What’s New

Camera - - CONTENTS - Paul Bur­rows, Ed­i­tor

Nikon’s much an­tic­i­pated full-35mm mirrorless cam­era sys­tem is con­firmed, but it’s mostly all about new lenses in this is­sue’s news, with Sony’s un­veil­ing its highly-de­sir­able 400mm G Mas­ter fast su­pertele­photo (yours for a cool $17,999), Fu­ji­film re­veal­ing its X mount plans from now to 2020, and Nikon re­leas­ing de­tails of a 500mm f5.6 su­pertele with a more com­pact de­sign. Also Canon has up­graded both its L series 70-200mm zooms and Tam­ron un­veils a com­pact and af­ford­able 17-35mm wide-an­gle zoom for Canon and Nikon D-SLRs. Pho­tok­ina 2018 also hap­pens dur­ing the shelf life of this mag­a­zine so visit www.cam­era­m­agazine.com.au for all the lat­est new prod­uct an­nounce­ments.

Dur­ing the life of this is­sue, the world’s big­gest ex­hi­bi­tion of imag­ing prod­ucts will again take place in the Ger­man city of Cologne. This year’s event is par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant be­cause it marks the end of the bi­en­nial sched­ule and of the tra­di­tional Septem­ber tim­ing, which has been in place since 1966. The first show was in 1950 and was de­signed to pro­mote Ger­man-made pho­tog­ra­phy prod­ucts. The next year it went in­ter­na­tional and, af­ter 1952, Pho­tok­ina was staged ev­ery two years – al­though the dates shifted be­tween the Euro­pean spring and au­tumn – while the 1960, ’63 and ’66 shows were, as you can see, three years apart.

From 2019, Pho­tok­ina will move to an an­nual sched­ule, with the date mov­ing from Septem­ber to May, al­most cer­tainly to avoid the close prox­im­ity to the mas­sive IFA con­sumer elec­tron­ics show which is held in Berlin in early Septem­ber and which also at­tracts a num­ber of imag­ing com­pa­nies (start­ing with, log­i­cally, Pana­sonic and Sony). This year’s show has al­ready been pared back to four days from the pre­vi­ous six, and the shorter du­ra­tion will now be­come stan­dard.

Of course, the main rea­son for the change to an an­nual event is that two years is now vir­tu­ally a life­time in the dig­i­tal era, so Pho­tok­ina was start­ing to lose some its edge as a launch­ing pad for new prod­ucts. Al­though much smaller in scale, Ja­pan’s an­nual CP+ show in Yoko­hama in late Fe­bru­ary was un­doubt­edly break­ing more big head­lines.

The first Pho­tok­ina I at­tended was in 1986 and well into the 1990s it was wall-to-wall new re­leases, as man­u­fac­tur­ers made the most of hav­ing the world’s cam­era press in one place. Many sig­nif­i­cant new prod­ucts had their de­but at a Pho­tok­ina (start­ing with Leica’s M3 in 1954). With no so­cial me­dia to quickly spread leaks or ru­mours, there could still be plenty of sur­prises too… like the Con­tax 645 in 1998, the Bron­ica RF645 in 2000 or the Has­sel­blad H1 in 2002 (co­in­ci­den­tally, all 6x4.5cm for­mat cam­eras). A reg­u­lar Pho­tok­ina rou­tine for jour­nal­ists was strip­ping down the numer­ous press kits to the most im­por­tant pages and pho­tos (prints, of course) so they could be easily car­ried home.

With photo shows around the world either on the en­dan­gered list or ex­tinct (as is the case in Aus­tralia), Pho­tok­ina’s or­gan­is­ers clearly had to do some­thing, as it has been get­ting steadily smaller, es­pe­cially over the last decade now that the In­ter­net is a much eas­ier (and cheaper!) place to visit. Whether the rad­i­cal new for­mula will make much dif­fer­ence in the long-term re­mains to be seen, but the shorter du­ra­tion al­ready seems to be work­ing with Pho­tok­ina 2018 at­tract­ing around 700 ex­hibitors, con­found­ing ear­lier ru­mours that there might be some ‘big name’ no-shows (al­though some are scal­ing back their pres­ences). Press day – which used to be a bit hit-and-miss – now has a full pro­gram of press con­fer­ences, in­clud­ing Leica, Pana­sonic, Fu­ji­film, Canon, Nikon and Olym­pus… so pre­sum­ably all these com­pa­nies have some­thing im­por­tant to tell us. As you read this, Nikon’s full-35mm mirrorless cam­era sys­tem is likely to have just been an­nounced, but it’s less clear when Canon’s will ar­rive, but at this stage, Pho­tok­ina now looks un­likely

So, ex­pect up­dated D-SLRs from Canon in­stead – and prob­a­bly Nikon too – es­pe­cially as both brands have up­per mid-range and semi-pro mod­els ripe for re­place­ment… the D750 and EOS 7D II for ex­am­ple.

Fu­ji­film has been hint­ing that it has some­thing big com­ing, which could mean a 100 MP GFX, but per­haps also an even lower-priced dig­i­tal medium for­mat mirrorless cam­era (and maybe RF styled). An X-T3 can’t be all that far away either. It’s likely there will be a 100 MP Has­sel­blad mirrorless model too, but maybe not an X1D as it’s likely this cam­era will be sig­nif­i­cantly re­vised and up­graded… so per­haps an X2D 50 and 100? Sony has been busy al­ready with its Mark III up­grades, with the A7S II next and a pos­si­ble Pho­tok­ina debu­tante. Olym­pus has been fairly quiet of late so an OM-D E-M5 Mark III has to be on the cards, but per­haps also some­thing a bit big­ger as the company pre­pares to cel­e­brate its 100th an­niver­sary in 2019.

What­ever you’re wish­ing for, all will soon be re­vealed, so don’t miss our on-the-spot re­ports at www.cam­era­m­agazine.com.au, fol­lowed up by a com­pre­hen­sive round up in the next is­sue.

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