iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Photokina 2006

50 years ago the opening of Photokina 1956 was marked by a greeting telegram from Dwight Eisenhower, the US president (the first Photokina expo was held in 1950). Now, 50 years later, Photokina 2006 got no greeting cards from presidents, but it attracted much more visitors and companies, being the main European exposition devoted to the photo industry.

According to the press release, 1579 companies from 46 countries took part in the expo. 162000 visitors from 153 countries came so see their stands. The expo was housed in eleven pavilions (some of them being two-storeyed). The expo was held in Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany.

Along with photo devices, Photokina 2006 also exhibited photos. Why exhibiting photos? One of possible answers is to remember. The exhibition was devoted to Cologne, ruined in World War II, those photographers, and their cameras.

Another answer is to show the world like nobody else could and to demonstrate abilities of printing-machines.

History of the brand is no less important in this case than the photos, taken with Hasselblad devices for its nearly age-long history.

Another example of successful history and a successful brand. Photography and photographers.

A quickie tour of the exposition on a single floor of a pavilion will take up half a day, I know it from personal experience. Six expo days from September 26 to October 1 let you see it all, if you are strong enough. Considering the weight of presentation materials and daily fatigue, you will hardly manage to visit everything. The hosts try to make the life of their visitors easier, thank you very much (not for free, of course, ticket price for all days is 65 Euro). Free bus rides to downtown (you can walk, if you like), very cheap (in our terms) food and wireless internet in the press center, presentation materials collected in the same press center, and no explicit and hostile anti-terrorist measures.

Of course, the main participators of the expo were companies, which business had to do with photography: Canon, Fuji, Kodak, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Sony. The following companies expanded their expo grounds this year: Casio, Epson, Hewlett-Packard (the author visited Photokina thanks to this company), Nokia, Samsung. There were some stands from Russian companies as well - OAO "LZOS" (Lytkarinsky Zavod Opticheskogo Stekla - Lytkarinsky Optical Glass Plant) and Lomond.

Canon's stand.

Leica's testing ground.

Lumix L1 reflex camera was one of the main hits on Panasonic stand.

22 Mp Mamiya ZD digital camera with a 36x48mm sensor is not a new product anymore. But it's still an interesting camera.

Nikon's stand.

Olympus's ground.

Seitz is not a famous company - its panoramic cameras and accessories for panoramic photography used to be known only to connoisseurs of wide photography before the recent news about the 160 Mp Seitz 6x17 Digital .

Sigma's stand.

Here are main conclusions, drawn by analysts:

The current level of modern digital technologies provides high efficiency and "transparency" of all photo process stages, from shooting to exhibiting, both in professional and amateur sectors
Digital reflex cameras are in majority, the standard resolution of digital SLRs is 10 Mp, and their price is getting more and more attractive
We are getting used to lens with optical stabilization and cameras with large displays
Cameras in handsets are growing in quality, their resolution has reached 8 Mp
DVD and HDD are becoming standard recording devices for digital video cameras
Memory card capacities grow, the next generation of 4GB SDHC cards is ready to be launched
Mobile data storage devices are getting popular
We have formed a clear-cut idea about a modern process of processing and publishing photos in the digital photo processing field; as a result, we know well the requirements to the corresponding tools; besides, we can note simplicity and high efficiency of these tools for standard tasks
Photo kiosks are getting more numerous
A network of Internet photo service centers is getting larger
People start getting interested in mobile printers
Professional printers produce high-quality photos, which are resistant to atmospheric conditions
There appear popular tools to create individual "hard-copy" photo albums and digital presentations

You may learn about many new products, presented at Photokina 2006 or prior to this expo, in our news. Let's enumerate the most important devices from the professional photography sector:

Canon 400D 10 Mp SLR with a new dust cleaning system
Hasselblad H3D 22 Mp and 39 Mp SLRs with 36x49mm sensors for Hasselblad HC/HCD lens
A new 6+6 Mp digital SLR - Fujifilm FinePix Pro S3 UVIR for shooting in IR and UV bands
Fujifilm FinePix S5Pro 6+6 Mp digital SLR
Leica M8 10 Mp long-range digital camera with interchangeable lens (Leica M) and 1.3x FOV crop
7.5 Mp SLR camera (3/4) Leica Digilux 3 with Supersonic Wave Filter and Live View function
Nikon D80 10 Mp SLR
Olympus E400 10 Mp SLR (3/4) with a Live View function and a dust cleaning system, the most compact and light-weight camera on the market
Pentax K10D 10 Mp SLR with a dust cleaning system and a stabilization system
Pentax 645 Digital 18.6 Mp SLR
Samsung GX-10 10 Mp camera
Seitz 6x17 Digital 160 Mp digital panoramic scanner
Sigma SD14 14 (4.6x3) Mp (2,652x1,768x3 layers) SLR with the Foveon X3 sensor and the Sigma DP1 with the same sensor and a lens with the fixed focal length of 28mm (=35mm cameras)
Sigma 18-200 mm F/3.5-6.3 DC OS lens with a stabilization system
TAMRON AF 18 – 250 mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II LD Macro 13.9X zoom lens for cameras with APS-C sensors
Zeiss ZF 50 mm F/1,4 and 85 mm F/1.4 lens for Nikon SLRs

Along with well-known companies, Photokina housed a lot of stands, where I wanted to spend much more time than I really could. They are not likely to appear in the news. As they slowed down yours truly in his tour of the expo, it would be only fair to pay them some attention in this article.

Practically all digital SLR manufacturers equip their cameras with "sensor dust cleaners". Each manufacturer used to struggle with dust in its own way. With service centers or with brushes and rubber syringes. As for now, there are a lot of solutions of the dust problem. But I'm amazed only by simple and effective ones. Canon uses electrostatics (EOS 400D) to prevent dust from sticking to a sensor. Electrostatics is one of the key brush-vacuum cleaner principles in the products of Features & Benefits Photographic Solutions "BRUSHOFF" (Micro-Tools distributor). Conducting hair of a brush is grounded to make dust easier to remove from a sensor. Sensor Swab brushes are used to clean real dirt (grease spots, salt, etc).

You need only Virtual Backgrounds (www.virtualbackgrounds.net) equipment and a proper transparency to make a nice portrait in good interior. You can come to a photo session in jeans and jogging shoes and get a portrait in a palace.

A model is photographed in a studio, as usual; you should just install a special screen as a background.

Then you select the best transparency on a light table and insert it into Virtual Backgrounds. You get a ready photo, which does not require any post processing in a graphics editor.

One of modifications and installation layouts of Virtual Backgrounds.

A hybrid technology - taking pictures with a digital camera and printing photos "on silver". DE VERE 504 DS DIGITAL enlarger (www.odyssey-sales.com) allows to print color and black-and-white 50x60cm photos and provides 300 dpi:

Wooden tripods from BERLEBACH (www.berlebach.de). Warm, cozy, and reliable - clients are falling asleep:

The next Photokina will be held in two years.

Sergei Scherbakov (sherbakovs@ixbt.com)

October 10, 2006

Write a comment below. No registration needed!

Article navigation:

blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook

Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.