Photo Review was able to attend the opening day of the annual CP+ 2014 Trade Show on 13 February as part of a trip organised by Olympus Imaging Australia for a small group of representatives of Australia’s main photo specialist retailers and specialised media.
As usual, the event was preceded by new product announcements from the major manufacturers. We have already published brief reports on the new cameras announced by Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Panasonic, Ricoh and Sony, plus a detailed ‘First Look’ at the Olympus OM-D E-M10.
The logo and theme for this year’s CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show. (Source: Camera & Imaging Products Association, Japan.)
We arrived at the start of the ‘Premiere Time’ slot, which is set aside exclusively for members of the press, VIPs and visitors who hold Premiere tickets. This made it easier to get around the various company stands before the crowds of general visitors were let in at midday.
The theme of this year’s show was Joy and Beauty through Advance Photo Imaging Technology (sic). As usual, the venue was the Pacifico Yokohama Conference Centre, with the main Exhibition Hall devoted to the trade show and dedicated halls in the Conference Centre playing host to numerous seminars, workshops and panel discussions. Exhibitions of photographic prints took place both within the main hall and in annex venues within the centre and in neighbouring venues.
An overview of part of the exhibition area at CP+ 2014. (Source: Camera & Imaging Products Association, Japan.)
Although the various manufacturers’ stands were well-attended during Premiere Time, once the doors opened to the general public, there were crowds of visitors and long queues to obtain ‘hands-on’ experience with recently-announced equipment. Olympus handled consumer interest the best, with a clearly-delineated square in the centre of their stand containing four models, who posed happily to allow visitors to take photos with one of about a dozen of the new OM-D E-M10 cameras arranged around them. This area also contained plenty of small displays of flower arrangements and toys to enable visitors to try out the cameras’ close-up capabilities.
Trying out one of the new OM-D E-M10 cameras on the Olympus stand was easy during Premiere Time (top) but the stand quickly became crowded once normal visitors were allowed in, as shown in the illustration below.
Elsewhere on the Olympus stand the focus was squarely on CSCs, with small areas also devoted to the Stylus 1, Tough and super-zoom SP-100EE cameras. PEN cameras were popular across a wide range of age groups with younger women showing particular interest in their Wi-Fi capabilities.
Two visitors to the Olympus stand sharing images from a PEN camera with a smart-phone.
Highlights included a display of the new PRO series lenses, although three of them were mock-ups of products that will be released in late 2014/early 2015. These include the long-awaited 40-150mm f/2.8, which is promised for late in 2014 and the recently-announced 7-14mm f/2.8 and 300mm f/4, which are due to ship in 2015.
The new Olympus M-Zuiko Digital Pro lenses (clockwise from left front): the 7-14mm f/2.8, the existing 12-40mm f/2.8, the 40-150mm f/2.8 and the 300mm f/4.
Panasonic, the other major in the M4/3 area, also had crowds flocking to its stand to view the new Lumix DMC-GH4 camera, the first to offer 4K video recording. Capable of recording at both 3840 x 2160 and 4096 x 2160 pixel resolutions with frame rates of 30 frames/second (fps), this camera can record clean HDMI video to an external recorder with 4:2:2 8/10-bit output. A large interface unit can be mounted on the base plate to add four SDI outputs with support for 4K (4:2:2/10-bit), time code, two XLR microphone inputs and a 13.8-volt external power terminal as well as LED audio level readouts and phantom power controls.
Getting close to the new Lumix DMC-GH4 camera on the Panasonic stand was difficult, even in Premium Time.
The closest we got to the GH4 was on the SD Association’s stand, which was showcasing the new SanDisk Extreme PRO SDHC/SDXC UHS-II cards.
For still shooters, this camera features a new 16-megapixel CMOS sensor with a sensitivity range of ISO 200-25600 and 12 fps burst mode or 7 fps with AF tracking. Its shutter is rated for 200,000 cycles (professional standard). The magnesium alloy body is splash- and dust-proof, with a 3-inch, 1.04 million-dot tilt-and-swivel monitor and 2.36 million-dot OLED EVF.
You could try any other camera on the Fujifilm stand with minimal waiting time.
But it was a half-hour wait to get your hands on a new X-T1, even in Premium Time.
Fujifilm’s latest X-Mount camera, the X-T1 also attracted crowds with queues waiting for around 30 minutes each time we visited the stand. Designed with a weather-resistant body, when paired with a weather-resistant lens it is splash- and dust-resistant and freeze-proof to -10 degrees Celsius. The 3-inch, 1.04 million-dot tilting LCD is reinforced with tempered glass and there’s a 2.36 million-dot OLED EVF. A new EXR Processor II chip and redesigned user interface support a claimed half-second start-up time, 0.05-second shutter lag and a 0.5-second shot-to-shot interval, along with 8 fps continuous shooting with tracking AF.
The queue on the Sigma stand where the new DP Quattro cameras were being shown.
The new Sigma DP2 Quattro, shown without the optional optical viewfinder that clips onto the camera’s shot-shoe. (Source: Sigma.)
Another popular stand was Sigma’s, which announced its new DP Quattro line-up just before the show but kept details well under wraps. It was impossible for us to obtain hands-on time with any of the three new models as the queue stretched all the way around Sigma’s display area. The Foveon sensors in the previous DP models have been updated with a new three-layer chip which has a 20-megapixel, blue-sensitive top layer plus two layers each with 4.9-megapixel resolution recording green and red information. The company hasn’t disclosed much information about how the new Foveon X3 Quattro sensor works but you can read more at http://www.sigma-global.com/en/cameras/dp-series/technology/#quattro.
The diagram above shows the structure of the new Foveon X3 Quattro sensor. (Source: Sigma.)
Canon’s new product announcements were conventional ““ and largely anticipated. The PowerShot G1X and EOS 1100D both got updates, the first as a Mark II model with a body and lens re-design that saw the removal of the optical viewfinder and the introduction of a tilting touch-screen monitor, a 24-120mm (equiv.) f/2-3.9 zoom lens, a new 18.7 x 14 mm sensor (the same size as the previous model’s) and a faster DIGIC 6 processor. An optional EVF will be offered but the camera lacks microphone and headphone jacks.
Canon’s PowerShot G1X Mark II created plenty of interest among serious enthusiasts.
The new EOS 1200D increases effective resolution to 18 megapixels, a step-up from 12 megapixels in the EOS 1100D. The monitor is a larger 3-inch, 460,000-dot screen, which is not touch sensitive and doesn’t articulate. Overall build quality is improved and Wi-Fi is built-in with a new app for iOS and Android designed to attract new users. The AF system hasn’t changed but the camera supports Full HD video recording and includes some automatic modes with Scene Recognition and Creative modes to give images and movies a different look.
The highlight of the Nikon stand was the prototype of the D4S, which was announced on 7 January. Sadly, it was under ‘glass’, which made hands-on evaluation impossible. Hands-on opportunities were available with the Df, D800, D610, and D5300, using a variety of lenses, with the highlight being the new AF-S Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G portrait lens.
The Yokohama Diorama Photography corner on the Nikon stand.
The new 2014 Coolpix-series cameras were also available and the stand included a Wi-Fi corner where visitors could try the cameras’ sharing functions. Nikon also provided a Yokohama Diorama Photography corner, established in cooperation with Mori Building Company, Limited, that visitors could use when trying out different cameras. Plenty of staff were on hand to answer visitors’ questions.
A visitor tries out the new a6000 camera on the Sony stand.
Sony’s new a6000 replaces the NEX-6, providing a new 24.3-megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor paired with a BIONZ X processor that minimises lag times. The new camera is distinctly NEX-like in appearance and uses the same E-mount lenses. It features179 phase-detect and 25 contrast-detect AF points for faster autofocusing and supports continuous shooting with tracking AF at up to 11 frames/second.
Like other Alpha CSCs, the A6000 has an OLED viewfinder with 100% FOV coverage, a Multi Interface Shoe and a tilting 3-inch 921,000-dot LCD monitor. Slightly larger than the NEX-6, it comes with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC and provides seven customisable buttons and a choice between the standard NEX-style user interface or the new tab-style Alpha UI. There are separate dials for shooting mode and settings adjustments.
Sony also had a display of its complete range of lenses and other accessories for Alpha cameras.
The multiple-colour array of Pentax Q7 cameras.
The Pentax/Ricoh stand included the normal displays of multiple colour options, this year for the K-50 and Q7 cameras. Also on show was the new Pentax 645D 2014, an improved version of Pentax’s original medium format DSLR plus the new smc PENTAX DA645 25mm f/4 ultra-wide-angle lens, which has yet to go on sale. The Ricoh brand was highlighted with the new WG-4 and W-G20 weatherproof cameras and the GoPro-style accessories that make it easy to mount WG-series cameras on a car, bike or special tripod.
Ricoh also presented an attractive array of accessories for its products.
Voigtlander’s display of lenses included internal views to show the optical configurations of each model.
Lens manufacturers also mounted extensive displays of new and existing products, with Voigtlander and Zeiss displaying versions of each lens cut in half lengthwise to show the optical configurations. Zeiss had its new Touit 50mm f/2.8 Macro lens mounted on the Fujifilm X-E2 for visitors to try.
Tamron’s lens cleaning service in action.
Tamron was one of a couple of exhibitors who provided services on their stands, with technical staff on hand to clean visitors’ lenses for them. (Canon was the other exhibitor with a sensor cleaning service.)
Lowepro presented a comprehensive display of its products, including a nice range of neoprene camera pouches.
As always, accessories were plentiful at this year’s show with smaller stands specialising in bags and straps competing with larger brands that provide a wider range of more affordably-priced products. Coloured tripods were also popular additions to brighten up many manufacturers’ stands.
A display of coloured tripods on the Velbon stand.
The small display of photo books in the Photo Print Media Zone was popular with general visitors.
Photo books and printing technologies, which were plentiful at CP+2011, made up a very small section of the display area and even Epson appeared to have nothing much new to offer at this year’s show outside of a small display showing the EVF from the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and E-M10 cameras, which feature Epson’s Ultimicron technology. Epson also showcased its first Direct-To-Garment (DTG) printer, the SC-F2000, which prints on a wide range of media and textiles and comes with design software for creating customised T-shirts.
The Epson stand displayed the EVF from the Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera, which features Epson’s Ultimicron technology.
Also on show was the new SC-F2000 Direct-To-Garment (DTG) printer.
One interesting stand showed an array of camera safes in different styles and sizes. Designed to exclude dust, moisture and sticky fingers, they would be ideal for anyone who lived in the humid tropics or dry and dusty parts of the world.
For the photographer who has everything ““ or lives in a tropical area ““ a camera safe can protect your investment against dust, humidity and theft.
Eizo’s stand provided plenty of opportunities for visitors to explore the company’s monitors and ColorNavigator 6 calibration system.
X-Rite provided opportunities to try out the latest ColorMunki calibration system.
Eizo made a more serious attempt to attract visitors, with working displays and demonstrations that showcased the capabilities of new and existing product lines. X-Rite also had an excellent demonstration on a much smaller stand, which highlighted the capabilities of the latest ColorMunki calibration system.
The professional video section of the exhibition hall.
A large area was set aside at the end of the main display area for professional video products. It contained editing suites, cameras, lighting equipment and other paraphernalia and was staffed by serious-looking video ‘types’ who tended to intimidate non-video photographers.
We were unable to attend any of the seminars due to a lack of time and the fact that the most interesting of them took place on Saturday 15 February, when we were already back at home. However, we did have a chance to interview some members of Olympus’s product development team and will post a report in the near future. We also hope to be able to review the most interesting of the new products displayed at the show when they become available.
Snow falling on Shinjuku railway station in Tokyo on Friday, 14 February.
More than 11,750 registered visitors attended on the opening day of CP+ 2014, but snow started to fall in Tokyo on 14 February, which reduced the attendance figure to 8,792 registered visitors. Heavy snow ‘paralysed’ public transport and forced the closure of the venue on Saturday 15 February. But it opened again for the final day on Sunday February 16.
By Margaret Brown
All unattributed photographs in this report were taken with the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera and the new 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.