photokina, photography’s biggest trade show, is over. Red Bull Illume was there and has ploughed through the press releases and announcements to summarize the new emerging trends and the impact they could have on action sports photography.
With a number of new mirrorless releases such as the Hasselblad Lunar, the countdown to the first professional sports model has begun. Action and adventure sports photographers should be excited – professional mirrorless models will offer better flash synchronization and faster shutterspeeds.
The death of the cable continues with wireless file transfer slowly improving. There is still a need for standardization in wi-fi capabilities as each brand is approaching wi-fi in different ways. Photographers are still waiting for the smooth transfer of all formats to all devices, and not just a select brand-specific few. Speedier solutions for large file sizes and improved functionality for professionals is surely the next step.
During the summer Guardian photographer Dan Chung made headlines by documenting the London Olympics with his iPhone 4S. The decent quality images and ease of upload made his coverage of the event effortless, and brands have picked up on this – Samsung is even producing the Galaxy camera for the ‘mobile’ consumer market, with easy access to social networks like Facebook and Instagram. Until wireless solutions improve, news photographers are likely to continue with their current workflows!
Red hot gear
The Nikon 800mm f/5.6 lens was developed in order to strengthen the NIKKOR lineup of super-telephoto lenses. It will boast the longest focal length of any NIKKOR autofocus lens, and will be best suited to capture of a wide variety of decisive outdoor scenes, perfect for action and adventure sports and events. In addition to its superior optical performance, the lens will offer dust and water resistance.
Red Bull Illume photographer Marcel Lämmerhirt was the first photographer to lay his hands on the Pro-B4 flash, another great new piece of gear. Lämmerhirt, who loves to shoot fast extreme sports, tested out the flash in a wakeboarding shoot with Dominik Gührs. Check out the video here.
photokina is a trade fair, so it was to be expected that most brands focused on new gear and innovations, whether faster shutter-speeds or great number of megapixels. By contrast, Leica was one of the few brands that placed more emphasis on the photography itself – with exhibitions of their photographers' most famous work and talks from photographers themselves. It was a timely reminder of what photography is all about.