Photokina 2012

CHOICE heads to a major photographic trade show in Europe.
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01.Day 1 - Sony, Samsung and Pentax

There are so many cameras to see at photokina it can be hard to know where to start. 

Take a look at the gallery to see some of the highlights from day 1. Click 'Show info' for photo descriptions.

Some of the cameras on show are upgrades to existing models like the Sony NEX-6 which adds some improvements to the NEX-7, and yes the numbers are correct. It’s a nice camera in many ways, but the viewfinder is still stuck out at the side, which looks and feels a bit odd. 

If you’re in the market for a really high-end camera you should probably have a look at the full frame Sony Alpha 99. It’s bigger and heavier than the Panasonic GH3, but it’s for serious photographers and will no doubt come with a serious price. I did notice the viewfinder had some serious problems with high contrast edges resulting in red edge effects. 

This could be because the one on display was a pre-production model. We’ll have to wait and see. Sony also has the DSC-RX1 on display. It’s a full frame camera in a compact body with a fixed 35mm lens. It’s to be seen whether there really is a market for this camera. 

The Samsung NX1000 looks similar to the Sony NEX-6 in some ways, but lacks a viewfinder. It and all the other Samsung cameras at photokina have built-in WiFi. 

The Samsung Galaxy goes one better and has an Android operating system with WifFi, 3G and 4G connectivity. Sadly you can’t make calls with it. I’m told the feature is there, but it’s been disabled. I’d say it’s a good bet the feature will appear on a camera in the near future. The one odd thing about this camera is its size. It’s quite large for a “compact” format, but that does mean you get a really big and bright screen. 

Pentax have their new K-5 II on display. It’s quite compact for a camera of this style and its robustness and weather sealing will appeal to Pentax fans looking for a high-end camera they can rely on in unpleasant surroundings. It could be a threat in the future, to Panasonic’s claim that they have 40% of the mirrorless camera market at present. 

One of the casualties of the digital age in photography has been the humble photo album. In its place is a new industry of on-demand printing. Judging by the claims of 20 million books printed (and size of the booth) CEWE printing are doing well in Europe. There are quite a number of other companies doing this around the world, so if you’re wondering what to do with all those digital images on your PC, putting together a book might be a good idea.

Tomorrow at Photokina 2012, we'll get to see what Canon and NIkon have for us.

For more information about digital cameras, see Electronics.



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