On day two at Photokina 2016, I selected some big and some of the small product news that I came across. Let me start with one of the big (not only sensor wise) new cameras again.
Hasselblad is back! Well, they were not literally gone, but they had been producing pro medium format digital cameras well in the $30,000+ price range that only very few photographers had access to. And on the last Photokina 2 years ago, their exhibition stand was not really packed. But after the recent announcement of the compact 50 MPix Hasselblad X1D priced at $8995 (€7900) their stand was buzzing like a beehive.
I was fortunate to get a 45-minute talk with Hasselblad’s product manager for the new X1D medium format camera, Ove Bengtsson today. Ove told me, that the first talks about a compact and more affordable medium format Hasselblad (codename “Wedge” back then) were made in late 2013. The plans were pursuit after a new management came on board with a lot of vision to revive the innovativeness that the Swedish company was known for. It then took about 18 months to complete the development of the X1D. Ove said that the development was the next logical step as they already had the sensor and technology from the H5.
The X1D is designed to be a simple to use camera for photographers who care most about high image quality and precision. This camera is not aimed to be the fastest camera with all the whistles and bells features that many high-end DSLR offer. Hasselblad has incorporated all necessary features for an easy to use photographers camera. They are aiming for current Hasselblad pro users who already have a Hasselblad H camera and want a lighter second body for flexible outdoor or on location work. Hasselblad offers a XH lens adapter for owners of current H lenses. But this camera is also aimed at landscape, architecture or portrait photographers, pros and enthusiasts alike, who are potential top end DSLR or Leica M customers.
The Hasselblad is still a bit bigger than my APS-C sensor size Fuji X-Pro 2 camera. But let’s put this into perspective by looking at the sensor size – the APS-C sensor fits 3.8 times into that of the Hasselblad! And a pro full frame sensor DSLR will have a bigger body than that of the X1D.
And while the X1D is presented as a camera with a focus on basic functions and hight quality image capturing, it does not mean that you have to give up on all convenient technology advancements. The X1D has a touch control LCD, Wi-Fi and a built-in GPS module. It captures 65MB RAW files, shoots 1080p video and has an ISO range from 100 to 25600. The camera will be shipped to the first customers in October.
It was great to talk to Ove and hear the excitement that he has for the new camera and other products to come. Hasselblad has played an important role in photography in the past and it looks like that they will continue to do so in the future, too.
And while they celebrate their 75th anniversary, they even showed a V1D concept 75 MPix square format camera, that shows the roots of the classic V-series cameras.
My next stop was at Panasonic as I wanted to take a look at their just “development announced” GH 5 camera. Not all specs are yet know – I was told that the camera is due to ship in March 2017. But Panasonic points out that the camera will be able to record 4Kvideo at 60p and record in 4:2:2 at 10bit directly to SD card (no more HDMI needed for that). It’ll also shoot photos in 4K at 60fps and there will be a 6k mode.
Here is a look at the camera from the front:
And from the top:
Panasonic has also announced three new Hybrid f2.8 – 4 Leica Zoom Lenses: A wide-angle 8-18mm, a standard 12-60mm and a telephoto 50-200mm that are supposed to deliver very high picture quality for photo and video use. Find out more about the product announcements from Panasonic here.
After a lot of camera gear talk I came across an exhibition stand for functional photographer wear. The company COOPH (Cooperative of Photography) has specialized on little improvements for clothes, that just make sense for photographers.
Why has no one thought about these ideas before? Find out more about COOPH photographers clothes here.
Big news also comes from SanDisk about a little product. They just announced a 1TB SD UHS-I card. With all those new big megapixel sensor cameras for photo and video recording, this big capacity card could actually come in handy one day.
A new camera that does not need a memory card was just introduced by Leica. The Leica “Sofort” (means “Instant” in German) uses Fuji Instax Mini film. The camera is actually a Fuji Instax Mini inside with a different housing. And a red dot…
Find out more about the Leica Sofort here.
I’m closing todays blog post with an observation that I have made walking across this year’s Photokina. I saw a lot of printing services, printer manufacturers and paper manufacturers. And I also saw a lot of people crowded around these stands picking up sample prints or having their photos printed as samples. I am happy to see that there is so much interest in physical prints and that manufacturers and print service providers aiming at making it easier for digital photos to get printed – whether from a high-end camera or from a smartphone.
And even modern smartphone photos can be printed big:
More impressions from Photokina 2016 to follow in the next post.
Marco's approach to photography is "reduce to the basics and focus on the story and the subject." Growing up with the limitations that film photography has taught him, he still enjoys the basic approach to photography today. For Marco the camera is a tool and a mere extension of his instincts.
Marco is the producer and co-host of the Photofocus #Inspiration and #Mirrorless podcasts episodes.
Contact Marco on twitter @HamburgCam
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