Photokina

The big camera tradeshow Photokina is happening now, there are some pretty interesting developments and some might call it the most interesting in years. The biggest news to me overall is that Sony is really leveraging their sensor development (24MP) and standard lense (E-mount) to produce a single family that can use lenses from mirrorless compact all the way to professional dSLR to professional camcorder.
Boutique

  • Hasselbad, the storied medium format camera maker is lashing up with Sony. They will do E-mount cameras for the ultra high end, so interesting but not something I really need 🙂
  • Leica. I’ve always wanted one of these and with the Leica M, maybe it is actually affordable. It is a full range finder that looks pretty cool.
Full Frame

This was really an interesting year for full frame mainly because of Sony and Nikon with Canon doing something pretty uncompetitive

  • Canon 6D. Makeby to take care of all the folks sad that the 5D Mark III was so expensive, they just announced a relatively inexpensive full frame camera at $2K with a simpler autofocus. Kind of an interesting middle ground and still leaves me without a replacement for my 5D2 to lust after.
  • Sony SLT-A99. Will this be the camera that pushes me flip to E-mount? It is a pro level camera and because of the translucent mirror, does full time autofocus, not to mention that you can use the same glass for the new NEX-6, etc.
  • Nikon D600. This is basically a full frame D7000 and makes me wish I had stuck with Nikon all those years ago.
Mirrorless

  • Sony NEX-6. The NEX have great technical specs but are quirky in the user interface, they added some dials here, so maybe this is good enough to use. As an aside, size-wise the complete Olympus is about the same size.
  • Fuji XE-1. I had a chance to use the X1-Pro and it is “huge” compared with a compact camera, still the picture quality according to reviews is amazing. The XE-1 is a shrunk version of the X1-Pro and won camera of the year. And the slow autofocus is reportedly fixed. Maybe this is the one to invest in, although the lenses are also completely proprietary.
  • DMC-GH3 is an update to the popular GH2 that many movie makers are using as a micro-4/3 camera. Not clear if it is time to make more investment in a new lense system though but if I do, these seem like cameras to really consider.
  • Olympus OM-D MD5. As an aside, this camera isn’t new, but Rennie has one and just loves it. So I need to look at this one more and it is standard in that it uses micro-4/3.


Video
This wasn’t a video show, but Sony did show the NEX-VG900 which is an E-mount, full frame camcorder with RAW support using the 24 megapixel sensor also used in the SLT-A99 and NEX-7. Wow pretty amazing stuff. It shows what you can do when you leverage a single mount for three kinds of cameras (dSLR, mirrorless and camcorder). At $3K body only, it rivals the price point of the Blackmagic and others (although these shoot a 2.5K RAW vs. the 2K raw of this camera).

 
Lenses
Lense-wise, it is pretty clear the big decisions are as usual coming down to what set of lenses should you invest in. Sony has their E-mount that is up and coming and there are is of course Canon EF and Nikon as well as the micro-4/3 folks.

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