Barney: Delays and surprises
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Barney: Delays and surprises

Photokina is the most important event in the photographic calendar, and as such it's the show where we tend to see major announcements from the biggest manufacturers. This year, a large spanner was thrown into the works by the Kyushu earthquake, which hit Japan in spring and badly disrupted Sony's sensor manufacturing plant.

This is a problem not only for Sony, because Sony supplies imaging chips to virtually every camera maker. The Kyushu earthquake is the reason why Fujifilm, Olympus, Sony and Panasonic had to be content with only announcing the 'development' of new flagship cameras at Photokina, and may also be a contributing reason for the continued no-show of Nikon's DL-series compact cameras (originally announced back in February). Maybe Nikon had originally planned a replacement for the D750, D820 or D610 at Photokina. Maybe Sony had planned to show off a successor to the a7 II - we don't know. 

Although we've yet to see a 'final' sample, my standout camera of this year's Photokina is Fujifilm's GFX 50S. If the 50S turns out being as good as it looks, and if it really does come in at 'well under $10,000' with a 63mm prime, I suspect that they could be backordered for quite some time.

At the other end of the spectrum is the 4K-capable Olympus OM-D E-M1 II. Small, light (relatively speaking) and blazingly fast, Olympus has pulled out all of the stops with its new Micro Four Thirds flagship. Sony's new a99 II came as a bit of a surprise, but also offers a range of attractive high-speed stills and video modes, and full-frame 4K video capture. 

Meanwhile, although we don't have all the details yet, Panasonic's GH5 raises the video bar even further with the ability to capture 6K footage. 

Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, this year's Photokina actually ended up being pretty exciting, and I'm really looking forward to some of these 'development announcements' turning into shipping products in the coming months. Thanks for reading!

Barnaby Britton