Exciting Products Premiere at "World's Fair of Imaging"
by Diane Berkenfeld
Photokina has long been known as a veritable launching pad for new products and new technologies and this year was no exception. More than 160,000 visitors from around the world flocked to Cologne, Germany this past September for the bi-annual trade show, with 68% identifying themselves as photo specialty visitors, 15% of whom were resellers. With 1,546 different companies exhibiting their wares at this year's show, a wide range of exciting new film and digital based products were on display for all the imaging world to see. The following are some of the products that caught our eye.
Kodak introduced a new digital SLR for pros that featured a whopping 13.89 megapixels of resolution utilizing a full-frame 35mm CMOS sensor. Canon also upped the ante in their EOS line of digital SLRs with the 11.1 megapixel EOS 1Ds, also sporting a full-frame 35mm CMOS sensor. And Sigma had a working model of their SD9 digital SLR that uses Foveon's x3 sensor. All three digital SLRs are slated to hit shelves by the end of the year.
Roll Out of New Film Cameras
Film-based SLRs included Leica's new flagship R9, which was introduced along with three lenses; and Canon's new EOS Rebel Ti.
Despite the influx of digital, film is still alive and well with many introductions of 35mm film based point and shoot cameras. Leica announced a special edition compact camerathe "Leica Minilux DB Exclusive" featuring a titanium finish and color coordinated Snake leather covering.
Nikon added the Lite Touch Zoom 150 ED/QD to their popular Lite Touch line of compact point and shoots. The Lite Touch Zoom 150 ED/QD features a Nikon zoom lens with ED glass for sharp and vivid images.
Fujifilm introduced two 35mm point and shoot models specifically for photo specialty retailers. The Fujifilm Zoom Date 90SR and 115SR both feature Fujinon lenses and a remote control that will allow users to take photos from up to 16 feet away. The cameras are packaged with Fujicolor film, battery, case and remote. Fuji also added three new easy to use Zoom Date cameras: the Fujifilm Zoom Date 90EZ, 110EZ and 125EZ to their point and shoot lineup.
Minolta introduced the Freedom Zoom 80 Date, featuring a sleek metallic silver finish. The camera offers users a bright viewfinder for easy focusing and a landscape/night mode for scenics.
Kodak revamped its APS line and also introduced a number of new 35mm point and shoot models. These included the manual zoom KBZoom as well as the KB22 and KB32 cameras with big viewfinders.
Kodak also added the new Ultra Compact One Time Use camera that features an Ektanar lens. The Fun Flash features a new design with scratch proof lens and the Ultra Sport is waterproof to a depth of 10 meters.
Konica added the new Z-Up 60 to its line of Z-Up point and shoots. The Z-Up 60 autofocus point and shoot camera also features a self timer and real image viewfinder.
Concord introduced the new, exclusive line of Polaroid brand single use cameras. The line includes seven easy-to-use models that include both color and black and white film, panoramic and waterproof versions.
Achiever Industries introduced their updated DCS camera line that uses a unique double cartridge system.
Digicams Debut by the Dozens
Consumer level digital cameras at all price points made big news as well. Beginner through prosumer models could be found by all the major manufacturers. Fuji introduced five FinePix digital cameras that utilize the new xD-Picture Card, a format that was created by Fuji and Olympus this past summer. Fuji also added two models to its line of user-friendly FinePix A-series digital cameras with the A203 and A303.
Kodak added to its EasyShare family with the new LS 443. The LS 443 is a 4-megapixel model that features a Schneider Kreuznach Variogon lens and 10x zoom. The camera comes with a special edition dock for easy uploading of images to the computer.