Digital Cameras

Gallery: The best of Photokina 2018, the world's biggest camera expo

Gallery: The best of Photokina...
Canon's giant display is close to the start of the winding Photokina expo
Canon's giant display is close to the start of the winding Photokina expo
View 118 Images
The crowd pours in as Photokina's doors open
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The crowd pours in as Photokina's doors open
Canon's giant display is close to the start of the winding Photokina expo
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Canon's giant display is close to the start of the winding Photokina expo
Canons new mirrorless EOS R takes center stage
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Canons new mirrorless EOS R takes center stage
Canon telephoto lens testing gallery
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Canon telephoto lens testing gallery
The EOS R's lightweight magnesium chassis helps it keep the pounds in check
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The EOS R's lightweight magnesium chassis helps it keep the pounds in check
Canon might be late to the party with the EOS R full frame mirrorless, but there's so many people out there with big collections of Canon glass that it'll likely not matter
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Canon might be late to the party with the EOS R full frame mirrorless, but there's so many people out there with big collections of Canon glass that it'll likely not matter
The Canon EOS R
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The Canon EOS R
EOS R try-out sessions, complete with dancing cloth
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EOS R try-out sessions, complete with dancing cloth
There's always plenty for overcompensators at the telephoto lens testing galleries - this one hardly scratches the surface
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There's always plenty for overcompensators at the telephoto lens testing galleries - this one hardly scratches the surface
Canon's pro digital camcorders
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Canon's pro digital camcorders
Manufacturers ensure they provide plenty for visitors to take photos of
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Manufacturers ensure they provide plenty for visitors to take photos of
Underwater action with Panasonic's GH5
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Underwater action with Panasonic's GH5
The Nauticase makes the GH5 fully submersible
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The Nauticase makes the GH5 fully submersible
Panasonic signaled its intentions to go full-frame mirrorless with the S1 and S1R concepts
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Panasonic signaled its intentions to go full-frame mirrorless with the S1 and S1R concepts
Panasonic's full frame mirrorless S1 concept: quite hefty next to the company's regular Micro Four Thirds rigs
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Panasonic's full frame mirrorless S1 concept: quite hefty next to the company's regular Micro Four Thirds rigs
Panasonic went for a dark, backlit look for its stand
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Panasonic went for a dark, backlit look for its stand
Demonstration of the GH5's depth from defocus autofocus technology on a moving subject
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Demonstration of the GH5's depth from defocus autofocus technology on a moving subject
The Panasonic GH5S, fully loaded as a pro video rig
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The Panasonic GH5S, fully loaded as a pro video rig
There's always plenty of focus on the art, as well as the technology, at Photokina
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There's always plenty of focus on the art, as well as the technology, at Photokina
How the mighty have fallen: Pentax's tiny presence at Photokina
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How the mighty have fallen: Pentax's tiny presence at Photokina
DJI presented its Osmo Mobile 2 phone stabilizer
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DJI presented its Osmo Mobile 2 phone stabilizer
DJI's Inspire 2 drones
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DJI's Inspire 2 drones
DJI's gimbals keep getting bigger...
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DJI's gimbals keep getting bigger...
DJI's Master Wheels allow smooth, instant remote control of entire large gimbals just by moving a tripod head
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DJI's Master Wheels allow smooth, instant remote control of entire large gimbals just by moving a tripod head
DJI's Ronin 2 pro steadicam gimbal
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DJI's Ronin 2 pro steadicam gimbal
DJI's Ronin S: one of a new breed of camera gimbals where the motor gets out of the way of the rear screen. Yay!
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DJI's Ronin S: one of a new breed of camera gimbals where the motor gets out of the way of the rear screen. Yay!
Hasselblad sat right across from DJI at Photokina, although the two companies are reticent to talk about their relationship
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Hasselblad sat right across from DJI at Photokina, although the two companies are reticent to talk about their relationship
The accessible Hasselblad X1D system 
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The accessible Hasselblad X1D system 
The full range of Hasselblad X series lenses
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The full range of Hasselblad X series lenses
Full frame mirrorless was everywhere at Photokina, with the Z7 the clear focus of Nikon's display
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Full frame mirrorless was everywhere at Photokina, with the Z7 the clear focus of Nikon's display
Nikon's Coolpix P1000, with its ludicrous 125x zoom lens, is quite a cannon for an all-in-one!
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Nikon's Coolpix P1000, with its ludicrous 125x zoom lens, is quite a cannon for an all-in-one!
Nikon broke out the 'cinebot' camera robots to demonstrate its video prowess
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Nikon broke out the 'cinebot' camera robots to demonstrate its video prowess
The Nikon Z7 tryout was a very popular display
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The Nikon Z7 tryout was a very popular display
Nikon's lightweight full frame Z7 puts the firepower of the company's vaunted DSLRs into a lightweight, quiet body
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Nikon's lightweight full frame Z7 puts the firepower of the company's vaunted DSLRs into a lightweight, quiet body
Dozens of demo Z7s were still not enough, with the crowd 3-4 deep at many spots
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Dozens of demo Z7s were still not enough, with the crowd 3-4 deep at many spots
Leica's display heavily featured its new S3 medium format camera
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Leica's display heavily featured its new S3 medium format camera
Leica S3: impressively fast autofocus for a 64-megapixel MFT camera
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Leica S3: impressively fast autofocus for a 64-megapixel MFT camera
Leica S3: can shoot bursts of three photos, again impressive for a compact MFT
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Leica S3: can shoot bursts of three photos, again impressive for a compact MFT
Leica S3: like Hasselblad's X1D, it's refreshingly simple to shoot with - but the S3 is much heavier
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Leica S3: like Hasselblad's X1D, it's refreshingly simple to shoot with - but the S3 is much heavier
Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei hit Photokina to show off its high-end phone cameras
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Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei hit Photokina to show off its high-end phone cameras
Huawei P20 Pro: Leica lenses in a smartphone? Yes, please
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Huawei P20 Pro: Leica lenses in a smartphone? Yes, please
Huawei P20 Pro: triple camera setup with Leica lenses
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Huawei P20 Pro: triple camera setup with Leica lenses
Huawei P20 Pro try-out station
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Huawei P20 Pro try-out station
Huawei put on a smartphone photography expo, showing what these pocket-sized beasts can do
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Huawei put on a smartphone photography expo, showing what these pocket-sized beasts can do
Epson's stand focused on large format printing
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Epson's stand focused on large format printing
Epson's large format photo printers
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Epson's large format photo printers
Photokina: where photographers get to take the stage like rock stars
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Photokina: where photographers get to take the stage like rock stars
Some of the longest lines are for the displays where people get photos of themselves
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Some of the longest lines are for the displays where people get photos of themselves
Simplify your life, shouted low-fi Lomography peddlers
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Simplify your life, shouted low-fi Lomography peddlers
Phase One had a modest presence at Photokina, but some interesting new gear
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Phase One had a modest presence at Photokina, but some interesting new gear
Phase One has moved into 3D replication of historical artifacts with a stunning new robotic system
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Phase One has moved into 3D replication of historical artifacts with a stunning new robotic system
Phase One's IXG combines 100-megapixel photography with ultra high resolution 3D scanning to create incredibly fine colored point cloud scans of artifacts
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Phase One's IXG combines 100-megapixel photography with ultra high resolution 3D scanning to create incredibly fine colored point cloud scans of artifacts
Phase One's medium format gear is starting to look gigantic and bulky next to a new breed of compact MFT shooters from Leica, Hasselblad and Fujifilm
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Phase One's medium format gear is starting to look gigantic and bulky next to a new breed of compact MFT shooters from Leica, Hasselblad and Fujifilm
Phase One: next-level foodstagramming
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Phase One: next-level foodstagramming
Better known for its cinema cameras, Arri has brought some serious lighting gear for stills photography
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Better known for its cinema cameras, Arri has brought some serious lighting gear for stills photography
You're a lemur, baby, work it!
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You're a lemur, baby, work it!
Arri's colossal Sky Panel studio lighting rigs offer big-time lumens and full color tuning
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Arri's colossal Sky Panel studio lighting rigs offer big-time lumens and full color tuning
Pictar's cute little phone accessory lets you operate your smartphone like a DSLR
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Pictar's cute little phone accessory lets you operate your smartphone like a DSLR
Pictar gives your smartphone shutter buttons and adjustment wheels
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Pictar gives your smartphone shutter buttons and adjustment wheels
Slide your phone in, fire up the Pictar app and you've got a phone that acts like a DSLR
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Slide your phone in, fire up the Pictar app and you've got a phone that acts like a DSLR
Zhiyun brought its prototype Crane 3 stabilizing gimbal rig to Photokina, which proposes a totally new ergonomic for the DSLR gimbal, complete with a lot of built-in controls
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Zhiyun brought its prototype Crane 3 stabilizing gimbal rig to Photokina, which proposes a totally new ergonomic for the DSLR gimbal, complete with a lot of built-in controls
The lighting section might be a little unglamorous, tucked away in the basement, but it's a good reminder that with the right lights, you can make just about any camera look amazing
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The lighting section might be a little unglamorous, tucked away in the basement, but it's a good reminder that with the right lights, you can make just about any camera look amazing
Laowa has a range of interesting out-there lens options, but none of them draw a crowd quite like this ridiculous 24mm F14 probe lens
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Laowa has a range of interesting out-there lens options, but none of them draw a crowd quite like this ridiculous 24mm F14 probe lens
We just liked the background in this shot for some reason
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We just liked the background in this shot for some reason
Grip Gear makes "the world's smallest camera motion control rig" - but you need a pretty tiny camera to make use of it
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Grip Gear makes "the world's smallest camera motion control rig" - but you need a pretty tiny camera to make use of it
Grip Gear's cute and tiny motion rigs include a rail slider and this wheeled unit
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Grip Gear's cute and tiny motion rigs include a rail slider and this wheeled unit
Stepping into Tamron land
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Stepping into Tamron land
Cologne's famous cathedral in miniature: part of Tamron's try-out area
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Cologne's famous cathedral in miniature: part of Tamron's try-out area
Tamron's new SP lens range exploded
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Tamron's new SP lens range exploded
Fujifilm really captured the essence of Photokina with this poster. Compact is front and center for most of the major brands
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Fujifilm really captured the essence of Photokina with this poster. Compact is front and center for most of the major brands
Fujifilm offered visitors the opportunity to print photos and contribute to the decor - which they did, in droves
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Fujifilm offered visitors the opportunity to print photos and contribute to the decor - which they did, in droves
Fujifilm's Instax Square SQ6 - multicoloured digital polaroid-style shooter
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Fujifilm's Instax Square SQ6 - multicoloured digital polaroid-style shooter
Fujifilm's cute Instax Square S6 drew the crowds in like a magnet
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Fujifilm's cute Instax Square S6 drew the crowds in like a magnet
Fujifilm's try-out stage featured breakdance artists
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Fujifilm's try-out stage featured breakdance artists
Fujifilm's compact medium format GFX series, including a mocked-up concept camera for a 100-megapixel version not much larger than the 50
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Fujifilm's compact medium format GFX series, including a mocked-up concept camera for a 100-megapixel version not much larger than the 50
Hidden among a range of micro 4/3rds gear from Fujifilm are three concept lenses...
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Hidden among a range of micro 4/3rds gear from Fujifilm are three concept lenses...
...the most fascinating of which is on the right, a giant, chunky 33mm F1 lens for m43 bodies. Bokeh city!
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...the most fascinating of which is on the right, a giant, chunky 33mm F1 lens for m43 bodies. Bokeh city!
The Fujifilm display stretched out as far as the eye could see, one of the biggest stands at the entire expo
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The Fujifilm display stretched out as far as the eye could see, one of the biggest stands at the entire expo
The Big Daddy: Sigma's 200-500 F2.8 telephoto lens is an absolute bazooka, weighing nearly 35 pounds and costing US$26,000
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The Big Daddy: Sigma's 200-500 F2.8 telephoto lens is an absolute bazooka, weighing nearly 35 pounds and costing US$26,000
Sigma has really impressed in the last few years, particularly with its Art series lenses
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Sigma has really impressed in the last few years, particularly with its Art series lenses
Sigma is moving into serious cinema lenses
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Sigma is moving into serious cinema lenses
Sigma's new cinema lens lineup
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Sigma's new cinema lens lineup
Sigma's Art series lenses have won the brand a place in many shooters' hearts
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Sigma's Art series lenses have won the brand a place in many shooters' hearts
Sigma's Sport range of fast telephotos
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Sigma's Sport range of fast telephotos
Sigma is moving into cameras with the SD Quattro range
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Sigma is moving into cameras with the SD Quattro range
...and compact cameras with the DP quattro range
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...and compact cameras with the DP quattro range
Sigma's Micro Four Thirds lens range
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Sigma's Micro Four Thirds lens range
White Wall's otherworldly glowing photo prints are achingly gorgeous in the right light. We're gonna need some bigger walls.
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White Wall's otherworldly glowing photo prints are achingly gorgeous in the right light. We're gonna need some bigger walls.
The Insta360 Pro 2 360-degree prosumer camera on display at Photokina
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The Insta360 Pro 2 360-degree prosumer camera on display at Photokina
Feiyutech brought its new gimbal range
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Feiyutech brought its new gimbal range
Feiyu's new AK4000 gimbal rigs win our "best product name to say in a tough guy voice" award
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Feiyu's new AK4000 gimbal rigs win our "best product name to say in a tough guy voice" award
Feiyu's AK4000 gimbal rigs
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Feiyu's AK4000 gimbal rigs
Mazda cheekily stuck some cars in the middle of a camera expo, and the crowd photographed the heck out of them
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Mazda cheekily stuck some cars in the middle of a camera expo, and the crowd photographed the heck out of them
Samyang brought some new gear this year
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Samyang brought some new gear this year
...including the XP 10mm ultra-wide angle full frame lens, which would be a ton of fun to play with
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...including the XP 10mm ultra-wide angle full frame lens, which would be a ton of fun to play with
Samyang's cinema lens range on display
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Samyang's cinema lens range on display
Presentations came thick and fast at the Sony stage
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Presentations came thick and fast at the Sony stage
Sony's impressive and growing Alpha lens family
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Sony's impressive and growing Alpha lens family
Sony's cinema cameras span the entire range...
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Sony's cinema cameras span the entire range...
...from the incredibly intimidating...
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...from the incredibly intimidating...
...to the fairly intimidating...
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...to the fairly intimidating...
...to the very friendly with the A7R3 and a6500
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...to the very friendly with the A7R3 and a6500
This guy was there
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This guy was there
A company called "Lighting Decorative Glass" makes these absolutely stunning back-lit frames. Naturally, they look completely naff in a photograph, but these were the best looking prints in all of Photokina - which is saying something.
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A company called "Lighting Decorative Glass" makes these absolutely stunning back-lit frames. Naturally, they look completely naff in a photograph, but these were the best looking prints in all of Photokina - which is saying something.
We don't know exactly what's supposed to happen in the Imaging Lab, but it sure looks funky.
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We don't know exactly what's supposed to happen in the Imaging Lab, but it sure looks funky.
Fujifilm's Shoot Print Share display goes on and on and on
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Fujifilm's Shoot Print Share display goes on and on and on
We're not sure what these guys were there to sell, but they had plenty of buyers
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We're not sure what these guys were there to sell, but they had plenty of buyers
Paper company Innova was looking for a way to demonstrate its latest photo printing paper, so it teamed up with the digital Atlas of Humanity project to produce a stunning exhibition
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Paper company Innova was looking for a way to demonstrate its latest photo printing paper, so it teamed up with the digital Atlas of Humanity project to produce a stunning exhibition
The Atlas of Humanity project aims eventually to "document every single culture on Earth," in a series of beautifully shot portraits
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The Atlas of Humanity project aims eventually to "document every single culture on Earth," in a series of beautifully shot portraits
Visitors to the Canon stand had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph... This thing, whatever it is
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Visitors to the Canon stand had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph... This thing, whatever it is
Canon's dramatic wind tunnel setup provided some amazing photo opportunities for people testing out the EOS R mirrorless full frame camera
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Canon's dramatic wind tunnel setup provided some amazing photo opportunities for people testing out the EOS R mirrorless full frame camera
"Don't mind me, I'm just sitting in my glow prism wearing a sparkle jacket and holding my twinkle brolly." Panasonic's artistic display is a touch out there.
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"Don't mind me, I'm just sitting in my glow prism wearing a sparkle jacket and holding my twinkle brolly." Panasonic's artistic display is a touch out there.
Photokina's many workshops are a wonderful chance to learn from top-flight professionals
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Photokina's many workshops are a wonderful chance to learn from top-flight professionals
Almost as much of a gallery as a gear show, Photokina balances the art and science of photography nicely
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Almost as much of a gallery as a gear show, Photokina balances the art and science of photography nicely
Artworks by Panasonic Lumix ambassadors
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Artworks by Panasonic Lumix ambassadors
That's a decent sized print, on the side of the Nikon booth
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That's a decent sized print, on the side of the Nikon booth
A digital tree full of Rob Whitworth's urban images next to Sony's Z7 display
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A digital tree full of Rob Whitworth's urban images next to Sony's Z7 display
You need frames? Natalini has a few
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You need frames? Natalini has a few
View gallery - 118 images

There's no place better in the world than Photokina if you want to completely drown yourself in the equipment, culture and business of photography. We spent a couple of days putting together this giant gallery to give you a sense of what the world's biggest camera nerd expo is all about.

What's hot this year? There are definite themes. Any company that's made its fortune building DSLR cameras is hustling to get on the mirrorless wave before it leaves them behind. The camera world's two aging giants, Canon and Nikon, both put their new mirrorless full frame offerings front and center, with Canon's EOS R and Nikon's Z7 the focal points of their impressive stands.

EOS R try-out sessions, complete with dancing cloth
EOS R try-out sessions, complete with dancing cloth

Panasonic is attacking from the opposite direction. Having made impressive waves in the last few years with its G-series micro four thirds mirrorless rigs, Panasonic is threatening to go full-frame itself with new S1 and S1R concepts.

Panasonic signaled its intentions to go full-frame mirrorless with the S1 and S1R concepts
Panasonic signaled its intentions to go full-frame mirrorless with the S1 and S1R concepts

Another thing you simply couldn't avoid this year was stabilizing gimbals, which are sprouting out in all directions, shapes and sizes. From handy smartphone stabilizing rigs to all manner of DSLR and mirrorless gimbal rigs to DJI's monster Master Wheel setups which can smoothly operate a full sized cinema camera on a gimbal, mirroring the action from a remote tripod head, these things were everywhere.

Probably the most interesting was Zhiyun's Crane 3 - a pre-production prototype that strikes out toward a whole new ergonomic for the DSLR gimbal. You can hold this thing one-handed, or like a machine gun, and you can rig it up with all kinds of external controls depending on what sort of shooting you're doing.

Zhiyun brought its prototype Crane 3 stabilizing gimbal rig to Photokina, which proposes a totally new ergonomic for the DSLR gimbal, complete with a lot of built-in controls
Zhiyun brought its prototype Crane 3 stabilizing gimbal rig to Photokina, which proposes a totally new ergonomic for the DSLR gimbal, complete with a lot of built-in controls

Leica used Photokina to give the public a first glimpse at its upcoming S3, a kind-of-compact 64-megapixel medium format camera. Smaller than the Phase One/Hasselblad rigs of yore, the S3 is considerably chunkier and heavier than the new breed of compact medium format rigs like Fujifilm's GFX 50R and Hasselblad's X1D - but in a quick hands-on test, we were blown away by the S3's quick autofocus and 3-shot burst capability. It'll probably cost a squillion dollars when it's launched, but Leica might have built the most usable mirrorless medium format rig of them all.

Leica S3: can shoot bursts of three photos, again impressive for a compact MFT
Leica S3: can shoot bursts of three photos, again impressive for a compact MFT

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei showed a cheeky middle finger to the camera community by reserving a stand for its P20 Pro smartphones. With three rear cameras, using Leica lenses, Huawei is positioning the P20 Pro as the serious shooter's smartphone, going so far as to host a mobile photography competition.

Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei hit Photokina to show off its high-end phone cameras
Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei hit Photokina to show off its high-end phone cameras

While Huawei was the only phone manufacturer to show up, it's worth noting that the vast majority of photography these days is happening on people's smart devices, which are good enough now that the compact camera market has pretty much ground to a halt. Most of the market now seems to be either smartphones or prosumer-level cameras, with precious little in between.

On the other hand, it seems people might be prepared to eschew pixel-peeping quality and carry around a compact device if it offers a bit of charm. Fujifilm's Instax Square SQ6 is a US$127 instant that spits out tiny square prints just like the Polaroids of old... But much smaller. And it was so popular you couldn't get near the thing.

Fujifilm's cute Instax Square S6 drew the crowds in like a magnet
Fujifilm's cute Instax Square S6 drew the crowds in like a magnet

Best known for its medium format digital backs, Phase One has struck out in an interesting new direction with its iXG camera, which combines ultra-high 100-megapixel resolution photography with 3D point scanning. Phase One is using it for "cultural heritage" applications, which appears to entail putting it on robot arms and having it create extraordinarily accurate full-color 3D models of ancient artifacts.

Phase One has moved into 3D replication of historical artifacts with a stunning new robotic system
Phase One has moved into 3D replication of historical artifacts with a stunning new robotic system

And one thing that Photokina does really well is give visitors plenty of things to point cameras at. Every camera manufacturer seems to pride itself on creating terrific little situations for folks to try out their new gear on, from fully-lit miniature movie sets with actors in period costume, to glamour modeling setups, to still life opportunities and Canon's fun idea of having a ballet dancer working with a giant piece of blue cloth blown around by fans to create a dynamic and random thing to shoot at.

Canon's dramatic wind tunnel setup provided some amazing photo opportunities for people testing out the EOS R mirrorless full frame camera
Canon's dramatic wind tunnel setup provided some amazing photo opportunities for people testing out the EOS R mirrorless full frame camera

There are also plenty of opportunities to watch professional shooters at work. Here's the Arri team demonstrating their comically gigantic SkyPanel lighting rig with a haute couture fashion shoot.

Better known for its cinema cameras, Arri has brought some serious lighting gear for stills photography
Better known for its cinema cameras, Arri has brought some serious lighting gear for stills photography

If you want to test out some lenses, Photokina is absolute gear-head paradise. There's little raised nooks all over the place for folks to get up above the crowd and play with the big telephotos. And look, we know it's not new, and it's not clever, and they're not impressing anyone, but for sheer wow factor you just can't go past the overcompensator's dream lens: Sigma's 200-500mm F2.8 bazooka, weighing nearly 35 pounds and costing a whopping $26,000. Of all the bad boys at the show, there's still nothing quite as bad as this thing.

The Big Daddy: Sigma's 200-500 F2.8 telephoto lens is an absolute bazooka, weighing nearly 35 pounds and costing US$26,000
The Big Daddy: Sigma's 200-500 F2.8 telephoto lens is an absolute bazooka, weighing nearly 35 pounds and costing US$26,000

There's more. Lots, lots more. Jump into the gallery to see what else caught our eye at Photokina 2018.

View gallery - 118 images
3 comments
guzmanchinky
I love photography ever since my Minolta 7000 back in the 80's. But I just can't seem to carry around anything that doesn't fit in a pocket anymore.
f8lee
Wait - Fuji has a M4/3 camera system too (those mockup lenses shown in the gallery)? Or was that a typo - are the lenses really for their DX cameras (X-T3, etc.). That would make more sense, as the 33MM f1 would have the angle of view of a 50MM lens on a full frame camera.
ljaques
I need a bazooka for my Nikon D40. Guess I'll start a GoFundMe. Seriously tho, who needs a $45,000 cam and $26,000 lens? Did you buy the $45k cam from the guy in the $6 black tee at HassB? Loved your captions, Professor Loz. What camera lessons did you teach at Photokina?