We've been scouring the 200 stands at The Photography Show 2019 in search of the best new products that we can find. It has been a great show for launches with lots of new kit for us to drool over. Our team of reporters and reviewers have picked out 15 top new products that we have seen – which each have become winners of one of our prestigious Best in Show awards.
With so many lenses, cameras, and photo accessories being announced, or being publicly displayed, for the first time at the show, it was hard to pick our top 15. But here are our Best in Show winners for TPS 2019…
Fujifilm's monster 102 megapixel camera is due to go on sale in June this year - but visitors to the show were able to a look at this professional medium format camera ahead of its launch. We managed to go one better, and get a hands on with a non-working prototype of the design. This is an extremely impressive camera, which will have a 5-axis, 5-stop in-body image stablizer – promising handheld shooting with a camera that appears well-suited to studio and commercial photography. Plus this camera will be able to shoot uncropped 4K video at 30fps. This camera is anticipated to cost $10,000 (body only) when it goes on sale.
With the buzz of the show being around full-frame mirrorless cameras, it was great to see that there was plenty of new kit for DSLRs too. Our pick of the bunch here is Samyang's ultra-wide 10mm rectilinear wide-angle – which will initially be available in Canon EF fit, but with the promise of a Nikon F model in the pipeline. This lens is simply the widest non-fisheye prime that you can buy. Beautifully made with a big bulbous front element, one of the key attractions of this lens will be the price – which was announced at the show as being £949.99. The lens will sell under the Rokinon brand in North America.
Nikon chose The Photography Show to roll out more lenses for its full-frame mirrorless system. The Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S was on display – a really small ultra-wide zoom, which we hope to have a full test of in the next week or so. And there were some mock-ups of lenses that are in the Nikon Z roadmap (such as the 58mm f/0.95 Noct, see below). But the lens that we actually managed to get our hands on for the very first time is the remarkable Nikon Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S. Designed for use with the existing Z6 and Z7 cameras, the focal range and wide maximum aperture make this a must-have zoom for any professional photographer. But this is significantly smaller and lighter than the DSLR version, and has some surprising extra features. We loved the Organic EL display panel on the top – which gives you a digital readout of either focus distance, the aperture, or the focal length.
4) Nikon Z 58mm f/0.95 Noct
The promise of Nikon's full-frame mirrorless system is that the new Z mount would allow lenses that were not previously possible on DSLRs. The 58mm f/0.95 Noct is the supreme example of this philosophy... and visitors to the show were not just treated to a mock-up of this super-wide-apertured standard lens on the Nikon stand, but were able to get a unique view of the internal construction of the lens with its huge elements, thanks to a cutaway model.
5) Tokina Opera 16-28mm f/2.8
Tokina is a grand old name in lens manufacturing which had rather lost its way recently. But in the last year or so it is really getting back in the game with innovative lens designs – and particularly its Firin and Opera ranges. The latest model in the DSLR Opera range is this 16-28mm f/2.8. A notable feature of this lens that it will have a focus ring that will in different directions, depending whether you buy the Nikon F or Canon EF version. This means that you will have no difficulty adapting to this lens after using your camera manufacturer's optics. This is a feature that used to be a key selling point in Sigma lenses of yore – but will be unique in the current market. Tokina's famous clutch mechanism can still be found, which allows you to quickly switch between autofocus and manual focus operation. The lens price is also appealing, at a very reasonable £699.
Tokina Opera 16-28mm f/2.8 hands-on preview
Panasonic's new flagship full-frame mirrorless camera, the Lumix S1R, is now finally on sale – alongside its baby brother the S1. The cameras and the new L-mount system were first announced back at Photokina last September, but Panasonic chose The Photography Show as the place to put the cameras on sale for the first time. The Lumix S1R is the star of the line-up with its 47 megapixel sensor and 5.5-stop in-body image stabilizer. The 9fps camera is built with professionals in mind, and we can't wait to get this into our lab for full testing in the next week or so!
Whilst the Panasonic S1 and S1R are the key cameras so far of the new L-mount alliance, it is the range of compatible lenses and converters being made by Sigma which are a big attraction of the new camera system (which has been developed by Sigma, Panasonic and Leica). At The Photography Show, Sigma UK was showing the first three of 11 L-mount lenses that it will be launching for the L-mount this year, alongside a converter that allows you to use Canon EF lenses on the S1 or S1R.
Atomos has built a great reputation for high-quality external video recorders with built-in monitors. But now it has a low-cost unit that simply offers a 5-inch screen. Designed for 4K playback, and offering ability to preview Log video in a way that replicates your post-production workflow, the Shinobi will be a great accessory for filmmakers and vloggers.
Lomography has a new brass lens in its family of retro optics. The Lomogon offers a much wider range of applications than its existing Petzval lens. With its 32mm focal length and its completely circular apertures, the lens has been launched in a Kickstarter campaign which is still to finish – but the company has already got full funding for the project so this fun optic should be available to use later this year.
If you want to find a new bag or backpack, The Photography Show is the place to see models in all shapes and sizes from all the key manufacturers. These new models from German company Cosyspeed caught our attention in particular. The Camslinger is essentially a bag on a belt, which is more than capable of supporting full-frame DSLRs and mirrorless camera with a medium-sized lens. The belt take the weight of the kit, but also has an ingenious closure mechanism, which can be undone with one hand – but can not be accidentally opened. The Camslinger is available in a number of colors (our favorite is the electric blue, costing £125, in the picture above, but more sombre designs are available).
The attraction of the Micro Four Thirds camera system, as sold by Panasonic and Olympus, is that due to a smaller sensor than other intechangeable lens systems, its lenses are also smaller. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x IS Pro takes this to an extreme, offering a remarkably portable lens that will have an effective focal range of 300-800mm, which can then be further extended to a maximum effective focal length of 1000mm, thanks to a built-in teleconverter. This lens is still some way off going on sale but is expected to be in shops sometime next year. But it shows that there is plenty of life in the MFT mount, and will be the perfect partner with the recently launched Olympus OM-D E-M1X camera.
The Manfrotto family of 190 tripods is a firm favorite among photographers the world over – offering a great balance between stability, portability and value for money. Now the 190 has a new variant aimed at the videographer. The 500 Video System is designed to support cameras up to 5kg. The MVK500190XV legs feature D shaped tubed, with Quick Power Locks to provide a secure locking grip, and can be locked and unlocked with just one hand in a single movement – and which can be set a four angles. The tripod comes with the popular 500 Fluid Video Head is lightweight and ensures smooth shots. It has a maximum height of 173.3cm and a closed length of 72.2cm - and will sell for a recommended price of £359.95.
360 cameras are becoming more and more popular, with models such as the Ricoh Theta and the Insta360 range. But 360 photography is used widely by professional photographers to create walkthrough VR representations of buildings and other locations. Matterport is one of the leading companies producing the software that makes this possible... and it is just about to launch a new low-cost system that allows people with basic 360 cameras to create their own VR walkthroughs, which are akin to creating your own Google Streetview of a building or interior.
This year The Photography Show has expanded to offer even more coverage of the video market. This has meant more talks, masterclasses and demonstrations on vlogging and film-making – but also more exhibitors showing exciting new products for the videographer. Sennheiser used the show to reveal its new wireless mic system, that is designed to offer simply plug-and-use sound recording for the vlogger and videomaker. Using a wi-fi standard, you just need a receiver and a transmitter (each which has a choice of 3.5mm or XLR sockets). A basic kit with transmitter, receiver and tie-clip mic costs £289.
15) Sony A6400
Sony rather took us by surprise this year by launching the A6400. We had been expecting a new flagship model in the APS-C mirrorless range. But instead we got a model that was aimed directly at the vlogger. With its fold-up screen the selfie camera has come of age, and is now the ideal setup for the myriads of camera-operators-cum-presenter who are out there making their own vlogs and video reports.
Read our Sony A6400 review