Pentax knows how to attract the attention with the introduction of a number of products like D-SLR's, flash and lenses. The focus seems to have diverted from the compact camera assortment to other products. Certainly when we look at the attention that goes to the D-SLR assortment and the Photokina introductions. The Pentax K20 may be the current flagship of Pentax; with the introduction of the Pentax K-m/Pentax K2000 Pentax once again tries to get a grip on the DSLR market for beginning photographers. The size is definitely not to blame. The Pentax K-m/Pentax K2000 is very compact and can easily compete with other models, and stands a good chance for the title: 'compact DSLR of the year'. Even a pimped version of the Pentax K-m / K2000 was showcased and could be admired.
The Casio booth was a bit on the large side for the disappointing amount of visitors that arrived. The current EXILIM compact camera line does not stand out too much, apart from two exceptions. Two cameras are able to attract the attention; the Casio EXILIM Pro F1 and the recently introduced Casio EXILIM FH20. Both cameras offer a unique feature that makes them stand out from the crowd; and that feature is speed. The pair of them are true racing monsters and therefore all options are present to capture fast action moments right there and then at the Casio booth. Visitors of the Casio booth were invited to try and surpass the record distance (making the golf ball travel a distance as long as possible through an electronic golf club.)
If anything became clear at the Photokina 2008, it was the fact that the compact camera desperately needs an innovative boost. There was hardly any news on the field of compact cameras at this world event, it were the advanced digital cameras, D-SLR cameras that surprised us and, of course, the Micro FourThirds System. Even Fujifilm didnít have a lot to offer, whereas in the past they have always introduced some interesting compact cameras during events like the Photokina, except for a few a FinePix camera models that were introduced the beginning of August. The assortment looks too familiar; there is more of the same stuff.
In our opinion, the most elevating news of the came from Panasonic. The recently announced Micro FourThirds System, by Panasonic and Olympus, was followed by a massive presentation of the new Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G1 at the Photokina show. The LUMIX G1 caught your eye everywhere you looked in the ambitious Panasonic booth. And in exchange for your driverís license, you were able to receive a working sample of the Panasonic G1 to get acquainted with the world's first Micro FourThirds System camera on the show floor. A spectacular show around the G1 put even more emphasis on Panasonic's new flagship that played its leading role with verve.
Sigma was also present at the Photokina 2008. In addition to the announcement of a series of new lenses, among which the 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG HSM with a considerably smaller build than that of Nikon's own bright 24-70mm lens, Sigma also announced the development of the second generation DSLR and compact camera models. The Sigma SD15 and Sigma DP2 are both based on Foveon's 4.7x3 megapixel sensor; however, they will be equipped with a new processor called True II. This processor has to ensure an improved processing speed (for example for continuous shooting) and should increase the overall image quality. Sigma showcased both products to the public behind glass.
The 'sleeping giant' is Samsung's name in the photo industry. And sleeping doesn't seem too far off we discovered, after visiting the Samsung booth. As for floor space, Samsung had sufficient room to show many of its new products, and it is rather striking that Samsung has nothing, or almost nothing, to declare as for cameras. All of the products but one prototype, the Samsung HZ1, were introduced at the CES and PMA (January 2008). Samsung seems to omit profiling the company as an innovative and serious camera manufacturer at the world's largest and most important imaging event, apart from a few camera models introduced in July.
The famous Nikon yellow and black colors dominated a huge part of the gigantic halls of the Photokina show. The booth accurately represented Nikon's presentation in the world in 2008. The huge booth was crowded with people and could have done with some more floor space to be able to accommodate all the visitors. Nikon's DSLR models passed from hand to hand among the eager crowd. The new Nikon D90 was in the limelight, although the successful D3, D300 and the recently introduced D700 also seemed extremely wanted and popular.
A few weeks ago LetsGoDigital was invited to visit the factories of Manfrotto, Gitzo and Avenger in Italy. Four days in sunny Italy to get a better idea of how the high quality products of Manfrotto, Gitzo and Avenger are made. The factories are in Feltre, right in the heart of a beautiful mountain site. Arriving at the factories, right away I had the feeling of a relaxed atmosphere with good working circumstances. If looking at the products, at Manfrotto, Gitzo and Avenger you will find anything a photographer might need to place or secure his camera, flashes, studio equipment etc. The following Bogen Imaging Factory Tour report will give you a look behind the scenes.