The Photography Show isn't just about the big names and the conventional cameras and accessories – it's also a haven for the quirky, cool and unusual imaging innovations. Here are the 10 most fun and interesting things we've spotted on the show floor this year.
Make sure to come along to the Birmingham NEC for the final day of the show on Tuesday 19 March!
"The unique modifier designed for function photography", Bouncelite was invented to give run-and-gun event shooters a practical way to modify, manipulate and adapt their flashgun to whatever the situation. The front diffuser creates soft, flattering light, with a top hatch and that enables you to bounce light off the card or an open ceiling above, and quick-load cartridges to use filters and colour temperature gels. Visit Bouncelite's stand at J45
Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, Solarcan is a ready-to-use solargraphy camera designed to produce extreme time exposures that capture the Sun’s path across the sky. Preloaded with a sheet of photography paper that enables you to take unique images straight out of the box (well, tube!), the inventive and covetable design makes this one of the most unique cameras we've ever seen – and, with a show price of just £15.95, it's a purchase that won't hurt your pocket!
Visit Solarcan at stand G63
3) Ultimate Lens Hood
Another successfully Kickstarted item, it's also one of the most "imitated" (you've no doubt seen the knock-offs being sold via Instagram ads). Forget the cheap imitations, though – the real deal Ultimate Lens Hood is an ingenious device that 'suction cups' a giant lens hood between your camera and glass windows or cabinets to eliminate reflections. You can also reverse it to protect your kit from the elements!
Visit the Ultimate Lens Hood stand at A70
The Thingyfy Pinhole Pro X is the world's first zoom pinhole lens, with a focal range of 18-36mm. It joins the company's existing line-up of precisely machined, professional pinhole lenses, the Pinhole Pro (50mm) and Pinhole Pro S (11mm and 37mm), and like its siblings will be available for Canon EF, Nikon F, Fuji X, Micro Four Thirds and Sony A and E mounts.
Visit Thingify's stand at G110a
Yet another success story for Kickstarter, this versatile device was born of a need to easily transfer medium-format film to digital. The Pixl-latr enables you to digitise 35mm, 10 (up to 6x12) and 4x5 negatives using a digital camera; it holds the film flat and provides a diffuser for backlight (which can be something as simple as an iPad), enabling you to capture the negative in a resolution whose only ceiling is your camera's sensor.
Visit the Pixl-latr at the Paterson Photographic stand, A111
6) The Intrepid Camera (Plywood large format)
This Brighton, UK-based company creates 4x5 and 8x10 cameras that make large-format accessible and affordable – and, with its combination of carpentry and modern production, the results have a bespoke feel that are highly desirable. The Intrepid Enlarger is also on show, designed to fit to the back of any 4x5 camera to convert it into a fully functional enlarger.
Visit Intrepid at stand G28
Cosyspeed's Fingerstrap fits to every camera and supports up to 3kg. It comes free with every Camslinger, as it pairs perfectly with the single-hand quick access mechanism, but is available separately as a compact and surprisingly sturdy solution to errant camera slips. Made from robust belt webbing and automotive industry grade velcro, it comes with a strap eyelet and a soft pad to avoid scratching the camera body.
Visit Cosyspeed at the PhotoTEQ stand H5
8) Adaptalux Lighting Studio
Composed of the Control Pod 2.0 and Lighting Arms, the Adaptalux Lighting Studio is an intuitive and inventive lighting solution that adapts to your macro photography needs. The fully flexible arms deliver 360° control, while the heads can produce a beam of light from 20° to 115° degrees. The Arms are available in five LED colors, as well as Arm-S (superbright), Ultraviolet and Laser Light.
Visit the Adaptalux stand at C139
A dedicated, talented and ever-growing community of virtual photographers who specialize in the ballooning artform of photography within videogames. Using Photo Mode in titles such as Red Dead Redemption II, God of War and many others, real-life photographers and those experiencing photography for the first time can roam and explore virtual worlds, using traditional controls such as aperture to capture truly unique images.
Visit Gamergram at stand H46
10) Composite Poles
Broge's range of telescopic mobile poles enable you to reach great heights while keeping your feet firmly on the ground. These portable carbon-fibre poles extend to as much as 10 meters and are robust and rigid, yet remain lightweight and quick and easy to deploy. Designed for everyday use in industrial applications, creative photographers looking for an edge will find numerous ways to put these to use.
Visit Composite Poles' stand at A56