I have been at Photokina this year for 2 days only. Just too much other stuff to do. But two days are enough, if you are selective in what you want to look at.
In contrast to other news and test sites, Camera-info.com is only looking at things we find interesting ourselves for our own hobby, not what makes money through advertising or clickrates.
This makes everything more relaxed and fun and you get better straightforward information and unbiased advice.
So this Photokina was a kind of a mixed bag. Some (few) exciting news, but apart of that the mirror of the photoindustry at the moment: Looking for new business ideas to generate income in a declining market with mature products.
Because of the internet and especially rumors sites, the trade shows like Photokina seldom have big surprises to offer. This year this is no exception. Even the more exciting announcements (i.e. Fujifilm GFX) have been "circulating" as rumors a long time earlier already on the net.
We put some impressions, photos and videos for you in the different section of the forum, whereever they fit the best. Again, we do not cover everything. Just what is interesing for ourselves.
We have also to differentiate, what is only announced and will take some time until we can see real production units (i.e. Fujifilm GFX Medium Format, Olympus OM-D E-M1 MkII etc.) and what will be availabale in a few weeks or is already available (i.e. Hasselbald X1D Medium Format, Nikon D5/D500 etc.)
So let me sumarize, what kind of trends I saw (or believe to see) at Photokina 2016:
1. Cheaper Medium Format becomes "the new fullframe" in the long run
2. Image quality even from small sensor cameras (1" and m4/3) is for most people already now above the "good enough level". You can see many prints, 1.50m and more on the long side which clearly show this.
3. The trend goes away from cameras as a "tool" more towards photography and cameras as "lifestyle & fun". This is obviously influenced by the rise of smartphones and action cams. But you see more and more camera companies, who offer basically the same products in different "clothes", just to address new target groups.
Sometimes they change slightly the specifications. But at the end of the day, the image quality is always good enough for the mainstream photographer. People decide then only on "look", usability and fun factor.
This is good for us. Products become better thanks to competition. Competition will increase, if the market and the products are mature enough. Any marginal gain in image quality becomes less relevant. This is similar to drinking bear. After bottle #15, the marginal gain of bottle #16 is decreasing
Except for few photographers and those will soon have even more choice in Medium Format at cheaper prices to get the best image quality - if they want to have that. I do not think that fullframe will be enough for them.
With the lifestyle it is like in every other industry. If content does not differ a lot, you need to sell more over emotions. Look at all the coloured tripods. So I expect over the next few years a dramatic shift towards design, usability and easier connectivity for mainstream and additional the jump to Medium Format in a niche of very demanding customers. But that niche is by far not as big as DSLRs and MLUs are sold nowadays.
It will be interesting to see then, if APS-C sized sensor cameras and fullframe cameras (MLU & DSLRs) will survive, if smartphones and 1" sensor sized cameras dominate more and more the market from the left and Medium Format prices come down and add pressure on APS-C & fullframe from the other side.
This is why I monitor closely what Nikon is doing with its 1" sensor size MLU system "Nikon 1" and Sony, Canon, you name it also push with 1" sensor cameras.
At the moment Nikon is the only one on the market with an ILC systen with that sensor size. If you see how small body and lenses of that Nikon 1 system are and what kind of image quality you can get with i.E. a Nikon J5, you wonder why you need to carry bigger equipment with you. There are differences of course. But is it worth it to you with all the downsides?
On the other side is Medium Format, which I find very promising. You have there both, lifestyle and image quality in one hand. At least with the Hasselblad X1D. This is a market niche you have to watch closely.
I do think that investing in education, post processing skills, training "the eyes" will benefit more your photography than the difference in 1" sensors and APS-C sensors. So good is the "good enough" level already with those tiny 1" sensors.
I would love to hear your view on this. A friendly and open discussion without brand wars would be nice.