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Photokina 2018: Camera rumours, products and what to expect?

In many ways this year’s Photokina will mark an end and the beginning of an era. End since it will be the last fair, which will feature in the once-in-two-year format and beginning since 2019 will mark the show as an annual event. So if you are thinking of visiting the fair and wondering what is it that it might have to offer, then you have come to the right place. Bhavya Desai predicts the products and technology line up at the show…

There is wide speculation and concern this year that with the growth of social media and the digital world, Photokina has over the years lost a certain amount of its charm. In fact, there are a number of international brands that believe that the 2018 edition is more of a regional show instead of the international behemoth that it used to be. And it is difficult to disagree with some facts with the sceptics. Yes, for sure it isn’t the show it used to be, but at the same time, the make over of the image of Photokina in the past two shows has been pretty interesting.


With the show widening its horizons to include seminars and talks about augmented reality and business under DIGITALLY, among others shows the direction and shape that it is taking for the future. But enough of that, let's get down to business.


Nikon and Canon: Full-frame Mirrorless is in:


Undoubtedly the biggest news that is doing the rounds ahead of Photokina 2018 is what are yellow and red doing in the full-frame mirrorless department. Now I am not sure whether to be happy about the fact that finally both Nikon and Canon are taking this category seriously or the fact that they have FINALLY come to the party.


But as I had already predicted earlier that Nikon went all out teasing its launch for the 23rd of last month and launched the Nikon Z6 and Z7, their latest full-frame mirrorless cameras. So aside from the ones that had the chance to make the launch, Photokina 2018 probably will be the first time that visitors might get a chance to get their hands on the Nikon Z6 and the Nikon Z7.

Nikon's first Full-Frame mirrorless camera, Nikon Z7


While Nikon made the splash with the launch of their cameras, Canon on the other hand doesn’t seem to be in a hurry in this department. While Canon was slow off the block in the mirrorless category in the past, they seem to have got their act together recently. Take, for instance, the M50 Mirrorless camera. I think in all cases, the success of the M50 can only prompt the manufacturer to develop a much bigger version of the same camera that has more features.

Canon M50 and 55-200mm lens that has become popular with the users


So, at Photokina it is nearly certain that Canon will not launch their new full-frame mirrorless camera, but it will announce and probably showcase a prototype with the final launch happening in the month of October and the product available by the end of the year. Rumours and sources suggest that plans are already underway to produce the literature on the product and that it feature the word ‘R’ as part of the system. I am not sure what the ‘R’ can stand for, but may be ‘revolutionary’?


But what might be interesting to see for both Nikon and Canon will be the lens mounts. Whether they will come up with a new line-up remains to be seen.


The Professional range of Cameras:


While mirrorless has been in the news in a big way, it is difficult to forget the traditional channels sometimes. But in the mid to professional range, everyone from Canon, Nikon, Sony and Fujifilm, among others, are expected to make a few launches.




It’s been a while that Canon has launched something in this segment. In 2016, Canon launched the EOS 5D Mark IV which was a good camera. But, Nikon D850 and the Sony A7RIII followed this up. So there is a strong possibility that two years on Canon will launch something that rivals the Nikon and Sony platform in this category.


Canon 5D Mark IV

In fact, there might be a follow up on the EOS 7D Mark II as well since it was announced nearly 4 years back. So, in all probability, we might see a successor to that as well.

Canon 7D Mark II which might see the launch of the new Mark III




While the major steam from Nikon is focused around the full-frame mirrorless camera, we still might see upgrades to some of the ageing cameras in their line-up. For instance, the D750 might see a facelift and so will be the case with the Nikon 5D. Although i am not sure if the 5D which actually see a new follow-up being launched.

But one thing is for sure! The Nikon entry-level segment will surely see the launch of the Nikon 3500, especially since the company tends to launch their new offerings in this category once every 2 years.

Caption: Nikon D3400 which is likely to see the follow-up in the form of D3500  



Sony has already released the A7R III and the A7 III which have already been popular cameras in their categories. While there doesn’t seem to be much news floating around what Sony is going to do. But, the only camera that is up for an upgrade is the A7S II. Which makes it possible that the manufacturer might be launching a successor in the A7S III version. Although we haven’t got any confirmation from our sources on this and also they state that at this point there is no indication of anything like that. But, news online suggests that a new camera with enhanced video capability and could be announced at the show.


Sony A6700 image from

Some more images have surfaced online of the A6700

In the entry-level category, we can see the follow-up to the A6500. And this isn’t surprising since Photokina might be the perfect platform for the company to debut its new A6700 camera. So the chances of the same being launched are strong.




If history is to go by, then this September 2018 we might see the debut of the XT-3, especially since the company has always been upgrading their flagship every two years. We do have confirmation from our sources that there will several products launched at the show. So I feel that Fuji might showcase the new XT-3 at the show.

Fujifilm XT-3 mock up from Fuji rumours


My guess is that the other important one where the manufacturer is rumoured to also debut the next in-line (more affordable) medium format camera. This ideally is the smaller brother of the GFX 50S and might be named as the GFX 50R. If that is what it is called and if the positioning is lesser than the 50S, then it will be another breakthrough for the market since Fuji surprised many with the launch of a medium format at such an affordable price.

Fujifilm GFX-50R pic that has surfaced on YouTube. Although this seems like the 50S 

A number of announcements have already been made by the manufacturer, which ended several rumours. But the two exciting ones that we feel are going to happen are the XT-3 and the GFX 50R.




One company that has been very tight-lipped about their launches at Photokina is Panasonic. While there is already speculation online that there might be a launch of the Panasonic GH6, it seems highly unlikely if history is anything to go by.


Panasonic GH6 design pic uploaded on the New Camera website

Also, since the company launched the GH5S last year it might be too short a time to launch another camera. So we are ruling out any new launches for sure. Yes but our sources do confirm that there will be an announcement for a new product and we are pretty certain that this will be for the Development of the GH6. In fact, a few images of the same product also released online a while ago. And this is exciting since when it comes to video, Panasonic has been pushing the boundaries and I wouldn’t be surprised if it supports 6k recording.


But you never know, with the 10thanniversary of the micro-four thirds technology, Panasonic could be hiding something else under the hood as well?


Go Pro:


Well, this might be a year that Go Pro might want to forget. It’s been a challenging year for them and rumours suggest that the new Hero 7 is on the way. But, online reports suggest that the Hero 7 has already been registered online and it features a similar model number as the Hero 6. If that is the case then there might be a slight upgrade to the camera.




 It is pretty difficult to make predictions in this category honestly. But we can give you an overall idea about what we think might happen in this.



Nikon FTZ Adapter launched with the 'Z' mirrorless series of cameras 

It is pretty clear that Nikon will launch a new category of lenses for its full-frame mirrorless cameras in the ‘Z’ mount. And the adapter that will be available for the users to use their existing lenses will be ‘FTZ’. What is the number of lenses that they might launch isn’t clear yet. But usually it always starts with the kit lens which might be the 18-55mm equivalent in the form of a 24-70 mm and one fixed and one zoom lens.



As mentioned earlier that we might not see a launch but an announcement for their mirrorless range at the show, much like Nikon, Canon should also launch their range of mirrorless lenses when they do the same.



As per our sources Tamron will at least launch one new lens at the show. It isn’t whether this will focus on mirrorless or the regular category, but traditionally the manufacturer has always launched new lenses focusing on DSLRs at the show.



It is rumoured that Zeiss is planning to launch both the Otus and Batis lenses at the show. The Otus lenses are focused on DSLRs and traditionally start with the Canon and Nikon mount whereas the Batis lens is focused on the mirrorless category which might be for the Sony mount. We can't confirm this but online reports suggest that all of these lenses will be in the fixed category since Zeiss is particularly popular for their optics and fixed lenses.


Drones and accessories:


In 2016, drones as accessories made a decent debut at the show. But in two years this has become a full-blown industry that has seen a variety of new entrants. The most prominent ones are DJI of course, and rumours suggest that they might debut the DJI Phantom 5 at the show. But, these are just rumours at this point and we have no confirmation on any of this.


But overall I do believe that in this year’s show we will see a lot of launches when it comes to new drones and accessories, especially since the smartphone market has opened up such a big consumer market for all the players.




Fujifilm Instax instant printer

Now as simple as it may seem, this is one of the toughest industry to make predictions about. The simple reason for this being that this segment is complicated. But having said that, this year, we feel that apart from the regular printing space there will be some interesting announcements in the smart-printers and pocket printers segment.


All the manufacturers have started taking this industry seriously and you can already see pocket printers making their debuts, like the HP Sprocket and so on.

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