Hello, my dear readers and friends. It’s that time of the year again! I will give you an early bird’s account of this year’s CP+ in Yokohama, Japan. I only went to the exhibits that I am interested in so you will not find anything about Sony, Fuji or Canon in this post because these brands do not appeal to me in any way.
In my usual way of posting, this will just be a series of pictures accompanied by a short commentary. Some of the booths are boring (Nikon) but I promise you that the ones for Tamron and the rest will be worth the read so please read the whole article and I hope that you guys will enjoy it!
The exhibit opens at 10:00AM but 15minutes before that a crowd of old Japanese men and camera buffs from here and abroad can be seen forming at the entrance. I talked to some clerks at the camera shops and they told me that it’s the same old Japanese men that buy and spend money on cameras. Here in Japan, a typical hobby for retirees is fishing and if you have saved more money then photography will end up being your hobby.
Just look at that crowd and imagine if this was held in summer. I am one of those people who are allergic to body odour. The scent alone overwhelms my senses and I may pass out!
Now, on to the Nikon booth…
Nikon’s booth is definitely the biggest this year as it has a couple of new products to show. Canon’s booth is probably just about the same size or maybe even bigger, but who cares?
There is the usual lenses section where you can try their exotic lenses, cameras and other current production products like sports binoculars and telescopes.
Of course, it would not be complete without the D5 & D500 presentation videos. This is old news now so I am not going to bore you with what is being said in the presentation.
This is the pre-production model of the Nikon DL 18-50. The asking prices for these are a bit too high in my opinion specially if you consider that it is only a 1″ sensor camera. Now on the other hand, the ergonomics of this camera is great. It felt nice to operate and seems to be a full-featured camera for the advanced enthusiast. It is also compact and is going to be great as a travel camera for those who can afford it.
There are 2 ways to zoom the lens in or out. One is to manually turn the zoom ring and another is to use the W/T lever that is a staple for lower end cameras with electronic zoom. As you can see at the end of the video the Nikon rep has to adjust something in the menu. I am not sure if the camera froze or the setting for electronic zoom is just deep inside the menu. This (DL) is a pre-production model and the firmware might have some bugs in it.
Now, this video shows the touch screen in action. I am confused why Nikon has created the DL as they already have the rather OK-ish 1 Series.
The DL comes in 2 colours by the way and this video shows the DL 24-85 in silver. I am not sure what the main differences are but the DL 24-85 comes with a flash and a super macro mode. Just check what’s on the internet to know what the specific differences are.
As you can see in the video, the super macro mode is just a marketing term for hyper focal distance focusing. This feature is present in many lower end advanced point and shoot cameras.
Thank goodness we are now at the last of the DL cameras. The DL 24-500 is the advanced camera in the series. It has a crazy 25-500 zoom to wow amateurs and soccer moms as well as mic input. This will probably be a good choice for documentary makers or students who are on a budget because of the dedicated mic input for interviews and the like. Again, I am not interested in any of the DL cameras so please check the net for more information.
Thank goodness, that was painful to endure, now on to something more exciting!
Let us now move to Pentax! I have always loved Pentax because this company deserves so much more. It is currently the underdog of the industry lacking the funding and tech of the bigger brands and also missing the hype and fanboys of the smaller manufacturers. They make great cameras so I hope that they got it right on their first full frame DSLR.
The Ricoh/Pentax booth has a small crowd compared to Nikon, Canon, Sony and Fuji. I can even imagine that Olympus might even have a bigger crowd than this. The crowd is small but everybody in there has a lot of love for Pentax.
There is a long line for people who want to try the new Pentax K-1!
The star of the show is the Pentax K-1. It is Pentax’s new and only full frame DSLR. Many people have been waiting for this for a long time and I am quite worried that this camera may be a little bit too late into the show.
As you can see from this picture, true to the Pentax way of doing things you are given a lot of buttons and dials. Some can be fully customisable like that big dial that you see beside the LCD. Ugly but functional – a true Pentax hallmark!
As you can see in this picture, the K-1 is a small camera. My D4 dwarfs the K-1 easily in the picture in every dimension. This is going to be a hit for outdoorsy photographers because of the compact form factor and weather sealing. The 36MP sensor will also be great for the landscape photographer. The sensor is rather old and is the same Sony sensor for Nikon’s D8xx series and Sony’s own full frame mirrorless cameras. The high ISO performs at par or 1 stop better compared to the D800 which I owned.
The unique flexible LCD display is also a great feature aimed at the landscape enthusiast. I used to have an angle finder with me when I shoot landscapes but thanks to this thing the angle finder is now a thing of the past! It may look flimsy but I will assure you that it is as sturdy as it should and even the ribbon cable underneath it is insulated with a thick rubber material for protection.
Not seen in my pictures is the illuminating LEDs. This is an awesome feature but Nikon’s backlit buttons is better. Whatever the case may be this is still great and only Nikon and Pentax has this feature at the moment as far as serious cameras are concerned.
I know that it looks ugly but I can assure you that it feels very good in the hand. One great feature is that there is a dedicated GPS button and there is a LED to indicate that it is ON or OFF so you will not waste energy having it ON when you do not need it to be.
Pentax lacks modern full frame lenses but they have built their own line using Tamron’s lenses built under license* as Pentax. Under the Pentax name, these Tamron lenses get superior weather sealing and a metal body that is typical of Pentax.
*This seems to be the case but I am not sure of the facts.
This is just a short video of my molesting the K-1. The dials felt great and of high quality.
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