Preparing For The World Cup Of Imaging

As we go to press we're about to depart for photokina, the worldwide photo and imaging show held every two years in Germany. This is the World Cup of imaging, a show so large that visiting all the exhibits takes up every minute of the five days in which the show is held. Virtually every manufacturer and supplier in the photo/imaging realm shows up there, as well as photographers, curators, and those with a passion for the art and craft of photography. In addition to a city awash in gallery shows, there are technical conferences, press meetings, and a fair share of tech breakthroughs that vie for attention. This is one show for which you almost have to be in training to attend, with clear mind and more than a pocketful of Euros.

As in the past, we will have a team of reporters scouring the show for new products and prototypes, with reports to follow as soon as we can get them into print. In the meantime, we will, bring you updated reports on our website,, just as soon as we can post them. While some products may be announced prior to the show there are always surprises in store. One of our favorite aspects of this show are what you might call "maybe" products and technical breakthroughs, those items that may or may not be coming soon. Photokina is famous for "under glass" and "behind closed doors" revelations and briefings, with products shown that could be a year or more away from realization.

There are some things we do know, and other matters on which we can speculate. There's no doubt that digital SLRs will dominate the news, with the long anticipated Konica Minolta digital SLR body and the digital back for the Leica SLR slated to be revealed. There's a good chance that we'll see the first inklings of the 10-megapixel chip, probably showing up in integral lens, EVF (electronic viewfinder) bodies. New ink formulations will be revealed for many printers, with of course new models to follow, which will greatly enhance ink jet print longevity and durability. Bundled solutions for moving images within a household from monitor to printer, and over the airwaves to remote devices, will be shown. Photo phones will get an upgrade, with higher megapixel still image chips and wireless transmission to more devices. Scanners will drop in price, with incredible value for film and print combos. Those Slim Jim digicams will get higher megapixel chips, and the price barrier on digital SLRs will be broken once again. Look for a whole new bunch of digital SLRs for pro and advanced amateur alike, and announcements from some makers that they will no longer produce film SLRs. More and more manufacturers (original equipment and third party) will bring out lenses specifically dedicated to digital SLR bodies (smaller image circle, higher correction), with super wide zooms dominating.

And that's just for starters.

While we're at the show we'll be making plans to test all the latest gear as it becomes available, so be sure to stay tuned in the coming issues for our reviews and reports. We'll also keep an eye out for tech breakthroughs and matters that directly affect how you practice your art and craft. The transition to digital has surely dominated the photo/imaging news of late, but we're mindful of the fact that we are still undergoing that transition, and that film still plays a major part in our, and your work.

In the meantime we hope you enjoy this issue, one where we continue to present the gamut of possibilities that photography offers. Our offerings include everything from a look at the breakthroughs in LCD monitors for those who play and work in the digital darkroom to a review of the best of affordable and entry-level large format cameras. It's that mix that makes this work so interesting and that illustrates what an amazing time it is to be involved with photography.