Photokina 2006

The bi-annual Photokina show is in full swing in the city of Cologne in Germany. For Photographers and Digital Imageers in Europe this is the photo centric event. There are about 1600 suppliers represented at the show with about 160,000 visitors expected to attend. There have been new products aplenty both released and announced to coincide with the show.

Hardware wise, new cameras, tools and accessories to make any chance you had of wanting to save money, a tough task indeed. The best of the crop in my mind to date are the new Leica M8 and The Hasselblad H3D 48mm full frame DSLR. The Leica M8 with its 10+ megapixel sensor and compatibility with existing glass will make this a very popular model with many photographers who have already invested in Leica based rangefinder cameras and glass. The Hasselblad H3D looks like a really sexy piece of kit and most like something which would cost as much as a decent car. Not for the casual photographer unless you happen to have won a lottery or are loaded.

Other cool gear included a new wooden bodied compact camera from Olympus, which look like it was style by a child of the 60's. On the memory card front we have seen 12Gb and 16GB CF Cards and external storage solutions aplenty.

Software wise, one of the big things that seems to be the focus of software companies from all over, has been the abundance of solutions for RAW image handling and workflow. Adobe and Apple lead the pack with releases of their RAW based software solutions. Apple announced Aperture 1.5 which should be out this week. Seeing as I don't have a Mac I can really comment, but the new features look promising. Adobe have also fired several volleys this week with the release of Beta 4 of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 and Adobe Camera RAW 3.5.

Software from other companies includes; Capture One PRO, DxO Optics Pro, Bibble 4.9 and Lightzone 2.0. Other offerings include image editing and processing solutions like Corel PaintShop Pro XI, Ulead PhotoImpact 12 and ACDSee 9 Photo Manager.

Other products include: iPod accessories, portable image storage and viewing solutions, specialised image correction software of all kinds. high resolution webcams, digital photo frames, DLP projectors, camera bags, printers, scanners and tripods.

For the most comprehensive coverage of Photokina go to Photokina Show from Lets Go Digital.

Other coverage can be found at the following sites: DPReview, Rob Galbraith, Digital Camera Info and Imaging Resource