C.R.I.S. to provide repair services for Manfrotto Distribution in U.S.

Manfrotto Distribution is partnering with C.R.I.S. (Camera Repair Instrument Service) to provide factory repair services for all Manfrotto Distribution products. In this agreement, C.R.I.S. will act as the factory service facility for dealers and consumers in the United States.

C.R.I.S.’s long-standing quality assurance process will ensure that repairs for all of Manfrotto Distribution’s brands and products are inspected and approved before leaving the facility. C.R.I.S. promises a full satisfaction guarantee on repair parts and labor for 90 days, and provides online tracking throughout the repair process. Its streamlined repair and inventory process ensures for ultimate efficiency, and factory authorized quality means only original factory parts are used. Manfrotto Distribution brands that will be serviced at C.R.I.S. include Manfrotto, Gitzo, Elinchrom, Rotatrim, National Geographic, Kata, Metz, Lastolite, Gossen, and Avenger.

“I am excited to begin our alliance with Manfrotto Distribution, uniting the finest imaging related products with our reputation for integrity and quality,” said Mark Treadwell, president and CEO of C.R.I.S. “We enhance our customers’ brand image by bringing a unique blend of quality, honesty, and persistence to their aftermarket services.”


Video of PMA Executive Director Jim Esp details new mission statement and vision for the future

A video detailing PMA’s new mission and direction is now online at www.pmai.org. In the video, taken June 26, 2012, during the 6Sight Future of Imaging Conference in New York, N.Y., PMA Executive Director Jim Esp announces the organization’s new mission statement: “To Promote the Growth of the Imaging Industry.”

Esp, who has been executive director of PMA since October 2011, spent the first six months in his new role traveling the globe, meeting with PMA members and suppliers, and taking the pulse of the industry. He also worked extensively with PMA board members and staff to develop both the new mission statement and a new strategic plan for achieving it, by helping retailers, suppliers, photographers, and other members of the imaging industry become more profitable.

In the video, Esp also discusses the new home of PMA@CES 2013, now being held Jan 8-11, 2013, at the LVH, formerly known as the Las Vegas Hilton. The new venue provides more trade show floor space, a dedicated hall in The Paradise Center, quick and easy access to the International CES exhibits at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), and convenient travel, via monorail, from hotels on the Strip to the new home of PMA@CES.

In addition, Esp says, the Digital Imaging Marketing Association™ (DIMA™), the Professional School Photographers Association International™ (PSPA™), and the Sports Photographers Association of America (SPAA®), will all hold their annual conferences Jan. 6-7 2013, immediately prior to PMA@CES 2013, at Bally’s Las Vegas. “This is a golden opportunity that we have not had for the past several years to come together as an industry and promote overall growth,” Esp says.
Watch the video here:

CRU-DataPort introduces UltraDock v5 with USB 3.0 connectivity

CRU-Dataport UltraDock v5

CRU-Dataport, Vancouver, Wash., debuted UltraDock v5, an aluminum device allowing access to data on bare 2.5- and 3.5-inch SATA and 3.5-inch IDE hard drives via five host interface connections including USB 3.0. UltraDock v5 has a user friendly menu, LCD screen and access to S.M.A.R.T drive data, which makes it the most versatile drive dock from CRU-DataPort.

UltraDock v5 connects to most host computers with included USB 3.0/2.0, eSATA, FireWire 800/400 host interfaces. Attach a bare hard drive to the dock then connect the dock to a computer and begin to access, set up, diagnose or repair the drive. If using non-standard drives, CRU-DataPort offers combo adapters to access 1.8” drives, notebook drives, iPod drives and nearly all spinning disks.

Prosumers and digital photographers may use it to quickly access archived drives, particularly when using CRU’s RTX TrayFree enclosure systems for backup and archiving. UltraDock v5 is available through CRU-DataPort resellers for $249 MSRP


Precision Camera & Video Repair continues its North America expansion

Precision Camera & Video Repair Inc., Enfield, Conn., says,  to adapt to the recession and changes in the digital-camera product category, the company has increased its capabilities around high-volume product refurbishment and the rapid exchange business model.  This business is well suited for Precision Camera’s Southwest facilities, which have been in operation for the last 3 to 4 years.

The Enfield, Conn., facilities remain well suited for the break/fix depot repair business model, which works well with high-price-point products such as professional DSLRs, professional lenses and video camcorders.

The company now operates two large U.S. facilities in El Paso, Texas, for western U.S. logistics and service operations; and one in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, which handles expanding business in Mexico and Central America.

“Our plan to optimize all of our facilities began about one year ago, and we are now at the end point of the plan,” the company says. “We still have a large number of people employed on the Enfield Campus. We have also transitioned a great number of people to our Southwest facilities. The company helped with the relocation and virtually all have stayed with the company. Every employee was given the opportunity to work at our Southwest facilities over the last year.”

Discover what CliQ is — and how it will benefit you — on the DIMAcast and Imaging Executive podcast

Today, PMA presents a special, combined DIMAcast and Imaging Executive podcast. Ted Fox, executive director of PMA, reveals what CliQ is, and how it will benefit both PMA trade members and photo enthusiasts. Along with PMA publisher Gary Pageau, and Chad Munce, group executive of new markets for PMA, Fox provides a glimpse into the exciting changes happening now, and at PMA 2011. Listen, and discover how PMA is paving the way to your future in the imaging industry.

PMA, PPFA launch health benefits helpline with Meadowbrook Insurance

PMA and PPFA have teamed up with Meadowbrook Insurance Group — one of the 25 largest insurance brokers in the country– to offer members quotes on medical, dental, life, and long-term care insurance, and to offer assistance on benefits issues.

Meadowbrook representatives will be calling members; or members may visit www.meadowbrook.com/agency/pma or call the PMA Benefits Helpline at (800) 840-1966.

PPFA members should visit www.meadowbrook.com/agency/ppfa or call the PPFA Benefits Helpline at (800) 450-1963.

Meadowbrook Insurance Group  also offers property and casualty insurance and workers’ compensation programs designed to meet the special needs of PMA and PPFA members at competitive prices.

Meadowbrook also offers building and contents, business income, customer goods, employee dishonesty, employment practices liability, fine arts, crime, business auto, and comprehensive liability insurance.

PMA announces PMA 2011 will be Sept. 8-10, 2011

Fall event kicks off key holiday promotional season for industry

PMA – The Worldwide Community of Imaging Associations, Jackson, Mich., announces the PMA 2011 Annual Convention and Trade Show will be Sept. 8-10, 2011, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, Las Vegas, Nev. The PMA show is traditionally held in the first quarter, but changes in industry buying cycles and in technology developments made the new schedule advantageous.

“Based on input from key suppliers and trade groups, the PMA show is changing dates to better serve the photo industry,” says Ted Fox, executive director and CEO, PMA.

“Having the PMA 2011 show on the leading edge of the holiday season is the best opportunity to make critical buying decisions for the fourth quarter,” says Brian Wood, 2010-11 PMA International president.

“PMA member retailers and service providers can now use the largest annual photo imaging show and conference to find those new products and services that will make a holiday season successful,” explains Fox. “Also, world-class PMA convention education will provide the most up-to-date retail trends and market information.”

Fox notes today’s fast-paced business world means nimble retailers and service providers no longer need the long lead of a first-quarter event. Conversely, the fall show dates are ideal for those large chain stores that do place purchase orders long in advance.

“Fall makes great sense for the PMA show,” says Mike Worswick, co-owner of Wolfe’s Cameras, Camcorders & Computers, Topeka, Kan.; and president, Photographic Research Organization (PRO). “Specialty retailers are not ready to buy merchandise in February. Instead of viewing late spring products, retailers can nail down program details for holiday merchandise.”

“Most of our major vendors introduced new product lines twice each year, winter and fall,” says Richard Yagjian, executive vice president and COO, W.B. Hunt Co. Inc., Melrose, Mass. “A PMA annual show in the fall overcomes the problem of second-half product introductions coming to market without much fanfare. The industry would benefit.”

“The proximity of early September dates makes PMA 2011 the ideal kick-off for the holiday selling season,” says Fox. “The PMA show serves as the media showcase for the photo/imaging industry – generating thousands of blog posts, newspaper articles and YouTube videos – and moving the show to September highlights photography for the holidays. This includes new cameras and camcorders, but also the evolving photo publishing market, including photo books, cards, calendars and more.”

“From the independent specialty retailer’s point of view, I’m very pleased with this announcement,” says Brent Bowyer, executive director, Independent Photo Imagers (IPI), Henderson, Nev. “I welcome the opportunity to attend an early September educational event and trade show to be prepared for the huge holiday buying season. This is a fabulous idea.”

To build on the excitement of the photo/imaging category, the PMA 2011 show will be open to photo enthusiasts Saturday, Sept. 10.

“Our very successful Digital Life Expo, held each year in Australia, has shown the consumers’ appetite for hands-on photography experiences is considerable,” says Fox. “For the first time, enthusiast and hobbyist photographers can walk the show floor to see and to touch the latest cameras and imaging technology.”

PMA member associations — including the Digital Imaging Marketing Association (DIMA), Photo Imaging Education Association (PIEA), and Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) — will hold their customary conferences in conjunction with PMA 2011, Sept. 6-9.

Understanding the first-quarter time period is ideal for the school portrait and sports-and-event photo markets, PMA is considering a spring 2011 event for the Professional School Photographers Association International (PSPA) and Sports Photographers Association of America (SPAA). More details will be available after the leadership of these PMA member associations meet in the coming weeks.

“We are extremely confident PMA will fulfill our conference needs with a PSPA Convention co-locating with SPAA in the first-half of 2011,” says Ken Strawbridge, president, Strawbridge Studios and past president, PMA and PSPA. “I respect this decision, and think it will end up proving extremely positive for all segments of the photo imaging industry.”

“I give PMA a lot of credit for adapting its convention planning to its different segments of the industry,” says Tom Hayes, Visual Image Photography, Cedarburg, Wis. “We all have different buying cycles and varying convenient times to attend a convention. PMA recognizes this, and I am sure will fulfill all of our educational needs.”

Issues regarding future dates of international PMA events, that could be potentially affected by the change, like PMA Canada Expo, will be addressed at upcoming advisory committee meetings, according to Fox.

PMA 2010 brings success to Anaheim

Southern California proves to be irresistible draw for photo trade and enthusiasts

PMA 2010 crowds looking for retail printing solutions.

PMA 2010, the world’s largest annual photo/imaging trade show, recently concluded at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif. The “ultimate event for all things photo,” the 86th annual PMA convention and trade show featured 5 days of industry-leading photo/imaging education and world-class networking, along with a 3-day trade show.

“The Anaheim Convention Center and the entire Southern California region was an ideal location for a PMA annual convention,” says Ted Fox, executive director and CEO, PMA. “Attendance from trade members, including photo specialty retailers, chain stores, and photographers, continued to be strong.”

Networking opportunities were enhanced this year, due to the proximity of official show hotels to the convention center. High-level meetings, including the PMA Hosted Buyer Program, the Association of Imaging Executives (AIE) Output Summit, and the PMA Executive Gathering, also enhanced these informal discussions.

“Participation in conversations at these gatherings is very valuable,” says John Crewson, Foto Source Canada Inc., Oakville, Ontario, Canada. “There are no other events allowing for this kind of exchange of ideas and challenges in the marketplace.”

Trends on display on the 400-plus exhibitor trade show floor included:

  • Continued expansion of “mirrorless,” interchangeable lens cameras, including new models shown by Olympus America and concept cameras debuted by Sony Electronics.
  • Dozens of new digital cameras from major manufacturers such as Nikon, General Imaging, Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Casio, Pentax, and more. (For a comprehensive roundup, visit the CamerasAtPMA website at www.camerasatpma.com.)
  • Environmentally friendly inkjet and thermal retail printing solutions from HP, Fujifilm, Eastman Kodak, Noritsu America/Lucidiom, DNP, Sony, and many more.
  • A wide array of “creative expressions” photo products, including greeting cards, posters, collages, puzzles, and many more.

The PMA 2010 convention featured more than 300 speakers and chairpersons and offered approximately 150 educational sessions, covering topics such as digital imaging, employee training, business management, and sales and marketing. Select sessions were spoken in Spanish and German. New features of this PMA convention included the Pro Photographer Business Boot Camp and the DIMA Brand Boot Camp.

Five allied imaging groups – the Digital Imaging Marketing Association® (DIMA®),the Professional School Photographers Association International™ (PSPA™), the Professional Picture Framers Association™ (PPFA®), the Photo Imaging Education Association (PIEA), and the Sports Photographers Association of America (SPAA®) – held their annual meetings and conference sessions in conjunction with the PMA convention. The PrintFest Expo Pavilion and Cross Media West Conference, an event for digital printers and direct marketing firms, also colocated at PMA 2010.

PMA returns to Las Vegas, Nev., Feb. 1-3, 2011.