ProPhoto visited the second CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging show which was held in early February in Japan at the Paci­ co Yokohama exhibition complex. Report by Paul Burrows.

Pentax’s wall of coloured K-r D-SLRs was impossible to miss. Smaller but still very eye-catching displays are in the major camera retailers too.

With the PMA trade show in the USA (now renamed CliQ) having moved to September, CP+ 2011 promoted itself as the only major imaging show in the ­ rst half of the year. Approximately the same size as our own PMA-run Imaging & Entertainment Expo, CP+ attracted all the major Japanese brands and local representatives of overseas companies such as Hasselblad, Leica, Zeiss, Phase One and Leaf. The show was ­ rst run in 2010.

Where it all began. The original Sony Mavica still video camera was part of an extensive display of early ‘filmless’ models on display at CP+.

As at last year’s Photokina, a star attraction was the retro-styled Fujifilm FinePix X100 which was officially released on the show’s opening day. Fujifilm dedicated an area of its stand to demonstrating the X100 and had English-speaking staff (plus brochures in English) on hand too. Apart from this, the show was clearly largely geared for the Japanese domestic market rather than international visitors… but then the local market is a very big one!

As at Photokina 2010 there were no earth-shattering announcements, but plenty of new products were being seen for the first time and some interesting prototypes were being quickly shown. It was, for example, the first chance for Japanese photo enthusiasts to see Canon’s new EOS 1100D and EOS 600D entry-level D-SLRs which were unveiled the day before CP+ opened its doors. The Olympus XZ-1 high-end compact and E-PL2 Digital Pen series model were also on show publically for the first time.

Making a very big splash indeed was a wall of Pentax K-r D-SLRs in a huge variety of colours, a marketing concept the company has continued from the K-x. Pentax is now also offering a number of lenses with gloss finishes in lots of different colours. The idea seems to be working as plenty of coloured Pentax D-SLRs were in evident at Tokyo’s major tourists spots (with hot pink or gold seemingly the most popular). Marumi has even released a range of filters with coloured rings to match the camera body colours. Even the normally conservative Canon has got in on the act with the EOS 1100D being released in a very appealing plum red and a (rather less appealing) dark brown.

On Ricoh’s stand, the sight of a GXR fitted with a Leica M-mount lens was also creating plenty of interest. This is the first ‘GXR Lens Mount Unit’ and incorporates both an ‘APS-C’ size sensor and a focal plane shutter. The good news is that the Leica M lenses look right at home on the black and boxy GXR which is very RF-like in its styling. This unit is expected to arrive locally in the last quarter of the year. Sigma showed a prototype of a compact 30mm f2.8 prime lens with a Sony E-mount for the NEX-series cameras (another example was also on display on Sony’s stand). At last year’s Photokina Sony announced it would be encouraging other manufacturers to make E-mount lenses and adapters so Sigma has responded very quickly. The new 30mm will effectively be a 45mm on the NEX bodies. Sony also showed NEX bodies fitted with a variety of classic lenses via adaptors under the banner ‘Old Meets New’ and including the Leica M-bayonet mount.

A couple of days before the show opened Zeiss announced it had joined the Micro Four Thirds group, following Cosina which has since introduced a Voigtländer-branded 25mm f0.95 MFT mount lens. This is logical as Cosina is making a number of lenses for Zeiss. Olympus showed off Zeiss-branded 21mm f2.9 and 28mm f2.1 prime lenses fitted to Digital Pen camera bodies.

Girl Power

Ricoh showed its first lens mount unit for the GXR. It incorporates an ‘APS-C’ sensor and a focal plane shutter and accepts Leica M-bayonet lenses. The display GXR was fitted with a Leica 28mm f2.8 Elmarit prime lens (which has an effective focal length of 42 mm).

Girls, girls, girls… young women in short skirts pretty much come with the territory when it comes to spruiking products at Japanese consumer shows.

What the CP+ show lacked in presentation compared to the Australian event (which is undoubtedly slicker overall), it more than made up for in sheer energy. All the big brands had shooting stages or were hosting presentations by photographers who use their equipment. It was also something of a contest to see which brand had young female spruikers with the shortest skirts or briefest hotpants.

Interestingly, however, the visitors also appeared to include a lot of young women as well, highlighting a growing phenomenon in Japan called ‘camera girl’. It’s one of the reasons the Japanese manufacturers favour coloured cameras and why compact system cameras (CSCs) account for over 30 per cent of the local market. Even more interestingly, the newsstands are full of magazines and books created by the ‘camera girls’ (as well as online galleries) who show off their favourite cameras as well as the things they like to photograph. While they may be buying new cameras, on the streets of Tokyo we spotted quite a number of ‘camera girls’ using classics such as Nikkormats and Pentax Spotmatics.

A shade under 50,000 visitors attended CP+ over its four days, a number helped by the fact that the Friday was a public holiday in Japan (and, of course, the fact that Tokyo-Yokohama area has a population of around 14 million). The organisers say this year’s visitor numbers represents a healthy 20 per cent increase over the 2010 show.

In the centre of the exhibition hall at CP+ was a fascinating exhibition of landmark and historical digital cameras (yes, we’re there already), starting with the first still video types from the Sony Mavica onward. It provided a fascinating journey up the technological dead-end that was analogue electronic imaging and then the first forays into digital capture. These cameras are part of the JCII (Japan Camera And Optical Instruments Testing Institute) museum’s huge collection which is otherwise housed in a permanent facility in Tokyo (visit

ProPhoto travelled to the CP+ show courtesy of Canon Australia.