What’s been the most exciting announcement of Photokina?
Every two years people flock to Cologne to find out what’s next in the world of photography. This year we’ve seen some announcements that left us very excited, but we wanted to know what you, our readers, think of what’s come out of the show this year. So we asked: what’s been the most exciting announcement of Photokina? With more than 5,000 votes counted, we have a pretty good idea.
Winner: Fujifilm GFX 50S development
Winning by a margin as big as its sensor is the announcement of the development of the Fujifilm GFX 50S and a selection of lenses to go along with it. Built around the 51.4MP 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor that is found in the Pentax 645Z and Hasselblad X1D-50c medium-format cameras, it lays claim to being the world’s first medium format mirrorless camera with a focal plane shutter. While Hasselblad stuck with leaf shutters built in to the lens, which is common in the medium-format world, Fujifilm claims using a focal plane shutter has allowed them to design a short flange back distance in to their new lenses, helping vignetting and sharpening.
Runner up: Olympus E-M1 II development
Trailing on the heels of the big Fujifilm with nearly 1,000 votes is the much smaller, but arguably a much more powerful, Olympus E-M1 II. Sure, the 20MP Micro Four Thirds sensor isn’t nearly as big, but this one has been tricked out with all sorts of technology.
First, it gains an array of 121 cross-type AF on-sensor phase detection points spread further than its predecessor. The new autofocus system and sensor work alongside the new dual quad core TruePic VIII Image Processor with four CPU cores and four image processing cores that achieve image processing speeds approximately 3.5 times faster than the TruePic VII Processor.
That means this little powerhouse can shoot Raw continuously at 18fps with continuous autofocus and auto exposure, or 60fps without autofocus. This all on top of a slew of other improvements, which you can learn more about in the announcement or our hands-on articles.
Runner up: Sony a99 II
Third place in our Photokina poll comes as no surprise, as it helped shed some light around the fate of Sony’s Alpha mount cameras. The Sony a99 II answers prayers with a 42MP BSI sensor from the Sony a7R II, complete with its 399 on-sensor PDAF points. These work in conjunction with the 79-point dedicated PDAF sensor to create what Sony calls ‘Hybrid Cross AF points.’ The a99 also receives an a-mount first: 5-axis in body image stabilization that should provide up to 4.5 stops of stability.
Runner up: Canon EOS M5
Another product our readers are excited about is Canon’s latest mirrorless camera: the EOS M5. It gains features fans of the EOS-M lineup have been begging for, namely an EVF and a sensor equipped with Canon’s marvelous Dual Pixel Autofocus system. What results is a small and responsive camera with a touch screen, digital image stabilization for video, and all sorts of other goodies.
Runner up: Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art
The Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art edged into the top five by just a single vote, and it’s easy to understand why our readers are excited about it – they’ve been waiting a while for this one. Starting with the 35mm F1.4 Art, Sigma started producing an excellent lineup of zooms and F1.4 prime lenses. After the 35 they made a 50, after which people logically assumed an 85 would come. Instead we got a 24mm F1.4, then an industry-first 20mm F1.4, which are both wonderful lenses.
Finally, they’ve focused all their optical prowess in to producing what they’ve billed as ‘The Ultimate Portrait Lens’, with a (de) focus on bokeh quality, and an improved AF motor. Our polls indicate that this is a lens many people cannot wait any longer to try, us included.
Honerable mention: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH5 development
It only missed the top five readers’ picks by one vote, and while we only got a look at the new GH5 under glass at the show, Panasonic was able to provide us with some drool-worthy specs and capabilities of their upcoming flagship. It will offer 4K/60p capability for the first time in a consumer ILC, and will provide 4:2:2 10-bit 4K video. The GH5 will also provide a 6K Photo mode that will extract 18MP stills from burst footage, or 8MP stills from 60p 4K clips. These impressive specs are enough to keep us eagerly waiting for the GH5’s arrival.