World’s largest camera show
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.