Photokina 2018 has caused quite a sensation in the world digital photography sphere. Such companies as Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, etc. have presented a great number of innovations that made professional photographers and amateurs to gather at the Exhibition Center in Cologne.
|Fujifilm GFX 50R||READ MORE|
|Nikon Z7||READ MORE|
|Insta360 ONE||READ MORE|
|Venus Laowa Ultra-Wide Angle Lens||READ MORE|
|Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2||READ MORE|
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Photokina 2018 is the photo and video equipment trade show that was held this year in September from 26 to 29. The Photokina 2018 tickets fee was from €8 to €56 per day. The largest companies have presented new photo products that could surprise even the most passionate photographers. Most of the time was devoted to the presentations and various Photokina 2018 workshops of famous portrait and wedding photographers.
Photokina 2018 is a nice place for new photo equipment fans, as the number of the innovations was just off the chart. It is worth mentioning that in 2018 nearly every company has got into the development of mirrorless cameras, so most of them will be presented in the list.
These two 51.4 megapixels “beauties” are being discussed in the world of photo equipment because Fujifilm made a breakthrough in the field of medium format cameras. This is the 2nd mirrorless camera of a medium format that has ever been designed. Previously there was only X1D camera created by legendary Hasselblad brand. X1D camera was slow as the minimum exposure was 1/2000. It was also difficult to use it outside the studio and without a tripod. A small number of lenses and a high price scared people from buying the Hasselblad camera.
Fujifilm's goal is to use a medium format and make it more accessible and fast. GFX offers all convenient options that other Fujifilm models have got too. You obtain a fast shutter speed, swivel touch screen, easy handling and a compact size. 50R and 50S models are a bit different. The main distinguishing features are the viewfinder, size and some other details. I like Fujifilm GFX 50r because it’s small and has a high capacity inside a little body, though the ergonomics are not as good as 50S has.
The guys from Fujifilm only presented this camera, but no one has managed to test it in action. The company declares this mirrorless camera to be the first 100MP mirrorless camera of a medium format in the World. The approximate price will be $10,000 (camera body only). Also, unlike the GFX 50R/50S, 4K 30fps recording is available and it is also the first 4K recording mirrorless camera. You could only see GFX 100S on a stand behind the glass, it is big, but still the most compact 100MP camera in the world.
At 2018 Photokina Panasonic was the last to present two new S1R and S1cameras. The difference between them is only in the sensor (47 MP and 24 MP). The camera has just been presented, so we couldn’t test it. At the same time, we know that the camera will be heavy enough, as well as its lenses. There are only three of them (50mm, 24-105 mm, and 70-200 mm). Panasonic is particularly proud of its viewfinder that can be compared to human vision. This is a very promising statement if we take into account the fact that electronic viewfinders often show a really disgusting picture. The only thing that annoys me is the camera’s design. It seems awful as the company decided to place as many buttons on the small case as possible and even sharp corners look really bad.
Nikon broke into the world of full-frame mirrorless cameras with its Z7 and Z6, thus becoming together with Canon on the equal level with Sony and maybe even higher. The difference between Z7 and Z6 is in the matrix, which is 24MP in Z6 and 45.7MP in Z7. There are all the usual regulating forms for the fans of Photokina 2018 Nikon, but with a smoothly modified position on the body. Nikon also started the next generation of lenses with Z-mount that promises to be very light. There is an autofocus system in both cameras capturing the 90% of the surface. According to Photokina 2018 rumors Nikon, with Z-mount lenses and AF systems, these cameras may give faster, more silent and precise focus for images and videos. Z7 and Z6 considered to be the first removable Nikon lenses that have got a built-in five-axis image stabilization. In general, this is a good reply from Nikon.
Canon understood how to respond Nikon. Among Canon Photokina releases 2018 a new R series of cameras were introduced to the photographers. If you look at its characteristics, this is EOS 5D Mark IV but in a more compact case and without a mirror. This is a Canon full frame mirrorless 2018 camera with a 30.3 MP sensor and new lenses for RF mounting. Main Canon EOS R peculiarity is the possibility to shoot in very low light, as well as ultra-fast focusing of 0.05 sec. The real disadvantages of EOS R is the lack of the built-in image stabilization, whereas such competitors as Nikon, Panasonic and Fujifilm have got it.
A new medium format SLR camera - Leica S3 with a 64 MP sensor will officially appear on the market in the spring 2019, but the company has presented the camera at Photokina 2018. The initial price has not been mentioned yet, but it would be about $20,000. The camera is able to shoot in RAW format at a speed of 3 frames per second and record in 4K resolution, applying the entire sensor’s surface. ISO changing is available at about 100-50000. According to Photokina 2018 rumors Leica guarantees a dynamic range of 15 exposure steps. Compared to Hasselblad X1D, S3 works several times faster, but Leica doesn’t have a touchscreen display. Like the majority of Leica cameras, S3 has got a simplified design with a minimum of buttons and inscriptions. Leica is working now on DSLRs instead of mirrorless cameras, which looks rather strange, but I think it makes sense in the premium segment.
Phase One had something to demonstrate too. It is the first medium format camera with a built-in Capture One (read Capture One vs Lightroom review) and a 151MP sensor. Now you can do RAW files photo editing right in the camera. Unfortunately, I couldn’t try this camera at the 2018 Photokina exhibition as it was closed and I could only look at the image taken with it, and ask some questions. The camera offers an incredible image quality. The announced price is going to start at about $50,000 for a full camera kit (backside, lens, viewfinder and camera body).
Leica decided to take a step towards the instant printing and presented a square and stylish Sofort. This camera has plastic lenses, so the price is $300 that is quite low for Leica. It has a 60 mm f /12.7 lens, and several working modes. Unfortunately, there are no manual settings at all.
According to the recent Photokina 2018 rumors Fuji company has also updated its well-known line of instant print cameras. You can now shoot a video for up to 15 seconds with SQ20 on mute. It is easy to store files on a SD card and then post in your Instagram. SQ20 also has built-in video effects that can be applied right from the device. Technically, the camera has become easier as CMOS sensor is ⅕ inch big, while SQ10 has a ¼ inch sensor. A smaller sensor means that a field of view width has decreased from 28.5 mm to 33.4 mm.
This is the most surprising innovations among all the Photokina 2018 exhibits. Russian company Zenit in cooperation with Leica designed a new digital rangefinder full-frame camera called Zenit M. It is technically based on Leica M Type 240 platform but with a modified hardware and software systems. The camera is equipped with a 35 mm f/1.0 Zenitar lens, constructed and produced in Russia. The soft-focus lens provides a unique bokeh effect. Zenit M design is almost a complete copy of Leica M Type 240. The approximate price will be €3000.
A lot of Photokina 2018 venue visitors were upset that Sony Co. hadn’t presented any innovations. The obvious reason is that they have nothing to expose at the moment, becase they are working on Sony A7SIII.
360 photography is getting very popular. They are mostly used in real estate and interior photography to create 3D tours around the house. It is also used frequently for the real estate aerial photography with drones. There weren’t new models at Photokina 2018, but there were interesting products you can pay attention to.
This is currently one of the few famous companies that produce cameras for 360 shooting. All other cameras are created by smaller companies. The guys from Kodak haven't updated the camera for about a year. I think this is one of the best variants for recording 360 videos. Having released this camera, Kodak fixed the main problem: you needed to have two cameras to shoot 360, but now ORBIT360 has got two lenses on both sides which are taking pictures by 180 degrees with a 20 MP sensor. This camera is good for you if you plan to shoot a 4K video. To take a picture you need something simpler.
This small camera was released a year ago, but now it became fully operational, both independently and with the iPhone’s app. This is probably one of the most convenient cameras for 360 shooting due to its compact size, and a simple control using one button. What I liked most was the 24MP image quality. It produces an excellent picture even in the really low light, The image stabilization is awesome. The app also supports the broadcast of 360 live videos on the web.
Humaneyes Co. introduced a 360-degree 5.7K Vuze XR camera, with a full-fledged 3D-shooting option in VR180 format. It records standard 360-degree spherical videos in 5.7K resolution. There is a Vuze Camera App for video editing, which allows users create videos with an aspect ratio of 16:9 from 360-degree content. When you click on the additional button, Vuze XR turns into a camera that records a 180-degree stereoscopic video, providing a 3D view while using VR glasses.
The camera supports streaming, which makes it very popular among the bloggers. Vuze XR is available for pre-order at a price of $439.
This lens was on every advertising poster in Cologne, and it demonstrated its beautiful zoom. According to Photokina 2018 Sigma, this lens is the first, which has a 10x zoom and a maximum focal length of 600 mm. It is 2.7 kg and supports filters with a diameter of 150 mm.
It is equipped with an optical image stabilizer, which effectiveness is estimated at four levels of exposure. It'll be available for Sigma, Canon and Nikon cameras. It costs $1,999, and the sales will begin in October.
This is the first lens that is made inside the L-mount alliance. The technical data of the Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm / F1.7 lens is still kept in secret. At the exhibition it was available only behind the glass. Keeping a constant maximum aperture of f/1.7 in the EGF range of 20-50 mm, it will become the most powerful high-aperture and wide-angle zoom lens equipped with the Micro Four Thirds mount. It is also designed to support video recording in addition to regular photography. LEICA DG lenses are created for shooting in the quality standards, certified by LEICA, with excellent optical characteristics. The lens provides exceptional image performance over the entire zoom range.
Austrian company Voigtlander introduced a new lens Nokton 50mm f / 1.2 E-Mount. Lenses are produced for manual focusing and are aimed to be used with full-frame E-mount cameras.
Price, release date and final design are not yet known, but Amazon already has a pre-order lens.
Zeiss company introduced a new Batis 40mm f / 2.0 lens for cameras with Sony E. bayonet. It is said that the classic Distagon scheme will be used as the basis of the lens. The minimum focusing distance will be 0.24 m. The lens will be designed for filters with a diameter of 67 mm. ZEISS claims that it is “the most universal” lens in the ZEISS Batis family. It means that its focal length makes it ideal for various situations. Producer's recommended price will be $1,299.
The Photokina 2018 rumors Hasselblad turned out to be true, and they announced the release of three new lenses for its X1D medium-format camera, among which there are XCD 80mm F1.9, XCD 65mm F2.8, and XCD 135mm F2.8. The first one is the most high-aperture lens not only in the X system but generally in Hasselblad history. However, this lens is also the heaviest one in XCD series - it weighs 1045 g.
XCD 65mm F2.8 with its short focusing distance of 0.5m is claimed to be an excellent lens for shooting outdoors and while traveling.
XCD 135mm F2.8 provides a viewing angle that is similar to the viewing angle of a 105mm lens on full-frame cameras and it has a minimum focusing distance of 1 m. Like all currently existing lenses, XCD, 80mm, 65mm, and 135mm have a built-in central shutter, which allows you to use flash sync at shutter speeds of up to 1/2000 seconds.
All three lenses are already available in preorder; they will be on sale in December 2018. Prices: 80mm F1.9 - $ 4845 / € 3990; 65mm F2.8 - $ 2750 / € 2290; 135mm F2.8 - $ 4050 / € 3390.
Laowa 15mm f / 4 is an ultra wide-angle lens with the feature to focus almost at close range - 0.47 cm from the front lens. Thus, it is possible to take not only close-up pictures of the subject, as it is common in macro photography, but also the environment around the object. Laowa 15mm f / 4 can also be used as an ordinary wide-angle lens, for example, for landscape or interior photography. Moreover, it has the possibility of shifting the optical axis within +/- 6 mm, which greatly helps to correct vertical lines during the architecture or landscape photography.
The great benefit of the lens, which many other super wide-angle lenses lack is the option to install light filters. Laowa 15mm f / 4, will help you freely use polarization or gradient filters, neutral optical density (ND) filters, color and infrared filters for Black and White photography. Laowa 15mm f / 4 – is a manual lens that has no connection with the camera. Focusing and the aperture setting are adjusted only manually.
Tamron has released an updated wide-angle zoom lens for Nikon and Canon mirrorless 2018 cameras. Representatives of the company say that the autofocus and the stabilization system have been significantly improved. Optical readouts use XGM elements. This should have a positive effect on the level of distortion and chromatic aberration. Optics also has an AX coating to reduce glare and ghosting. The new processor and processing algorithms improve the speed and accuracy of the focusing. It also influenced image stabilization, and now it's able to compensate for up to 4.5 stops of exposure.
The first on the market was Nikon FX-mount version. According to Photokina 2018 rumors, the lenses with Canon EF bayonet will appear in mid-November.
Photokina 2018 Sony announced the release of 24 mm f / 1.4 G Master, which will join the series of full-frame lenses. We were unable to test the lens personally, but Sony representatives gave us enough information about their product so that we could briefly tell about its main advantages. This will be an excellent lens for those who are engaged in photography in the low light conditions, the lens has excellent sharpness, and we were especially impressed by the minimum focusing distance of 0.79 feet.
The new DDSSM (Direct Drive SSM) focus system gives you triple the thrust than the former focus drive system had and offers faster and quieter autofocus in both stills and movies modes.
Indeed, a huge part of the entire Photokina 2018 exhibition was devoted to the accessories for photographers, in particular, bags, belts, and items of clothing (I liked a stand with funny old hats). You could see backpacks, clothes, shoes and other accessories of famous photographers.
Japanese company ONA makes great bags in a classic style. At Photokina 2018, they presented a limited edition of ONA X JCH Bowery bags for fans of filming. There will be 230 new models. The main feature of this bag is the special compartments for the film on the belt of the bag, as well as the pockets inside the bag itself. It isn’t large, but quite firm.
This is a great comfortable small bag for wedding photography gear. There is enough space for your camera, two medium-sized lenses, a flash, and an additional small camera. It also has space for a tablet in the back pocket and an inner sleeve for a laptop up to 11 inches. Full rain protection will prevent your photography gear from damaging during the bad weather.
This is my favorite series of backpacks for photographers, and now Lowerpro presented a new model of ProTactic AW backpack. It has a really huge number of compartments for all photography equipment: 24-70 mm and 50 mm lenses will easily fit into special pockets, and your camera with a 70-200mm lens attached to it fits perfectly into the lower compartment from which you can pull it out at any time without putting the backpack down. There is also plenty of space for flashes, mounts, an additional camera/action camera, a drone, and a small tripod. I am especially pleased with the excellent protection for equipment, and the belt bag for a quick access to the most necessary things.
This is probably one of the most popular backpacks for the shooters, who are constantly on the move and want to keep their equipment intact. It is really a “thoughtful” backpack, which is very similar to a classical type of a city backpack. It is very roomy, and you probably will not have enough equipment to fill this backpack completely. I like that it keeps its shape even being empty. This is a huge problem with many backpacks, actually. Excellent material and a convenient form compel every travel photographer to have such a backpack in his/her arsenal.
Photokina 2018 was also rich in news from various companies, statements about work on new products, and previews of interesting applications.
Probably everyone who is interested in photo equipment saw this logo, as it's the biggest news at the 2018 Photokina from Panasonic, Leika and Sigma companies that announced the formation of the L-mount alliance to compete Nikon, Canon, and Sony in the mirrorless camera market more effectively.
As its name suggests, the purpose of cooperation is the promotion of the cameras of the L-Mount system. Now, being strategic partners, Panasonic and Sigma can utilize the Leica L-Mount branded bayonet-type mount to produce their own full-frame cameras and APS-C format models.
Leica Photokina 2018 is focused on the photographers and occupies a niche in the up-market segment, while Panasonic works more with the amateurs and professional videographers. As for Sigma, it has its own strategy, which doesn't intersect with Leica and Panasonic’s. As you know, recently Canon and Nikon, inspired by Sony’s success, decided to enter the mirrorless camera segment. In terms of the competition, Leica, Panasonic, and Sigma are more likely to succeed together than apart.
At the same time, Panasonic announced the development of a new Micro Four Thirds system lens – Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm / F1.7 at the Photokina 2018 exhibition. This model is considered to be the most high-aperture wide-angle zoom lens with Micro Four Thirds mount. Alas, Panasonic has not yet reported any other details or information about the price and terms of the lens selling. However, it promises that by 2021 its series of lenses with an L-mount will consist of at least 10 models. It is known that a lens with a fixed focal length of 50 mm and a maximum aperture of f / 1.4, a standard zoom lens (24-105 mm) and a telephoto lens (70-200 mm) are already being developed.
The L-Mount standard was introduced by Leica in 2014 along with the Leica T camera (Typ 701). Initially, the mount was called the T-Mount, but after the release of Leica SL camera, it was renamed to the L-Mount.
The big diameter of the L-mount bayonet makes it suitable for cameras with APS-C format sensors and for full-frame models. The short working distance (20 mm) allows lenses to be made more compact, which is especially noticeable in the case of wide-angle cameras. The L-mount bayonet is equipped with contacts for connection between the camera and the electronic components of the lens, including the possibility to update the firmware for the lenses.
At the 2018 Photokina show, Leica previewed a special application for their cameras - Leica FOTOS. It will support almost all models of Leica cameras equipped with Wi-Fi support.
You can instantly upload the RAW photos to your phone and send it to the cloud or to your computer, or edit it directly on your smartphone. The application can help you check the exposure and view every detail. I especially liked the fact that the application has easy access to the camera settings and you can see all that is visible in the camera and take a photo while being in the signal range. I like how easy you can connect with the help of a QR code; now you can link your camera and phone together without annoying SSIDs and passwords.
Just one click of the FN button allows you to perform a one-step connection process. When the app appears in the next month, S, M10, CL, TL2, TL, and T will already have the built-in support for Easy Connect. SL, Q, and C-Lux will get firmware updates in November. Compact devices such as the D-Lux and V-Lux won't be included in the Easy Connect number, but they will work with a new application with a basic connection.
Sigma Photokina 2018 prepared their response to this whole stream of mirrorless cameras for the next year. After Sigma with Leica and Panasonic created the L-mount Alliance, they immediately announced that they would create their own camera based on the Foveon sensor and L-mount.
This sensor uses a complex structure of RGB filters, unlike the traditional mosaic. Foveon promises to display colors much better, but unfortunately, it has never been used in cameras. Foveon Sigma sensors use a proprietary three-layer structure in which the red, green, and blue pixels have their own full layer. In traditional sensors, three pixels use one layer in a mosaic arrangement, and the camera “fills” the missing colors by examining adjacent pixels. Full frame Sigma L-mount Foveon camera and the first Sigma L-mount lenses are said to be on sale approximately in 2019.
As you can see, Photokina 2018 is very rich in the stunning news. Unfortunately, most of these new products are only announcements, and you can really test them only at the end of this year or at the next Photokina 2019. It will ruin the tradition of Photokina to hold an exhibition every two years, and the next one will be already in May 2019.