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Mark Peters : February 7th 2006 - 22:00 CET

DIMA 2006 Shoot-Outs feature big changes at PMA 2006

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PMADIMA 2006 Shoot Outs feature big changes at PMA 2006 : In response to requests from participants and other Digital Imaging Marketing Association members, DIMA announces significant changes to the DIMA 2006 Digital Printer Shoot-Out, Digital Camera Shoot-Out, and Photo Kiosk Shoot-Out. This will be the 11th annual DIMA Printer Shoot-Out; and, for the first time in event history, judging of the prints took place on Jan. 18, prior to the DIMA Annual Conference, to be held at the PMA 2006. “We have completely overhauled the event,” says Chad Munce, group executive, Digital Imaging Markets. “One of the most significant changes is the target file being used was created by Graphic Intelligence Agency, using a GretagMacbeth Color Checker.
DIMA 2006 Shoot-Outs feature big changes at PMA 2006DIMA 2006 Shoot-Outs at PMA 2006
In addition, there are also qualitative criteria. “These are identified within the target print,” Munce says. “Take neutral gray balance, for example. In the target prints, we have identified the areas in which the judges will rate the neutral gray balance. We’re asking the judges to look at very specific areas and criteria. The competition is defined much better this year than in the past.”

DIMA Annual Conference 2006
The location of the judging also changed. In previous years, the event was judged on the PMA Trade Show floor, where lighting was inconsistent. For the first time, judging was done by industry experts in advance of the DIMA Annual Conference at the headquarters of GTI Graphic Technology Inc., Newburgh, N.Y., in an optimal D50-lighting environment. GTI Graphic Technology is donating the space and lighting arrangement. Entries are evaluated in categories based on technology (RA-4 digital printers, inkjet, dye sub, ink, media, RIP, and creative applications), with size and price point subcategories.

Awards presentation at PMA 2006
Also new this year, the announcement of the winners and an awards presentation will be held prior to the PMA 2006 International Convention and Trade Show, during an 8:00 a.m. press conference on Feb. 26 in the PMA Press Room. Prints will be displayed in Booth 3877 on the Trade Show floor throughout PMA 2006.

Results ready for the opening PMA 2006
“This year, we’ll have the results ready for the opening of PMA 2006, so the winners will be able to promote it from the very beginning of the Trade Show. They will get the use of the winner’s logo from the moment the Trade Show floor opens,” says Munce. The DIMA Digital Printer Shoot-Out is open to suppliers and distributors of digital printers, ink, media, and RIPs who are exhibiting at PMA 2006.

DIMA 2006 Digital Camera Shoot-Out
Several improvements are also planned for the 10th annual DIMA Digital Camera Shoot-Out, scheduled for Feb. 25, and open to all digital camera manufacturers exhibiting at PMA 2006. Two live-model studios will be set up for participants to shoot and print their images on site at the DIMA Conference. All conditions of the studios - lighting, subject, computer hardware and software, and output device - will remain equal, creating a fair comparison of the digital photographic devices. “In previous years, ambient lighting from the Trade Show floor has created a less-than-ideal setting for the judges,” Munce says. “To remedy that situation, this year our panel of judges will sit in a windowless conference room to allow for a more stable, accurate color environment. They will be using GTI Graphic Technology D50 Viewing.

GretagMacbeth Color Checkers
The judges come from some of the major camera comparison media outlets, such as PC Magazine and Imaging Resource. Judges will compare prints for color accuracy, sharpness, and shadow detail, among other factors, in categories based on camera price. Winners will be announced in the same awards presentation held before the opening of PMA 2006 at 8:00 a.m. in the PMA 2006 Press Room. Prints will be displayed at Booth 3877 on the Trade Show floor.

DIMA 2006 Digital SLR Showcase
In addition, the Digital SLRs will be featured in a separate, new event called the DIMA DSLR Showcase. "This will be a fun showcase rather than something voted on or judged,” Munce says. “Well-known photographers/artists Monte Zucker and Laurence Gartel will be shooting; and they will also create their own unique, interesting, and artistic sets. One will be a classic portrait set and the other will be a fine art set. They will shoot all the current Digital SLRs from $1,000 up to the very highest end. People are invited to observe the photographers as they shoot. They will wear microphones and will describe what they are doing and why, and will also entertain questions from the audience.” Prints of the images will be enlarged to show quality and will indicate what camera was used, as well as the adjustments, lenses, Photoshop settings, and other tools employed.

DIMA 2006 Photo Kiosk Shoot-Out
For the first time, kiosks competing in the third annual DIMA Photo Kiosk Shoot-Out will be evaluated by two groups of people looking at very different criteria. A panel of retail experts will consider the entrants based on factors important to retailers, such as system flexibility, customization options, and upselling features. Average consumers – Generation-X moms with no photo industry experience – will assess other factors, such as ease of use and user interface. “We’re doing a cross promotion with a local scrapbook retailer to get a random sample of their customers to judge the kiosks,” Munce explains. “The target market for the scrapbook retailer is roughly the same as the largest photo kiosk-using demographic, so we will be capturing relevant and objective consumer feedback.”

PMA 2006 Press Room
The results from both panels of judges will be combined (with greater weight placed on the consumer panel findings) to determine the winning kiosks. Winners will be announced Feb. 26, at 8:00 a.m. in the PMA 2006 Press Room. All manufacturers of digital photo kiosks exhibiting at PMA 2006 are eligible to participate in the Shoot-Out.

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