News from Photokina 2004

Nikon for Professionals

Nikon F6

Nikon D2X

Nikkor AFS VR 300mm/2,8


Photokina 2004 was the opportunity for Nikon to present many announcements destined to professionals in film and digital technology.

After many expectations, the Nikon F6 is presented to the Photokina. It arrives eight years after the F5, as forecasted. It is a compact die-cast camera built in aluminum alloy, that is near of the F100 and that will replace soon F100 and F5. It abandons the interchangeable viewfinders that were one distinctive advantage of series F and can receive a complementary handle grip MB40 that allows it to reach 8 frames by second. A new rear LCD display offers many new functions as matrix measurement with the all lenses including AI or may also be used as a data back. It is available from October at the "reasonable" price of 2190 €. (see presentation detailed)
Without surprise, the new
Nikon D2X retrieves the body of the of the D2H camera but will be available beginning 2005 for 5200 €. It has a 12,4 Millions of pixel CCD. It is just outclassed by the 16,è CCD of the new Canon EOS 1DS Mark II. SONY provides this CMOS CCD. Then It has a rate/135 of 1,5 X and can take 5,5 frames by second but a second mode uses only 6,8 megapixels of the CCD and reduced the rate/135 of 2X allows to take 8 frames by second during 40 frames. This possibility will be as strongly appreciated by sport photographers and for example the new Nikkor 300mm/2,8 AFS VR presented also in this Photokina is becoming a 600mm/2,8 AFS motor VR with silent wave and optical vibration reduction system for 5500 €. It is true that the complete equipment exceeds 10 000 €.
In addition to these three announcements pro, Nikon has presented three New Coolpix rather well equipped. 


Canon for pros and experts

Canon EOS 1DS Mark II

Canon EOS 20D

The Photokina is the opportunity for the other major photographic manufacturers of presenting their digital reflex cameras: DSLR (new offer for pro and especially amateur photographs) and many digital compact, to insure sales. Some hybrid cameras merging video and photo appear from Sony and Pentax.
Canon has announced the Canon EOS 1DS Mark II, replacement of EOS 1DS that among its improvements has a full CMOS CCD full format 24x36 with 16,7 Millions of pixels (4992 x 3328 pixels). The new record (September 2005). Despite of the mega CCD, The EOS 1 DS Mark II maintains four frames per second shooting rate and a buffer large enough for 32 JPEG or 11 RAW images. Canon has announced also its own wireless transmitter: the WFT-E1, which has its own battery and provides 802.11 b/g transmission (like the WT-2 Nikon).
The Canon EOS 20D, replaces the EOS 10D and presents the professionals characteristic for a very attractive price. It has an 8,2 Mpix CMOS CCD (2.336 x 3.504 pixels) developed by Canon itself for EOS 1D MkII, an AF with an ultra - large area of 9 collimators and may take 5 f/s on 23 images.
AT least, Canon presented also several digital cameras including 3 new Ixus using new compact lenses.

Pentax, Fuji, Minolta, Olympus

Pentax *st DS

Fuji S3 Pro

KonicaMinolta Dynax 7D

Olympus Evolut 300

The very compact Pentax *st DS will be very competitive against the Canon 300D. It is available in kit with a new zoom smc Pentax-DA Zoom 18mm-55mm F3.5-F5.6 designed only for DSLR Pentax and offers the majority of functions of its big brother the Pentax *st, first with the same CCD (SONY) of 6 Mpix. Strangely it accepts only card SD, may take 2,8 frames/second on 8 views but has a rear LCD screen of 2" and 210 000 pixels.
Finally, Fuji sells its S3Pro digital SLR with a 6 Millions of double pixel (S and R pixel) based on a Nikon F80 and announced in last February.
Konica Minolta presents finally the definitive version of its Dynax 7D, first reflex numerical with built-in vibration reduction. It has a die cast body and a classic CCD of 6 Mpix.
The Olympus Evolut 300 is a new digital SLR, that boosts the 4/3 group and has a very particular design, due to the utilization of Porro prisms for the viewfinder, which is very different of the other classic productions. It has to compete with Canon 300D and other Nikon. For that it received a 8 megapixel CCD and it will be proposed for less than 1000 in a kit including a zoom lens 14~28 mm/f3,5~5,6 (equivalent to 48~96 in format 135).

Leica and the others

Leica R9 avec dos mumérique

Leica M7 titane

Epson RD1

Leica has presented the last version of its numerical back for Leica R9 and R8. The CCD is a 10 Millions of pixels manufactured by Kodak. It should be available as forecasted by Leica at the end of 2004. Leica presents also a titan version of the Leica M7 and offers now the possibility to customise on demand your Leica M depending of your photographic requirements.
Epson commercializes finally its RD 1 camera that is a digital rangefinder camera with classic commands , including a lever of armament but with a color rear LCD screen and a 6 Megapixels CCD.


pierre j.


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Created the 21 September 2004, Updated 24 September 2004
© Pierre J.