Sep 25, 2012
During the third week of September, many of the press and analysts that cover the photography market were in Cologne, Germany at the bi-annual Photokina trade show, Europe’s largest photography show. InfoTrends was there covering the show and even hosted an InfoBriefing about the trends that will shape the market over the next few years. For those of us that were not in Germany, the Pepcom Holiday Spectacular event in New York City gave us a chance to see some of the new cameras that were creating a buzz at the Photokina show and have not hit the shelves here in the U.S. yet.
Canon and Nikon are regular attendees at Pepcom events in New York City, since they both have their U.S. headquarters on nearby Long Island. Being a Nikon shooter, I was very anxious to see the new D600 DSLR. I’ve been shooting with a D200 for over six years and though it still works great, I’m ready to upgrade. Priced at $2,099.95, the D600 is Nikon’s entry-level DSLR with a full-framed 24.3 megapixel sensor and is very similar in design and appearance to the D7000 DSLR, which has a DX sensor. I’ve really been waiting for a replacement to the D300s, but if that camera doesn’t make an appearance by the CES Show in January, I may be in the market for a D600. My first impressions from just holding it and turning the dials were positive, as it has a nice combination of being light in weight but with a solid and substantial feel to it. Nikon had inventory available on the D600 right after its introduction — a welcome change after the inventory problems it had with the D800/D800e and D4 models earlier this year. The availability of the D600 is also well ahead of its newest rival from Canon, which is not shipping until December.
Canon showed off its own entry-level full-frame DSLR, the EOS-6D, which at $2,099 is priced to compete directly with the Nikon D600 and sports a 20.2-megapixel full-frame sensor. The EOS-6D also comes with built-in GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity, while the D600 still relies on add-on modules. Both the Canon and Nikon full-frame SLR’s should be strong additions to their model lineups, and though they compete head-to-head, it is likely that most of the people buying these cameras are already predisposed to buying one brand or the other depending on what they shoot with already. The models are so similar in pricing and features that it would take some serious convincing to encourage existing Nikon or Canon shooters to switch brands if they have at least a few lenses in their repertoire.
I’m a big fan of Canon point-and-shoot cameras, so was very intrigued by the new PowerShot G15, which has a bright and fast f/1.8-f/2.8 5x optical zoom lens and faster autofocus performance than its predecessor, the PowerShot G12. It even has an optical viewfinder, which is becoming extinct on point-and-shoot cameras. One key difference between the G15 and G12 is that the G15 no longer has the swiveling LCD display. While some photographers may miss the flexibility a swiveling display provides, I actually like the fact that the fixed display makes the G15 more compact and easier to pocket than the G12 is. The lack of a swiveling display also helps Canon to differentiate the G15 from the PowerShot G1 X, which has one. Available in October, the G15 feels incredibly well-built and at $499.99, will be very attractive for enthusiast and prosumer photographers as a point-and-shoot camera. With the specs it has, it may also be appealing to pros as an extra carry-around camera and may bring it into some internal competition with the G1 X. Though the PowerShot G1 X is around $300 more than the G15, there may be some photographers choosing between those two cameras, with the G15 having an advantage in portability and a bit longer zoom lens, while the G1 X has the larger sensor with higher overall resolution and the swiveling display.
The introduction of these new enthusiast cameras from Nikon and Canon are timed well, as they should provide a boost to Holiday sales (assuming no inventory issues). The new cameras also give more options to enthusiast and professional photographers, with full-framed sensor SLR’s now available at a lower price point, as well as compact cameras with faster lens and improved shooting features.
More blogs from David Haueter