IFA 2001 brief show report (part one)
Aug 28, 2001 at 04:00 GMT
IFA 2001: The IFA 2001 exhibition in Berlin falls as the only major trade show (in Europe at least) before Christmas this year (Photokina being biennial - every second year). Several manufacturers have announced new products and most of those are on show at IFA. In this part of the report we will cover Canon, Casio, Fujifilm, Grundig, Iomega and Kodak. (Part one of two)
25/August/2001 - 2/September/2001
The acronym IFA stands for Internationale Funkausstellung, which translates literally as 'International Radio Exhibition'. The show itself covers a wide range of products from Multimedia, Internet to Wireless technology, Mobile Telephones, Hi-Fi, A/V, TV's, Digital Cameras etc. Note that we have concentrated only on digital camera products, there was A WHOLE LOT MORE at the show.
IFA is clearly a show for 'combined business', that is the promotion of products to the consumer for the Christmas period and also as a chance for manufacturers to convince dealers and "buyers" (for large chain stores) to take on their new products for Christmas. Some of the stands which had a limited consumer 'frontage' did have fairly large "closed doors" discussion areas for this purpose.
Photography notes: All images show with a Nikon D1H @ ISO 500 - 800 (very impressive, low noise and good colour accuracy) - review coming soon.
First update (28/August/2001)
Because the show is still underway and stretches over nine days we will update this report at the end of the show with any other announcements which may occur later. The review is written in the past tense, however if you're reading this before September 2nd you still have an opportunity to go to IFA yourself!
You may have noticed that Olympus aren't on this list, that's because they didn't have a stand at the actual exhibition halls but they may well have some announcements to make towards the end of the show.
Digital Camera / accessories manufacturers
Canon had an impressive, spacious stand with a good range of both demonstrated and hands-on with their full range of digital cameras. Taking a prominent position (and also available for hands on) was the recently announced PowerShot G2. Center stage was a large circular podium with Mika Hakkinen's 2000 McLaren Mercedes Formula One car, this surrounded by both digital cameras and DV video cameras. The Canon stand was probably second only to the Sony stand.
|One half of Canon's large stand||Some of the Canon range with accessories|
|Lots of hands on opportunity and an impressive..||..test subject, Mika's actual 2000 McLaren F1 car|
Casio had a relatively small, simple stand with product 'behind glass', although the products could be brought out for demonstration, there was no walk up hands-on. The new 4 megapixel QV4000 was there as well as some of the older QV products.
|Casio stand||Casio QV-4000 (4 megapixel)|
|Casio's range of digital cameras 'behind glass'|
Fujifilm had a logically laid out and nicely presented stand with digital camera products taking prominence. There was demonstration and hands-on with the full range of cameras as well as the recently announced Finepix A101, A201 and 2600Z. The Fujifilm stand was in my opinion logically laid out and useful with plenty of hands-on and demonstrators to explain details.
|Fujifilm stand||Finepix 6800Z being demonstrated / hands-on|
|New Finepix A101 (A201 was also here)||New Finepix 2600Z|
|Finepix A101 being demonstrated|
Not known for their digital cameras German manufacturer Grundig dug deep and presented their new Picca DMC 5100 MP3 digital camera. The DMC 5100 is capable of 1.3 megapixel shots (1280 x 960) using a CMOS (!) sensor, video clips, can act as a webcam and also plays MP3 audio tracks. Storage comes courtesy of an SD/MMC slot and it's powered by AA batteries. Noticeably missing is a review LCD, but it does have flash...
|Picca DMC 5100 on the Grundig stand||Picca DMC 5100 (from info sheet)|
|Picca DMC 5100 (from info sheet)|
External links: Grundig
The Iomega stand was tucked away in a different part of the show, although they did have the Peerless storage drives at the stand they were securely tucked away behind glass. There was also no sign of the new Firewire Docking station ('Drive').
|Iomega stand||Iomega Peerless drive|
Kodak had a large stand but with a limited number of demonstration points. To their credit they did have the newly announced DX3900, DX3700 and DX3215 'EasyShare' digital cameras hooked up to laptop computers to show just how easy it is to download images. Having said all this it didn't seem to have the buzz of some of the other stands (Fujifilm, Canon, Sony).
|One side of the Kodak stand||Kodak information station and a big mc3|
|DX3900, 3 megapixel, 2x optical zoom||DX3700 and another DX3900|
|A rather large DX3900 (not available in stores ;)|