As most of you know, the biggest event in the photo industry calendar is Photokina, which takes place in Cologne (Köln) Germany every two years. Photokina is the world's biggest photographic trade show. This being an even-numbered year, it's a Photokina year, and we're in the runup to this year's event right now—it takes place from September 18th through the 23rd.
It's open to the public. I would go, but I'm quite sure I would get lost, and not make it out of Germany again for many months. And even then I would probably find myself in some remote corner of Luxembourg. (At least with my leg chained to the leg of the desk, I know where I am.)
Photographic industry companies used to reserve their biggest and splashiest introductions for Photokina. It got all the coverage, and woe to the poor passed-over company that had nothing new to show.
Then, for a few years in there, companies were no longer tying their introductions to Photokina or any other scheduled trade show. The reason was that the pace of digital development was just too fast and furious: the "window" of currency (and profitability) for any particular new product was bitterly, crazily short, so the product had to be rushed on the market just as soon as it was ready. (And sometimes just a little before.) Some products missed that narrow window altogether—by the time their product was out of development and ready to be marketed, the rest of the industry had passed it by (whether technologically or in terms of selling price) and it was too late.
Well, things are calming down. Despite the intense flurry of new products cascading on to the market these days, the pace of digital progress has slowed sufficiently that many companies actually can time new introductions to coincide with the major trade shows once again, just like they used to. Consequently, we're beginning to see more important new introductions reserved for or timed around Photokina.
I say "around" because few introductions will be saved for the actual show...most, like the bevy of new Pentax products (and presumably all those rumored new Sonys), will make their appearances in the days just prior.
If you go to the show, of course, then it's the big event—but viewed from afar, just looking at what's new, the show days can seem a bit anticlimactic...all the new stuff has already been announced, and the days of the actual show bring relatively little news.
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Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.