photokina 2012: Strong minis, talking pictures and smartphone hype


Images are often made with smartphones, the industry reacts with many innovations. Cameras can rotate full HD video, communicate wirelessly via WiFi. And pictures from the photo book start to run and speak.

There seems to be almost nothing left that cameras can not - often interacting with smartphones, iPads and a plethora of app mini-programs. The photo market is on the move, as shown clearly before the start of the world's largest photo fair photokina in Cologne. Today, cameras can send images wirelessly and in real time, store them externally in a cloud, or even trigger a photo printer anywhere on the globe. Mirrorless system cameras are becoming more and more sophisticated, the small compact cameras even more powerful minis. A new technology lets videos, which are stored as a single image in the photo book, virtually run off using a mobile device.

A new Canon EOS model not only has an integrated WiFi interface for the wireless transmission of images to the Web or PC, as has several modern cameras. "With the GPS function, I can also assign my pictures to where I took them - ideally while traveling, " says a company spokesman on Monday, the day before the photokina opens. A completely different trend: instant pictures. The "Instax mini 8" Fuji looks at first glance like colorful toys, but turns out to be instant camera, spitting passport photos in seconds. Press Secretary Laura Garrett: "An absolute hit, that's what's going on."

Many of the 1, 160 suppliers from 41 countries have the mirrorless system cameras in demand. The Japanese manufacturer Panasonic sees itself as a pioneer in the Spiegellosen with interchangeable lens and introduces its novelty in the fourth generation: Since "four" but in Japanese "shi" means and is so synonymous with the misconception "death", the new name is " Panasonic G 5 ". Company spokesman Markus Mattes emphasizes: "It has full HD video function, stereo sound, a flip-screen rotation as a touch screen and triggers completely silent."

The photo market is lucrative. Overall, consumers will buy about 7.9 million cameras in 2012 according to forecasts of the Photo Industry Association. But smartphones are also attracting a lot of attention in the industry because they are used a million times for snapshots. According to Carl Zeiss, the "Lumia 920" is the first smartphone to offer optical image stabilization: "With our built-in optical module, there is no longer any camera shake, " promises marketing director Martin Dominicus.

Pentax also praises a worldwide superlative: "Our 'Q 10' is the smallest system camera in the world, " says a spokesman. Their dwarf dimensions: 10.2 inches wide, 5.8 inches high and 3.3 inches deep - at 180 grams in weight. Even tinier is the Nikon "Coolpix S01", which is smaller than a bank card. Markus Hillebrand comments on this novelty: "This is fashion and lifestyle, but it also has convincing inner values."

Sophisticated high-tech is not only in cameras, but also in the printers. The latest Epson models, for example, jump on instructions via iPad or iPhone. For example, the son from far-away America can press his parents' printer home with his latest image recordings at the press of a button.

A new technology, presented by the photo book market leader Cewe Color, combines photos and videos. Who creates a photo book on the PC, can now also upload his videos as a filmstrip. This automatically contains a QR code in the photo book. If the code is scanned with an iPad or smartphone, the video starts sound-almost as if pictures were learning to walk and talk. (Dpa / tc)