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Roger W. Hicks Posted: Jan 01, 2009 1 comments

When it came to rangefinders, Leica completely stole the show: Zeiss and Voigtländer had only one new product each. Admittedly they were interesting—an 85mm f/4 Tele-Tessar in Leica M-compatible ZM mount and a dual-format rangefinder folder, the Bessa III—but they were somewhat eclipsed by Leica’s four new lenses and the revised M8.2 camera body.

The item...

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Frances E. Schultz Posted: Jan 01, 2009 1 comments

At photokina 2008, there was (as usual) an extraordinary range of camera supports. So many in fact that a “laundry list” of new introductions could easily fill the whole magazine. This prompted me to think hard about what to look for in a camera support. It seemed to me there are three things: three legs, if you like. What you need; what you want; and what you can afford. You may care...

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Roger W. Hicks Posted: Jan 01, 2009 1 comments

One of the great pleasures of photokina is finding really brilliant new accessories. Some are completely unexpected. Others, you’ve wanted for years but have never been able to find—often because until now, the technology needed to build them has not been available.

A shining example (literally) of the latter, and the accessory hit of the show as far as I am concerned...

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Peter K. Burian Posted: Jan 01, 2009 0 comments

With the growing popularity of D-SLR cameras with sensors of various sizes, most of the manufacturers are working to expand their line of lenses. As expected, many of the latest products are “digital only”: designed for the majority of D-SLRs with the APS-C or Four Thirds size sensor. But (as specified in the text), some are multi-platform products suitable for all 35mm and digital...

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Peter K. Burian Posted: Jan 01, 2009 0 comments

Whether you own a 35mm or digital SLR camera, a dedicated external flash unit can be a valuable accessory. Not many new models were unveiled at photokina, and three of the four were macro ringlights. These have been gaining in popularity for extra lighting in extreme close-up photography of products, nature subjects, and medical/dental applications, but they can also be useful for some...

Jack Neubart Posted: Jan 01, 2009 0 comments

Studio lighting comes in all shapes and sizes, and the lights that are new to photokina certainly support that contention. Our primary focus here is on strobe lighting, but that includes a mix of monolights and power packs (generators), and select flash heads that attach to these generators. If we can see any trend in studio strobes it is the increasing reliance on electronic components and...

Peter K. Burian Posted: Jan 01, 2009 0 comments

Although digicams with built-in lenses still outsell D-SLRs by 10 to 1, market research indicates that 20 percent of consumers are planning to upgrade to an interchangeable-lens camera. As a result, most manufacturers are devoting significant R&D efforts to the D-SLR category, and we found some really desirable new cameras at photokina. The trend was toward more of the high-tech...

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Peter K. Burian Posted: Jan 01, 2009 0 comments

Because of the increasing resolution and burst speed of some new cameras, the capacity and speed of memory cards continues to increase. While a super-fast card cannot boost a camera’s maximum framing rate, the extra card speed can provide greater burst depth (more frames in a long series) and shorter data recording times. A high-speed card is also ideal after a long trip, when you’re...

Peter K. Burian Posted: Jan 01, 2009 0 comments

As the price of D-SLRs and high-resolution digicams drops to more affordable levels, an increasing number of families and serious photo enthusiasts want a better photo printer. We found lots of new machines at the photokina show, some with high-tech features such as Wi-Fi and Ethernet compatibility. Lack of space precludes coverage of every new product, but the following printers are worth...

Roger W. Hicks Posted: Jan 01, 2009 1 comments

As ever, medium format—hereafter MF—ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. For sublime, it’s hard to beat the new 50-megapixel Hasselblad or the 37.5-megapixel Leica S2, or possibly the Rollei/Sinar/Leaf Hy6, built by Franke & Heidecke (with their new option of a 6x6cm rollfilm back). As for ridiculous, well, I know I’ll get hate mail from Holga owners, but...

Peter K. Burian Posted: Jan 01, 2009 1 comments

The primary emphasis was on D-SLRs during the photokina 2008 show, but many new digicams with integral lenses were introduced, including some inexpensive models strictly for quick snapshooting. While those may find eager buyers, I’ll concentrate on cameras intended for the photo enthusiast. In these categories, only a few trends became obvious, starting with resolution: 13- and 14-megapixel...

George Schaub Posted: Jan 01, 2009 1 comments

The photokina trade fair held in Cologne, Germany, every two years has a solid reputation for previews and announcements meant to shake up the practices and worldviews of photographers, be they amateur or pro. This can come in the form of products real and imagined, with some making it to shelves and others just a wistful dream of designers and engineers who hope what they propose will become the...

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Jason Schneider Posted: Jun 01, 2008 0 comments

One of the coolest things about wandering the cavernous halls of PMA is having the opportunity to snoop around and discover fascinating items where you'd least expect to find them. Just keep your eyes peeled and you'll be rewarded with fascinating tidbits, ranging from strange photo accessories to clever upgrades of traditional items, to exciting new technologies, some...

Jack Neubart Posted: Jun 01, 2008 0 comments

This report covers back-up systems and all sorts of storage devices, beginning with USB flash (thumb/pen) and handheld devices. In terms of backup, there was only one hardware solution worthy of note, plus a related product that uses DVDs. Beyond that, there are the plethora of digital photo frames, making it one of the hottest product categories at this year's show.
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Ibarionex R. Perello Posted: Jun 01, 2008 0 comments

As I walked the trade show floor at the recent PMA, it was interesting to see how much software was being offered to meet specific needs, rather than attempt to be the end-all and be-all. I discovered software that offers solutions not meant to replace Adobe's Photoshop, but rather help photographers improve their ability to achieve common and specific tasks.

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