BIG PIC­TURE

World’s largest cam­era show

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - writes Jen­nifer Dud­ley- Ni­chol­son

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

De­spite Pho­tok­ina’s global at­ten­dance, cam­era mak­ers are fac­ing tough times as con­sumers turn to smart­phones, buy fewer dig­i­tal cam­eras and print fewer pho­to­graphs.

In Aus­tralia, cam­era sales fell five per cent last year. Com­pact cam­era pur­chases fell eight 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, man­u­fac­tur­ers are keen to find 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 added lenses of­fer the same fo­cal length as their name sug­gests ( a 50mm lens of­fers a 50mm field of view).

Canon and Nikon re­vealed full­frame DSLR cam­eras aimed at en­thu­si­asts and be­gin­ners.

Canon’s 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 has a light body at just 770g. It is expected to sell for about $ 2400 in De­cem­ber.

Nikon, how­ever, has re­leased its full- frame cam­era al­most im­me­di­ately. The D600 comes with a 24.3- megapixel res­o­lu­tion, 5.5 frames- a- sec­ond shoot­ing speed and a $ 2599 price.

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

SMART BUT COM­PACT

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, have grown 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 Pen cam­eras in­clud­ing the Pen Lite E- PL5 and the Pen Mini E- PM2. Both fea­ture a 16- megapixel sen­sor, im­age sen­sor and fast aut­o­fo­cus and of­fer touch­screens that can be used as shut­ter but­tons.

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

WIRE­LESS FOR SHAR­ING

Pho­tog­ra­phers are shar­ing more im­ages dig­i­tally than in print and cam­era mak­ers are catch­ing on to the trend.

Both Sam­sung and Nikon have launched phones that use Google An­droid soft­ware, with the 4G- ready Galaxy Cam­era and Coolpix S800c 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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