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Photokina 2012 in Pictures: A Tour

A deep look inside the whole exhibition as well as the Pentax booth · Posted on 09-17-2012 in Photokina 2012
Photokina 2012 in Pictures: A Tour

Photokina, the world's largest photo industry trade show, kicks off tomorrow!  Today we had a chance to preview the event by going on a press tour, during which we visited a variety of exhibitions and stands, including of course the Pentax booth.

Let's start with some pictures from the outside. As always, click on any photo to enlarge, and use your arrow keys to cycle back and forth:

Photokina North Entrance Photokina North Entrance
Photokina Ad

Photokina has four entrances, with one located at each of the cardinal directions.  The facility itself is huge, with 11 large exhibition halls, 7 of which are in use for Photokina.  The press center is located near the north entrance, so that's where we started.  Upon entering the press center, we were pleasantly surprised that Pentax made their press kits readily available early on, while most other big companies did not, and simply left a note instructing those interested to head over to their stand.

Pentax press materials

Within the press kit we found hardcopies of all of Pentax's recent press releases, updated roadmaps, and a CD with official images and specification sheets.  These materials contained nothing which we hadn't already seen, which means that no new product announcements will be made by Pentax at Photokina.  That's not to say that the event won't be worth our while, however, as there is still much to learn about these new products, and plenty of interview questions that to date gone unanswered.

At 10am, the press tour officially started, and we proceeded over to the main event space.  The first stop was Sony's "Jungle" booth, which included a large hands-on area with all current Alpha and NEX models, a stage, and plenty of palm trees!  A single RX-1 (full-frame point-and-shoot) was showcased near the entrance, and remained the center of attention for at least 10 minutes while photojournalists crowded around it to get a good view.

Sony Jungle Sony RX-1

We had the opportunity to toy around with the a99 and NEX-6, and after doing so it was time to proceed to the Fuji exhibit, where a handful of models joined us to show off their cameras.

Fuji Lens Bar Fuji Model

The Fuji cameras ended up being a real hit...

Photokina model Photokina model Photokina model

Next up was the Olympus booth followed by the Nikon booth, which we didn't spend too much time in, knowing the proximity of the Pentax stand.  That's where we headed next, together with a handful of other journalists, but unfortunately the models stayed behind with the main tour (which only officially covered a select few stands, not including that of Pentax, or Canon for that matter).

Olympus Stand

It is worth noting that the Nikon stand had all of the goods- including several D600's to test out, as well as dozens of other DSLRs from intro-level all the way up to the D4.  Anyway, let's move on to what really matters!  Here are some photos of the elegant Pentax stand:

As we mentioned earlier, the exhibition was mostly completed, though according to the event map, Pentax had reserved an additional space on the other side of this one.  Shortly after with first arrived, Wolfgang Baus gave an overview (in German) of what was new.  Unfortunately, the microphone he was talking into was not connected to an amplifier, but rather individual headsets which could not be plugged in to our K-30 (so next time we'll be filming with a Canon, sorry Pentax).

On a side note, the representatives at the Pentax stand seemed much more cheerful and enthusiastic than those at the other exhibitions that we had visited thus far.  They also knew what they were talking about, admitting to us that the mention of H.264 recording in the K-5 II's specsheet was a typo.

All of Pentax's new products, with the exception of the 560mm, which was only demonstrated upon request, were readily available for us to test and photograph.

Of particular interest to us, of course, was the K-5 II, which we will be blogging about separately.  Even more interesting, though (and perhaps surprisingly), was the Ricoh GXR, which we found to dominate the Pentax K-01 (and especially the new X-5) in terms of responsiveness and overall speed.  More on this later as well!

One thing we noticed about the K-5 II was that its LCD screen doesn't cause any reflections when photographed, which means that the new design will probably make it easier to see outdoors and in bright sunlight.  Considering that this is the second of the two improvements made to the camera, we weren't impressed overall, however.

LCD of the Pentax K-5 and K-5 II

Prior to leaving, this exhibit showing off Pentax's new HD coating caught our attention:

As can be seen in the photo above and the video below, the new HD coating further reduces flare and improves light transmission compared to the multi-coating.  We believe that type of coating is something that other companies (i.e. Nikon) have been using for a while.

On our way out, we took a snap of what the Pentax booth looks like from the main hall- it's just barely visible!

Pentax Booth in hall 2

Other companies got a little bit more exposure...

That's it for the first day of Photokina, but we do want to add one thing.  Even though nothing else is going to be announced this time around, and even though nobody knows what Ricoh has in store for us, the Pentax representatives that we talked to couldn't refute that those who are patient will be rewarded with some great Pentax products in the future!  It may be tempting to switch to another brand now that both Canon and Nikon have affordable full-frame bodies, but there are certain things that even they cannot beat Pentax at, and that's why we're confident that Pentax will be making a big comeback under Ricoh's leadership.

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GhoSStrider [Delete] Sep 19th, 2012 10:17AM

Is there a Samyang booth at Photokina? Any information on the 24 T/S? E.g. pricing and availability?

steve1307 [Delete] Sep 19th, 2012 7:49AM

@tcom: I thought they looked familiar ;) nice one.

tcom [Delete] Sep 18th, 2012 9:17AM

Unfortunately I have not been able to attend the Photokina, despite having been invited by Pentax. I am however glad to be able to see on these photos that my photos of the Volvo Ocean Race are being displayed.

Tord [Delete] Sep 18th, 2012 2:01AM

Careful: Dremels and Pentax don't mix, Calsan!

DSims [Delete] Sep 18th, 2012 12:37AM

@LaurenOE - I think the Q10 will go perfect with your new Kawasaki (never mind if it doesn't come in green) - really!

zosxavius [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 10:44PM

do they show discontinued lenses? lol! it would look pretty sad if they only showed in production lenses. :P

calsan [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 9:31PM

I bought a dremel on Saturday, so will have to resist the temptation to cross section my camera.

WillWeaverRVA [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 7:33PM

The booth girls are cute but there doesn't seem to be anything else interesting...

LaurenOE [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 2:55PM

My 2013 budget was based around a 24mp-APS-C or a FF camera. It's looking like unless I pick up the new Q10, there are no purchases for me next year. Ok, I'm not like many Pentaxians, as I actually buy Pentax products if they are even remotely likeable - like an Apple devotee buys a new iPhone. Sadly for Pentax, Kawasaki has the new 2013 ZX6R and ZX800 coming online, so it's time to send my money least for 2013.

zmohie [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 2:49PM

what about the 9 th annoncement from pentax is there some thing new from pentax or these are what they have.

LaurenOE [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 2:48PM

Thanks for the clarification!

Ole [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 2:27PM

@ Lampo: The lenses to the right are FA 645 lenses and they are available (except perhaps in the USA).
@ LaurenOE: Pentax didn't put the FA* 28-70 on display. It's my lens and we used it to compare autofocus between the K-5 II and the K-5.
@ LFLee: We asked about a GXR K-mount module - we will be posting about the GXR later so check back!

regor [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 2:06PM

The Fuji girls may be more comfortable with an iPhone ;-)

LFLee [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 1:09PM

well... electronics show in Taiwan and Japan are better if you look at the outfit of the show girls.

Anyway, big booth they have for Pentax/Ricoh. Any chance asking for a GXR K-mount plan?

Raffwal [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 1:04PM

They should have a "dark room" where people could compare different models.

janneman [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 12:56PM

They should have a "dark room" where people could compare a K-5 and a K-5II.

elle.e [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 12:56PM

I like the HD coating.

jake14mw [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 12:50PM

Wow, a glitzy show with representatives not refuting great products coming in the future, how exciting!

LaurenOE [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 12:41PM

It's always great to see the FA*28-70 on a K5 (like mine), but I never understand why at a major show like this, would Pentax display an old and discontinued lens. It's always a tease especially when you can't go out and buy one. There should be a rule where only current products are displayed, unless they are part of some compatible/historical display.

Lampo [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 12:22PM

I am wondering what lenses are on display, because there are a lot of lenses on the right side of that picture that I can not find in the lens catalogue nor on the website of pentax imaging... Do they really display discontinued lenses?

Hopka [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 12:13PM

Just bought my ticket, I'll be checking this out myself on the weekend. It looks like the Pentax booth is in the same spot as last time, just up from the escalators next to Nikon.

And yeah, I too hope they will announce something better than the K5 II, I want to upgrade from my K7 and I'd like to stay with Pentax...

janneman [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 12:13PM

I think the writer of this article needs glasses:
"where a handful of models joined us to show off their cameras"
Camera's? where?? I did not notice cameras on those pictures.

Pity nothing else to come...

janneman [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 12:10PM

@ dtweedThe famous FA*28-70/2.8

Ole [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 12:08PM

It's my FA* 28-70 F2.8!

dtweed [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 12:05PM

What is the silver lens on the K-5 IIs? I can't seem to find such a critter in their catalog

ducdao [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 12:04PM

I would just go to Photokina just for the girls alone. Any announcements from Pentax would be a complete bonus!

boriscleto [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 11:41AM

"Unfortunately, the microphone he was talking into was not connected to an amplifier, but rather individual headsets which could not be plugged in to our K-30 (so next time we'll be filming with a Canon, sorry Pentax)"

Should have taken the K-01 ;)

JinDesu [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 11:39AM


"It's worth nothing that the Nikon booth...."

Big different between noting, and nothing :)

zmohie [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 11:37AM

so the broken camera in pentax booth is thr 9th announcment!

Adam [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 11:37AM

Pentax K-30 + 18-135mm for most of the shots and videos, K-5 + FA* 85mm / 1.4 for the close-up model shots. And yes, that's what made people like Fuji so much :)

Raffwal [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 11:37AM

Pretty girls, so it's not a complete waste.

pghwarrior23 [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 11:36AM

Oh...and curious how the Pentax/Ricoh display stacks up to past major events like this as well as any comparison photos to the last Photokina. Looks like a very nice display and I guess I am curious if Ricoh is making its presence larger and more professional at these important venues/events/exhibits.

pghwarrior23 [Delete] Sep 17th, 2012 11:35AM

That RX-1 is kind of sexy but WAY overpriced for fixed lens. The Fuji cameras were a big hit or their incredible gorgeous models were a big hit? Curious what your impressions were of the Sony A99 in person as well as the Nikon D600. Also wondering which camera and lens you chose for taking these photos and exploring the event.