Photokina happens only once every two years, so you can imagine how big it is for camera brands who want to show off their latest products. For reference, the event in 2014 introduced two DSLR cameras still widely used today: the full-frame Nikon D750 and the high-performance Canon EOS 7D Mark II. There’s a lot to cover this year, so here’s a compilation of the biggest announcements made at Photokina 2016, in no particular order.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH5
Although it’s still under development with no release date or expected price, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH5 is one of the biggest hits at the show because of its 4K video recording at 60 frames per second. That’s amazing for a camera with a relatively small Four Thirds image sensor, and it follows up on the already great GH4 that was released almost two years ago.
There’s also a “6K Photo” mode, but it’s probably not what you think it is. All it can do is extract 18-megapixel stills from burst shots or 8-megapixel photos from the aforementioned 4K footage, which is still quite impressive for such a compact interchangeable-lens camera. The GH5 should be in stores by early 2017.
Fujifilm GFX 50S
Medium format cameras are a rarity at consumer shows, so it’s nice to see Fujifilm take a crack at it with the GFX 50S. Despite its bland looks, there’s a 51.4-megapixel sensor that’s 1.7 times bigger than a full-frame DSLR’s waiting inside, as well as a brand-spanking new G lens mount system. It’s really light for its kind too, with a mirrorless body that weighs only 800g.
The GFX 50S is going to be crazy expensive, but for early adopters, the selection of lenses is quite good for a fresh system. There’ll be six to choose from, consisting of one 32-64mm f/4 lens and prime lenses spanning 23mm f/4 to 120mm f/4. Rest assured, this is a medium format camera you’d love to have both in a studio and outside your house.
Sony A99 II
Sony has had enormous success with its full-frame mirrorless A7 series of cameras, making the A99 II announcement a bit of a surprise. If you’re not familiar with the A99 lineup, we can’t blame you; the latest is a full-frame SLT camera just like its predecessor, meaning it uses a translucent mirror instead of a slapping one like in every SLR. Sony continues to believe there’s a market for this, but it comes at a hefty price.
For $3200 (body only), you get a 42.4-megapixel full-frame sensor, continuous shooting at 12 frames per second, and 5-axis in-body image stabilization. The A99 II will be out in November, which is a long four years after the release of the original A99. Time will tell how well an SLT will be received in this day and age.
While it wasn’t technically unveiled at Photokina — GoPro made its announcement simultaneously in the US — the Karma is the most fascinating drone to come out this week. It’s designed to be foldable for easy storage during trips, and is compatible with the Hero 4 and new Hero 5 series.
The package comes with a gamepad-like Karma controller for flying the drone, a Karma grip for smooth handheld shooting on its 3-axis stabilization, and a Karma case for traveling convenience. It’s a fantastic deal when you consider the $799 price tag for the whole set. GoPro also claims that it’s beginner-friendly, so it may be a sweet investment for newbies of flying drones.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Just like the Panasonic Lumix GH5, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is still under development and doesn’t have a release window or price yet. What we do know is that it’ll be Olympus’ best mirrorless camera once it’s released. Fast shooting speeds at high resolutions is its strong suit.
With autofocus active, the new E-M1 can shoot 18 frames per second at full resolution; if you’re using manual focus, an amazing 60 shots per second can be achieved, as if you’re shooting a video but with high-resolution photos. Inside, there’s a 20.4-megapixel image sensor capable of 4K movie recording — a first for Olympus. Overall, this shooter is really good at pushing pixels quickly.
It’s no surprise that Photokina 2016 has been absolutely packed with big announcements. Aside from the main highlights, SanDisk also announced its 1TB SDXC card, which probably has more storage than your laptop and tablet combined. As mentioned earlier, GoPro also has a new pair of action cameras in the Hero 5 Black and Hero 5 Session. Lastly, there’s the Leica-lookalike Yi M1 mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera from Xiaoyi, but it won’t be available outside of China for now.
If you’re interested in any of the listed gadgets, let us know in the comments below, and we’ll work on more coverage for them in future articles.
GoPro HERO 7 goes official with plethora of video and imaging features
The best GoPro yet
After a rather quiet year, GoPro is back in the game! Well, they weren’t really gone but their presence in the action camera realm hasn’t been the same lately. To set off a great comeback, GoPro announced the HERO 7 action camera family. We not only have one or two new cameras to play with — we have three!
The main highlight is the HERO 7 Black which boasts in-camera HyperSmooth stabilization that’s said to rival those bulky gimbals. Then there’s the TimeWarp feature which will undeniably be popular for travel. The Black is also capable of online live streaming straight from the camera.
GoPro’s best camera is capable of shooting 4K at 60fps or 1080p at 240fps slow-mo, but it’s not just for videos. It can also capture photos with a new smart scene recognition that applies necessary settings to get the best shot possible. It has better audio capture and supports hands-free voice commands, as well.
If the Black is too much for you, there’s the HERO 7 Silver. It’s cheaper but it lacks the HyperSmooth stabilization and 4K 60fps video recording. No worries, because GoPro said it still has a “significantly improved” video stabilization and other important features from the Black.
The most of basic of the bunch is the HERO 7 White. It boasts more or less the same features as the Silver model but it maxes out at just 1080p at 60fps. If you really just want to have a high-quality action camera for your trips, you can’t go wrong with this.
Here’s a simple table to help you understand more about the differences between the three new HERO 7 cameras from GoPro:
All three HERO 7 models are now available for pre-order, with retail launches starting on September 27 internationally. The high-end HERO 7 Black goes for US$ 399, the mid-tier HERO 7 Silver is at US$ 299, and the entry-level HERO 7 White is available for US$ 199.
Polaroid OneStep+ puts a modern twist to old-school photography
Don’t judge a camera by its vintage appearance
As the throwback trend continues to be popular, print photos are coming back in style. And in a time where the Fujifilm Instax line has taken the world by storm, Polaroid jumps back in to take back the crown with their latest release, the Polaroid OneStep+.
Inspired by the 1977 OneStep model, the Polaroid OneStep+ takes the classic Polaroid camera and packs it with a bunch of cool features to pull it right into the late 2010s. You can still snap a photo instantly, just like old-school Polaroids, but now you can also use a new app that lets you do fancy stuff with your camera.
Remote Trigger, Self Timer, and Noise Trigger make it so that you can get the perfect group shot even without having to ask a stranger to take it. Give your photographs more character with Double Exposure and Light Painting. And enhance the quality of your captures with Portrait and Manual mode.
Just like that, your instant photography game just got much more elevated. And apart from the i-Type film that’s specially made for this line, you can use their 600 film which gives this new and innovative little machine even more of a vintage feel. For the price you pay, I think it’d be well worth it!
The Polariod OneStep+ is available now, and you can get it for US$ 159 on their website.
Snap’s new Spectacles are here
And they actually look real good!
The idea of having cameras built into eyeglasses has always been a great one. When Snap (creator of Snapchat) decided to make that a reality with Spectacles, it almost seemed like the greatest idea ever — except it only came in one style and it wasn’t a style I was particularly fond of.
When they released the Spectacles 2, the shades-camera combo came in more colors, but the same size. I still wasn’t sold.
But, Snap’s latest Spectacles release has me wanting the famed frames. Finally, the company has announced Specs I’m on board with. Introducing, the Nico specs:
There’s also the Veronica:
Now these glasses, I’d definitely wear! They feature the same 105-degree camera and the same LED light design found on previous Spectacles. Both are only available in black and retail for US$ 200 each.
BRB, getting these glasses!
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