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Photokina Report Part 1

By dpreview staff on Sep 24, 2000 at 04:00 GMT

Photokina 2000: The biggest photography fair in Europe (arguably in the World) is currently taking place at Koln Messe in Cologne, Germany (20-25th Sept). DPReview are here and bringing you reports of the key digital photography products currently on show. Broken into several parts this first report covers: Adobe, Agfa, Canon, Casio, Delkin and Foveon (& Hasselblad). Subsequent parts appear below (company names sorted alphabetically).

(Note: this is page one of a four page report)

Adobe

Adobe were obviously perfectely timed to show Photoshop 6.0. Probably the most significant new / updated graphics manipulation product of the year they had plenty of information and live demos of the product in use (and all its new features). I personally will be using 6.0 when the final production version is available (I have tried beta versions and am impressed with the improvements).

Agfa

Agfa had an extremely large stand (taking up one whole hall), below is a shot of the "bubble" they had for digital imaging, nothing much new here. The CL20 was on show and mention of a new CL34 which will use PhotoGenie to generate a 1.3 megapixel image from a 800K sensor. Not sure when Agfa are planning their next medium / high level camera but there was no word of it here.

Canon

Canon have a huge stand which is interestingly designed to show that Canon consider digital products as part of their overall "photography offering" rather than segmenting film and digital. For instance, you'll find the D30 on the same desk as the new EOS film cameras, the Digital IXUS with the Film IXUS. Obviously all digital eyes were on the PowerShot G1 and EOS-D30, we had some exclusive access to the G1 just before the show started...

Canon PowerShot G1 (powered off) G1, rear view with screen swung out
G1 with accessory lenses and lens adapter G1 with screen twisted to the front and InfraRed remote control (included with camera)
G1 with wide angle lens adapter (note the lens adapter which screws "around" the base of the lens and gives a 58mm thread at the front) Look mom, it's got 1 GB. Nearly all Canon's G1's had 1 GB Microdrives in them.. In JPEG mode the displays just showed "999" frames remaining (even in FINE), in RAW there was space for around 300 images.
G1 on the stand, here you can see the silver collar which unscrews to allow the fitting of the lens adapter (to 58mm thread) G1 on the stand from the back
G1 on the stand hooked up to a studio flash system (a model was available during show hours for test shots... impressive stuff) The full G1 accessory set including CF cards, batteries (not sure why the NB-5H is there), lenses, car battery charger, flash (one of) and Microdrive.
 
Yeah, I think I'll buy one of these, what about you?  

And so onto "the rest" of the Canon portfolio, obviously the IXUS, S10 and S20 were around on the stand, here are some more images from the Canon stand:

Canon EOS-D30 setup for remote capture (pre-show press launch) EOS-D30 lovingly examined by (who knows) a prospective owner.. The D30 "hands on" experience always had long queues.
EOS-D30 CMOS sensor next to the S20's CCD sensor The Canon underwater housing on display
Plenty of hands on at the Canon stand Canon's breakthrough 400mm f/4 DO IS USM lens

Canon Europa also have a live webcam from the stand.

Site links: Canon PowerShot G1 announcement, Canon EOS-D30 Preview, Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS USM lens

Casio

Not that much new from Casio other than the QV-3X which we've recently added to our database, so rather than list the specs here we've provided a link to the specifications if you're interested. It's a neat 3 megapixel fixed lens digital camera with a pretty solid build quality and some nice features.

Casio QV-3X Casio QV-3X
Casio QV-3X "in hand" Casio QV-2300UX
Casio QV-2800UX Casio QV-2800UX

Site links: Casio QV-3X, Casio QV-2300UX, Casio QV-2800UX

Delkin

Stopped off at the Delkin stand to have a look what was new there, they have a 256 MB CF Type I and a 320 MB CF Type II, there was also talk of a 448 MB CF Type II which wasn't yet ready... Personally I don't find these large flash CF's good value for money, you can buy four or five 128 MB CF's for the price of one of these babies.. Let alone Microdrives...

Delkin 320 MB CF Type II Flash Delkin 256 MB CF Type I Flash

Foveon

Here's a company that's managed to push it's name into the headlines in the last week. Announcing their new 16 megapixel monochrome CCD they produced a print with style printed a huge poster sized print from one of their first test shots from sensor no. "1" (the first one off the production line). They also had their other studio systems on show which use colour splitting prisms and three 4 megapixel (2048 x 2048) sensors to produce a "full measured colour" image (that is each pixel is captured with a full 24/30/48-bits of colour rather than a single CCD utilizing a Bayer pattern.

We were lucky enough to have a brief conversation with Erik Zarakov from Foveon who confirmed that they were very happy with the performance of their new sensor, albiet very new. That they didn't have any plans to utilize the sensor in the same colour split system used in their other studio cameras but that they would be making the sensor available as an OEM product and that we may see it used in other products, I prompted the question "with a Bayer CFA?", the answer was "yes, with the right partner". So we may well see the Fovean sensor used in other, more portable cameras..

Foveon's new 16 megapixel CMOS sensor A wafer of Foveon 16 mp sensors
Poster print from a shot taken with the 16 mp sensor (detail close up was amazing) Why full-measured colour is better than Bayer CFA (obvious really)
Beam splitter currently used by the Hasselblad DFinity (in conjunction with Foveon) in use

Today Foveon and Hasselblad announced a partnership to produce the camera you can see above.

(Note: this is page one of a four page report)

Next page >

Site links: Fovean 16 megapixel sensor announcement

Images: Shots taken with a Nikon D1, reduced to monitor viewable sizes, some images have visible noise because of high ISO's used and "pushing" in Photoshop. Now where did I leave my Kodak DCS620x ?

Thanks: Must go to readers David Kamanski and Eckhart Henkel for helping me get a connection here in Germany, you guys enabled me to post this report just two days into the show!

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