TWiP #168 – Photokina!

On this episode of TWiP, we recap some of the news and announcements coming out of Photokina, Sony comes on strong with the A55, and editor Tristan Hall joins the discussion.

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Alex Lindsay, & Tristan Hall


Photokina 2010 Recap
Tristan attended Photokina for the first time. He was impressed with the size of the show but was disappointed with the lack of ground breaking news during the show. The experience though was great and he was able to see a lot more product that he would see at his local camera stores but most of the major announcements came out prior to the show. Fred wasn't able to attend and he felt he could catch up on most of the news by reading the press releases and following the blogs that were covering the event, but Alex feels that there is something valuable about being able to play with the products and talk to the people in person that can't be replaced yet.

Incredible Shrinking Pro Camera Market
Dan Havlik from PDN Gear Guide wrote about Photokina and the big story being what he didn't see in terms of surprises from in the pro camera space from major companies like Canon and Nikon. The show seemed to be dominated by prosumer and compact DSLRs from a number of consumer electronic companies and smaller photography companies. Alex thinks that the camera companies have to target the prosumer space because phones are eating into the entry level P&S market. One product that was announced that Alex thought was interesting was the Sigma SD1.

Another interesting camera that Tristan had a chance to play with was the Sony Alpha A55, which David Pogue wrote about in the NY Times. This is a camera that uses a translucent mirror which separates the light between the focusing sensor and the imaging sensor and doesn't have a mirror that flips up like a traditional SLR. The A55 can shoot an incredible 10 shots per second and remain focused the entire time because there is no mirror that has to flip out of the way. One drawback in the past has been that these type of mirror-less cameras do not have an optical viewfinder but the new A55 sports a hi-res digital viewfinder.

Adobe Announces Photoshop Elements 9
The latest version of Photoshop Elements has been released featuring some of the great features included with Photoshop CS5 such as content aware fill. Both Alex and Fred think that for the person thinking of jumping into Photoshop but is watching their pennies, Elements is a great starting point and if you hit the wall with it, then you can step up into Photoshop.


QUESTION #1: Gurney Hack writes: I have just purchased a Canon 50D to replace my 20D. The 20D still works fine, and I will probably use it as a second camera to save changing lenses. I have a Sigma 18-200 4.5-5.6 and a Canon 50 1.8. Obviously there will be times when each lens is better suited to a purpose but the 50D will be the primary camera, so is it better to have the Sigma or Canon lens with the 50D to take advantage of the better features of the 50D…or does it really matter?

Alex: The reason will be more about the situation you are in and much less about which camera you are shooting on. The reason for using a 50mm lens is when you're shooting portraits and want a small aperture. You'll use the Sigma when you are out walking around and want more flexibility and range of focal lengths in one lens so in both situations it has nothing to do with the camera.



We're re-thinking the photo missions after the incredible response we received around the camera mugs giveaway from a couple of weeks ago. Stay tuned and we'll announce more details soon.


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Frederick Van and

Alex Lindsay – and

Tristan Hall – and


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  1. Did anyone at the show manage to see the videos playing at the Nikon booth? They are showing a video my brother and I made. It’s the time lapse movie about Vancouver, BC. I was just curious how it looked on the big screen. Thanks!

  2. Great hearing Tristan on TWiP – and a great and balanced show. I hope that the TWiPpers pick up a Sony … there has happened quite a lot since Mavica (most importantly they bought Minolta and carried their DSLR-line on).

    I think we are heading toward a time where Canon and Nikon are no longer alone. Pentax has a really great line-up – and Olympus also makes quite capable DSLRs. In the future we could hope that A900, K7 and E-620 will be just as well known as D700 and 5D-mkII.

    Great show and very balanced coverage.

  3. About Gurney Hack’s question: If he doesn’t want to change lenses I think he should use the 50mm prime lens on the 50D, and the 18-200mm zoom on the 20D. The other way around makes less sense: The 15Mp sensor of the 50D would probably reveal the unsharpness of the 18-200mm zoom, while the 20D with its lower resolution would most likely not show the full sharpness of the 50mm prime.

    Thanks for paying attention to Photokina. When it comes around next time I must really go and see it for myself. You make it sound like a great experience.

    Greetings from the Netherlands!

  4. There is a press day at photokina. It’s the day before the show opens to the public and therefore many stands are still setting up …

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