The Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com) today posted up the first in a series of interviews with execs at Photokina 2008. The first one up is Samsung’s VP of digital camera marketing, Choong-hyun Hwang.
Given that these are business execs and it’s a business/consumer expo, the questions and responses here are a bit guarded and generic, but it still provides some neat insights into business strategies and where the future is going, in each company’s view. Maybe they’ll have snagged down a real engineer for some of the other company interviews.
Meaningful content is coming soon, but today’s the start of Photokina, a semi-annual trade show for the photographic and imaging industries where camera makers debut their new products. It’s day 1 and we’ve already got a slew of interesting announcements so far:
Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S lens
Nikon 50mm f/1.4
Nikon users (and particularly all those D40/60 owners) have been waiting for this one for a long time, and it’s finally here: a (semi) affordable large aperture prime lens with a sonic motor that will focus with decent speed (or focus at all). Previously Nikon users have had to deal with a slew of ancient lenses from the screw-driven era of autofocus – they weren’t really fast enough for fast action, didn’t even autofocus with the newer D40/60 bodies, and on top of that the optics really didn’t compare to more modern designs like Canon’s 50mm f/1.4 or Sigma’s monster 50mm f/1.4.
Nikon is promising a “newly developed optical system” with this one, so there’s at least the potential for it to perform much better than the current 50 f/1.4, and given how old the optical design is on that, it should. Whether it stacks up with Sigma’s 50mm f/1.4 is the big question – initial pricing seems to be $440, which would undercut the Sigma’s current $500 price. Given that it’ll be the “brand name” Nikon, it will sell bucketloads, and for a lower price and much more compact size (73.5mm diameter, 54mm length, 280g vs. 84.5mm, 68.2 mm, 520g on the Sigma) would be the more appealing option anyway for most users who aren’t obsessed with having the absolutely top-flight image quality.
More on the Nikon 50 1.4, Olympus Micro Four-Thirds mockup, Panasonic G1, Leica S2 MF dSLR, and Samsung HZ1 compact ultrazoom.