Shooting for Profits, Even in '09, PMA Opens in Las Vegas
Banking on hope that Americans consider the preservation of personal memories a non-negotiable necessity, over 500 exhibitors in the digital imaging industry are convening in Las Vegas this week for the 85th annual Photo Marketing Association (PMA) convention and trade show.
Imaging is one category in CE that does seem to be holding its own in the face of consumer reticence. Sales of D-SLRs and their bevy of accompanying accessories slowed over the last few months but were still in a growth pattern. (Retailers have had trouble keeping Canon's new 5D Mark II in stock, for instance.) And success stories are still to be found on the show floor, like the 77% growth rate of a small Miami-based company called M-ROCK Bags which produces outdoor-oriented, rugged camera gear.
The largest camera manufacturers are aiming to entice consumers with cameras that virtually shoot themselves (new modes which activate the shutter and all settings automatically as long as the consumer hits the "ON" button) and hot applications like point-and-shoots which capture 720p high definition video. Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Fuji and Samsung are also putting out some of the lowest price points on record as further temptation, like a 10-megapixel PowerShot available this March for just $129.99.