By Makoto Shibata (Photo Journalist/Japan)
After last year’s edition Samsung said goodbye to the camera industry. What’s changed since then?
The organizer said P&I had 200 participating companies and about 90,000 visitors for five days. As most of the new products had been unveiled at Japan’s CP+, the selling point of the South Korean show is that visitors can try and test them.
As many products were sold at special prices in P&I, many people came to buy them or to photograph (beautiful) models during the event.
The size of P&I was, however, half of CP+. And the design of booths looked disappointedly simple. Worse, Samsung, a chaebol, and other major companies like Fujifilm, Olympus and Casio were missing. Their absence suggests the economic slowdown of the country as well as the landscape of its camera market.
Meanwhile prices of tripods, bags and memory cards were obviously lower than those of Japanese retailers. A shopping tour in South Korea might be a good idea, depending on exchange rates. But through the viewfinder, its camera industry does not look well.
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He is a freelance photo journalist who works worldwide based on Hong Kong. He mainly covers foreign business shows and art fairs.