Summing Up Photokina 2010: Photographic & Imaging Fair Extraordinaire

Author: neil mcpherson
Published: October 02, 2010 at 8:37 am

A week-long photography show is over and the 1,250 exhibiting companies and around 170,000 visitors have headed home or back to base. Cologne, one of the oldest and most famous cities in Germany’s Ruhr industrial heartland, calms down. Its bi-annual fair for cameras and those who produce, buy or use them, is over. That story is not new, so where does it all head from here?

Allison Johnson of tried to sum up Photokina:

" How do you summarize a show on such a massive scale as Photokina? The big players reaffirmed their positions at the top of the heap. Mirror-less interchangeable lens cameras, just a concept at Photokina 2008, were presented at Photokina as a force to be reckoned with. Despite the momentum behind this emerging class of cameras neither Nikon nor Canon showed any movement toward developing their own mirror-less camera, at least on the show floor.”

After reporting that Panasonic, Fujifilm and Sony, “continued to bang the 3D drum,” Johnson wondered whether attendees, having tasted the 3D products, would buy new entertainment systems before 2012. Probably.

You can see Allison’s summary here, with lots of images

“It’s the economy!” But meanwhile …

Photokina did have a “Playboy Shootings” space, but another topic of interest to companies, entrepreneurs and investors may have been figures, not the pictures of figures.

The senior industry organization for the German photographic and imaging industry, Photoindustrie-Verband had conceded back in May that its market sector had registered a slight decline.

The Verband then added that current forecasts were, “clearly pointing towards industry growth throughout the world - even though some countries were facing huge economic challenges.”

Success with Photokina, “the most important selling and communications platform worldwide,” seemed to bear out the predictions.

So the industry steams on and behind the Photokina scenes, in laboratories and on test benches, its flow heads towards added sophistication - for cameras, both professional and private; instruments for medicine, science, surveillance and the rest. The entire business sector is also shifting towards a new name: imaging.

The Photokina Phenomenon

Photokina began in 1950, when most German camera producers such as Leica and Zeiss were recovering from the Second World War. Color film, both still and movie, was becoming available to the general public. Photokina expanded into a week-long immense event. Photokina rivals the long-famous Frankfurt Book Fair (another “biggest”). Its official membership list is a roll-call of the top players in the industry. Most run offices, research or manufacturing plants on German soil, while presumably paying taxes too. Photokina packs a punch.

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: neil mcpherson

Neil McPherson, Australian writer, journalist & broadcaster, now resides in Mainz Germany. He has been a communication professional for decades. He worked with The Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a producer and broadacster; headed his own PR …

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