Photokina observations that don't fit the other pages
This page documents things that weren't a surprise, disappointment, or true rumor. Except to see some accessories and miscellaneous items here as I wander the show, plus this is the place you'll usually find non-DSLR cameras. (For mirrorless camera little things, see sansmirror.com)
Page last updated 9/21/12 at 1pm GMT (latest items on top)
- Triggertrap--this powerful little app needs a dongle and cable to connect to your phone, but opens up lots of interesting new ways to trigger your camera and shoot sequences unassisted. Formerly available for the iPhone (iOS), it's now available for Android. Well worth looking into if you do any timelapse or motion triggered work. They've got remote cables for most cameras that use wired remotes.
- ColorMunki Smile--I happen to use the ColorMunki these days for color profiling my monitors, but it is a fairly high end solution, both in price and in complexity. Fortunately, there's now an answer for that, the ColorMunki Smile which is an entry level version (US$99) and simpler to use. It's also a bit smaller and convenient, and might become what I use with my laptop when traveling, especially since one of the ColorMunki conveniences is that it can detect multiple monitors and correct them, something I sometimes find useful while traveling and hooking up to someone else's larger monitor for projection. Macs and Windows are both supported.
- At the back of the Casio booth I found a little table with an interesting 1/2" gizmo: a 2.36m dot (or XGA, which is 1024x768 RGB) EVF panel. No word on who might use it, though we've seen previous incarnations of these panels used in recent mirrorless cameras. I tried to get information about refresh rate, because as this resolution, the thing that will really make it or break it is how fast it updates. I had one of those amusing conversations where I didn't get an answer but I could narrow down what the likely answer was from triangulating. I'm pretty sure the panel runs at 60Mhz and that they're trying to up it to 120Mhz. Why does this make a difference? The big problem plaguing EVFs in lower cost cameras--we have some very expensive ones that do interesting things in very high priced video equipment--is that the sensor Live View rate and the EVF itself can both contribute to visual lag. Faster is better.
- Looking for Lenses and Filters to put on them?--Schnieder (also the maker of B+W filters) might have them. Besides their way-out-in-the-future m4/3 lens announcements (covered on sansmirror.com), Nikon F-mount, Canon EOS mount, Sony Alpha mount, and Pentax K mount users get four reformulated primes to consider: the 28mm f/4.5 Super-Angulon, the 35mm f/1.4 Xenon, the 50mm f/1.4 Xenon, and the 85mm f/2.4 Makro-Symmar. All are full frame, which is a good thing considering that full frame seems to be a disease all the camera makers have caught. Meanwhile the B+W operation is producing a variable ND, the XS-Pro ND Digital Vario, which ranges from +1 to +5 stops and will come (in 2013) in 52, 58, 62, 67, 72, 77, and 82mm sizes. Meanwhile, videographers will be interested in thee new Cine Xenars: 25mm t/2.1, 50mm t/2.1, and 75mm t/2.1 in EOS and F-mounts. The 75mm will be first out (again with the 2013; sounds like 2013 is a busy year for them, but you have to wonder what they're doing this year ;~) (Yes, I know, designing. Jet lag defintely changes one's humor.) I'll be stopping by the booth to take a closer look.
- Fotoman Dmax--I'd heard of this camera out of China, but hadn't seen it before today. Owning a Fotoman Dmax will put you squarely in either the film or digital world, as you see fit. The medium to large format shifting back Dmax accepts Hasselblad, Mamiya, and Horseman film backs (a few sizes of each, not all of them), and it's also compatible with digital backs from Hasselblad, Phase One, Leaf, Mamiya, and Sinar. Up front you have your choice of a lot of large format lenses. The digital backs use a sliding back system where either a groundglass viewfinder or the back is place by sliding it into position. Basically the low cost high end solution to the high end landscape photographer that can't make up their minds what to shoot.
- SD Cards Get Bigger--SanDisk went a little more extreme their US$400 128GB UHS-I 45Mbps card. As SanDisk puts it: "shoot up to 10 hours of HD video" (I hope you'll be editing that down before showing it to the in-laws). Shipping now.
- Another X--In a sign that Fujifilm now thinks that X is the main reason they are once again selling some cameras in the mainstream, today they launched the XF1, which basically is a straightforward compact camera in a classy faux leather body. With a 2/3" EXR sensor and a 25-100mm f/1.8-4.9 lens, there isn't a lot to get excited about. When the press release talks about "accelerating" processes and points to a half second turn on time and focus time as little as .16 seconds, well, you know you're not in the DSLR world any more. Strangely, you power the camera on by turning the lens ring and turn it off by pushing it back into the body. This, of course, means some people will have to read the camera to figure out how to turn the camera on. Note to Fujifilm: if you just slap X on everything, you risk diluting the image of the true X-series cameras. Figure out another letter to use. Since you use the word "premium" four times in the press release (didn't know that 460k dot LCDs were now premium), try the letter P. No price yet, but it'll probably be "premium."