EOT, we envisage a further growth of over 50% in the next two years.” For further details, head to the URL below: www.parkcameras.com/employee-owned-company

BPI News is your mouthpiece to the photo trade, so use it! Send your press releases and news items direct to: info@bpinews.co.uk NEVER MISS AN ISSUE! Read BPI News online at issuu.com/bpinewsonline

BPI News | June 2021 19


Business Advice

MAKING THE NEW ABNORMAL WORK FOR YOU

Seeking certainty in uncertain times, and fed up of watching the news for guidance? So are we. Having long ago grasped the cudgel and ploughed on regardless, as restrictions cautiously ease we examine best practice for trading in a post Covid-19 world…

B

usiness needs certainty runs the oft-trumpeted mantra. While the past 15 months of trading have given us anything but – thanks to the twin ogres of Covid-19 and Brexit putting pressure on all of us like never before – if you’re still with us, congratulations, you must be doing something right. Business loans and furlough schemes will doubtless have been the saving of some, but the former no help at all to others who didn’t want to take on the burden of additional debt, or who were among the ‘forgotten’ (read: conveniently ignored) three million tax payers excluded from any aid.

YOUR FLEXIBLE FRIEND One thing is certain when nothing is certain – and that’s the need to stay flexible, reactive and adaptive. Despite the UK economy stirring back into life and things gradually opening up, many employees who’ve been working from home for the first time since last year will have got used to certain routines and freedoms they’ll not readily want to give up. While home working doesn’t suit every mindset, many have found that they are more productive without the daily commute and water-cooler chat. A recent YouGov poll revealed that up to 60% of us want to be able to continue working from home post pandemic, with 20% wanting this to be full time. As regards our industry, though such flexibility may be OK for those involved in admin or marketing duties, inevitably

this will prove impractical for camera stores who need bodies on the floor to advise and serve customers, or in the stock room or warehouse picking and shipping online orders out to customers. Wex Photo Video tells us in this very edition of BPI that, although the majority of its business is now conducted online, it still sees the need for bricks and mortar stores too – and of course those need staff. Maintaining that multi-channel, best-ofall-worlds approach seems sensible, when ONS figures for April 2021 display a 43.4% rise in high street sales compared to April 2020 thanks to non essential stores having been allowed to re-open from the 12th. Though admittedly it’s household goods and fashion stores, not camera shops or electrical retailers, which have seen the biggest bounce it does suggest that your customers continue to want to visit stores if they feel safe to do so. For balance it’s worth noting that online did still snatch 30% of all retail sales for the same month, a drop from the 36% peak back in February this year. Plus overall online sales are still almost 32% higher than they were at the same point last year, when consumers had no choice but to shop online. Though there will inevitably be pressure post-June to get back to a more recognisable approach to work in the UK, business owners and managers will need to be responsive to requests for flexible working hours, typically from those longer-term employees, even if this may be challenging to previously long-held business practices.

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX While maintaining and keeping staff happy will be key to recovery and growth post-Covid, it’s impossible to deny that trading conditions and the make-up of the high street has been much changed by the pandemic. You only need to witness every other empty retail space being turned into a coffee shop or a bakery – or both – to realise that, while empty units are also giving rise to the temporary ‘pop up’. Could the concept of a camera shop-come-coffee shop work – customers sip a cappuccino and socialise

Got your own ideas about how the photo industry can counter the challenges arising from the pandemic, 20 June 2021 | BPI News

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Business Advice

One thing is certain when nothing is certain – and that’s the need to stay flexible, reactive and adaptive…” while viewing an inspirational gallery of images on the walls, which subsequently inspires them on a caffeine-fuelled spending spree on the latest photo gear, or to finally create their own prints? Sounds almost comical, but if the past year has taught us anything it’s that no idea should be dismissed out of hand. Plus, we’re finding locally that there

are now plenty of independents selling vinyl records with a coffee machine stuck in the corner too. If customers can’t or won’t get to them in person, they’ll also deliver locally via bike or on foot. It’s all about giving the customer that much-trumpeted personal ‘experience’ they can’t get online, after all. Disruption of industry and the supply chain has been another problem for retailers and manufacturers alike during lockdown. As Grays of Westminster tells us this issue, the problem hasn’t been getting sales; it’s been getting the stock. While hopefully the supply problem is

a temporary issue, camera stores have long told us / complained they make more from second hand and photo processing than they do from selling new camera bodies. Second hand has been their salvation and continues to be so. With more people having used this time of restriction to have a good old clear out, in the quest for less clutter and increased living space – as well as simply the need to make cash by any means necessary – now’s the time to encourage your regulars to give you first refusal of kit before they stick it on eBay. With the once unassailable Photokina having thrown in the towel early on in the pandemic, it’s also worth asking: what is the future for large-scale trade shows that have formerly been of huge importance to our industry, giving people a chance to view, touch and try a great wealth of product from numerous exhibitors before buying? Future Publishing, the organiser of The Photography Show, which is still scheduled to return to the NEC Halls 2 and 3 this September, believes there is a real desire for visitors to re-connect after months of restrictions. It cites recent surveys conducted across the events industry indicating that up to 88% of UK event goers are itching to get back to their beloved shows. That may be the case, but inevitably safety measures – including perhaps staggered entry, regular cleaning and safety screens – will need to visibly remain in place at shows for visitors, particularly those of a certain age, to feel confident about returning en mass. Virtual events, conducted solely online, may also still have their place – enabling visitors who can’t travel to the shows because they live in a Covid hotspot, or simply too far way, to still ‘attend’. Though not being able to meet in person has proved a hindrance, there have also been opportunities created by the enterprising in our industry. Amateur Photographer magazine has even run an article on pro photographers conducting virtual photo shoots in far-flung climes over Zoom, directing the model’s use of their own smartphone or camera. And, of course, many manufacturers and retailers have bolstered their social media presence during these times by embracing live streams and podcasts, becoming ‘influencers’ in the process and finding and winning customers they didn’t have access to before. Any one – or all – of the above ideas and concepts could be the future of retail and the photo industry going forward. Now more than ever feels like the time to try new things alongside the traditional – and see what works.

or care to share what’s working for you (without giving away trade secrets)? Then do get in touch direct via info@bpinews.co.uk @bpi_news

BPI News | June 2021 21


News

SONY AIMS FOR ‘BOKEH’ GLORY There’s another E-mount compatible lens on the block (read: shelf) with the introduction of the ultra wide-angle, fast/bright aperture FE 14mm f/1.8 G Master Prime lens. Promising ‘beautiful bokeh’ as well as a quiet auto focus performance, the lens is claimed to be both compact and lightweight in construction, with two ED (Extra Low Dispersion) glass elements and one Super ED glass element. Being part of Sony’s G Master series, this dust and moisture resistant optic doesn’t come cheap, however, at £1,400 SRP. “We are constantly innovating based on the needs of our customers and will continue to develop the best technology so that they can realise their creative vision,” promises Sony Europe’s Director of Product Marketing Yann Salmon Legagneur. www.sony.co.uk

NEW ACCESSORY BRAND INTRODUCED Distributor UK Optics is introducing a new brand to the photo trade in ‘RiBL’, for which it tells us it is launching several accessories aimed at the camera and cine markets for both the professional and amateur photographer. These include a shoulder bag in the cross-body style in the RiBL Solis 20 (£29.90 SRP), plus the RiBL Solis 100 backpack (above) (£59.90 SRP). Also being launched are two portable LED lights in the RiBL Aura MVL2 (£29.90 SRP) and RiBL Aura MVL1 (right) (£24.90 SRP). UK Optics’ UK and European Sales Manager Tony Edwards tells us that the aim of the new brand is to offer innovative and technically advanced premium equipment for an affordable price and that it’s “exciting times for us. The name ‘RiBL’ comes from our location as we are based in Clitheroe in the picturesque Ribble Valley, UK.” www.ukoptics.co.uk

Something to ‘Delight’ fans of film With a re-discovered love of all things analogue on the rise, German film brand Kono – exclusively distributed in the UK by SJF Photographic (www.sjfphoto.co.uk) – has launched a new ’Delight’ line of professional films, kicking off with the introduction of the first 120 medium format film of the new series in the Kono! Delight Art 100. The brand tells us that carefully altered hue, saturation and contrast provides photographers with a ‘complete new look’. Any lab can develop the film, with an enclosed exposed sticker marking the film out as colour tinted. Get in contact via sales@sjfphoto.co.uk for more details. www.konomanufaktur.com

BPI News is your mouthpiece to the photo trade, so use it! Send your press releases and news items direct to: info@bpinews.co.uk 22 June 2021 | BPI News

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British Photographic Industry News June 2021  

With a fresh feeling of positivity and optimism sweeping the UK photo trade, we present the June 2021 edition of the UK's longest running ph...

British Photographic Industry News June 2021  

With a fresh feeling of positivity and optimism sweeping the UK photo trade, we present the June 2021 edition of the UK's longest running ph...

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