Photokina highlights: More megapixels to hit camera market

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Fujifilm caps off a big year with the GFX 50S digital medium format camera.
Fujifilm caps off a big year with the GFX 50S digital medium format camera.
Photo: Fujifilm

The iPhone 7 Plus may be the only camera you need, but it’s not the only camera that’s making news this week.

Some of the very brands affected by the iPhone’s popularity showcased new gear at Photokina 2016 in Cologne, Germany, this week. They demonstrated innovation and an ability to adapt to the parts of the photography market that demand more than a smartphone.

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Yes, the megapixels continue to reach new highs, but the sensors seem even bigger, the bokeh from new art lenses dreamier, and the video definition insanely detailed.

Sony, Panasonic (Lumix), Olympus, Fujifilm, Nikon and Canon all featured new products that will appeal to photographers who aspire to have for more creative control. Sites like Pocket Lint and Digital Photography Review have thorough rundowns of everything that debuted at Photokina.

Cult of Mac, understanding your brain is probably still buzzing over the 7 Plus, pulled a few Photokina highlights for you to consider when you grow bored shooting with your phone.

‘Star’ of the show

Photokina Fujifilm
Has a sensor twice the size of a full-frame digital camera.
Photo: Fujifilm

Already enjoying a big year with the new XPro-2 and XT-2 cameras, Fujifilm saved one big bombshell for Photokina with the Fujifilm GFX 50S. It is a medium format camera with a sensor about four times the size of the sensors in its popular mirrorless cameras and almost twice the size of the sensors on full-frame cameras from Canon and Nikon.

DP Review named it the star of the show, its writer saying it is light weight and handles similarly to XT-2 camera. With other cameras showing megapixel might at the show (Phase One showed off a 100-megapixel back for its medium format camera), the Fujifilm GFX 50S showed up with 51.4 megapixels.

No price yet on a camera expected to be out early next year, but medium format shooters and Fuji fans are hoping it’s affordable.

Nikon’s KeyMission

photokina nikon
Nikon’s big splash into the action camera market is the KeyMission series.
Photo: Nikon

Nikon invited itself to the action camera party in January at CES when it unveiled the KeyMission 360, which allows the operator to create an immersive experience for the viewers. The 360 took another trade show turn at Photokina and was joined by two more cameras in the line, the KeyMission 170 and the KeyMission 80.

The 360 has two f/2 lenses and two 20-megapixel CMOS sensors with automatic in-camera stitching of images. It is shock-resistant, waterproof and can shoot 4K ultra-high definition at 24p or Full HD at 1080 p. Amazon lists it for pre-order at $496.95.

The 170 provides a super wide-angle view with a f/2.8 lens and 8.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and the same video specs as its beefier brother. Pre-order on Amazon for $396.95.

The KeyMission 80 is marketed as a wearable, all-purpose action came with a wide-angle view equivalent to 25 mm. It has a 12-megapixel CMOS chip and can be worn or handled with one hand. There is a secondary front-facing camera for selfies. The 80 is ready for pre-order on Amazon for $279.95.

Good Karma

photokina gopro
GoPro’s Karma Drone lets you detach the camera stabilizer for shooting on the ground.
Photo: GoPro

GoPro, said to be in declining sales in the very market it invented, unveiled a nifty foldable drone it calls the Karma Drone.

The drone will fit the Hero 4 Black, Hero 5 Black, and Hero 5 session. Once a user lands it, a detachable stabilization system can go in the hand or be quickly mounted in places that usually takes a GoPro, like a cycling helmet.

The drone can keep your karma good with the FAA with a feature that detects no-fly zones. It comes with controller, grip, and case and will cost under $1,000 if you already have a GoPro camera.

Excellent memory

Photokina 1tb SD
Shoot and record to your heart’s content with a 1 terabyte SD card from SanDisk.
Photo: SanDisk

All that resolution needs a place to go. SDXC cards rarely make news but SanDisk enjoyed a minor splash this week when it unveiled a 1 terabyte SD card, which will be great for 4K video shooters and photographers who shoot large RAW files. No pricing is available yet, but considering its 512 GB SDXC card lists at around $800, you may find yourself squirreling away a bunch of 32 and 64 FB cards.

Don’t let cute colors fool you

Photokinda tripod
Color and toughness go together in the MeFOTO tripods.
Photo: MeFOTO

MeFOTO is like that part of the Wizard of Oz where black and white gives way to a world of color. In an industry that tends to skew toward black or metalic, MeFOTO adds lots of color to its lightweight, easy-to-use tripods.

Its latest line came to Photokina in purple, orange, blue, green, red and – for the traditionalists – black and titanium.

Sure the color makes the tripods stand out, but its best feature is a single locking mechanism for each leg, which allows for quick, uncomplicated setup. Most models collapse into a size that will fit in any small or medium camera bag or backpack.

The newest tripods also include a center post that detaches for use as a telescoping selfie stick. Standard with each tripod is a rechargeable Bluetooth remote.

The Walkabout Air Monopod will retail for $65, while the three tripod models range from $125 to $225.