Photokina – The company known as “Impossible” must have felt vindicated at this year’s Photokina. Despite incredible odds, they have managed to bring the Polaroid concept (if not the name) back from the dead. With equipment allegedly rescued from dumps in Europe and some very committed “angels”, Impossible was able to present new instant analog products and, more importantly, establish their presence at Photokina this year.
The second generation of analog instant films introduced include two new Impossible instant films for traditional Polaroid cameras: 600 Silver Shade UV+ and PX 70 Color Shade.
PX 70 COLOR SHADE is a new color film for Polaroid SX 70 cameras builds on the previous PX 70 Color Shade First Flush, but provides more contrasty and true to life color pictures. Combined with highly sensitive overall exposure performance and strong characteristics, it lets you achieve breathtaking results.
PX 600 SILVER SHADE UV+ is a new b&w film for Polaroid 600 cameras that offers improved black and white tones, increased stability and overall performance.
Both films will be released in October 2010.
THE IMPOSSIBLE BATTERY
The new generation of Impossible instant film packs will now feature a freshly produced Impossible Impulse Battery with a new design, a capacity of 750 mAH, a highly improved temperature independence and staying power that will last for much more than one film pack. A rechargeable version of the Impossible Impulse Battery is under development.
SPECIAL TIPA AWARD
To cap a triumphal return for instant photography The Impossible Project received a Special Award from the Technical Image Press Association TIPA Awards at a ceremony on September 21 at Photokina. The jury said “TIPA honours the initiative of The Impossible Project to bring classical instant film for usage in traditional Polaroid cameras back to the market. Instant film has been and still is an important media for artistic photography, but disappeared after Polaroid decided to end its production. The Impossible Project’s instant film’s format, sensitivity and manipulability combines with a unique, new appearance of silver based, monochrome shades. The Impossible Project carries on the work of the inventor of instant photography, Dr. Edwin H. Land.”
Photokina – The just announced PENTAX 645D lens-interchangeable medium-format digital SLR camera will be launched in Canada at select PENTAX dealers in early November.
With its large image sensor, the high-performance 645D delivers super-high-resolution images with approximately 40 effective megapixels. It also offers outstanding dependability and superb operability and maneuverability to make outdoor shooting effortless and comfortable for demanding photographers.
The large image sensor (measuring 44mm by 33mm), something previously available only on professional models, is a boon to serious landscape and outdoor photographers.
The lightweight but solidly built body features a magnesium-steel-alloy frame, reinforced glass LCD panel protectors and a reliable dustproof, weather-resistant construction. The camera features a multi-mode exposure system that switches from Programmed AE to Shutter- or Aperture Priority at the turn of a dial. There’s also an easy to view 3.0 inch LCD monitor featuring 921,000 dots resolution.
It is designed to be compatible with the majority of the existing PENTAX 645 system, so that current PENTAX 645-series camera users can use existing accessories and high performance smc PENTAX 645 interchangeable lenses.
Suggested retail price is $1,250. The smc PENTAX-D FA 645 55mm F2.8 AL [IF] SDM AW lens will also be available.
Photokina — Canon Inc. showed prototypes of two new telephoto lenses, EF500mm F4L IS II USM and EF600mm F4L IS II USM for use with all EOS single-lens reflex cameras.
Both EF500mm f/4L IS II USM and EF600mm f/4L IS II USM were designed to produce high-quality images with high levels of resolution and contrast as well as be lightweight. They will containfluorite lens elements to help minimize chromatic aberration and eliminate color blurring around the edges of the subject.
The two lenses will replace the now 11 year old EF500mm F4L IS USM and EF600mm F4L IS USM which were highly regarded by professional users for use under challenging conditions such as press photography, sports photography and nature photography.
– Günter Ott/The Imaging Scene
This was announced pre-Photokina, but its potential lingered over the halls as other manufacturers wondered what if any effect the Canon mega chip would have on the future of digital photography.
Canon’s announcement stated that they had succeeded in developing the world’s largest CMOS image sensor, with a chip size measuring 202 x 205mm (40x larger than Canon’s largest commercial CMOS sensor). Such a massive chip would be able to capture images in one-hundredth the amount of light currently required by pro-model DSLRs.
Such a game changer could influence the design of lenses, still and video cameras, and enable greater low light opportunities for all types of photographers.
Whether such a chip is actually commercially viable was a significant debating point among manufacturers at Photokina.
By Günter Ott
The 31st Photokina — World of Imaging, wrapped up this past week with a bang. More than 180,000 visitors travelled to Cologne, Germany to view the imaging sector’s latest technological marvels and tease us with first impressions of possible future trends in the industry. Over 1250 exhibitors from 45 countries presented new products, technical innovations and concepts.
For a journalist, trying to make sense out of all the presentations, new releases and ideas floated by international imaging companies is next to impossible (in fact, Impossible was one of the eagerly sought after companies; they have made it their mission to reintroduce Polaroid products to specific markets – welcome back).
Over the next few days, The Imaging Scene will try and distil the marvels exhibited at Photokina and place them in context for Canadian photographers. Some products are already here; others will be appearing in retail stores over the next few months.
But Photokina is not just a trade show. Numerous events, congresses and imaging-related functions also took place in the massive halls and corridors on the banks of the Rhine river. Professional visitors were especially interested in the 1st International CGI Forum, that highlighted a new market trend at an early stage of its development. The CGI Forum presented outstanding examples of computer-generated image design and associated tools.
The Creative Alliance presentations enabled many professional photographers to gain inspiration from some of the best-known experts from the imaging sector. The Creative Alliance — an association of six major professional imaging companies — demonstrated tips and tricks for imaging professionals in daily workshops.
A large Meet the Communities area provided a unique platform for younger visitors to be exposed to a full range of state-of-the-art imaging and networking technologies and new media.
The artistic highlight at Photokina was the exhibitions held in the Visual Gallery that linked the worlds of photo documentation, photo design, photo journalism, and photographic art. One of the most popular exhibitions was a six meter high floating Photo Globe, the result of a joint project by the Photographic Industry Association and its members.
The next Photokina –World of Imaging takes place from September 18 – 23, 2012.
By Günter Ott
The air was heavy with anticipation as Panasonic Canada showed off their latest products to dealers in a Mississauga Hotel. Several items piqued my interest.
First was the Lumix DMC-G2, a successor to the mirrorless micro Four-Thirds Interchangeable Lens format G1 introduced last year. The G-2 is a 12.1 megapixel camera that incorporates some nifty, enhanced touch control shooting options that let you quickly scroll through and make exposure decisions on the fly – sort of like sweeping over an i-phone screen. But here, the camera viewfinder has a wealth of information that you can manipulate as you take the picture. And when you are ready, a light touch on the 3-inch screen records the shot.
There are a lot of nifty applications for this touch control feature which I’ll describe in more detail once the camera is available for testing (Auto Focus Tracking of moving objects or people seems particularly effortless and useful). The product is scheduled to ship in June. Price is said to be $899 Cdn.
A new G-10 that updates the older G1 also looks promising at $699 Cdn. Also coming in June.
For the Point & Shoot crowd, Panasonic managed to cram most of its innovative new features into the smaller bodies of the ZS and ZR series of P&S cameras, including Panasonic’s Intelligent ResolutionTtechnology that extends the optical zoom range by 1.3X while maintaining the picture quality, even when combined with Digital Zoom. Improved detail when shooting at night is another bonus of the technology.
In the camcorder area, Panasonic introduced several High Definition 3MOS cameras that significantly improve performance and color accuracy – even in extreme low-light situations.
Of more interest to the couch potato crowd is Panasonic’s growing commitment to 3D television. Company reps are now talking of “end to end” involvement in 3D, meaning that Panasonic now offers 3D production services, manufacturers the cameras and other gear, and follows through by showing 3D moving images in both corporate Display environments and at your home through their Blu-ray Disc players on Viera plasma HDTV screens. I saw some remarkable examples of television images with enormous depth and quality without blurriness during movement. It looks like those viewing glasses are here to stay.
For more info on Panasonic‘s recent introductions, go to www.panasonic.ca
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The Canon Group, including Canon Inc., Canon U.S.A., Inc. and Canon Latin America, Inc., has pledged approximately $220,000 (20 million yen) to the Haiti relief and recovery efforts, following the devastating earthquake that struck the region, causing extensive destruction and loss of life.
The Canon Group is contributing to the relief efforts for victims of the earthquake through donations to Red Cross Organizations that will help provide the people of Haiti with necessary supplies and services including food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support.