So I finally made it to Photokina in Cologne, Germany. This is actually my first Photokina, so I was pretty amazed at the scale of this event. If a company is even remotely related to imaging, digital or film, there’s a good chance that they’re. Luckily, since we currently focus on digital still cameras here at DCR, I don’t have to visit all 230,000 square meters of exhibition space.
This view was a small fraction of Kodak’s space (view large image)
I had a few meetings with some of the major camera manufacturers today, with some more tomorrow. Also, since most of the people from the US divisions of the camera manufacturers went home today, I’ll miss some of them (at least until CES or PMA). While most of the latest digital cameras have been announced, this is the first time that I’ve seen some of them in person.
People keeping the cameras busy (view large image)
My highlight of the day was my visit with Olympus. I got the run-down on the latest FE lineup, the latest Stylus lineup, and the latest addition to the SP line. Olympus has an impressive presence at Photokina and their products pretty impressive. In their FE line, the FE-190 and FE-200 will be of most interest. The FE-190 is much slimmer than previous models, perfect for someone looking for an affordable and stylish camera. The FE-200 features a 5x optical zoom lens for less than other compact 5x optical zoom cameras currently on the market.
The new Stylus models are equally as fun. The Stylus 730 has similar styling to the 720 SW and is very attractive. If you want a large display and easy to use camera, it’s worth checking out. Also, Olympus entered the 10 megapixel arena with the Stylus 1000.
The Olympus SP-510UZ was demonstrated to me as one of the best values out there for an ultra-zoom camera with full manual controls, RAW/TIFF capability, and so on. I think that I may receive some dings for not having optical image stabilization, but if the price is right, there’s not much to argue.
See previous coverage of the Olympus announcements:
- Four New Olympus Stylus Digital Cameras: Stylus 730, Stylus 740, Stylus 750, Stylus 1000 (8/23/2006)
- Olympus SP-510 UZ Ultra Zoom Digital Camera Announced (8/23/2006)
- Four Olympus Fun and Easy Digital Cameras Announced: FE-170, FE-180, FE-190, FE-200 (8/23/2006)
I also got a chance to see Fujifilm’s face detection system in action and it’s pretty impressive. A dedicated processor handles processing of the facial detection system to allow quick operation. This technology is available on the Fujifilm Finepix S6000fd and Finepix F31fd.
Stay tuned for more information from Photokina, as long as my lack of sleep and reliable internet connection don’t conspire to keep the Ben down.