Snap up the lat­est

Man­u­fac­tur­ers are find­ing new ways to en­cour­age us to stick with ded­i­cated cam­eras and up­grade to the lat­est mod­els

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

THE world’s big­gest cam­era show took over the Ger­man city of Cologne last week, at­tract­ing more than 180,000 vis­i­tors from around the world and more than 1000 com­pa­nies keen to show off new and up­com­ing cre­ations.

De­spite Pho­tok­ina’s global at­ten­dance, cam­era mak­ers are fac­ing a tough road.

Con­sumers in­creas­ingly turn­ing to smart­phones are buy­ing fewer dig­i­tal cam­eras, print­ing fewer pho­to­graphs.

In Aus­tralia, cam­era sales fell 5 per cent last year. Com­pact cam­era pur­chases fell 8 per cent in the last six months of 2011, ac­cord­ing to the Canon Dig­i­tal Life­style In­dex, while dig­i­tal SLR sales jumped 26 per cent.

The in­dus­try is hardly sell­ing a doom-and-gloom story, how­ever, with man­u­fac­tur­ers keen to find new ways to en­cour­age pho­tog­ra­phers to up­grade and stick with ded­i­cated cam­eras.

Be­low are some of the top trends from Pho­tok­ina 2012.

FULL-FRAME CAM­ERAS

Full-frame dig­i­tal cam­eras are so named be­cause their im­age sen­sors are al­most as big as a 35mm frame of film. They can cap­ture more de­tail as a re­sult, and lenses added to these cam­eras of­fer the same fo­cal length as their name sug­gests (a 50mm lens of­fers a 50mm field of view).

Canon and Nikon both re­vealed new full-frame DSLR cam­eras aimed at en­thu­si­ast and be­gin­ner pho­tog­ra­phers.

Canon’s new EOS 6D, for ex­am­ple, is a 20.2-megapixel full-frame cam­era that can shoot full high-def­i­ni­tion video, 4.5 pho­tos a sec­ond, and ar­rives in the light­est body for a cam­era of its kind at 770g. It’s expected to sell in the range of $2400 in De­cem­ber.

Ri­val Nikon has beaten Canon to the punch, re­leas­ing its full-frame cam­era for en­thu­si­asts al­most im­me­di­ately. The D600 comes with a 24.3-megapixel res­o­lu­tion, 5.5 frames-a-sec­ond shoot­ing speed and a $2599 price.

Nikon prod­uct mar­ket­ing man­ager John Young says the D600 is an im­por­tant ad­di­tion to the line-up.

‘‘ In a mar­ket that’s de­clin­ing, it’s im­por­tant to get our cus­tomers up­grad­ing.’’

Sony also joined the trend, launch­ing an un­ortho­dox full­frame cam­era, the RX1, that fea­tures a large sen­sor in a com­pact body, and a full­frame SLT cam­era in the Al­pha 99, while Le­ica showed off two new full-frame com­pact cam­eras in the Le­ica M and M-E.

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SMART BUT COM­PACT

in While com­pact dig­i­tal cam­era sales are fal­ter­ing, sales of com­pact sys­tem cam­eras are ris­ing.

Sales of these cam­eras — which of­fer change­able lenses and small bod­ies — grew 156 per cent in the past year and now rep­re­sent 18 per cent of all in­ter­change­able lens cam­eras.

Olympus pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phy man­ager Lu­cas Tan says the com­pany ex­pects these cam­eras to rep­re­sent 25 per cent of this mar­ket by Christ­mas.

As such, Olympus launched two new Pen cam­eras at Pho­tok­ina this year, in­clud­ing the Pen Lite E-PL5 and the Pen Mini E-PM2. Both fea­ture the same 16-megapixel sen­sor, im­age sen­sor and fast aut­o­fo­cus as the com­pany’s OM-D cam­era, and both of­fer touch­screens that can be used as shut­ter but­tons.

Sony also re­leased a new com­pact sys­tem cam­era in the NEX-6, fea­tur­ing a 16-megapixel sen­sor and full HD video cap­ture.

WIRE­LESS FOR SHAR­ING

Pho­tog­ra­phers are shar­ing more pho­to­graphs dig­i­tally than in print and cam­era mak­ers are catch­ing the trend.

Both Sam­sung and Nikon have launched phones that use Google An­droid soft­ware, with the 4G-ready Galaxy Cam­era and Coolpix S800c both able to share pho­tos im­me­di­ately and use apps such as In­sta­gram.

Yet more cam­eras will fea­ture built-in wi-fi with­out mak­ing a big deal of the in­clu­sion. New in­ter­net-ready mod­els in­clude the Pana­sonic Lumix GH3 and Canon 6D, while Toshiba plans to launch a range of FlashAir Wi-Fi SDHC mem­ory cards that will con­nect cam­eras to com­put­ers and smart­phones.

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