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Photokina, a camera buff's fantasyland (pictures)

The German show lets photography enthusiasts try the latest cameras, lenses, and accessories. Here's what the conference showcased.

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Stephen Shankland

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Canon 7D Mark II
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Canon 7D Mark II

The Photokina show is dedicated to refined photo equipment for enthusiasts and professionals, and as such was the perfect place for Canon to debut the  7D Mark II. This SLR modernizes a 5-year-old model to improve the sensor, autofocus, durability, and video. It's shown here with another new product, the Canon EF-S 24mm f2.8 STM pancake lens.

Panasonic CM1
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Panasonic CM1

The surprise hit for the show was the Panasonic CM1, an Android phone with a high-end lens and sensor. It's sleek for a camera. Excitement about it was tempered by its €900 price tag and the fact that it'll only be on sale in Germany and France. This converts to $1,160/£700/AU$1,300.

Sigma 200-500mm lens
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Sigma supertele zoom

The Sigma 200-500mm f2.8 EX DG HSM is a massive supertele zoom. Physics dictates a large size to make a lens that combines long focal length and the fast f2.8 aperture, good for capturing fast-moving distant subjects like race cars.

Red Bull demo
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Red Bull riding

Red Bull heavily promotes its association with unusual, dramatic sports -- the kind of thing people record with GoPro cameras. Most people at Photokina seemed more interested in watching the mechanical bull than riding it.

Nikon D750
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Nikon D750

The new full-frame Nikon D750 was a hot item at Photokina.

Samsung NX1 launch
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Samsung NX1 launch

Myoungsup Han, head of the Samsung Electronics imaging team, unveils the company's flagship NX1 camera.

Samsung NX1
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Samsung NX1

The Samsung NX1 can shoot 4K video using the new HEVC compression technology. It features an elaborate new autofocus system, a faster electronic viewfinder, and a pivoting LCD.

Canon booth staff
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Miss IFA? Nope

Those on the tech conference circuit can be forgiven if they thought they were at the IFA electronics show in Berlin, whose mascot is a red-wigged woman. Instead, this was one of several staffing the Canon booth.

Olympus OM-D E-M1
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New firmware for Olympus

At Photokina, Olympus announced new firmware for its higher-end OM-D E-M1 camera, an update that will mean photographers can use it for "tethered" shooting. That means hooking the camera up to a PC with a USB cable so photos are immediately pushed to the computer, something that facilitates studio photography.

Olympus M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens
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Olympus M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens

Can't afford the $1,500 price tag on Olympus' new M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens? How about half off? This view shows the innards of the new high-end lens for the company's Micro Four Thirds compact cameras.

Mark Roberts Motion Control's robot-controlled Nikons
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Robot-controlled Nikons

Mark Roberts Motion Control and Nikon announced a partnership under which the Japanese company will supply cameras for robot-controlled shooting for movies and events. MRMC software lets multiple cameras track the same subject from different perspectives -- an athlete, actor, or singer, for example.

Olympus Open Platform
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Olympus Open Platform

Olympus wants to attract hardware hackers and other creative types with its Open Platform, a camera module that accepts Olympus lenses and that's controlled over Wi-Fi via a smartphone or tablet.

Fujifilm Instax
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Fujifilm Instax

Somebody forgot to tell Fujifilm that film is dead -- and to tell the customers that continue to purchase the instant-print cameras. Apparently retro chic extends beyond Instagram filters.

Fujifilm bokeh-enhancing filter
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Bokeh-enhancing filter

Fujifilm introduced its 56mm f1.2 R APD lens, a variation of an earlier model that adds an apodization filter "to create silky bokeh effects" -- in other words, to rid blurred-out backgrounds of any distracting patterns.

Fujifilm Swing Cam
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Fujifilm Swing Cam

The Fujifilm Swing Cam, controlled by a mobile app, is designed to swivel to automatically track subjects.

Sony photo demo
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Sony shooters

Camera makers arrange models and still-life subjects around Photokina to let people try their wares. Here, people photograph a model at the Sony booth.

Fujifilm XT1 camera body manufacturing
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Fujifilm XT1 camera body manufacturing

To make its new "graphite" finish on its XT1 interchangeable-lens camera, Fujifilm XT1 uses a six-step treatment process for the magnesium-alloy camera body.

Fujifilm lens array
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Fujifilm lens array

For its X series of cameras, Fujifilm and allies such as Zeiss offer a gradually broadening range of lenses.

Upcoming Fujifilm XF 90mm F2 R lens
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Upcoming Fujifilm lens

Fujifilm plans to start selling this XF 90mm F2 R lens from 2015.

Lytro Illum in use
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Lytro Illum

Photokina attendees take photographs with any number of unusual cameras, ranging from decades-old film models to this Lytro Illum light-field camera.

Nikon promotion
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Nikon inspiration

Nikon bought advertising on Photokina's steps to try to inspire photographers -- and to inspire them to buy more gear.

Canon bonbons
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Canon bonbons

At Canon's reception, the company offered a multitude of colorful snacks.

DJI S1000 quadcopter
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DJI S1000 quadcopter

The DJI S1000 is just over a meter across and can carry a hefty Canon 5D Mark III SLR camera in a gyro-stablized gimbal mount. It can fly for 15 minutes thanks to a 9.5kg, 15,000mAh battery that supplies 500 watts of power. The drone costs €3,390 alone, the gimal adds €2,600, and the controller a further €1,099. A combo package is €5,430.

Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM lens
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Canon's second-gen 400mm DO

Canon wasn't happy with the optical performance of the first-generation model, so it announced the EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM lens at Photokina. Its diffractive optics (DO) design permits a shorter, lighter lens.

Fujifilm X30
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Fujifilm X30

For those who want something better image quality than a smartphone but not a bulky SLR, Fujifilm offers its X30, which costs $600 (£480/AU$829) and has a 28-112mm equivalent lens.

Zeiss optics
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Zeiss optics

Although much of its business is for cinema, Zeiss remains a fixture for SLR lenses, too. This is a Nikon-mount 85mm f1.4 lens.

Pentax Asahi S2 from 1959
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1959 Pentax

Camera makers at Photokina like to show off their heritage. This Pentax Asahi S2 dates back from 1959.

Google at Photokina
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Google at Photokina

Google is best known for its search service and Android operating system, but the company arrived at Photokina to promote its Views service too, which lets photographers contribute shots used on Google Maps.

Celestron telescope
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Supertele or telescope?

There are plenty of supertelephoto lenses on display at Photokina, but Celestron's massive telescope outdoes them all for magnification. This model has a 3910mm focal length and f11 aperture.

Colorful Pentax SLRs
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Colorful Pentax SLRs

Pentax tries to get ahead through customer-configurable color combinations. This glass case showed an array of multicolored SLRs.

BMW i8
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BMW i8

To attract attention, Fujifilm parked a gleaming BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sportscar at its booth.

Olympus M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens
32 of 34 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Olympus M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens

Catering to the higher-end set, Olympus announced its M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens at Photokina. It's got an equivalent focal length of 80-300mm in conventional 35mm terms.

Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f4 ZA OSS
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Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f4 ZA OSS

The Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f4 ZA OSS is another high-end lens that arrived at Photokina, a model with a premium finish and optics from Zeiss.

Photo globe
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World of photos

This massive globe is covered with hundreds of photos.

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