On show in Yokohama, Japan, are the latest products and an opportunity for valuable hands-on time with the new gear. Display stand staff have been thoroughly briefed on the new products. Photo Review tech editor Margaret Brown takes you there with her camera.
The CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show is an annual event that takes place in Yokohama, Japan, as winter transitions into spring. It’s designed to enable manufacturers to showcase their latest products and provide customers who are interested in photography to gain some valuable hands-on time with them.
Although mainly focused upon the Japanese market, some information is provided in English and some of the speeches at key events associated with the show are translated into English and/or Chinese. Display stands are staffed primarily with sales personnel who have been thoroughly briefed on the new products, some of whom are multi-lingual.
The first morning of the show is reserved for business and professional visitors, which accounts for the relatively clear view of Fujifilm’s stand at 11:40 am, before the crowds arrived. Four hours later you couldn’t see the stand for people!
The larger manufacturers also provided subjects that would enable photographers to test new features as well as demonstrations of important functions. Many stands had long lines of eager customers prepared to wait for 40 minutes or more for ‘touch and try’ sessions.
Olympus provided a troupe of Parkour practitioners to enable stand visitors to check out the fast and accurate focus tracking and burst shooting modes on its new OM-D E-M1X camera, which is designed for sports photographers.
The queue to ‘touch and try’ the Canon EOS R and RP cameras, taken at 2:42 pm on Thursday, 20 February. Only a 20-minute wait!
Canon’s staff provided plenty of opportunities for potential customers to get a feel for the new mirrorless cameras.
On Thursday afternoon the queue at the Panasonic stand for hands-on time with one of the new full-frame S-series cameras stretched around the side wall in the early afternoon.
By 10:27 am Friday, just under 30 minutes after the doors opened, the Panasonic queue was much longer, with the board showing an hour’s wait.
Many visitors to the ‘touch & try’ area on the Panasonic stand were obviously serious photographers.
Hands-on time at the Fujifilm stand for photographers interested in the X-T30 camera, which was announced on Valentine’s Day.
A potential customer tries out the latest addition to Sony’s cropped-sensor cameras, the α6400.
As has become the norm for imaging trade shows, most of the important products were announced ahead of the show, some as early as Photokina 2018 last September. This allowed visitors to the show to concentrate on specific products that interested them, although some were content to simply browse the various stands.
The section of Nikon’s stand that showcased the company’s Z-mount mirrorless cameras was crowded with eager potential customers, keen for hands-on time with the new cameras and lenses.
Compact, fixed-lens cameras were relatively hard to find this year as the show was dominated by interchangeable-lens cameras. Nonetheless, queues formed quickly for hands-on time with the Ricoh GR III, which has inherited a lot of Pentax technology, including a larger APS-C sized image sensor with 24.24 megapixels, up from 16.2 megapixels in the GR II. It also introduces an unspecified number of on-chip phase-detection autofocus pixels.
This queue of photographers interested in the Ricoh GR III was photographed just after the show opened to the public on Thursday, 28 February.
Also attracting interest in the Ricoh/Pentax stand was the Ricoh Theta Z1, which can record 360-degree images with a resolution of 6720 x 3360 pixels and is designed for producing content for VR displays. Raw file support is included for the first time in Theta series.
Only two samples of Nikon’s latest Coolpix cameras were on display. In this shot, a show visitor checks out the Coolpix B600, which comes with a 60x optical zoom lens but has no viewfinder and doesn’t support raw file capture.
Roughly two weeks before the show, Olympus pre-announced its M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens. It’s due for release this month and offers a compact and lightweight option for users of the OM-D E-M5 and E-M10 cameras who are looking for a one-lens solution for travel and/or everyday photography. We hope to review this lens soon.
A cutaway view of the new Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens showing the positions of the optical elements. (Source: Olympus.)
Sony released details of its FE 135mm f/1.8 GM lens for ‘full-frame’ cameras a couple of days before the show. This fast telephoto prime lens boasts a sophisticated optical design containing XA (extreme aspherical), Super ED and ED elements plus Nano AR coatings to suppress ghosting and flare. A special area of the Sony stand was dedicated to enabling visitors to test the AF system, which uses four linear XD motors to drive two separate focus groups.
Animated cats provide an entertaining way to test the AF speed and accuracy of the new Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 GM lens.
A few companies launched new lenses at the show. Among them was Cosina, which owns the Voigtländer brand, announcing three new lenses for the Sony E-Mount: the Nokton 50mm f/1.2 Aspherical, Nokton 21mm f/1.4 Aspherical and the Nokton Vintage Line 75mm f/1.5 Aspherical VM.
A discussion of new products on the Cosina stand.
Third-party lens manufacturers were out in force, with traditional companies like Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and Zeiss being joined by relative newcomers like Laowa, Samyang and Youngnuo from China.
Sigma showcased the first lenses developed for the L-Mount Alliance, which comprises Leica, Sigma and Panasonic and is based upon the Leica L mount.
Tamron offered its regular lens cleaning service free of charge to visitors.
Samyang mounted a strong display of lenses that attracted plenty of interest.
Visitors try out new lenses on the Laowa stand.
Zeiss showcased its lens range in a special ‘Lens Bar’.
Yongnuo lenses are available in Australia at leading camera stores, although the range is fairly limited. The brand is better known locally for electronic flash products.
Leica took advantage of the show to announce new products, among them the APO-Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 ASPH lens, which was developed as part of the L-Mount Alliance. Initial specs for the up-coming Leica Q2 compact camera were also leaked on the third day of the show (although the camera wasn’t displayed). Several other companies – Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax/Ricoh among them – showed mock-ups or prototypes of up-coming products.
Fujifilm’s up-coming GFX 100 medium format camera was on display. locked up in a special case. It is shown here from three angles.
Although full specifications haven’t been released, this camera features a different design from the GFX models, with integrated vertical and horizontal grips like the OM-D E-M1X and a removable EVF like the GFX 50S. Its 102-megapixel back-illuminated sensor has phase-detection AF pixels covering its entire surface and it comes with in-body image stabilisation plus 4K video capabilities.
Nikon’s anticipated Z Noct 58mm f/0.95 lens was also shown behind glass, both on a camera and in a cutaway form that displayed the individual glass elements. As you can see, it’s as large and probably as heavy as you’d expect for such a fast prime lens.
Also under glass was a mock-up of the Olympus of the new Olympus 150-400mm f/4.0 PRO lens, shown here from two angles. Designed mainly for the OM-D E-M1X camera, it comes with an integrated 1.25x tele-converter plus an optional M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20. This lens is dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof and includes built-in stabilisation that integrates with the 5-axis in-body IS systems in Olympus cameras.
Another interesting product displayed under glass was the Zeiss XZ1 camera, which was first announced at Photokina 2018, two views of which are shown here. Scheduled for release some time this year, it boasts a 37.4-megapixel full-frame Sony sensor and a fixed 35mm f/2.0 lens and is designed to provide the same easy networking and sharing facilities as a smartphone. It comes with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC pre-installed plus 512GB of internal memory. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB-C connectivity are included for versatile networking.
Several important announcements were also made at the show. Nikon confirmed it was working on an entry-level model in its Z-mount mirrorless camera system but provided no other details. Sigma revealed that its full-frame mirrorless camera featuring a 60.9-megapixel Foveon sensor wouldn’t arrive until 2020. But. again, no details were disclosed.
Field testing has apparently started for the Canon EOS-1DX Mark III full-frame DSLR camera ahead of the Tokyo Olympics next year. Canon is also rumoured to be working on an EOS R camera with 8K video as well as a 100-megapixel model with in-body image stabilisation. But details were not provided.
Olympus has registered a new camera body code (IM015) in Indonesia and raised speculation that the third generation EM-1 or E-M5 camera is on the way. We suspect it’s the E-M5 Mark III since it would be a better partner for the new, compact and lightweight M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens that was announced on Valentine’s Day. Covering a focal length range from 24mm to telephoto 400mm (35mm equivalent), the 16.6x zoom range of this lens is ideal for travellers.
As well as Canon and Fujifilm, which showcased consumer-level printers and printing services, Epson mounted separate displays of professional and consumer equipment.
Canon’s range of consumer-level printers was on display in a special section of the stand.
Fujifilm mounted an impressive display of output options, including photo books.
There was a small display of Datacolor’s Spyder calibration devices on the ImageVision stand.
Epson provided a separate area where visitors could have images printed.
Stands displaying accessory products were many and varied and, although some of these products are available in Australia, some of the more interesting products have not found local distributors. The following pictures give a taste of some of the products that engaged our attention.
A potential customer tries out a camera bag on the Manfrotto stand.
Dry Cabinet storage cabinets are available in Australia – but we haven’t found anyone distributing the nifty, lightweight waterproof bags shown with them in this display.
The resurrected Lexar brand, which is now owned by Longsys, a Shenzen, China-based flash memory company, had a wide range of products on display, including high-speed, high-capacity CFexpress cards.
Since it emerged from the Japan Camera Show in 2008, CP+ has grown steadily. This year’s attendance figures for the four days reached 69, 615 an increase of just over 1,500 on last year’s figures. Although a smaller show than Photokina, CP+ provides an excellent venue for imaging equipment manufacturers to showcase their latest products. Since most of these manufacturers are located in Asia, CP+ is likely to play an increasingly important role in promoting photography and imaging worldwide.
Associated with the show are a number of special events and displays of photography as well as a secondhand equipment market and accessories sales area in an annex to the main show. CP+ 2020 will take place between 27 February and 1 March at Pacifico Yokohama, Japan.