When we first attended Photokina in 1986 we had been in the photo film processing business for 13 years. Naturally all of the cameras and other equipment was for chemical based photography. Now 32 years later, everything has changed. There were a small handful of manufacturers showing film tanks and enlargers, but the vast majority of the cameras and other equipment was digitally oriented.
I was pleased to see a lot of large prints, displays by paper manufacturers, and printer manufacturers. Paper prints are the final destination of a photograph.
The largest display was by Canon. Their newest camera is the EOS R, though it was not highly visible. Unlike Canon, Nikon made a big deal out of the new Z7. We saw a wonderful presentation by London filmmaker Rob Whiteworth shot completely with the Z7. The similar Z6 will be out soon, but was not being shown.
Just about every major camera manufacturer, except Pentax, was showing mirrorless, EVF cameras. I am sure that the smaller, lighter, more versatile design will be the future of camera designs for many years.
We saw very few other Americans at Photokina, and GoPro was the only US company we saw. Approximately 200,000 people attend Photokina and probably about 1% are from the US. There were a lot of Chinese companies showing innovative products, looking for distributors. There are a number of business opportunities, particularly for someone who speaks both English and Mandorian.
The other major displays other than Canon and Nikon were Sony, and Epson. All Japanese based. The German company, Leica, also had a large presence. The German photo book printer, Cewe, also had large display.
We appreciate the trend toward smaller lighter cameras and higher resolution sensors providing higher resolution prints.
It is exciting to be with hundreds of thousands photography professionals from just about every country in the world. I consider it important to be connected to the cutting edge of the industry and trade shows and conferences are a good way to do that. We have been to the US Photo Marketing Association, Photoshop World and others, but Photokina is the largest by a factor of many times.