The Essential Photokina Recap

Here a few lines I’ve received from a friend, a longtime Photokina enthusiast who had this to say (we initially planned to meet up in Cologne for the world’s biggest photography industry exhibition, yet on short notice I had to commit to other obligations):

Photokina going bonkers? | LetsGoDigital
Photokina going bonkers? | LetsGoDigital

Dear Daniel,

You did not miss much by not going to the Photokina. My friend and I had plans for two days there, but decided in the afternoon of the first day that we had seen practically everything that was worthwhile. It was significantly smaller than two years ago, when it was already smaller than the one before it, four years ago. Many veteran Photokina goers were commenting on that. Another thing to note was a relatively poor quality of the photography in the booths of the manufacturers, as well as the mini exhibitions.

The signs of the times. Budgetary constraints? People relying more and more on the Net than a “real world experience”? The industry’s general poverty of imagination? The price the industry pays for photography’s mainstreamization?

Go figure. Looks like it was mainly a Leica exhibition with mildly exciting announcements. But why always expect the even more exciting. I’m perfectly happy with the capabilities of today’s current gear.

  • Dave

    There is always a positive aspect: Photokina had kind of detoxification effect from GAS. Canon at least found better not to disturb their customers with new stuff for giving us the time to deepen our skills with current gear.

    • One More Thought

      You do bring up an interesting point: we all know that Canon seems to take longer to bring out new camera models to the market, and they have been criticized among the internet crowd for that. But is that really bad? Do Canon shooters somehow benefit from the fact that there are longer times between models? Does that actually help them focus on photography and mastering their current equipment, rather than pursuing GAS.

      Does Canon’s slower pace of new models actually create a psychological and emotional benefit for its customers? Maybe that’s one reason why most are not abandoning Canon. Their pace of advancement is more aligned with actual human needs.

      It’s kind of like Leica. They don’t update their models that frequently, and people appreciate that. It adds to the enduring quality of a Leica.

      So maybe Canon is onto something?

      • Dave

        Thanks for your answer. My post was a double faced and you took the serious part. I believe your are right. Canon ist one out of two brands that deliver quality and relevance. The other is Olympus: The OMDs are ahead as cameras but still lack a bit of IQ. With its dual-pixel-AF Canon has the potential to bring a practical small FF-OMDish camera. With such a camera Canon would make the next big move as they did with the introduction of the EOS 5D. Let’s wait and see…

  • I made a short video of some of the sights at this year’s Photokina in case anybody wants a look… http://youtu.be/g3MvC-Jvjos

  • One More Thought

    I think the reason is all of the above. Companies don’t really need trade shows any longer. When they release a new product, the main marketing bang they get happens online. Before the show even begins, people know what’s up.

    As for actually handling the new stuff, that would be cool to be there. However, in many cases I can just go to my local camera shop and see most of the new stuff. Some I may have to wait a bit longer to see, until it hits the stores, but it’s cheaper than flying to Europe (although not as much fun).

    Look at the Nikon D750. We all knew exhaustingly about it before Photokina. It just hit my local shop this week for trying it out.

    In the old days, I would have had to wait for a major photography magazine to run a story on the new camera to really find out about it. That magazine would probably get it’s main first look at a trade show. Then I would have to wait a while for it to hit the stores. So that trade show was a huge component in the marketing strategy.

    Technology has made both the communication and distribution of new devices so much more efficient and quick, that trade shows don’t have the same value they once did.