Today at the SWPP show: We see the new Smoke Ninja, Sony's 300mm mega-lens, and more!

SWPP 2024 shots taken by Adam Juniper
(Image credit: Future)

The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers – or SWPP – has an annual gathering in London's Hammersmith. Officially the "London Photo Video Convention and Trade Show" in the capacious Novotel London West, it opened today, so I went to check it out with DCW colleagues. It's obviously not as big as the upcoming as the UK calendar's biggest event – The Photography & Video Show at the NEC – but there was still a lot to see and the show runs until the end of Saturday 20th Jan so there is a chance check it out yourself.

Exhibitors include Sony, cradling what they told me was one of the two Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lenses in the country. I was even allowed to touch it and, to be honest, despite the size, it was amazingly lightweight. As a Sony shooter myself I did wonder how far I'd get with it (but I don't think I was the first person who had that thought)!

(Image credit: Future)

Sony weren't the only major camera manufacturer in the hall – Canon (65-76) and FujiFilm (38-40) also both have big stands and staff on hand to give serious photographers the chance to gets hands on an extensive range of their gear.

We also checked out the SmokeNinja, which was sharing stand-space (stand 91) with Rotolight. We hope to get this exciting device for a full review soon, and not only because I was told it had been used in Hollyoaks (is that still on?) and Ghostbusters traps. The ability to switch the smoke's behaviour, not to mention the portability and USB-C charging, seem potentially very useful for creatives of many persuasions. 

The SmokeNinja in action (Image credit: Future)

With the SWPP's emphasis being on professionals, there was a lot of lighting equipment on display, though what surprised me was how accessibly priced it was and how much of it was continuous – video is now very well catered for at SWPP. We saw the new Elinchrom Three in person, and are looking forward to getting it in to review and compare with the Elinchrom One. Visitors will also appreciate the live lighting stage is an opportunity for visitors to the trade show to see the lights in action with assorted ambassadors demonstrating how to use the lights – shows like this and TPS can be a great chance to turn a hobby into an income.

(Image credit: Future)

Walking the halls of the exhibition space – which I couldn't help but notice was in or neat the hotel's Champagne Suite – we even came across something new to me in my many years in publishing and photography journalism – Julia Boggio. If you've not heard of her, she is an author who writes fiction about photographers which is perhaps a little racy (I've not had time to read any since I met her earlier, but she showed me the trade press had called her the "Jilly Cooper of photography novels," she's been featured on BBC Woman's Hour, and she's at the show signing books for her fans. Perhaps she even inspired a few prospective pros?

The SWPP main hall, with (the back of) the Canon stand to the left. (Image credit: Future)

We also got our hands on with some interesting video gear, like the Obsbot Tail Air 2 which we're reviewing shortly. Obsbot also had their Tiny 2 on display.

Of course, another great reason to visit any show are the deals on offer; Park Cameras, Camera Centre UK, Photomart, and others had stands – and deals – on the show floor as well as many of the specialists, and there were some deals posted.

If you can't be there, why not check the best lenses for portrait photography and the best lenses for wedding photography in our guides?

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook