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Dennis Hissink : October 10th 2008 - 10:30 CET

Digital Imaging Trends at Photokina

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LetsGoDigitalPhotokina 2008 epilogue : The huge imaging event of this year has come to an end. After an entire Photokina week, we look back on an interesting show. Not so much because of all the 'news', since most of the introductions take place before the Photokina show kicked off, but more so because of the feeling that the event gave us. We have a hunch that some interesting developments will take place in the period that is about to arrive, in which a shifting of categorized photographers and the segment they belong to is not entirely impossible. To us, Panasonic’s convincing introduction of its new Micro FourThirds camera to the public was the highlight of the Photokina 2008. And we got our second surprise when Leica suddenly conjured a Leica S2 37 megapixels DSLR system out of a hat.
Panasonic G1 en Leica S2 digital cameras
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 was massively present at the Photokina. Visitors were even allowed to take the camera for a stroll around the Photokina, leaving a valid ID behind, and make some nice shots. Very convincing and that is why we think this was the star of the show. The Leica S2 was another high quality surprise. That is to say; the few words of information we gathered seem to support this idea. A compact housing, smaller than a digital medium format camera, however, featuring a 37 megapixel sensor manufactured by Kodak. Prices and positioning are not yet official, still it feels like a change is in the air.

Digital SLR Trend
A change that should convince the professional photographer to use his/her full frame 35mm DSLR as a second camera, also because of the price adjustments of Hasselblad, among others. Due to lowering the prices of full frame DSLR cameras and diminishing the specification differences of top models and the so-called prosumer segment, a void is created. It may well be that the present full frame DSLR cameras will head for the advanced photographer at rapid speed which evidently ranks the professional photographer a step higher on the digital ladder. If prices of medium format cameras drop, or if new DSLR systems such as that of Leica are introduced, part of the group of professional photographers might want to head in that direction. There is still time to be seen, however, there are signs on the wall…

Digital Compact Camera Trend
The other segment is of course the compact camera group. A large and broad assortment of digital cameras that aims at the masses, and a small division aiming at the advanced amateur. Yet another group that needs a little stirring up. Apart from a few exceptions, innovations are scarce and a lot of the same is offered. The increase of Megapixels continues although criticism can be heard from all sides. It seems a dead-end road to us and it is about time to renew and take in hand. We cheer on the introduction of Fujifilm's FinePix Super CCD EXR, a development that focuses on improving the image quality. Besides that, the LUMIX DMC-LX3 stands out; a refined digital compact camera of Panasonic, without the increase of Megapixels but focusing instead on improving the pixel quality, dynamic range and signal/noise ratio.

Micro FourThirds System
Another possible scenario is a change of the bridge between compact and DSLR. The introduction of the Micro FourThirds System and the possible development of extremely compact housings and equal lenses seems the birth of a new segment that can become very interesting for the amateur and professional photographer alike. We only heard positive reactions about the system, even the competition seems to observe the Micro FourThirds System with exceptional interest. As far as we are concerned this is a healthy and positive development for which we have to thank Panasonic and Olympus.

Digital Imaging Trends at Photokina
I mentioned it already: the Photokina 2008 is over. In the near future we will occupy ourselves with testing the new products, and later this year we will get ready for the upcoming CES (January 2009) and after that the PMA in March. However; this year is not yet finished! You'd better count on more news and development announcements that will undoubtedly arrive in the next few months. We are not able to inform you right now, however, if you use the RSS feeder you will receive updates as they become available. As for us, we will conclude the Photokina. The Photokina 2010 is scheduled between 28 September and 3 October. By that time, a lot will undoubtedly have changed in the 'World of Imaging'.

Star of Photokina 2008
1. Panasonic (Micro FourThirds System and LUMIX DMC-G1)
2. Fujifilm (Super CCD EXR sensor)
3. Leica (Leica S2 DSLR system)
4. Canon (Canon EOS 5D Mark II)
5. Nikon (Nikon D90)
6. Sony (Sony DSLR-A900)
7. Olympus (Micro FourThirds System)
8. SanDisk (30MB/sec SDHC and CompactFlash)
9. Adobe (Photoshop CS4)
10. Tamron (Tamron SP 18-270 mm Di II VC)

Photokina 2008 Booth Tours
Haven´t you been able to attend the Photokina? Then we have made the following (photo) reportages specially for you. The reportages will give you some extra insight about what was going on on the different booths:
Canon EOS and PowerShot cameras at Photokina
Casio Exilim cameras at Photokina
Fujifilm Finepix cameras at Photokina
Hasselblad digital cameras at Photokina
HP printers at Photokina
Kodak picture frames at Photokina
Leica digital cameras at Photokina
Nikon SLR cameras popular at Photokina
Flash photography demo for Nikon photographers
Olympus digital cameras at Photokina
Panasonic Lumix cameras at Photokina
Pentax SLR cameras at Photokina
Samsung cameras at Photokina
Sigma digital cameras at Photokina
Sony SLR cameras at Photokina
Tamron lenses at Photokina

   Panasonic G1 photo gallery
   Nikon D90 photo gallery
   Sony A900 photo gallery
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