By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Canon is set to launch into the second half of 2011 with two stands at the Photo Marketing Association’s Imaging & Entertainment Expo (PMA) this weekend, in what it claims is its “biggest ever” presence at the event.

“The 2011 Digital Life Expo marks the start of big things for Canon in the remaining six months of this year and is a great opportunity to engage directly with our consumers and bring our campaigns to life,” said Jason McLean, director of Canon Consumer Imaging.

“We’ve managed our way very well through the challenges of the first half posed by the Japan earthquake situation and, with product supply improving, we’re investing heavily for growth in the second half.”

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The camera brand will have a stand showcasing its digital imaging technology, as well as an second “World of Eos” stand dedicated to the World of Eos photography website.

According to Darren Ryan, Canon Australia’s consumer imaging general manager – product marketing,  the 50,000-member World of Eos site connects photographers like never before.

“As the digital imaging boom continues in Australia, the World of Eos has clearly struck a chord with photographers looking for a passionate, fun and creative community,” said Ryan. “The passion and creativity of these people is just amazing, and we wanted to bring this to life and celebrate the community in the physical world.”

“The trend to high quality in imaging devices coupled with increased affordability is seeing camera upgrade cycles shortening and massive growth in the number of digital SLR cameras sold. The World of Eos fills the void beyond the product purchase by helping consumers harness their creative potential and achieve the creative outcomes they’re after, now and into the future.”

The PMA Australia 2011 Imaging & Entertainment Expo will be held at the Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre from 25–26 June (with an additional trade-only day on 24 June).

In other Canon news, the company has today announced the launch of Cloud Connect, a cloud-based imaging service for its imageRunner Advance multifunction devices.

The device allows users to scan-to and store paper documents in the cloud, direct from their MFD, without the need for a PC.

“For the first time, Canon customers can scan and save to, and print directly from the market’s leading cloud services,” said Luke Maddison, senior product manager business solutions at Canon Australia.

“Connecting to Google Docs and Microsoft SharePoint Online will help our customers extend their existing workflows and transform their processes with greater speed, collaboration and flexibility.”

Cloud Connect can be downloaded for free from the Canon website.