It’s a big year for cameras, with new systems being announced left, right and centre.
Here we round-up the best cameras, lenses and announcements from Photokina 2018.
Panasonic at Photokina 2018
The biggest announcement of the show, Panasonic is taking Lumix full-frame. The giveaway came from the Leica L Mount lens alliance (also with Sigma), which is the mount the new Lumix S.
The camera – which comes in two resolution options, the S1 at 24MP, the S1R at 47MP – promises the industry’s “highest precision finder”, 100 per cent sealing from dust and splashes, along with autofocus that utilises artificial intelligence (AI) learning.
You’ll have to wait until early 2019 for these new cameras to appear though.
Want to know more? We’ve got a full feature breaking down all the information about the forthcoming cameras: Panasonic Lumix S1: All the full-frame mirrorless specs and details
Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm f/1.7 Micro Four Thirds lens
Announcing a full-frame camera is one thing, but Panasonic wanted to show ongoing support for its existing Micro Four Thirds range too. That’s where the new 10-25mm f/1.7 comes in, the world’s first lens with such a wide constant aperture across such a focal length.
Lumix Pro service
The expansion of the Lumix Professional Services programme beyond Japan will come into play in 2019 for the US/Canada and Europe. It will be available to both Lumix S and some Lumix G users.
Fujifilm at Photokina 2018
Ahead of Photokina, Fujifilm presented its latest do-it-all mirrorless, the X-T3, and very impressive it is too. We’ve used the camera over a day-long period to test its mettle. For more info follow the link below.
Fujiiflm GFX 50R
Long rumoured, Fujifilm revealed its rangefinder-style medium format camera on stage at its Photokina press conference. It’s medium format minus the massive size: with the body measuring 66.4mm thick and a compact 50mm f/3.5 lens incoming in 2019, it’s a hand-holdable package.
Key to its specification is a 51.4-megapixel sensor and a 3.69m-dot magnification electronic viewfinder with significant 0.77x magnification for large size to the eye.
It’s not necessarily as “affordable” as many had been predicting, however, with the estimated asking price $4,500 (without tax).
GFX 100 Megapixels
After announcing its first GFX camera at Photokina 2016, Fujifilm has never been quiet about its lenses being 100-megapixel ready. Well, now the company is about to realise that potential, with the 100MP GFX, due in the first half of 2019.
The 100MP GFX will be the world’s first medium format camera with on-sensor phase-detection pixels. It will also be the world’s first medium format camera with in-body image stabilisation (necessary at such a high resolution). How about that for a list of world firsts?
Don’t expect the 100MP monster to come cheap though, with its asking price estimated to be $10,000 (without tax).
Nikon at Photokina 2018
Nikon was the first in 2018 to announce its new full-frame mirrorless series and lens mount, in the Z6 and Z7 cameras.
It’s a big deal for the Japanese maker, which has lost its way in recent years: abandoned compact ranges and sub-par action cameras have marred the brand, with only the previous Nikon D850 keeping some kudos.
The Z7, however, from what we’ve seen, looks like a very serious step into the mirrorless market – and that’s no surprise, after the failing and abandonment of the previous Nikon 1 series.
Canon at Photokina 2018
The other big name, Canon, already revealed its hand with the EOS R announcement earlier in the year. Also a major revelation, thanks to the new lens mount.
Unlike Nikon – which has put all its all into the Z series – the EOS R feels more like a new camera type for a different audience: its combination of touchscreen and limited button controls (plus a quirky Fn-Bar slider) sees the R sit in-between Canon’s EOS M mirrorless and top-end DSLR cameras.
It’ll sell, no doubt, because of the Canon name. Plus, from what we’ve seen, the new lenses offer the potential for ultimate sharpness – something that Canon was promising it couldn’t deliver from unnecessarily high-res sensors, only from credible optics such as these.
Leica at Photokina 2018
L Mount lens alliance with Sigma and Panasonic
As the above photo hints: Leica’s L Mount has opened its doors, forming a lens alliance with other makers – Panasonic and Sigma – meaning there will be more lenses for the SL and TL cameras in the future. That’s why Panasonic will be developing its own camera, the Lumix S, as detailed at the beginning of this very article.
Leica S3 medium format
Some 10 years since the Leica S2, it’s follow-up, the S3, tweaks the medium format camera. It keeps the design and optical finder of its predecessor.
Its big change is the sensor: with a 64-megapixel resolution, the new sensor is designed to deliver optimum image quality. It can also use the full sensor size to capture 4K movie clips, which would be a huge deal for cinematographers.
The S3 will be available from Q1 2019. Its price is TBC, but, no doubt, it’ll be five figures.
Sony at Photokina 2018
‘Strategy Update’ was the title projected on screen at Sony’s Photokina press conference. As you can guess, however, that doesn’t mean any new cameras – after all, the company is pushing its A9 and A7R III with great success at present – but rather an opportunity for Sony VP, Kenji Tanaka, to show off the recently announced FE 24mm f/1.4 GM lens.
In 2019, Sony will also introduce Eye Tracking AF capable of recognising animals. That’s thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), better known as 2018’s buzz word in tech. It’ll please wildlife shooters, that’s for sure, but Sony’s showcase at Photokina was casual to say the least.
Ricoh / Pentax at Photokina 2018
Ricoh GR III
The Ricoh GR series of high-end, fixed lens compacts is an often underappreciated range. The Mark II model hit the shelves in mid 2015 and it’s only now that the Mark III model has been announced as “in development”.
So what’s on offer? The GR III will come with an APS-C sized sensor – that same as you’ll find in many DSLR cameras – offering 24-megapixels, paired with its 28mm equivalent f/2.8 lens. Yep, no zoom here, but the GR is a very specific type of camera for a certain user base. There is a touchscreen though, bringing the GR into the modern era.
Olympus at Photokina 2018
Set in its “Perspective Playground” area at the Koeln Messe, Olympus did not announce any new product at the show. Instead the Japanese company will hold back for its 100th anniversary in 2019, where it intends to deliver something “special”. It did make clear that chasing the full-frame space is not something of interest, however, with “system mobility” being its most important asset. So, watch this space…
Kodak at Photokina 2018
It’s not going to win any prizes for being pretty, but Kodak’s new mega-zoom comes with, well, a massive zoom. Its lens can capture from a super wide-angle 19.5mm through to a telephoto of 1989mm (in 35mm equivalent). Looks to be reaching for the space that Nikon P1000 currently owns.