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The Great Photokina Report 2012

  • Posted on 27 September, 2012

Well it was a fun packed day yesterday.  After getting myself settle on the Vanguard stand where I am giving talks, I got chance to spend some of the time wandering the halls, looking for the alternative sides of the biggest photography trade show in Europe. I’m not reporting on the latest black cameras and bags, but looking for some more innovative products.


Canon 1DC, a camera with my name on it...

CANON - 1DC Ok, here’s a contradiction to what I just said, but I thought I would show my excitement for the Canon EOS 1 DC, as it has my initials on it. It’s a 4k video camera as stills powerhouse, with a refrigerated sensor. Those small doors on the right hand side give you access to a fully stocked beer fridge, easy to insert a straw.

This incredible 24mm lens is fully manual focus and aperture, fitting the standard EOS mount. But before you get excited, the body alone is €10000 so I didn’t dare ask what the lens would cost. Fully endorsed with a DC, by DC, but I am sure this will be the only time I handle it!



Canon C500 video camera with 30-300 lens at Photokina

CANON C500 - Looking more like an orbiting satellite, this is the C500 video camera. Remarkable looking technology, with a 35-300 lens attached, it oozes confidence and creativity to say the least. What I found to be absolutely fascinating was the incredible new histogram that was visible in the viewfinder above. Lights and darks are on the vertical axis, with wavelength across the horizontal. Moving your hands in front of the lens is so incredible to watch, I am praying it ends up on professional cameras.

The amazing waveform histogram, I could really do with one of these for showing off...




Super Giga Pixel stand at Photokina

SUPER-GIGA-PIXEL have a really interesting stand. The gargantuan screen is gesture controlled. Swipe the air left or right and the gigapixel image pans. Up and down, push and pull all work to zoom in and out with staggering detail. A great display to say the least. Yes thats a german chav, here he is in action - 


3D Modelling tent at Photokina

3D Modelling - For those who fancy a go at 3D modelling, this incredible tent was attracting a lot of attention. Sixteen cameras taking images encircle the model, object or product all with full control over the cameras as individuals.



Six modular video rig at Photokina

SIX MODULAR VIDEO RIG - For those interested in video, this is a new approach from Six -  a modular video rig system. Buy parts, handles, plates and rests, which allows the photographer control over price and customisation. A great and innovative design, matched with superb manufacturing.



Glidecam at Photokina

GLIDECAM - For those interested in smaller hand held video, Glidecam make the best solution for smooth video since anti seasick tablets. A superb off centre handle makes this steadycam silky smooth and far easier to control than the pivot based competitors. A touch with the left had can pan the camera around the scene whilst lifting. This is leagues above the rest in design and feel, which I should hope for €300.



Matir Bags at Photokina

MATIR BAGS - In among the sea of yawn worthy black bags there is an push to feel accessorised. Literally every chinese bag company is offering a full range of stealthy, or beautifully designed and manufactured camera bags. These from Matir were well made, high quality materials with great attention to detail.


Chewbacca at Photokina

STAR WARS AT PHOTOKINA - If you fancy looking like Chewbacca in the landscape this season, then this is the accessory for you. Lie in the undergrowth and frighten other photographers to death on location with this excellent disguise, or simply save for Halloween / New Years and become the life and soul of the Star Wars theme party, with a twist.




Backdrops at Photokina

IT WAS A WARM SUMMER NIGHT IN ANCIENT GREECE - Need a Mediterranean backdrop feel to your images? There was plenty of artistic creativity to complement your use of bokeh. Although I can’t see it replacing my travel and landscape work, the potential of this screen printed backdrops was certainly convincing from a distance. Especially useful for the landlocked or urban portrait photographer needing a selection of atmospheres for their studio.



F-stop bags at Photokina

F-STOP BAGS - F-stop had a great selection of adventure sports camera bags, using hiking technology and light materials than the heavy fabrics of the usual black camera bags. They feel and look streets ahead of Lowepro, that are bringing the style to the mainstream with the AW200 sport, but take a good look at F-Stop to see where one of the leaders in outdoor design camera bags are headed.



ProLab and Frank Sirona at Photokina

PROLAB / FRANK SIRONA - There is some exceptional photography all over Photokina, from award winning exhibitions like the Hasselblad Masters to the Sony Awards, but there are also some outstanding exhibitions as you start to wander. This space in particular was utterly captivating. These incredible prints are courtesy of Prolab, but the vision of Frank Sirona. He’s a German landscape and fine art photographer whose shots 7x5 transparencies, and these looked utterly jaw dropping. Over a meter and a half long, these prints are printed and mounted on glass, something I have never seen before.


BENRO - If you have always fancied a monster ballhead, but could never afford it, then have a look at the new Benro range. This brute, the B4, can take L brackets, is magnesium alloy and is a mere £180. Until now, I would expect the Kirk equivalent to cost around twice that. Quality machining and superb feel, both in the hand and in use.


SUNMAYFOTO - Other companies that made rail systems as well as this great tripod leveller was from Chinese company Sunmayfoto. Again, superb quality, affordable and exceptionally smooth in use.



Photoclam at Photokina Photoclam at Photokina

PHOTOCLAM... yes PHOTOCLAM! - what a great name. Getting sick of black? Well how about some colour with this range from PhotoClam. Although I am finding it a bit of a clash, I have to say its great to see someone address the sea of black with some bling. Great to operate and beautiful finish. All I need is a custom paint job on my camera bodies to match…


Christophe Regnault - T.I.P.A awards for Vanguard at Photokina

VANGUARD My good friend lifting prestigious T.I.P.A awards - it takes some strength, but Christophe Regnault picked up another two this year for Vanguard and its innovative product range. The company has had huge success, stabilising its position as affordable, quality manufacturer of tripods and camera bags.



Buzz Aldrins Hasselblad at Photokina




LEE FILTERS - On the Lee filters stand, they were proud to announce that the waiting times for their high demand products is now over. They are in a far stronger position to turn out higher volumes of their filter kits and big stoppers. They were also keen to show off the new range they have produced for smaller cameras.  It’s aimed at mirrorless camera systems, as well as high end compacts like the G15, G1x and equivalents.




BOBLBEE - Boblbee are a camera bag manufacturer with a difference. Aimed at adventure sports, motorcycling and mountain biking, these technical bags are armoured with superlight plastics to take impact in style. Design features put them in a niche of their own, with an array of great designs, from hold alls to waist packs. Three new designs are underway and its so good to see such a bold and futuristic product in the sea of characterless designs.


  1. Hi David.

    Thank you for this refreshing blog post. Nice to hear that Lee filters are finding their way again. Do you know if there supply issue has instantly been solved. Congrats on your mate getting the Vanguard award. Keep up the great work.

    Kind regards


    James Cannon - 27 September, 2012
  1. They are in a far better position but I am not sure its going to be instantaneous. They now have far more staff and better facilities, so they said their waiting times will be cut down tremendously…

    Thanks for the comment.

    David Clapp - 28 September, 2012
  1. Brilliant, love the cyber camera and Chewy suit haha grin

    Matt Clark - 02 October, 2012