British Photographic Industry News June 2024

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Gavin Stoker

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Whichever direction your customers are coming at the world of photography from, whether they’re hobbyist or pro, commercial or fine art photographer, in the UK there’s still something for everyone.

Obviously there was The Society of Photographers’ Convention and The Photography & Video Show at the start of the year, and since we last ‘spoke’, the Media Production & Technology Show at London Olympia and Photo London at Somerset House. BPI News attended both on the same balmy day in May.

Maybe it was the fine weather luring people out, or rather in, but both appeared to be jam-packed and thriving. We spotted a couple of BPI News regulars exhibiting at the former, though not as many as we’d expected, perhaps because it was mostly networking, talks and very high-end film/TV production gear. Don’t think I’ve ever been to a trade exhibition where they check your bag on the way in, and again on the way out, just in case you’ve nicked anything.

Photo London felt quite rarefied by comparison, partly because of the beautiful setting but also because it’s more about the art than the process, or indeed the kit. The only things in danger of being swiped here were attendees’ credit cards; champagne flutes helping to loosen purse strings for purchases at the preview.

photography shows plural haven’t ended for this year. This month of June we have both the Wales & West Photography Show organised by Camera Centre UK and Click Live, set up by the Click Group, until now best known for selling photographers’ backdrops. It will be interesting to learn how both fare.

Otherwise the talk of the trade this past month has been yet more new cameras from Fujifilm, which has spruced up its direct-to-customer House of Photography store too, while long-term rumours of a forthcoming flagship mirrorless from Canon in the EOS R1 were finally revealed to be true, though actual detail remained opaque at the time of writing.

While photo independents may grumble that big manufacturers don’t offer enough support, or sufficient margin, and that it’s their ability to maintain a presence on the high street that boosts photography in the eye of the consumer just as much as a shiny new camera, both ultimately raise the profile of the other. The industry would be much poorer without the local camera shop or photo printing service on the street corner. And the shops themselves would be redundant without anything worthwhile to sell.

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Though the traditional summer lull may be looming,

BPI News has long been a forum in which both parties can communicate and talk to each other. So if you’ve something to say, let’s hear it and let’s keep photography for all.

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The industry behemoth has finally officially announced the development of its long-rumoured and already much discussed flagship mirrorless system camera, the EOS R1, promising it will ‘let professionals get ahead of the game.’

While we’re expected to get more comprehensive details soon, for now the manufacturer adds that the forthcoming full frame model will dramatically improve the performance of both still images and video when compared to the EOS R3, with its intended audience including those working in sports photography, news reporting and video production.

Interestingly, to enable this, the camera features a newly developed DIGIC Accelerator image processor in addition to its pre-existing DIGIC X processor. A combination of these processors and a new CMOS sensor will enable not only high speed capture but ‘never seen before’ advancements in auto focus, boasts Canon.

Subject-tracking accuracy has been improved thanks to deep learning technology, to the extent that in sports with multiple players, it’s claimed a subject can be continually tracked even if another player passes in front of them. An AF ‘Action Priority’ function can even prejudge what may happen next – such as a


Tell your Sony full frame E-mount cameraowning customers seeking a compact and lightweight lens with which to shoot wideangle to check out its new premium ‘G’ series offering in the FE 16-25mm f/2.8 G

As well as being able to deliver a highresolution performance and beautiful ‘bokeh’ effects, high speed, high precision quiet auto focus is promised. Roughly said to be the same size and weight as the brand’s previously announced FE 24-50mm f/2.8 G, the new lens weighs 409g. Designed to be dust and moisture proof, a fluorine coating to the lens prevents dirt from sticking to its surface. It’s also compatible with Sony cameras’ image stabilisation ‘Active

Mode’. Minimum shooting distance meanwhile is 0.18m. Suitable for both photography and video, the FE 1625mm f/2.8 G has an SRP of £1250.

In related news, Sony full frame E-mount camera owners who specialise in shooting video may well be enticed by a series of highend, high speed Zeiss ‘Nano Prime’ lenses compatible with that system. Conveniently covering everything from wide angle to telephoto, six focal lengths are being introduced: 18mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 100mm. With an optical design specifically devised for mirrorless cameras and with a high speed of T1.5, we’re told that extremely shallow depth of field effects are possible, such as elegant ‘bokeh’ with harmonious focus falloff, even in the wide-angle range. Thanks to an integrated electronic interface, metadata such as focal

subject shooting a ball – and shift the AF frame accordingly so the decisive moment is captured. The new camera also has on-board noise reduction functionality. No official confirmation as yet on release date, expected to be this year, or price. Watch this space!

length, focus distance and aperture value are transmitted to the camera in real time. Zeiss explains that the aim of the range is to bridge the gap between entry level and high-end lenses, enabling all filmmakers to create a cinematic look. The lenses are available now for purchase individually or as a complete set including lens case.

Photographic British Industry news Supported by News 4 June 2024 | BPI News

Fuji all guns blazing with new camera/lens bonanza

It’s a good time to be a Fujifilm fan or dealer, with the announcement of two new cameras and two new lenses to go with them, all due to arrive June 17th in the UK.

First up there’s the medium format mirrorless Fujifilm GFX100S II (seen right) and Fujinon GF 500mm f/5.6 R LM OIS WR lens (below) to go with it. Though the camera packs a newly developed sensor with a whopping 102MP and the latest image-processing engine in the X-Processor 5, the pitch is that this is the lightest of the GFX series at a weight of 883g with battery and memory card. A built-in fiveaxis image stabiliser providing up the equivalent of 8 stops and high speed, high accuracy, AI-based subject detection AF bolster its credentials. Also improved is a 7fps continuous shooting speed, while for videographers 4K resolution 30fps clips are offered. Likewise on

board are 20 Film Simulation modes, while a Pixel Shift Multi-Shot option allows for up to 4x the resolution and a faithful colour reproduction. As with its predecessors the camera is aimed at both professionals and enthusiasts with £4,999 SRP to spend, an optional metal handgrip coming in at £135.

The new 500mm telephoto lens at £3,499 SRP meanwhile provides the equivalent of 396mm in 35mm format, making it the longest option in the GF lens series so far and ideal for sports or wildlife photographers. If combined with an optional Fujinon Teleconverter GF 1.4X TC WR at £749 SRP this can be extended to 700mm, or 554mm in

35mm equivalent. Despite weighing a chunky 1,375g excluding lens cap, hood and tripod mount, Fuji tells us it offers excellent portability for its class while quality when combined with a GFX camera is such that it can pick up sweat flying from athletes during decisive sporting moments. Image stabilisation offers the equivalent of 6 stops, while the fluorine coated lens is weather resistant with sealing at 18 points on the lens barrel.

Along with the above, tell your customers there’s a more compact and affordable new APS-C sensor mirrorless camera in the Fujifilm X-T50 (below), the fifth generation of its ‘X’ series. Weighing a manageable 438g and equipped with a back illuminated 40.2 megapixel X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor plus X-Processor 5 and five axis image stabilisation providing the

equivalent of 7 stops, a new feature to the range is the addition of a top plate Film Simulation Dial, allowing users to quickly switch between various effects unique to Fuji. ISO125, previously only available as an extended ISO option, is now the new normal setting, while it incorporates an AI based subject detection AF developed using deep learning technology that can detect animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, planes, trains, insects and drones. Arriving in a choice of black, silver or charcoal silver body colour, asking price for this one is £1,299 SRP, while it also comes available in two kits, either including an XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens at £1399 all-in, or £1649 if bundled with a brand new XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR lens (left) The latter is a standard zoom lens that can be left attached to the camera for the user to be able to capture a multitude of subjects, in offering the equivalent of 24mm to 76mm in 35mm terms. It’s also the lightest weight lens in the Fujifilm XF zoom lens range at approximately 240g, while being weather resistant and able to keep operating down to -10°C. With a lens construction involving 9 groups and 11 elements, including three aspherical and three ED lenses, its close up capability also makes it adept at photographing food, crafts, plants and everyday subjects, the manufacturer claims. SRP for the lens bought standalone is £699.

BPI News is your mouthpiece to reach peers in the photo trade, so use it. Send ad bookings & press releases to @bpi_news BPI News | June 2024 5 News


Tell your blogging, live streaming and YouTube obsessed customers the electronics leviathan has taken the wraps off its much-teased camera for content creators. In claiming the Panasonic Lumix S9 is the smallest and lightest (at 403g body-only) mirrorless camera in its full frame ’S’ series, users have a choice of Jet Black, Crimson Red, Dark Olive and Classical Blue body colours, enabling them to ‘make a bold style statement’, the brand hopes.

Key features include a 24.2-megapixel full frame CMOS sensor, phase detection auto focus and Active IS image stabilisation, free-angle rear screen, as well as, for videographers in particular, a new MP4 Lite recording format for quick and easy social media sharing, as well as easy editing via the Lumix Lab app. Potential purchases further get a real-time LUT (Look-Up Table) function to enable them to enjoy a range of popular, classic or bespoke colour grading styles in-camera.

Announced alongside the camera body is a new wide-angle manual focus lens in the Lumix S 26mm f/8 (see right). This is described as very compact and lightweight pancake style optic, for ‘casual and creative’ shooting. With an overall length of 18.1mm, it weighs a mere 58g. Its maker has also teased that an additional lens in the wide-angle zoom Lumix S 18-40mm

f/4.5-6.3 is ‘coming soon’. It’s described as being compact and versatile and like the 26mm ideal for everyday use.

Both camera and 26mm lens will be available this month (June) at SRP’s of £1499.99 and £219.99 respectively.

In related news, Panasonic has also announced firmware updates to improve both the shooting and sharing experience for users of its Lumix S5II and S5IIX cameras. The tweaks are claimed to aid post-production and

result in significant time and potentially cost savings. New features of the S5II Firmware V3.0 and S5IIX Firmware V2.0 include Adobe Camera to Cloud compatibility, allowing images and videos to be automatically uploaded and worked on jointly via the cloud. Users also get Proxy Video Recording, which introduces the simultaneous recording of a low bit rate proxy file alongside the original video recording to enable quick postproduction processes. Further enhanced is real time autofocus recognition, plus image stabilisation for video to achieve more stable footage when recording on the move. A final addition is SH Pre-Burst Shooting, capturing an image burst before shooting proper begins.

TIPA invites Photographers’ Choice for 2024

In addition to the announcement of the judges’ collective choices for this year’s TIPA World Awards – revealed on page 12 of this issue – for the first time the wider photography community, including BPI News readers, is also being invited to have its say, with a ‘Photographers’ Choice’ award added. Get yourself and your photographer customers voting by heading to the URL below and ticking the box relevant to their/your category choice/s. See also the TIPA advert on our outer back page. Categories include Cameras, Lenses,

Accessories, Services and Tech & Design, though you don’t have to vote in all five categories if you don’t have a particular preference for one or the other. The voting process is as simple as click and submit.

In related news, following the cancellation of Photopia Hamburg we reported on last issue, the presentation ceremony for this year’s TIPA World Awards has switched to Salon de la Photo in Paris, October 10-13th (, with more detail to follow.

6 June 2024 | BPI News News
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Compelling reasons why you should get in touch now with the flash lighting specialist’s newly established dedicated team covering direct distribution in the UK

As BPI News readers will be aware, flash lighting expert Elinchrom has had a dedicated UK distribution team dealing direct with the trade since the start of 2024. The year also kicked off with it winning The Society of Photographers’ Best Lighting Award for the 11th time running.

At the time of writing its team were proactively engaged in staff training days with Wex Photo Video, Park Cameras, the Flash Centre, SRS Microsystems and CVP. And, with other key accounts starting to re-open and the trade feeling the benefit, Elinchrom UK is putting a huge effort back into the category.

On board quite early on were also Clifton Cameras and Camera Centre UK. The latter’s Director Terry Turner has dealt with Elinchrom for the past decade and is full of praise for the quality and price point of the manufacturer’s gear. “We’d been dealing with Simon Burfoot and the team prior to the recent changeover and have always valued their personal touch and product knowledge. It’s great they’ve got someone championing Elinchrom now and pushing it forward.”

In terms of which kit performs best for his store, Terry cites the Elinchrom THREE as a stand out: “I put that down to specification and price point. It hits that sweet spot with our core market of enthusiasts and semi pros. Elinchrom’s a established brand in its own right, but I think having someone concentrating on Elinchrom now rather than juggling ten different brands works better. We have done training days in store with

THREE into one goes beautifully: The popular Elinchrom THREE (shown) is going great for dealers, as is its ONE and FIVE. The Elinchrom UK team (bottom left in the new UK warehouse) await your call

them and though we haven’t yet done any events it’s something we’re working towards. They’ll be exhibiting at our Wales and West Photography Show this month and running live demo’s and workshops.

“I know there’s a lot of competition out there with Chinese brands but the build quality of the product is simply higher with Elinchrom,” Terry concludes.

For his part, Wilkinson Cameras MD David Parkinson is in full agreement that Elinchrom UK’s team is now getting out there and interacting with dealers in the way they should. “The team is doing a very good job of reestablishing relationships with key dealers. The world of photo retail is changing and we need new categories to fill the void of the categories that are disappearing. Elinchrom’s new products are appealing to a new type of photographer, which could be a growth area for a lot of dealers. And the guys have gone back to the tried and tested way of supporting retailers, where they make visits and host training events.

“Wilkinson Cameras is treated in the same way as any other dealer, meaning we’ve had a training event for our staff

where it’s about getting hands on and using the gear, with the Elinchrom guys there for support. As a retailer I know what I want from a distributor and we don’t always get it. But Elinchrom UK is going back to a level of service where they support the dealers, do event and training days and all the things that really do drive customers into the store. The product is being put back in front of people and talked about.

“And as they’re all portable and battery powered, the new Elinchrom ONE , THREE and FIVE can be used in so many different scenarios. They’re not just for the studio; they’ve been used for shooting everything from kayaking to motor sport. More and more brands are trying to take customers away, whereas Elinchrom is all about driving more traffic to the retail stores and their websites, which is to the benefit of everybody.”

To enjoy attractive margins, order in demo stock and talk to the team about workshops and events, contact: or 0333 358 2444

BPI News Product Focus BPI News | June 2024 7 NEVER MISS AN ISSUE! Read BPI News online at Become an Elinchrom dealer to enjoy attractive margins, consumer events, sales, service and technical support. Call 0333 358 2444 NOW


The leading manufacturer has announced a new supplier partnership with the former Tetenal UK, now trading as Dupli. Fujifilm’s independent photo partners will now be able to access its photo printing equipment, consumables, film and single use cameras via the Leicesterbased distributor. While BPI News understands that this is a non-exclusive agreement, and Swains will still be offering its own service, Fuji claims this is a ‘significant move to support the recent increase in photo printing by UK shoppers on the high street.’

Fujifilm UK’s General Manager of Imaging Solutions Theo Georghiades expands: “It’s the latest step we’ve taken to guarantee that every photo print and gift is delivered to customers with the premium quality that Fujifilm is known for.”

Dupli CEO Mike Fawcett (shown with Fuji’s Wendy Gray) adds: “I couldn’t be more thrilled about our new partnership. Together we can deliver even greater value and cutting edge solutions to our retail customers. We’re excited to welcome ‘PHOTO by Fujifilm’ retailers into the Dupli family.”

As regular BPI News readers will know, Dupli’s sales team can be contacted via or on 0116 289 3644

In related Fuji trade news, its Covent Garden flagship House of Photography store has just re-opened (31st May) after a major spruce up, less than five years after it originally threw open its doors in late 2019. To mark the occasion it’s just launched a new ‘Life As You See It’ photo competition (closing date June 14th), with prizes including a coveted

limited edition X100VI camera (inset, below), worth £1,934. In a break from tradition, Fuji tells us its revamped space will not just include refreshed facilities and services but will now include secret live music gigs, fitness classes, panel discussions, workshops with photography experts and talks from high profile industry figures. “We have designed the store to be a destination where our team can discuss our customers’ full photographic needs from end to end,” enthuses Fuji UK’s Theo.

Yashica says ‘I’m Back’ with micro mirrorless

A partnership between 75-year-old Yashica and Switzerland based startup ‘I’m Back’ has produced a brand new mirrorless camera that’s claimed to the world’s smallest. The claim for the Micro Mirrorless Yashica – I’m Back is that it’s been designed for photography enthusiasts, travellers and content creators alike. Offering the ability to shoot photos or videos and swap the lens in use – choosing between a manual focus Standard, Wide and Telephoto for starters – as well as offering compatibility with various larger format lenses from the likes of Nikon, Canon and Sony via adapters, the camera body measures just 77x50mm. The subject of a Kickstarter campaign with an estimated delivery date of November this year that had already

far outstripped its initial financial goal as we were putting this issue together, further features of the palm sized, toy-like-in-appearance device include Wi-Fi connectivity to enable file transfer and live video streaming, 12MP stills resolution and 4K video resolution at 24fps. We’re told the 1/2.3inch CMOS sensor in use is the Sony IMX117, while a two-inch articulating touch screen and the provision for adding an external microphone also features. A battery grip allows for the use of two additional batteries, HDMI output and use of a microSD card is further offered as is a USB-C port for charging and data transfer. Prices on Kickstarter were beginning at $239 for the Starter Kit at the time of writing.

Want to advertise your products in BPI News? Do it! Contact us for rates via or 07990 974 367 8 June 2024 | BPI News News


No stranger to having its products feature in the annual TIPA World Awards, this year the optical specialist has picked up industry plaudits for its 500mm f/5.6 DG DN OS Sports & 10-18mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary lenses

Not content with teasing six forthcoming lenses for Canon’s APS-C sensor equipped RF Mount cameras – see News this issue – the other big splash this month is that Sigma has been rewarded for its optical excellence and expertise once again. This time by the global collective of photo magazine and website editors known as TIPA (Technical Imaging Press Association).

Respected industry-wide, the awards are a further indication to your customers of the products’ quality in relation to what else is out there, allowing them to buy with confidence.

The Sigma 500mm f/5.6 DG DN OS ‘Sports’ series lens that we first showcased in our April/May edition has fast become a winner in the eyes of the TIPA judges. Tell your customers it’s picked up the title of Best Super Telephoto Prime Lens Available in both L-Mount and Sony E-mount fits for full frame cameras, it’s described as relatively compact and lightweight at 234.6mm in length and 1,370g in weight. Convex lowdispersion elements used towards the front of the lens barrel have enabled Sigma to achieve its smaller size.

Further pro grade features include a weather resistant structure, a Focus Limiter switch, a de-clickable and lockable aperture ring, a detachable tripod socket plus a Custom Mode switch. Its maker sums this one up as ‘the definitive ultra telephoto prime’ aimed at enthusiasts and pros alike.

Big game, small wonders: Whether photographers are seeking to get close from afar or shoot wide angle, Sigma’s award winners in its 500mm f/5.6 DG DN OS Sports lens (above) and its 1018mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary optic (below) have all bases covered

The TIPA judges add: “For many years the thought of using a 500mm lens handheld was unrealistic, but with optical stabilisation and the use of lightweight lens construction materials, new opportunities for sports, events, nature and wildlife photographers have arrived.”

The TIPA Award for Best APS-C Wide Angle Zoom Lens has also gone to the same brand for the Sigma 1018mm f/2.8 DC DN ‘Contemporary’ series wide-angle zoom.

The TIPA tastemakers say of this one: “One of the principal ways photographers can expand their image making horizons is to work with lenses that provide a unique view of the world and the Sigma 10-18 f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary certainly delivers that.”

We called this optic ‘a small lens with a big personality’ when featuring it last November. Indeed it was hailed as the world’s smallest and lightest

ultra wide-angle zoom lens for APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras on launch, with an effective focal range of 1527mm in 35mm terms. Thanks to a unique aspherical lens element, the overall size of the lens has been reduced, with image quality enhanced. This, along with special low-dispersion glass, has enabled a construction with a reduced number of elements: 13 elements in 10 groups to be precise. Available for L-Mount, Sony E-mount and Fujifilm X Mount, this large aperture, ultra wide angle zoom is compact with a length of 62mm and a maximum diameter of 72.2mm, while being lightweight at just 260g. Such properties make it ideal not just for travel and landscape photography but also for videographers seeking to shoot online content at arm’s length while showcasing both themselves and their environment. With a fast AF stepping motor and minimal focus breathing, one suggestion to make to your customers is to mount it on a motorised gimbal to create an ultra portable video set up. Minimum focusing distance is, incredibly, 11.6cm when shooting at 10mm, with sharpness maintained right across the image. With a magnification ratio of 1:4 the lens can capture unique portraits, still life and more. It’s also well suited to shooting in low light environments with a shallow depth of field, and street photography alongside interiors. No surprise then that such versatility makes it another winner for Sigma.

@bpi_news BPI News | June 2024 9 BPI News Product Focus Award winning lenses from Sigma to bolster sales: the 500mm f/5.6 DG DN OS & 10-18mm f/2.8 DC DN


New products are coming from the Lumesca Group distributed Hobolite and Tether Tools brands. BPI News checks out what’s new and why photo and video specialists should be stocking and selling them

Leading photo accessories distributor the Lumesca Group is fast becoming a one-stop shop for photo/video retailers and their customers. New are must-stock accessories from Tether Tools, plus a compact LED from the luxuriousin-appearance Hobolite brand.

Arriving June 11th and delivering both strength and length is the all-inone Tether Tools TetherPro USB-C to USB-C 31-foot (9.4 metre) Straight to Right Cable. Promising unrivalled speed and durability for those photographers shooting tethered, it offers uni-directional throughput with no conflicting power delivery, while dual in-line TetherBoosts amplify and carry shielded data over the 31-foot linear cable.

We’re told reinforced cable tips and TetherBoost water-resistant housing prevents kinking and ensures long lasting performance even on the most demanding and technical of shoots, while a right-angled design ensures a secure fit at the camera port. Further peace of mind comes via a one-year warranty.

The cable is available either in regular black or high visibility orange, at a suggested retail price of £139.98. For retailers looking to make an extra sale, it can be paired with the TetherBoost Pro Core Controller Extension Cable to reach up to an extended 63ft (19.2 metres).

The regular 31 foot / 9.4 metre cable is available separately or as a bundle with the new TetherGuard LeverLock plate (see below), first announced in April.

The advantage here is that locking the cable to the camera provides a secure connection, protecting the camera port and cable itself from damage.

The LeverLock’s five-point protection system promises unsurpassed reliability, with CamCleat Lever, Anti-Slip Speed Bump, two Retention Ridges and S-Channel working seamlessly together. With a lightweight all-metal construction and rubber non-slip pads, the LeverLock fits standard threads and Arca style tripod mounts, measures 37.9x67.5x12mm and comes in black. Pricing for this TetherGuard LeverLock and Cable bundle is £199.98 SRP.


Also new via the Lumesca Group is a small continuous, portable bi-colour LED light in the Hobolite Iris. Aimed at photographers and content creators, it sports a retro design and faux leatherette finish like others in the line-up, features a weather resistant IP54 rated aluminum body – making it suitable for indoor or outdoor use – plus versatile optical modifiers, including a functioning aperture ring. The latter allows photographers and content creators to creatively adjust from a focused beam to a wide glow.

Creating content & sales: A long, flexible Tether Tools cable and locking mechanism to aid those shooting tethered to a laptop, Mac or PC. Plus a brand new pocketsized Hobolite Iris LED, available in various kits, as shown right and below, both via the Lumesca Group

With the introduction of innovative optical modifiers, a magnetic accessory system and built-in battery, the Iris is perfect for those seeking to shape and control the lighting of their subjects.

The Iris also promises remarkably true-to-life colour accuracy via a 2700K to 6500K colour range.

The new Hobolite Iris light comes in two kit options. The Iris Standard Kit contains the light, adjustable lens, frosted dome, USB cable, V-mount plate and stylish protective pouch for £99.60 SRP. Alternatively the Iris Creator Kit comprises all the elements featured in the Standard Kit plus aperture ring, gel filters, F28mm fresnel lens, adjustable lens and frosted dome. This option costs £199.20 SRP. Finally, in addition to the lighting kits, there are accessory kits for those who want additional sets of the modifiers and filters to those featured in the Creator Kit. For example the Iris Optical Modifier Kit comprises the same fresnel lens, aperture ring and magic lens for £99 SRP, while the Coloured Gel Filter Essential Pack includes four gradient colour gel inserts and is priced at £58.80 SRP. Looking forward, we’re promised an evolving ecosystem of accessories for the Hobolite Iris, meaning this is a product with great potential for retailers to enjoy add-on sales opportunities. Get in touch now to order sufficient stock to illuminate sales and meet demand via or call 0330 440 0189

10 June 2024 | BPI News BPI News Product Focus For stock of the brand new Tether Tools and Hobolite Iris kits, contact or call 0330 440 0189


With summer holiday season almost here, and millions of images waiting to be taken – and output – it makes perfect business sense for photographers and photo retailers to install Epson re-seller the DPS Group’s large format printers

When it comes to maximising profit from print, it’s a case of go big or go home. With the brand new Epson SureColor SCP20500 just announced at a humongous 64-inches, we have yet another compelling reason to install a large format printer into your photo business.

This new example joins the existing 17-inch SC-P5300, which delivers prints up to A2 in size, plus the 12-ink SC-P7500 and SC-P9500 large format printers, at 24 inches and 44 inches respectively. Naturally all four are now available to the photo trade via official Epson reseller the DPS Group. But the literal big news this month is Epson’s 64-inch SC-P20500 whopper. This again boasts a 12-colour UltraChrome Pro ink set and is being marketed as a solution to print posters, fine art and indoor signage. It utilises the same PrecisionCore MicroTFP print head as the SC-P9500 and P7500 and can deliver impressive print speeds. What’s more, we’re told this new printer requires half the number of ink changes compared to its predecessor, thanks to its 1.6-litre ink bags enabling fewer user interventions.

“The potential to profit from photo printing in-house this summer has never been higher than with Epson’s new large format machines.” DPS Group MD Maneesh Patel

At the other end of the scale, the SC-P5300 provides a great starter option for photographers and photo retailers wanting to see profits rise via large format printing. Replacing the SC-P5000, it supports a wide variety

A big deal: Installing Epson’s new 64-inch SureColor P20500 printer, shown above, or the likes of the 17-inch P5300, below, could see your business profit from print of media, and includes a built-in roll unit and paper cassette. Time saving and practical with it, the Wi-Fi enabled pro photo printer features an intuitive 4.3-inch LCD touchscreen and promises deeper blacks, enhanced contrast and tonality and bronzing reduction in dark areas on glossy media. This is all claimed to be down to a trio of Epson technologies: its UltraChrome Pro 10 ink set, Black Enhance Overcoat (BEO) for higher black density, wider blue colour gamut with violet ink, plus Carbon Black Mode for even darker blacks.


As BPI News readers are already aware, Epson’s pre-existing 24-inch SC-P7500 and 44-inch SC-P9500 12-ink printers boast a solid construction plus again the ability to print on a variety of materials, including fine art paper, canvases and photo paper. In terms of speed and reliability, the machines’ print heads use up to 800 nozzles for each colour, producing accurate dot placement and

eliminating misprints. They’re also 4.3x faster than prior generations.

As mentioned previously, these two options utilise Epson’ 12-colour UltraChrome Pro ink set with K3 technology. Delivering Epson’s widest ever colour gamut with 99% Pantone coverage and exceptional dynamic range, inks can be individually replaced if they run low. And again a 4.3-inch touch panel LCD allows for a range of configuration options.

“Epson’s new large format models offer improved productivity while providing the high quality output the series is acclaimed for,” enthuses DPS Group MD Maneesh Patel. “The potential to profit from photo printing in-house this summer has never been higher.”

It’s clear therefore that Epson and the DPS Group have the tools to allow you to go big with your ambitions this summer. Discuss your large/wide format print requirements NOW via or phone 020 8466 7230

BPI News Product Focus BPI News | June 2024 11 NEVER MISS AN ISSUE! Read BPI News online at Big profit via large format: contact the DPS Group to install Epson’s 24, 44 & 64 printers via 020 8466 7230 or


Winning a TIPA World Award lends your product or service legitimacy, reassuring your customers they’re making the correct purchase decision. Voted on by a global collective of journalists, including BPI News, we examine what came out top in 2024 and how we all benefit from the news being shared with your customers

What’s better than your product or service winning an award from one photo/ video specialist magazine? Winning an award from 40 of them!

It’s unsurprising then that the Technical Imaging Press Association’s annual TIPA World Awards makes the photo industry sit up and pay attention. And whereas at one time judges comprised mainly European photography magazines and websites, the awards’ reach has now been extended via the inclusion of representatives from America, China, Japan and Australia among others. Thus we are provided with a truly global picture of what its experts consider the best products and services in the business.

The awards, for which BPI News is proudly a voting member, also highlight new technological trends, such as the increased use of AI for both cameras and software, and the still growing blend of photo and video in every market category from enthusiast to pro. Unsurprisingly, getting a TIPA World Award is a source of pride for the companies in receipt of one – or several – as well as setting a benchmark that provides helpful guidance to consumers in making their purchasing decisions.

to the photo and imaging sector,” says TIPA Chairman Thomas Gerwers.

“This year, cutting edge technology, new trends in professional and consumer needs and the continued evolution of imaging capabilities were all on display and we offer our congratulations to the winners for a job well done.”


Both familiar and less familiar names are included among this year’s winners. Picking up two awards this year is regular winner Canon, with its EOS R100 (left) named Best APS-C Entry Level Camera and the accolade of Best Hybrid Zoom Lens going to its RF 24105mm f/2.8L IS USM Z

“Every year our process for choosing the TIPA World Award winners involves research, testing and decisions about how each winner will bring new capabilities and excitement

Of the former the judges said: “A perfect entry level camera, one that can serve as a gateway to today’s connected camera environment and a whole world of interchangeable lenses.” The lens meanwhile was chosen because of its “strong appeal” for both video and still photographers. Epson also made the grade with its SureColor P5300/P5360/P5370 (below) series printer being awarded Best Professional Photo Printer. Of this one the judges said: “With the high resolution cameras and scanners available today, labs, pro studios, galleries and photo artists seek a printer that delivers prints that bring out all the colour, tone and sharpness of their images.”

Good for your image: Just under 40 of the world’s leading photographic magazines and websites – including BPI News – gathered in person this spring to trade suggestions on which products and services were TIPA World Awards worthy

Sticking with printing, fine art inkjet paper expert Hahnemühle was another familiar BPI News name in the list of winners this year, with its collection of Baryta Photo Papers “optimised for inkjet printing” recognised as the Best Photo Paper, and its Hahnemühle App (right) acclaimed as the Best Professional Printing App. Talking of premium output, the Leica M11-P (below) was named Best Premium Camera by TIPA. It was singled out for praise for not just its design and performance, but also its innovative approach: “P-series Leica cameras are aimed at pros and photojournalists and this rangefinder model is the first to incorporate Content Authenticity initiative credentials, a standard for digital content creation that encrypts images with metadata that can be verified as to provenance and credits, a growing concern in these days of image ‘fakes’ and AI generation.” Nikon also got the nod this year,

12 June 2024 | BPI News TIPA World Awards 2024 Want to more more about this year’s voting process and results? For full details of all the winners in each category this year

with its Z f being named Best Full Frame Expert Camera (“an excellent example of convergence between classic design and modern technology”) and the Z 8 (left) acclaimed as Best Full Frame Professional Camera. As well as two camera bodies, a pair of its lenses were also included, with the Nikkor Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR taking the mantle of Best Super Telephoto Zoom Lens and the Nikkor Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena bagging Best Professional Portrait Lens. Of the latter, TIPA noted: “It’s rare for Nikon to name a lens, so we looked it up and Plena is defined as ‘the condition or quality of being full’. If the compliments paid to this lens by photographers around the world are any indication, the appellation is apt.”

The newly Nikon acquired RED also picked up a trophy this year, with the ‘Netflix approved’ RED V-Raptor 8K VV with its full palette of video format selections named as Best Professional Video Camera.

As well as video, the thriving instant camera market was also acknowledged by TIPA this year,

with the Best Instant Camera Innovation award going to the Polaroid I-2 because, as it said: “It’s the first Polaroid with auto focus based on LiDAR technology, plus full auto, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual exposure functions… thus enhancing versatility.”

With compact cameras staging something of a social media-powered comeback of late, particularly as regards the second hand market, the brand new chunky Fujifilm X100VI (above) caught TIPA’s attention, who awarded it Best Compact Camera. At the other end of the scale, Best Medium Format Camera went to the GFX100 II, with the judges calling it “a viable alternative all-rounder for the high-end user.”

Electronics giants Panasonic and Sony weren’t forgotten for 2024, with the former’s Lumix G9II bagging Best Professional MFT Camera (“a high end content creator camera with enhanced AIpowered subjectrecognition technology”) and the latter’s Alpha 6700 and Alpha 9 II taking prizes for the Best APS-C Expert Camera and Best Professional Hybrid Camera respectively. A couple of Sony lenses also made an appearance on the winners’ podium this year, with Best Macro Zoom Lens going to the Sony FE 70-200mmm f/4 Macro G OSS II and Best Telephoto Prime Lens named as the Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS (above) In the lens category, two awards apiece went to Sigma (see more on page 9) and Tamron this year. Best Super Telephoto Prime Lens went to the Sigma 500mm f/5.6 DG DN OS (left), which sits in its ‘Sports’ category, while the

same manufacturer’s 10-18mm f/2.8 DC DN in its ‘Contemporary’ line-up was named Best APS-C Wide Angle Zoom Lens for being “an ideal companion lens for unique and exciting image capture”. Popping the champagne cork for Tamron were its 70-180mm f/2.8 Di III VC VXD G2 (right) as Best Telephoto Zoom Lens and its 1750mm f/4 Di III VXD as Best Wide Angle Zoom Lens. Sticking with lenses for a moment, further prizes went to the Laowa 10mm f/2.8 Zero-D FF (left) as Best Ultra Wide Angle Prime Lens, the Voigtländer Nokton 40mm f/1.2 Apherical as Best Standard Prime Lens and the Viltrox ProLine AF 27mm f/1.2 as the Best APS-C Standard Lens. In terms of accessories, also recognised was Godox for two of its lighting products, with the Godox V1 Pro (right) named as Best Professional Portable Flash and its P600Bi Hard Knowled LED Light Panel named Best LED Light. Best Storage Media went to another Transcontinenta UK distributed brand in the Lexar Professional CFexpress 4.0 Type B Card from its Diamond Series (right)

Best Analogue

Photo Product meanwhile went to Harman Phoenix 200 roll film (below), Best Photo Service went to CEWE Freeform Stickers from CEWE Photostations, and the previously BPI News interviewed Skylum from Ukraine took Best Imaging Enthusiast Software for its Skylum Luminar Neo with the judges acknowledging that “the company points out that their AI tools are there to serve the photographer’s vision, not replace it, a sentiment widely praised by TIPA editors.” For full details of all the winners in each category this year and what the TIPA judges said about them, head to the dedicated web page at:

@bpi_news BPI News | June 2024 13 TIPA World Awards 2024 and what the TIPA judges said about them, head to the dedicated web page at:



The optical specialists have both separately announced that, for the first time, they have lenses coming suitable for use with Canon’s APS-C sensor mirrorless EOS R series cameras.

For its part Sigma says it’s developing six Canon RF mount lenses, with the first one scheduled for release this July in the 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN ‘Contemporary’ (see above) series lens. The other five lenses in development, also falling under the Contemporary banner, should follow from this autumn onwards. These are a 10-18mm f/2.8 DC DN, 30mm f/1.4 DC DN, 16mm f/1.4 DC DN, 56mm f/1.4 DC DN and 23mm f/1.4 DC DN. In addition to what’s promised to be a very fast AF performance, the lenses support AF-C, in-camera aberration correction and in-camera image stabilisation. So far there’s no information on possible Sigma lenses for Canon’s full frame EOS R cameras.

as close to a subject as 0.15 metres, while it incorporates an RXD (Rapid-eXtra-silent stepping Drive). Moisture resistant construction and fluorine coating complete the proposition. At the time of writing we were being told the lens should be available at some point this year, for a price yet to be confirmed. Those in the trade should speak with Transcontinenta UK for more.

Alternatively for now there’s the Tamron 1120mm f/2.8 Di III-A1 RXD ultra wide-angle zoom lens (see top right). This one is described as surprisingly compact and lightweight that offers a good balance when attached to an APS-C camera body. At the 11mm setting users are able to get

In related news, inform your Sony E-mount or Leica L-Mount camera owning customers that a further new Sigma lens has just gone on sale for £1,179 in the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN II ‘Art’ series zoom, aimed at photographers and filmmakers alike. The manufacturer says this flagship lens is a significant evolution compared to the previous iteration. Resolving power is claimed to have been improved throughout the entire zoom range, while functional enhancements include the addition of an aperture ring and a high speed AF motor in the HLA (High-response Linear Actuator). The lens is further approximately 7% smaller and 10% lighter than its predecessor.


The photo retailer has shifted location in the Scottish capital, describing its new store on Haddington Place, which replaces its previous Bonnington outlet, as being ‘right in the heart’ of Edinburgh. It tells us the move is to ‘expand its investment’ in a city of almost 50,000 students –who are being treated to 10% off in-store – with the ribbon cutting duties on its official opening on May 3rd having gone to documentary photographer Sophie Gerrard (see also our Hahnemühle article this issue). Open seven

Optical specialist Swarovski has launched what it’s calling the world’s first AI-supported ‘smart’ binoculars. The pitch for the AX Visio is that it marries high performance analogue long-range optics and digital intelligence, assisting with the identification of birds and other creatures at the touch of a button. In fact the Swarovski AX Visio 10x32 model claims to be able to assist with the identification of 9,000 birds and other wildlife and comes complete with an integrated camera that captures photos and videos. In conjunction with a Swarovski Optik Outdoor App these images can then be shared via a smartphone. Additionally, a ‘Share Discoveries’ option allows users to guide another person to an observed object using arrow markers in the display. All device settings are carried out via the app, and future updates will likewise be supplied in this way, promising, says its maker, a product life cycle for the device of ‘many years’.

With a distinctive look and ergonomic design devised by industrial designer Marc Newson, the device draws on Swarovski’s 75 years of experience. We’re told five of those years alone have been invested in the development and construction of the AX Visio.

All this technology commands a premium however and, available now, the flagship product is £3,820 SRP.

14 June 2024 | BPI News News
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4, 39 Haddington Place, Edinburgh EH7 4AG.
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Don’t ‘Blink’ and miss this very saleable content creator targeted wireless microphone system, the Blink500 B2+, distributed to the trade via MAC Group Europe

As any content creator will be aware, nothing affects the professional look and feel of a video more than sub-par audio. Helping videographers raise their game with professional sound for some time now is Saramonic, its innovative, high quality yet good value products available to the trade via one-stop-shop MAC Group Europe.

And just like MAC Group EU, Saramonic has something to suit everyone in terms of a customer base –from beginner through to professional. Its broad range of microphones and audio adapters are designed for DSLRs, mirrorless cameras and video cameras, all aiming to enhance audio quality during video recording. Naturally, this being the 21st Century, it also offers solutions for smartphone and tablet users.

While its offerings are broad in appeal, the products are affordable –making them an easy sale for switchedon specialist retailers – while being both feature-packed yet easy to use. It goes without saying that while the devices are keenly priced to entice custom, they also offer the reseller the opportunity of an excellent margin.


Worth the photo and video trade showcasing to their customers is the Saramonic Blink500 B2+, a portable 2.4GHz wireless microphone system designed for the burgeoning content creator market. A key feature of this one is its versatility, in that it’s compatible with portable audio recorders, digital cameras, computers and mobile devices – and all without the need for additional accessories. And it’s a system that has your customers covered, whether they’re recording solo podcasts, conducting interviews or constructing content in collaboration with others.

There’s further flexibility when it comes to transmission range, as the B2+ can communicate with a camera up to 150 metres away, within the line of sight – thus allowing for creative versatility when it comes to a multitude of shooting situations.

Like any microphone worth its salt, the Saramonic Blink500 B2+ features high performance noise cancellation, significantly boosting audio quality in even the noisiest of environments.

There’s also flexibility when it comes to how the incredibly compact and lightweight device is mounted and used, as the transmitter features a strong magnet that allows it to be attached to clothing without the need for a lapel clip. In terms of receiver options, it can be plugged directly into an Android smartphone or iPhone using the USB-C or Lightning adapters included. Recordings can be played back on the smartphone or tablet’s speaker, without removing the receiver. Alternatively, for those recording with a dedicated camera, the receiver can be attached to a DSLR via a cold shoe mount, with 3.5mm line output offered. Battery life is good for up to a generous

16 hours for the receiver and 20 hours for the transmitters, so users can shoot for an entire day on the one charge and won’t be left speechless for the wrong reason. A potential game changer for live streamers who simultaneously stream across multiple platforms is dual device connectivity via the one receiver. This innovation allows streamers to seamlessly connect and record audio on two devices simultaneously – which is also handy for back up. Real time and external playback monitoring, allowing for onthe-fly adjustments and the capture of every nuance, likewise helps elevate the creative process of your customers.

The product also includes a portable charging case and a drawstring pouch to charge and protect the system when users are on the go. SRP is a very affordable £129.

For more on the above and to order in stock of Saramonic now, contact is or call 01902 255500

BPI News Product Focus BPI News | June 2024 15 NEVER MISS AN ISSUE! Read BPI News online at Make a sound choice and attract content creator customers with Saramonic’s Blink 500 B2+. Contact MAC Group EU to secure stock
Heard it on the wireless: the Saramonic Blink 500 B2+ is an easy sell to anyone seeking to achieve more professional sounding audio to accompany their ‘content creation’


The premium brand has updated and refined its latest D-Lux series camera to be, as it says, ‘in line with other Leica cameras’. The Leica D-Lux 8 is available from July 2nd this year and features a Four Thirds CMOS sensor offering 17 effective megapixels, plus fast Leica DC Vario-Summilux 10.9mm-34mm f/1.7-f/2.8 ASPH lens, equivalent to 24-75mm in 35mm terms. There’s also what are described as simplified controls, with a new interface inspired by Leica’s Q range. It’s also the first D-Lux camera that allows for capture in the DNG file format, with available accessories including an automatic lens cap, soft release buttons and a selection of bags. SRP is £1,450.

The first Leica D-Lux was launched way back in 2003. The latest release follows on from the announcement of a limited edition black version

of the Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 lens (left), which first appeared in 1961 as what was then the world’s fastest wide-angle lens. Based on that first edition, this new imagining appears in a black anodised finish, featuring a silver stainless steel front ring, commonly referred to as the ‘steel rim’, while engraving on the front reads Leitz Wetzlar. Any lens described as ‘the king of bokeh’ inevitably won’t come cheap, and the asking price here is a cool £8,600 SRP.

Canon printer hits milestone

The photo stalwart is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its aptly named ‘Selphy’ compact photo printer range this year. With the Selphy CP500 and CP400 announced in October 2004, we’re told that 31 such products have been launched by the brand to date, with sales of more than 17 million units worldwide. The most recent Selphy CP1500 was launched a while ago in September 2022, although Canon promised last month that it will continue to expand the Selphy series ‘in line with evolving user needs’.

Nikon wins by design

Not content with having its products recognised by the TIPA World Awards jury – see page 12 this issue – the photo stalwart has picked up some Red Dot Product Design Awards this past month too. Four Nikon products have been given the nod for their aesthetics. Specifically we’re told the jury was looking at their degree of innovation, functionality, ergonomics and durability. Winners for Nikon in this regard were its Z 8 and Z f camera bodies, along with its Nikkor Z 600mm f/6.3 VR S and 135mm f/1.8 S Plena lenses.


Compact binoculars are one of the easier sales to make alongside cameras and lenses. Fuji’s latest are a couple of exciting new premium examples from its Fujinon Techno-Stabi range. Each boasts IPX7 grade waterproofing, enabling them to be dunked to a depth of one metre for up to 30 minutes without water ingress. Such protection aside, further qualities of the TS16x28WP and the TS12x28WP include high magnification vibration correction – built-in image stabilisation in other words – both of which we’re told makes them ideal for use for bird and nature observation, as well as for marine leisure pursuits, sports, hiking, travel and more. Image stabilisation is activated via a dedicated switch at the centre of the binoculars, making it easy for the user to achieve a stable and sharp image with either the 16x or 12x magnification without needing a tripod. A non-slip embossed leather-like coating further enables a firm grip, a precise focusing wheel allows adjustments to be made with a single finger while phase coated prisms are claimed

to deliver sharp images with high contrast. Power here comes courtesy of an included CR2 lithium battery, with a single cell said to last for up to a generous 30 hours of use. Power is preserved via an automatic switch off function that kicks in after 10 minutes. Each device comes with a limited one-year warranty, neck strap, case and eyepiece cap.

BPI News is your mouthpiece to reach peers in the photo trade, so use it. Send ad bookings & press releases to 16 June 2024 | BPI News News


Awake to the impact we all have on our environment, Hahnemühle’s Natural Line and Sustainable Photo Papers have been much acclaimed. Now it’s taking things a step further by co-sponsoring ‘We Feed The UK’, which brings together photographers to document the UK’s custodians of land, soil and sea and convince us to care about how our food is grown…

Like many in the photo trade, Hahnemühle has been keen to showcase how seriously it takes the impact its products and production processes have on the environment. Hahnemühle’s ably highlighted the sustainability of its papers, particularly those in its award winning plant-based Natural Line, produced using bamboo, hemp, agave and sugar cane. In addition, there’s the recently introduced Sustainable Photo Satin in its Photo Papers range. Keen to associate itself with initiatives that closely reflect its brand values, Hahnemühle is now co-sponsoring and providing exhibition prints for ‘We Feed The UK’. Already showcased on BBC Radio 4 and in The Times, this major arts project seeks to promote regenerative farming via pairing 10 acclaimed photographers and 10 poets with farmers, urban growers, sustainable fishers and ‘grain rebels’. The resulting visuals are being shared publically from February 2024 to May 2025 by 10 arts organisations including The Royal Photographic Society and The Martin Parr Foundation, with supporting evidence coming from 10 environmental allies from the regenerative farming movement.

Hahnemühle UK MD Nancy Janes comments: “At Hahnemühle we are highly selective on the causes we support and in particular we take very seriously the impact our products and production processes have on the environment, making the ‘We Feed The UK’ project a perfect fit.”

An initiative helmed by The Gaia Foundation, the project focuses on those working with nature in a time-honoured tradition up and down the country. The aim is that the campaign showcases grassroots solutions to climate change, biodiversity in crisis and social injustice. Documented stories span coastal, rural and urban areas and so far include a multi generational growing project in London, a cooperative in

Edinburgh in which the majority of workers are women, plus a sustainable fishing project on the south coast.

Hahnemühle is helping spread the message by collaborating with the photographers involved to produce fine art prints for exhibition. At the time of writing, images by photographer Sophie Gerrard of the women of Scotland producing nature-friendly food are being showcased at Street Level Photoworks in Glasgow until June 30th. These have been printed on Hahnemühle’s Agave based paper – with printing of the works throughout the project mostly fulfilled by Hahnemühle certified studios.

Other photographers taking part in the project, whose arresting

Put it on paper: Photographer Sophie Gerrard’s ‘We Feed The UK’ project images output with the support of Hahnemühle and exhibited at Glasgow’s Street Level Photoworks.

Photos of the exhibition

©Tiu Makkonen

imagery is similarly being output on Hahnemühle Agave paper, include Jon Tonks, Aaron Schuman, Andy Pilsbury, Arpita Shah, Ayesha Jones, Johannah Churchill, Johannes Pretorius, Lua Ribeira and Yvette Monahan.


This more localised project follows on from The Gaia Foundation’s ‘We Feed The World’ exhibition and book from 2021, a global collaboration with what it described as ‘some of the bestloved photographers of our time’. The worldwide reach of this project celebrated smallholder farmers across the globe, to dispel the view that we need industrial farming to survive.

The Foundation itself has roots stretching back 40 years, with its partners stretching from the Atlantic to the Arctic and from Africa to the Amazon, all with the aim of restoring a respectful relationship with the Earth.

It hopes that its new ‘We Feed The UK’ project will inspire and inform positive change, impacting both on the general public and any ‘on the fence’ farmers who might be encouraged to transition to regenerative agriculture.

Rowan Phillimore, Co-Director of The Gaia Foundation, explains: “Some 70% of the UK is farmland. The potential for this to become the place where we support biodiversity, sequester carbon and address so many of the other problems we’re facing is enormous. The arts have the power to speak to the heart. Apathy is such a big barrier, and hope activates.”

For more on the above and Hahnemühle’s involvement, direct your browser to, featuring films and previews of the photographers’ work. For more on The Gaia Foundation itself, head to

@bpi_news BPI News | June 2024 17 BPI News Extra For UK sales, please visit, email or phone 01603 759266


With the pitch of being ‘a tiny light for super power’ an illuminating new selling tool is heading to dealers in the shape of the compact, 8mm thin Zhiyun Molus G300 COB light (right). Available from the brand’s UK and Ireland distributor Transcontinenta UK, it has an SRP of £599.99. Key details include that the 300W light provides 15500 Lux of brightness, yet is capable of being ‘overclockable’ to 500W for 20300 Lux. Suitable for use for portraits, live streaming, interviews or commercials, dual dials are claimed to allow for precise parameter adjustments. Plus, in featuring a universal Bowens mount, the G300 has the capacity to be used with a wide array of modifiers. In further light related news, the distributor is also pitching the Godox FH50Bi/R (top & below) to dealers, described as a flexible handheld LED that’s as light to carry

as a bottle of water. Described as having a strong metal frame, with its 360° HIS control the light can offer a range of colours and effects, its adjustable colour temperature ensuring it can be adapted to suit differing lighting conditions. While the FH50R (RGB colour light) variant can offer 14 effects, simulating everything from romantic candlelight to festive fireworks, the FH50Bi (Bi-colour light) offers 11 effects.


Got customers looking for a better camera strap to protect their investment than the one that came bundled in the box with their purchase? Point them in the direction of a new strap colourway in the Peak Design Coyote version, available in Peak Design’s Slide, Slide Lite, Leash and Cuff strap configurations, otherwise functionally identical to the four other colourways currently available (black, ash, midnight and sage) and also costing the same. A first for the brand is that the Coyote Leash and Coyote Cuff straps contain 35% recycled nylon. We’re further told water and energy is saved during production via the fact that the Coyote Slide and Slide Lite are solution dyed like the rest of the available colours. Again, Transcontinenta UK is the distributor you need to seek out to discover more.

Canon helps trade up its game

We know there are plenty of folks in the photo industry who love a game of golf. Arriving to the delight of yourselves and your customers is what Canon is calling its first compact laser rangefinder with a built in camera, the aptly named PowerShot GOLF. The market for this one is everyone from amateur to pro seeking to perfect their score. We’re told the optics here are bright and crystal clear, with a 6x optical plus additional 12x digital magnification capability provided.

Claimed to be lightweight and compact for its class, the device should conveniently fit in any pocket. In addition it is waterproof to IPX4 standard, so can be used in the rain, while the rechargeable battery can be topped up anywhere via the provided USB-C port.

Distance readings include elevation adjusted distances, when the optional Slope Mode is activated. Canon adds that the built-in camera is ideal for capturing stills and video, documenting unforgettable moments or breathtaking courses, as well as capturing visuals for educational or progress-tracking purposes, along with sharing a winning swing on social media.

18 June 2024 | BPI News News
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We field test two binocular products at the cutting edge of current technology that switched-on photo retailers can stock and sell alongside traditional photo gear

While there are binocular options to suit every customer, the Fujifilm and Swarovski products we’re looking at here are top-end examples from their respective manufacturers. Both push the limits of what’s possible from today’s technology, which we believe makes them news and review worthy.

The Fujifilm Fujinon Techno-Stabi TS16x28WP (top left) to give it its full nomenclature, has the advantage of being both water proofed and image stabilized with it – hence the ‘Stabi’ in the name. As anyone who has tried out a binocular with ‘IS’ can testify, the ability to press a button (or here turn a dial) and have a previously juddering view rendered silky smooth as if subjects are gliding on ice, will recognise it’s a feature worthy paying for. The only debate is just how much of a premium can be justified over a non-IS bino with similar spec. What impresses here is the solid feel build and relatively compact form, though a 16x magnification means that our field of view is not as wide as we’d have liked. In practical terms, while we can fill the eyepiece with, say, a squirrel, once it starts running off it’s tricky to keep pace with it without taking our eyes away from the device to re-locate it. It’s noted though that it’s precisely because we have that 16x magnification that IS proves beneficial. Its manufacturer is obviously confident in it too, as no screw thread for a tripod is provided.

There’s now no need to stuff a Pocketbook of Birds into our bag. Raise these binos to our eyes, squeeze a button on its top plate that doubles as a shutter release for stills or video clips… …and we’re given the name of whatever we’re looking at via its eyepiece.”

While being waterproofed to a metre’s depth for 30 minutes is a definite advantage for outdoors, in costing a fair bit less than the weather-proofed Swarovski alternative here, the view via the Fuji’s eyepiece is not as sharp as that provided by Swarovski’s superior set up. That said, the more compact size and relatively lightweight build – it feels like Fuji has crammed a lot in here – means that its performance works. Its almost amphibian look with eyepieces jutting out from the body, resembling the bowed legs of a frog when fully extended, enables the adjustment of inter-pupillary distance to better marry up with our own eyes for viewing comfort. Requiring a CR2 battery for use enables a possible sale for the canny retailer, even if a single cell is supposed to be included out of the box.

Unlike the Swarovski AX Visio 10x32, we could just about squeeze the Fujifilm TS16x28WP into a jacket pocket. A closer comparison would probably be the image stabilised Canon 12x36 IS III, however.

By contrast the Swarovski AX Visio 10x32 (top right) is one of those ‘money no object’ purchases. Immediately it part justifies its cost because the view through

the eyepieces here is so vivid and detailed it’s almost overwhelming the first time. It’s like receiving a new prescription at the opticians after you’ve made do with an outdated one for quite some time. But the biggest selling point here and the reason anyone would be buying them over the same manufacturer’s 10x32 NL Pure bino, is that these are the first AI-enabled ‘smart’ binoculars. There’s now no need to stuff a Pocketbook of Birds into our bag. Raise these binos to our eyes, squeeze a button on its top plate that doubles as a shutter release for stills or video clips – sent to our smartphone once we’ve downloaded the relevant app – and we’re given the name of whatever we’re looking at via its eyepiece. Such info is conveniently presented via a digital overlay within our field of view; there’s no separate flip-up LCD screen. With a shooting mode-like dial atop the eyepieces allowing us to toggle between the subject matter we want it to help identify, use is reasonably intuitive and it does mostly get it right, even if it does require an initial period of familiarisation to use to its full extent. And happily, even without use of any of its digital gubbins, on-board sensor or software, the analogue performance of this bino is simply stunning. At least for those who can afford it!

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Business Advice


We live in a changing world. Two of the biggest changes that have become hot topics for both businesses and their customers – particularly as regards the photo trade – are the growing influence and use of artificial intelligence, plus the need to demonstrate your business is eco friendly and its processes sustainable. With this in mind we explore the benefits and concerns re: AI, plus share tips for bringing sustainability into your business practices

Is your business strategy sustainable?

At one time we’d be talking in terms of viability, financing, five-year plans and the like, but ‘sustainable’ has come to mean something different to today’s customers. When talking ‘sustainability’, we’re referring to the effect companies like yours have on the environment and society. It’s a topic we’ve heard raised and talked about at trade events we’ve attended recently – and it feels like a discussion that’s only going to get louder. The cost of and demands on our sources of energy have been majorly highlighted the past few years by wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, while we all have to contend with the effects of climate change

and a lack of infinite natural resources. Increasingly your business needs to be seen to be doing its bit to stay sustainable in the eyes of those trading with and buying from you. It’s not just all about price point and product quality. Companies and their products are arguably simply reflecting such shifting social mores. ‘Sustainable’ credentials are now routinely showcased as part of marketing strategy. The consumer wants to feel good about what they’re buying. So if their favourite camera, printer company or paper manufacturer is doing their bit, the customer feels like they’re making their own little positive contribution – and they’re more likely to buy from you again. Going green could just therefore

help keep your business in the black.

This is not to suggest that wanting to be seen as doing your bit for the environment is in any way disingenuous. It’s merely increasingly important; a statement backed up by recent surveys suggesting 78% of consumers believe good, sustainable environmental practices are important to them and that almost half of consumers will recommend brands that can demonstrate sustainability. Put simply, when customers have so much available choice, it will help you stand out from the competition. The good news is that if you’re not already somewhere down this path as regards your processes already, acting more environmentally aware and

20 June 2024 | BPI News
Got your own ideas about how the photo industry can counter the challenges arising from the cost of living crisis,

tweaking your business to demonstrate a sustainable approach need not cost the earth; no pun intended.


Changes that lead to a more sustainable business can start small. For example, look at the packaging you’re using, and avoid single use plastics and non-recyclable materials that wind up in landfill. Indeed, a lot of packaging these days is itself already made from recycled materials, and can be recycled again by your customers or staff when they’ve finished using it. If you’re using something like polystyrene that


Including your eco-friendly practices on your branding and materials means you present well to shoppers as someone keen to be involved in best practice. Any certifications you can add that further legitimise your processes – think of Fair Trade produce, for example – are also worth pursuing”

isn’t biodegradable and hard to recycle, simply make sure this is, in turn, re-used, or alternatively chopped into pieces to be transformed into loose packaging. Explore further packing options such as perforated cardboard, packing chips or ‘peanuts’, with one Australia based manufacturer even sending packages out protected by lining made from waste sheep’s wool. So, opt for packaging that’s easy to compost, re-use or recycle as a strategic business move. And it can start with whatever’s to hand. At the time of writing I‘ve just fed a wedge of old correspondence and paperwork through the shredder, in doing so creating a ballooning mass of paper strands that are perfect for packing around a product review sample I’m having courier collected. As well as protecting the planet, simply by doing the above you have given your business something to shout about. Including your eco-friendly practices on your branding and materials means you present well to shoppers as someone keen to be involved in best practice. Any certifications you can add that further legitimise your processes – think of Fair Trade produce, for example – are also worth pursuing. Naturally these have to be top-down initiatives too, with everyone from the MD or CEO down to shop floor or warehouse staff enthusiastically embracing and supporting good environmental practices. A green approach can easily be extended to your premises too, by using LED light bulbs, encouraging the back office to go paperless, installing solar panels, allowing staff to work from home where applicable to reduce our collective carbon footprint and even installing toilets that give options for small or larger flushes.

Ultimately a sustainable approach can be applied to everything from initial product design, through production, and on to the box or packaging materials it’s sent out to customers in – who then can themselves recycle or re-use it. Yes, you’re running a business to make money and turn a profit, but with a little consideration economic success and environmental friendly sustainability can not only coexist, but also bolster each other.


This leads us on to the other hot topic of our age: Artificial Intelligence. Could AI actually be part of the transition to a greener world, in requiring less energy and resources to create something, at speed, that requires

minimal user input, save for the power required for data servers and software? Or is it a Pandora’s box or existential threat that will ultimately doom us all?

While the jury is still debating, increased use of AI continues unabated, with the use of ‘deep learning’ AI applied and talked about with glee by manufacturers in highlighting their latest camera’s efficiency when it comes to recognising a greater number of subjects and pre-determining focus and exposure to more accurately keep up with them. And does the photographer care about the process, as long as they get a better shot, or view, out of it?

I recently reviewed an AI enabled binocular for a tech website, priced at around £1000 more than the same manufacturer’s non AI enabled but otherwise nigh identically featured alternative. This suggests the inclusion of AI, in being a very current buzzword and feature, is something that consumers will pay more for.

As regards photography, it seems there’s already such a thing as ‘good’ (a better/ faster focused shot) and ‘bad’ (wonky human fingers resembling misshapen carrots, based on a keyword prompt) AI. Just like there are good and bad Terminators in the more recent movies of the long running franchise.

In the wider world, AI’s muchtrumpeted benefits to your business include supposedly greater efficiency through task automation and faster data analysis for more informed decision-making. Then there’s its assistance in medical diagnosis and the increased viability of autonomous vehicles for the auto industry.

Aside from the lack of human creativity and empathy involved in such AI enabled processes, perceived negatives include potential job displacement and concerns about bias and privacy, due to security risks posed by hacking or falsifying identity, including cloning voices or sending convincing phishing emails.

Fortunately, when it comes to improving the efficiency of photographic products, services and software, AI is generally thought of as being a good thing, and can be promoted as such. But when it intrudes into the world of photographic art, creates deep fakes, or seeks to in some way mislead, it’s bad.

As this is an ever evolving subject for debate, watch this space and, as ever at BPI News, we welcome our readers’ own thoughts, voices and opinions on the topics raised. So do get in touch.

or care to share what’s working for you (without giving away trade secrets)? Then do get in touch direct via

@bpi_news BPI News | June 2024 21
your business in a world of AI?
sustainable is


Instant print photography’s resurgence continues with the news that analogue obsessed Lomography has introduced two new variants of its Lomo’Instant Automat camera, this time adorned with classic masterpieces by the artist Gustav Klimt. Shooting to Instax Mini film, additional wide-angle, fisheye and ‘splitzer’ lens attachments for dynamic effects come included with both the Gold Leaf Edition and the Water Serpents II / Maiden Edition. With a 60mm focal length, multiple exposure mode, long exposure mode and built-in flash with coloured gels allow for further experimentation. For those seeking to shoot selfies or group portraits, a lens cap with a remote control shutter release is included. Power comes courtesy of two CR2 batteries for the camera and a single CR1632 for the remote, which need to be purchased separately.

Both colourful options are priced at £179 SRP and mark the 10th anniversary of Lomography’s instant print camera range.


Medium format camera owners have a new tool of the trade for shooting indoor portraits, starry skies and nocturnal landscapes in the large f/2.5 aperture Hasselblad XCD 25V – or XCD 2,5/25V as its maker is insisting on calling it. The lens boasts a wideangle 20mm full frame equivalent focal length and a construction involving 13 elements in 10 groups, including four aspherical elements and three ED elements; all in order to be able to resolve the detail required by 100MP sensors.

With a gentle push-pull of the focus ring, we’re told photographers can rapidly switch between AF and MF modes. The control ring can be customised with functions including aperture, shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation, letting it act as an extension of the camera. A linear stepping motor and smaller, lighter focusing lens group is claimed to enable a ‘quick and responsive focusing experience’ according to the brand, when paired with Hasselblad X or V system cameras.

Bright spark at Calibrite

Lumesca Group brand

Calibrite, known for its monitor colour calibration tools for photographers (see BPI News April/May edition), has appointed a new General Manager in Stefan Zrenner (pictured)

Stefan will oversee Calibrite’s operations across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific, with a view to drive the brand’s growth and expansion in key markets worldwide. His background includes over 30 years’ experience in the colour management industry and various regional and global positions in sales, marketing and product management.

“We are thrilled to welcome Stefan Zrenner to the Calibrite team,” say Calibrite Co-Presidents Geoffrey Clements and Jan Lederman. “His deep understanding of the digital imaging industry coupled with his extensive global experience will be invaluable as we continue to expand our presence and deliver innovative solutions to customers around the world.”

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Every year since 1991, TIPA awards have been given to the best photo, video and imaging products and accessories, including smartphones and equipment for printmaking, image editing and display. 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


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