Photokina Presents The Future of Worldwide Image Communication

From September 23 to 28 at photokina 2008, the "who's who" of the international photo and imaging sector will once again present the entire spectrum of products and services in the areas of modern image technology and image application for consumers and professionals. With 1, 523 companies from 49 countries exhibiting, the turnout for the sector's leading trade fair remains strong. "No other trade fair offers such a comprehensive range of products and services from the world of imaging and for the photographic and imaging sector. In the world of global digital communications, photokina can truly claim to be one of the leading events of its kind, " said Koelnmesse Executive Vice President Oliver P. Kuhrt.

The fair's organizers - Koelnmesse and the Photographic Industry Association - are expecting approximately 160,000 visitors from all over the world, who will learn about the latest products, services, and trends related to all aspects of imaging media. With 66 percent of the exhibitors coming from abroad and an increase in the number of countries represented (2006: 46 countries), there has once again been a moderate increase in the fair's international character. photokina thereby strengthens its position as the imaging industry's most important global business platform, Kuhrt said.

This year many of the exhibiting companies - including Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, and Canon - are also once again expanding their exhibition areas. photokina's organizers also are pleased to report their success in attracting new exhibitors. More than 200 companies have decided to exhibit at photokina for the first time. Kuhrt said he is particularly delighted this year that photokina's importance on the international stage has convinced the global player Microsoft to once again take part with a large stand at the fair, following the presence of the company from Redmond at the 2004 event. In addition, General Imaging, a new supplier in the camera segment, will for the first time present its products at photokina.

Optimized workflow concept
As Kuhrt reported, the fair's successful concept of aligning the entire imaging workflow with the event's hall structure will be further improved and optimized for photokina 2008. The previous five product areas have been reduced to only four this year, representing the entire imaging workflow: Image Capture, Image Processing, Image Storage, and Image Output. Moreover, accessories will now be presented in the imaging workflow product area they are used in, said Kuhrt. This optimization measure reflects the wishes of the market for effective implementation of the workflow concept in the form of a stronger consolidation of the individual product areas supplemented by accessory presentations. At the same time, the new setup results in a clearer and more compact hall structure.

The trends at the fair - for professionals and private users
Along with displays of new cameras, lenses, printers, services, and accessories for specialist users, professionals and consumers, the event's organizers expect photokina to be dominated by the questions of which simple and creative methods will be offered to consumers for printing images, and which new possibilities for displaying images will be used in the digital age. Particularly noteworthy here is the dynamically growing area of individually produced photo books.

In the consumer segment, the organizers report, this year's trends include new camera functions such as intelligent face-recognition, GPS functions, and the increasingly tightly meshed and improved networking of devices with electronic products and appliances in the home. Sector experts also expect entirely new solutions to be presented in the image processing segment, products that will greatly expand creative freedom in post-processing - all with even better image quality and increasingly intuitive operation. Multifunctionality and mobility are the defining trends for the coming generation of high-tech cameras. This also will mean a further increase in the pixel counts of the new camera models' resolutions. On exhibit will be cameras featuring more and tinier pixels on increasingly small sensors as well as products equipped with larger and larger pixels on sensors with image areas that correspond to those of traditional medium-format film images. photokina 2008 exhibitors also will present single-lens reflex cameras for HD video recordings as well as HD video cameras with high-resolution photography features.

Hot topics in the professional segment are new high-end digital camera backs with resolutions of up to 65 million pixels, as well as the trend toward high light-intensity lenses for professional users, which stand out by virtue of delivering very high quality images despite a rather small zoom area. When it comes to professional image output, trade visitors will find many new products - from single-pass inkjet printers and UV-LED printers to water-based latex inks and the possibility of printing in excellent quality on a nearly endlessly diverse spectrum of paper and materials, even including textiles, plastic film, and metal plates.

First class supporting program offers more value for trade visitors
The photokina organizers also presented some of the initial highlights of the supporting program for the 2008 event. Returning this year will be the traditional GfK Market Briefings, which provide retailers and industry representatives from around the world with concise, up-to-date basic and background information and detailed market studies. Further highlights include the "Memories on demand" International Business Forum, where top international decision makers in the sector will discuss the effect digital imaging technology is having on consumer lifestyles. Rather than focusing solely on technological innovations, the forum will primarily address the question as to which new business models are best suited to meeting modern consumer requirements. photokina's organizers expect international top managers from the industry and the retail sector to participate in the forum.

DGPh presentation forum "Digital storage - film-based archiving?"
In an event titled "Digital storage - film-based archiving?", the science and technology section of the German Society for Photography (DGPh) will be joining photokina organizers to stage a presentation forum at photokina 2008 that will showcase the opportunities and limitations of film-based and digital archiving.

XXL Photo Album
One of the most unusual attractions at photokina 2008 will certainly be the world's largest photo book, the XXL Photo Book. With its ten pages measuring three meters in length and two meters in height, it's not only the largest photo book in the world, it's also sure to be the highlight of the trade fair in Hall 10.2. The giant photo book will be surrounded by photo kiosks and photo printers. All visitors to photokina can contribute to the photo book by printing out their digital images at one of the print stations and gluing it into the blank XXL Photo Book.

XXL Impressions - large format image presentation and projection
The "XXL Impressions" Projection Arena, which will be located in an impressive special area, will focus on image presentation and projection. It will demonstrate to trade visitors and end consumers how to underline the emotional impact of good images by presenting them in an impressive manner. The aim of this event is to show photographers that there's a presentation and projection solution for every requirement, no matter how large or small the budget. Professional users, such as photographers, advertising agencies, travel agents, museums, architects, and companies, will also receive practical instructions on how to choose customized solutions that meet their particular needs.

Dennis Hopper's photos in the Visual Gallery
The Visual Gallery will once again serve as a cultural highlight at photokina 2008 by presenting the best works of internationally renowned photographers and award-winning young talents. The "top act" at this year's Visual Gallery will be photographs by the U.S. actor and director Dennis Hopper. The exhibition includes portraits of David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol. In addition, the internationally renowned top photographer and photojournalist Thomas Höpker, who now lives in New York, will be presenting works that are high points of his career in photography. In the 1950s, he had just turned twenty when two of his early works received awards in the photokina competition "Jugend photographiert". Further highlights at the Visual Gallery will include exhibitions from the "Cicero Gallery for Political Photography," MAPHO (Museum for Architectural Photography), the C/O Berlin Cultural Forum, and the German Association of Freelance Photo Designers (BFF).

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