It must’ve been around 2:30am when I finally closed the cover on my notebook for the night, after editing photos, and writing and editing content after a long day being mesmerised by all the new and recent cameras, lenses, and imaging products on display – and we only saw half on day 1. Still bleary eyed and in desperate need of my usual morning coffee, I stumbled into the press area the next morning to meet the team, ready to face even more cameras, gadgets, and gizmos – and we certainly were not disappointed on day 2 either. Here’s a quick run-down of some of the things we saw on day 2.
Olympus Pen F
Incredibly sleek, streamlined, and dare I say “sexy” micro 4/3rds camera. This little gem is retro through and through. So much so, in fact, that judging from the outside, it’s easy to imagine it could have actually been built in 1963. The original Pen F did not have the 20MP Live MOS sensor, however, nor the 5-axis image stabilization, or the 2.36 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder. One of the standout features here is that if you can change it, there’s a button for it somewhere on the camera body. I’ve always been a huge fan of having dedicated buttons for everything rather than jumping in the menu system; and on that front as well, this gem was a dream to operate. Throw in a highly customisable interface, and you have a very well thought-out retro styled camera.
Back in the APS-C realm with Sony’s latest, the α6300 claims the fastest autofocus performance in the mirrorless realm. I’ve always been rather skeptical about this statement, since it’s used by many camera manufactureres with every new model released, but in this instance, there’s definitely something to that claim. The camera is incredibly snappy, and seemed to be just as accurate with still-life subjects, as with moving ones. Just how is this seemingly magical feat achieved? Through the world’s most (425) phase detection AF points, of course! That’s quite a feat, actually, and no joking matter. Dubbed 4D tracking, the camera utilises all the available points to stick to your subject like white on rice. Throw 4K video into the mix as well, and I think it’s fair to say Sony has another winner on its hands.
The next gadget is not quite the same kind of camera as the above two. Looking straight out of a spy movie, but aimed mostly at the outdoorsy types, the Casio EX-FR100, is a very different style of camera indeed. It is a tough, 10.2 Megapixel 16mm Wideangle Camera “head” coupled with a detachable LCD “body”. That means you have many creative opportunities for hiking, kayaking, skiing, and any other outdoor activity under the sun. Capable of shooting both Jpegs and recording movies as well, the camera can be triggered by itself, via smartphone, or set up on a pre-determined interval. The pictures and/or videos can then be sent directly to various gadgets and accessories, such as the smart watch pictured below.
Who, over the age of 30, doesn’t remember the iconic polaroid images of yesteryear? For the youngsters out there, here’s a quick 2 second history lesson: the most commercially successful instant camera available was the 600 Type (series) by Polaroid. Back in the days, everyone I knew had one of these. Then the instant cameras kind of went out of style for a bit, and things became quiet(er) around Polaroid. Now they’re back with three new exciting products: the Cube, the Zip, and the Snap.
Apple-esque is the first thing that comes to mind with these products, as all three are fun, easy to use products, and aimed at the “Hip, Fun, and Instant Gratification” segment of the market.
The Cube is a lifestyle camera that comes in a variety of stylish colour choices, including red, black and blue, and will have a plethora of accessories, even including a drinking glass. I can already see this becoming a hit at parties….
The Zip is a personal instant photo printer, that allows people to print photos instantly, and give them to their friends, etc. While Fujifilm has had something similar for a while now, The Zip is quite unique in the sense that it is lighter, has more colour options, and is completely digital in its function. Also, the photos have an adhesive backside (once you peel off the cover tape), so there are many creative applications.
Finally, the Snap follows in the footsteps of the Polaroid cameras of yore and lets you shoot a picture and then instantly print it out in camera. Using the same basic functionality of the Zip, you load the cartridges in the back, and you’re ready to snap away. While it takes a bit of time to print the pictures, they are instantly usable and don’t need any further drying or developing. So the days of waving the printed pictures in front of you and blowing on them are history.
So there you have it… a detailed coverage of the CP+ 2016 in Yokohama. As I’m sitting here at Starbucks, typing this report out, I can’t help but reminisce about the last two days and all the exciting things we saw at the show. I hope that you, the readers, will be able to attend sometime in the future, as it is truly an exciting show, and worth the trip to Yokohama, which is always the real star of this event. I will enjoy the last remaining hours in this beautiful city, grab a good chinese lunch in Chinatown, and then make the long trip back to Nagoya. I am already looking forward to next year, however. Hope to see you there!
In the meantime, stay tuned for detailed product hands-on videos coming very soon!