We didn't head to Photokina this year for a host of reasons, but we definitely paid attention to what was going on. It looks like it has been a great show with a lot of great announcements.
I figured I'd rank the best things we saw at Photokina, and a few things we'll have to wait and see on. Keep in mind, beyond the EOS 5D Mark IV, we haven't actually had our hands on any of the gear announced in Cologne.
You can see all the Photokina items for preorder over at B&H Photo.
Top Announcements at Photokina
Fujifilm GFX 50S
I'm so happy that the rumors of Fujifilm medium format system has turned out to be true. What excites me more is that it's likely to come in at under $10,000 USD including a prime lens.
I think the sub $10,000 medium format segment is potentially bigger than some people thing and that they're going to sell a lot of cameras. What's most important is that Fuji must get the lenses for the system out to the market as quickly as possible, when people don't have lens options, they tend to look elsewhere. Fuji can make great lenses, so I'm not worried about the quality of the optics.
The Leica S has always been my favorite “medium format” body, but I'm staying away from the system until we see a 50mp or higher sensor (I'd love to see 80mp). The lenses are absolutely stellar, as are the ergonomics of the camera, but I just can't justify the cost for the resolution.
I think the GFX 50S will pass the Pentax 645 system in popularity fairly quickly.
Well done Fujifilm, there's a chance you're going to take my money.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
I count this as a Photokina announcement, and I was so impressed they were able to get it to the masses so quickly. This is obviously the only product on this list I've had the chance to play with, and I think it's a great step forward for the 5D line.
When you release a replacement for the most popular full frame camera in the world, you're going to get a ton of criticism along with praise. Most of the criticism has come from the videographer world, while I respect their opinions. The majority of buyers for the EOS 5D Mark IV will be using the camera for still photography, just like the previous iterations. We did some unscientific market research at Lens Rentals Canada, and more that 95% of the people that rented the 5D Mark III, did so for still photography.
This camera is going to be a workhorse for professionals the world over for many years to come.
Well done Canon, you already took my money.
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG Art
It's finally here! It seems the entire photography community has been waiting for the 85mm f/1.4 Art and the excitement for the announcement has been over the top.
Sigma is promising that this lens will equal the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 in optical performance, and give you the benefit of autofocus for a fraction of the cost. If Sigma gets anywhere near this claim, they're going to have themselves a massive success.
We're hoping for a new Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L III some time in 2017, because it may be hard to resist this Sigma offering.
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III
I had this preordered a week before it was announced, it's by far the most anticipated product in my world. If this lens carries on the performance of Canon lenses released in the last couple of years, it's going to become the best wide angle zoom in the world.
I'm hoping for better optical performance than the brilliant EF 16-35mm f/4L IS, with the added bonus of an extra stop of light for event photography.
I've found the EF 11-24mm f/4L to be too wide and too big for most of my uses, even though it is an amazing piece of glass.
I have a feeling a lot credit cards will be getting abused once this lens starts shipping.
The Top Wait and See Announcements at Photokina
Sigma 500mm f/4 OS Sport
The knock on Sigma has always been consistent autofocus performance. If there was a focal length where consistency is paramount, 500mm would be it. We're hoping Sigma has improved in this area and that the brand new $6000 supertelephoto turns out to be a steal, considering the brilliant Canon equivalent is about 50% more expensive.
Tamron seems to have focused on AF accuracy over AF speed, and I've found their latest primes to be about as consistent as you can expect from a third party manufacturer. The slightly slower speed of the AF hasn't bothered me for my shooting style.
Canon EOS M5
I had some initial excitement for this camera. It looks to be a lot better from a ergonomic standpoint as well as technologically. The 24.2mp sensor is a great APS-C sensor and DPAF is a remarkable technology.
My problem is they still haven't addressed the lens issues with the EOS M system. This is a $1000 camera body, and as such, there should be some higher end fast primes available for it. I will never use an 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM, no matter how great it is.
I look forward to using the camera with an open mind and I hope we see new lenses announced in the first half of 2017 to compliment it.
You can sound off in the forum with your favorite products of 2016, I'm sure I have overlooked something!