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A Recap of The Photography and Video Show 2024 

April 2, 2024

The Photography and Video Show is one of the biggest and most highly anticipated events on the calendar for visual creative professionals in the UK. This year's show, held from March 16-19 at the NEC in Birmingham, did not disappoint. Thousands of photographers, videographers, industry leaders, and enthusiasts descended on the venue over the four days to experience the latest gear, technology, educational seminars, and networking opportunities. 

As always, the show floor was a sprawling spectacle with hundreds of exhibitors showcasing their newest cameras, lenses, accessories, editing software, lighting equipment, drones, and more. Attendees had the chance to go hands-on with products from leading brands as well as emerging startups bringing innovative solutions to market. 

Pen Display 24 Steals the Spotlight 

Our booth was a hub of activity, with the Pen Display 24 being one of the star attractions. Attendees were drawn to the large 24-inch digital drawing display with its stunning 4K resolution, wide colour gamut, and industry-leading anti-glare technology. Many took the opportunity to get hands-on with the natural drawing experience enabled by the responsive pen performance and ergonomic design. There was palpable excitement as creative professionals explored this compelling Wacom alternative. Frequent comments criticised Wacom's perceived shortcomings, with people enthusiastically voicing their desire for an innovative option like the Xencelabs Pen Display 24 to elevate their creative workflows. The remarkably high interaction levels demonstrated the substantial interest in viable drawing display competitors to challenge the market leader. 

Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium Bundle: Redefining Creativity 

While the Pen Display 24 drew a lot of buzz, the best-selling Xencelabs product at the show was the Pen Tablet Medium Bundle. This comprehensive kit provides everything a digital artist needs for an enhanced creative workflow. 

At the centre is the Pen Tablet itself, featuring a large drawing surface and ultra-responsive pen input with 3 customizable buttons right on the tablet. Its minimalist ergonomic design ensures comfort during extended creative sessions. 

But the bundle goes far beyond just the tablet. It also includes the innovative Quick Keys controller, which allows artists to incorporate shortcut keys and dials into their favourite applications. With an OLED display, physical dial, and the ability to program up to 40 shortcuts organised into groups, Quick Keys provides a powerful efficiency boost over cumbersome keyboard shortcuts. 

The full bundle also comes with a protective carrying case, extra pen nibs and accessories, and even a drawing glove - everything a creative needs in one cohesive package. Xencelabs developed the whole product line with extensive input from professional artists to optimise the user experience. 

The Pen Tablet Medium Bundle epitomizes Xencelabs' focus on seamless interoperability and facilitating an intuitive creative process through thoughtful design and feature sets tailored to real-world artistic demands. Its popularity at the show demonstrates digital artists' desire for specialised tools to boost their productivity. 

LaCie Rugged SSD 2TB: Unrivalled Durability and Performance 

LaCie partnered with us at the show and their Rugged SSD 2TB portable drive flew off the shelves of the Wex Photo Video stand. The LaCie brand has cultivated a strong reputation, and many attendees were familiar fans looking to expand their storage arsenal with this ultra-rugged and high-capacity solution. 

The Rugged SSD 2TB packs impressive storage into an incredibly compact and durable form factor. Like the popular Rugged drive line, it features shock, drop, and crush resistance with a rubber exterior sleeve. But the Rugged SSD takes protection even further - it's rated rain and pressure-resistant up to withstanding the weight of a 2-ton vehicle driving over it. 

Despite its diminutive size ideal for mobile use, the Rugged SSD 2TB doesn't sacrifice performance with fast solid-state speeds. Photographers and videographers raved about finally having a truly portable 2TB drive that can handle being thrown in a bag and stood up to the rigours of location shoots. 

The overwhelmingly positive feedback demonstrated LaCie's continued ability to deliver a combination of cutting-edge capacity, speed, and legendary ruggedness that creative professionals have come to expect from their premium storage solutions. The success of the Rugged SSD 2TB validated LaCie's product lineup continues to hit the mark. 

Angelbird CFexpress Type B 512GB: Elevating Performance and Affordability 

Angelbird may not have been a household name for many attendees, but their booth left a strong impression with the build quality and attractive pricing of their product lineup. A surprising hit was their 512GB CFexpress Type B memory card, which generated a lot of interest and sales. 

For the uninitiated, Angelbird's AV PRO CFexpress Type B cards are designed for next-generation photo and video workflows requiring immense speed and capacity. The 512GB model in particular captured attention with its ability to sustain astonishing 800MB/s write speeds throughout entire 8K RAW video recording sessions or high-resolution photo bursts. 

Seeing this level of performance from such high-capacity solid-state storage at a competitive price point opened many eyes to Angelbird as a formidable player in the professional media space. Photographers and videographers were impressed by the combination of top-tier specs with Angelbird's elevated Industrial-grade design and build quality. 

While relatively unknown previously, Angelbird left the show with a wave of new fans appreciative of their powerful yet affordable CFexpress solutions ready to fuel cutting-edge imaging workflows. The positive reception and brisk sales of their 512GB CFexpress Type B card established Angelbird as the sleeper hit of the expo. 

Empowering Presentations on Secure Data Storage

Our own Richard Warburton, Director of Product at Global Distribution, took to the Motion Studio at The Photography and Video Show to share insights on "Securing Your Digital Life." In today's all-digital world of photography and videography, protecting creative work is absolutely critical for professionals. Richard covered the pros and cons of various storage technologies we offer, including HDDs, SSDs, RAID configurations, and the robust LTO tape format. 

However, the key takeaway I emphasised was following the 3-2-1 backup principle - maintain three copies of your data across two different mediums, with one copy stored offsite. Losing all your digital photos, videos, and other creative assets could be catastrophic both professionally and personally. While cloud storage provides accessibility, we recommend our customers maintain copies under their own control, utilizing specialised data backup software for verified archiving. 

With so much riding on safeguarding their life's work, he urged creative professionals to strike a balance between convenient active storage and a rigorous data redundancy strategy. At Global Distribution, we provide cutting-edge solutions to secure their digital lives. Implementing these best practices is simply non-negotiable for any photographer, videographer or content creator in the 21st century. 

Symply LTO: Unveiling the Potential of LTO Technology

Many attendees were unfamiliar with LTO (Linear Tape-Open) technology prior to the show, but left with a newfound appreciation for its potential benefits in safeguarding their digital assets. Symply's booth generated a lot of interest and questions from professionals eager to learn more about this robust archiving solution. 

A particular highlight was the showcase of Symply's new SymplyPRO Ethernet LTO appliances. This groundbreaking lineup of desktop and rack-mount devices provides network-attached access to enterprise-grade LTO drives over 10Gb Ethernet. By decoupling LTO resources from workstations, it allows for the seamless sharing of tape backup/archive capabilities across an organization. 

At their core, the SymplyPRO appliances integrate a powerful ARM processor that accelerates data transfers, achieving a remarkable 2000 MB/sec performance - up to 20% faster than conventional SAS-attached LTO drives. Available in configurations supporting 1-4 integrated or external LTO-7 through LTO-9 drives, they offer unparalleled flexibility. 

The Ethernet connectivity enables centralized LTO storage pools to be efficiently provisioned wherever needed across a network. This disaggregated approach enhances IT agility while providing secure, high-capacity archiving ideal for media/entertainment, healthcare, surveillance, research and more. 

Many visitors were enlightened to LTO as an effectively massively scalable cold storage tier that, unlike disk and cloud, is immune to cyber threats. Symply's innovative Ethernet LTO appliances decentralize this robust technology, making its benefits more accessible than ever for modern data protection strategies. 

As the photography and videography realms continue rapidly evolving alongside technological advancements, Global Distribution has wholeheartedly embraced their role as innovative trendsetters and trusted advisors. The 2024 show was a powerful testament to their steadfast commitment to supporting artistic visionaries worldwide with transformative tools and enlightening guidance. We eagerly await their next pioneering contributions that will undoubtedly inspire and facilitate ever-greater creative ambitions. 

To learn more about these solutions and how they can enhance your workflow, contact us today.


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