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Camera breakthroughs coming next week

160Mp camera ready for Photokina

The transition from analogue to digital technology is set to breath fresh life into the Photokina imaging event in Cologne, after resuscitating the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin a year earlier.

Photokina, which opens on Tuesday, expects more than 1,600 vendors and 160,000 visitors – the show's largest turnout ever, thanks in large part to the huge interest in digital photography.

Indeed, this year's Photokina, which takes place every two years, is shaping up to be a digital event all the way.

Like the new digital television sets at IFA, the latest digital cameras will dominate the show floor at Photokina. New product releases have been raining down on Cologne in the run-up to the show.

Samsung will show its new 10.2Mp (megapixel) GX-10 digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera with an image sensor that offers users a razor-sharp picture and rich colours. The company also plans to unveil five new lenses.

The Seitz 6x17 Digital camera from Seitz Phototechnik AG shoots at 160Mp to create a native 6x17cm image, and is packed with an ISO range from 500 to 10,000 and a shutter speed of 1/20,000th second.

Canon is showing the PowerShot G7, which begins to blur the line between professional and consumer cameras. It can take up to two 10Mp pictures every second and has a 6x optical zoom with optical image stabilisation. The company is also releasing its 10Mp PowerShot SD900, a pocket-size camera that puts a 3x optical zoom in a light casing.

After launching some amateur SLR cameras earlier this year, Pentax plans to enter the semi-professional market with its 10Mp K10D camera, featuring the company's 'shake reduction' technology.

Even if cameras dominate the scene at Photokina, visitors can expect to find numerous other products for processing and displaying photos and movies, as well as storing the data. And there could be a few surprises.

Apple, for instance, has been very secretive about an announcement it plans to make at an event on the eve of the show.

Nokia, which has decided to skip both IFA and the CeBit IT show, will be at Photokina again this year, showing its new smart phones with integrated cameras.

Seiko Epson, HP and Xerox are among the numerous companies offering printing and scanning equipment for professional and amateur photographers


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