It seems like an off year for photokina, the every-other-year exposition in Cologne, Germany, for photographic products. Not much was offered that peaked anyone's interests, except for a few products. So here they are.
The Fuji X100 appears to be the darling of the show. It seems to be everything that photographers have wanted in a compact, serious digital camera. Old-fashioned, simple controls and supposedly excellent images quality in a small, nearly pocketable size. It will be slightly expensive at around $1000 with a non-interchangeable 35mm-E, f/2 lens. I have to admit that my heart did a little skip when I first saw it online. I'm looking forward to at least taking a closer look at this one.
Pentax has been working on this camera, the Pentax 645D, for several years, but it's finally in production and so far it's selling like hotcakes in Japan. Later this year (December) or early next year, it will be available in a kit with a 55mm lens for around $10,000. Gulp. Well, it has a 40 MP sensor and the reports from Japan indicate it has first-rate image quality and is very popular with wedding and portrait photogs. I expect landscape photogs will like it, too. All things considered, the Pentax 645D is a bargain in the world of medium-format digital cameras, as we'll see in the next new product.
Now for the big guns. Leaf introduces the world's largest and highest resolution digital back, the Aptus-II 12. It has an 80 MP sensor and will produce TIFF images around 480 MB in size. To paraphrase Sheriff Brody in Jaws, "I think we're gonna need a bigger harddrive." And a bigger bank account it seems, as the back will run around $32,000 without the camera in front of it. Which adds another $10,000 plus to it. Oh, who needs a new car anyway?