Photokina 2014 – Days 2 & 3

September 22, 2014 ·

Kevin Raber


One Of The Magnificent Image Galleries In The Leica Booth

Going . . . Going . . . And Still Going . . .

It has been a non-stop two days for Michael and I as we cover Photokina 2014.  It’s hard to describe how large this show is, other than saying it is just huge.  The last two days have been one-stop meetings with numerous exhibitors as well as a bit of roaming time to see many of the different booths at the show.  I have been coming to Photokina for the last 20 years and most of the time in the past there are things that really stand out and make a buzz.  This show has been lacking the big buzz.  The big news at the shows opening was the Samsung NX1.  We had a preliminary look at the camera and, well, let’s say the jury is out.  We have a meeting with Samsung on Friday and we’ll get the full story.  What we have heard more than anything else, is how cool Leica’s booth is as well as their product offerings.  We’ll have more to say about this in our next report and we do have an exclusive interview to share. The surprise is Canon and Nikon.  While they seem to have large and busy booths, there are people walking away and just shrugging their shoulders.  No real ground breaking news at either booths.  Yes, they have some great new products but there is nothing jumping off the page like the D800 did a few years ago.  Rumors have already started that maybe Canon will launch something at PhotoPlus in October.  We’ll have to wait and see on that one.

So, lets get into the show with photos, videos and some summaries ofthe  meetings we have had.

Our Visit With Sigma

Sigma Booth

Sigma is an interesting company.  They make cameras and lenses.  Their lenses have come a long way and are now some of the finest glass you can buy.  Their Art Series of lenses is world class.   Test reports along with users are loving the results they are getting from these lenses.  Sigma also make cameras with Foveon chip technology.  This part maybe they don’t do so well.  We recently published areview of the DP2 Quattro and it was not a favorable report.  To Sigma’s credit and our surprise we were invited to sit down with Sigma’s CEO – Kazuto Yamaki and have a talk.

Kazuto was most gracious and and explained his company goals as well as his dedication to the industry and photography.  He stepped into this position after his father passed away and he is committed to the same values for the company as  his father.  We were most impressed with this conversation as well as the challenges faced to make high quality glass.  As you would expect, the conversation eventually turned to the DP2 Quattro.  It was quite obvious that Sigma knows of the issues with their software and the effects it is having on the sales of the camera.  Sigma is committed to trying to solve this problem and we discussed several different ways to fix this as quickly as possible.  There was discussion on doing an in-camera DNG conversion thus making file output in DNG. As well there was discussion on doing batch conversions to TIFF.  We explained that they needed to keep the file as a RAW and  allow for corrections to be applied to the analog data.  Also, we explained how important it is to have both Adobe and Phase One/Capture One compatibility. While no conclusion as to the how they will solve this challenge was reached, it is without a question a priority.  We told Sigma if they came up with a solution that we would be more than happy to re-evaluate our position on this camera.  There is no question within certain parameters that this camera has the capability to produce very high quality images.  Thank you Kazuto and Rudy Guttosch for your time and open discussion.

The DP2 Quattro With The New Monitor Viewfinder

Fuji Gets It

Michael Reichmann, Greg Poole Of Fuji and Kevin Raber with The Latest Fuji Products

We are in a a new digital age of photography and to be successful means that you need to be a different company than you were 10 years ago. There isn’t a company that has done it better than Fuji and Leica.  Why?  Because they bothget it.  At one point in time, Fuji and Kodak were major competitors.  We all know what happened to Kodak.  Fuji on the other hand, did something we were all taught to do but sometimes forget: they listened.  They listened to their customers, they got to know the photography business and they allowed some very passionate and creative people to create a very innovative camera system that over the last 4 years has been maturing at an unparalleled pace.  While we could go on about all the things they did we, thought it better to sit down with some of the Fuji guys and have a chat about their products and where Fuji is headed.  We know you’ll learn some interesting things about Fuji’s new products and some hints on things to come.  We sat with Greg Poole, Bing Liem and Toshihisa Lida for a very candid half hour video.  And, just for the record I have pre-ordered the new 40-150mm lens and I just might have to spring for the very cool and beautiful looking XT-1 Graphite Edition.

Continued…Part 2

It’s a Five Step Process To Make The Graphite Silver Look
Pictures Don’t Do It Justice.  You Need To see it.  Quite Handsome.

This Is An Amazing example Of The X-Trans Sensor and Fuji Optics.
Approximately A 5 Foot by 8 Foot Image.  Just Incredible!

Phase One … Going Strong

On the first day of the show we received an email from Henrik Håkonsson, CEO of Phase One to join him for a chat and update on Phase One.  It was fun to re-visit my old friends at Phase One.  After 13 years there, it was great to see the same old faces all smiling and continuing to push the medium format camera market forward.  We spent over an hour with Henrik talking about the marketplace and products as well as asking the question that was on every ones mind.

Phase One made a few announcements at this show.  They introduced the IQ150 which is essentially a version of the IQ250 without WiFi.  In addition Capture One 8 was released and there are quite a few interesting new features.  There are improved catalogs, additional local adjustment features, a stream-lined interface, a new processing engine and a lot more.  You can check out the new features HERE.  They also announced an alliance with ALPA and look to develop some specialized Technical Camera solutions.  We’ll be visiting with ALPA tomorrow and will let you know what we learn.

We finally had to ask where was the new camera that everyone expected.  Henrik explained that they are hard at work making this camera and that they are working very hard on making this a durable and full featured product.  When pushed a bit further we were told that we could expect to see something within six months, hopefully sooner.  We were assured that patience will pay off.  We will make sure we stay on top of this and bring you the latest updates as we learn more.

Overall Phase One is well positioned and is doing very well.  Let’s see where we are in six months.

Rocky Nook…Books And More…

We had a brief visit with Gerhard Rossbach of Dpunkt – otherwise known by us as Rocky Nook.  We have a long standing relationship with Rocky Nook and both Michael and I have a number of books they have published.  There are many good instructional books in their library and more to come.  We are exploring new ways to work with Rocky Nook for the benefit of our readers and we will share more in the future.

Krung Siam Enterprise Co. Ltd.

Sunchai Showing the New View Camera System He Has Designed

One of the best things about Photokina is that you discover unique specialty industries that make some very high quality niche products.  One of those is Krung Siam Enterprise run solely by Sunchai Angsuputiphant.  This is a Thailand-based company and Sunchai has designed some very cool products.  One is the Smat-Flex L Plate that we recently tested and will have a video report on soon.  This is such a cool product and it is available for Nikon, Canon and Medium format cameras.  Essentially it is an L-plate that you don’t have to detach to go from vertical to horizontal.

Sunchai also shared the newest product which is essentially a set up to make a view mini-view camera for DSLRs or medium format backs.   See the picture above.

There are literally hundreds of companies like this exhibiting at this show.

Around The Show

We can’t visit every exhibitor at the show – as much as we’d like to.  The companies that we are talking about in this report have invited us to sit down with them.  Nikon, Canon and others don’t normally do this.  Thus we aren’t discussing them much.  You can learn about their products through various sources elsewhere on the Internet.

We have been somewhat hampered on posting regularly as we have Internet upload issues at the hotel.  Have you ever tried uploading a 1 gig video file on a network that is not only slow but bounces you when you are just about completed.  Thus today we have only one vidoe to share.  Tomorrow if all goes well we will have a posting from a  great meeting we had with Leica.   Also, Michael and I will finally post a show recap highlighting what we saw that interested us as well as our feelings about the state of the industry.

I took some time in between meetings to literally do a quick run through of a few of the exhibit halls taking photos of some of the exhibit booths that I thought would interest our readers.  We hope this gives you a small idea of what we are seeing at the show.  We’ll have more shots in our next reports.

The NX1 From Samsung

The NX1 Does 4K Video

The NX1 In Michael’s Hands.  Stay Tuned For His Thoughts.
We Have A meeting with Samsung On Friday

This Is One Beautiful Monitor –Eizo ColorEdge 4K– You Gotta See It!

A Number Of Companies Showing Off Quad Copter Cases – LuLa Needs One

DJ Phatom Copters – What A Fun Booth – Lots Of Interest Here

Mamiya Leaf Had Some Cool Medium Format Backs

In Europe Photo Books Are The Rage – Coming To America Soon?

Western Digital Is Making A Name For Themselves In The Photo Industry
We’ll Have More to Report About Some Of Their Products In The Future

Blackmagic Had A Lot Of Traffic In Their Booth and Some Cool Cameras Too

A Sad Story, Kodak Used To Occupy A Whole Hall

A Lot Of Interest In This Camera – Video and Stills

Some Impressive Sample Prints From A  RED Dragon

A Tricked Out RED Camera.  I Think We Need One For LuLa

A RED Video Editing Suite To Die For

GoPro, These Guys Know How To Have Fun

GoPro Makes It easy To Edit Your GoPro Videos

Just What Everyone Needs To Take Photos For eBay Sales, byPhotoRobot

Is This The Ultimate Camera Backpack?  ByEvoc

 


Published September 19, 2014

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Kevin Raber

Photography is my passion and has been for 45 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of pictures taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through Rockhopper Workshops and other projects as well as teaching at my Gallery in Indianapolis.

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