Photokina 2016 – The 11 best new cameras we’ve seen

Photokina 2016: All the best new cameras launched and latest news from the world’s biggest photography show.

The bi-annual press day at Photokina has concluded and we’ve now seen all the big launches (unless somebody wants to throw a surprise camera in the works).

Some of the press conferences went completely as expected and we got what we thought was coming – while others, er, didn’t.

Here’s a rundown of announcements from the major manufacturers.

Sony A99 II

Sony A99 II

We thought that Sony might announce another full-frame camera, but we didn’t know it would be the A99 II, a new flagship DSLT (translucent mirror camera) for the company.

Many had speculated that another mirrorless camera would be on the way in the shape of the A9, so some were a little surprised when instead the A99 II arrived on stage.

Still, it’s got some pretty impressive specs that professional photographers should appreciate – and certainly anybody already shooting with Sony kit.

The A99 II features a full-frame 42.4-megapixel back-illuminated sensor, while sports, action or wildlife photographers will likely enjoy 12fps shooting with full autofocus tracking. Other interesting specifications include a newly developed shutter unit, a tough magnesium alloy body, and 5-axis image stabilisation.

Related: 5 tips to instantly improve your smartphone photography

New Nikon KeyMission trio

Sadly, Nikon didn’t give us a competitor camera to Canon’s excellent 5D Mark IV this time at Photokina. It did, however, pull two more action cameras out of the bag for its KeyMission range – and a rugged virtual reality camera for good measure.

The KeyMission 170 features a 170-degree wide-angle lens and is capable of recording 4K UHD video along with images, plus you can create Slow Motion, super-lapse movies and time-lapse movies.

It’s also got a mount which allows you to attach it to a variety of different things, which should prove useful when shooting sports and action where you can’t necessarily hold the camera. The camera is waterproof down to 10m.

The second camera, the KeyMission 80 is a tough, wearable camera which is designed to give you quick stills and film shooting whenever you need it. Not only does it have a rear-facing camera, but it also has a selfie camera on the front of the device too.

Last but certainly not least, Nikon fully outed the KeyMission 360, which was first teased at CES but has now been given a price ($500, or likely around £400 when it gets a proper UK price) and release date (October).

The KeyMission 360 packs a 20-megapixel camera on each of its sides, with roughly 190-degree wide-angle lenses. It’s also seriously durable – the company claims it can be submerged in up to 100 feet of water for an hour, survive a 6.6-foot drop, and survive temperatures down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit – that’s minus 10 degrees Celsius in real money.

Fuji GFX 50S


Without doubt, the conference which won the award for most oohs and aahs went to Fuji, who unveiled a new mirrorless medium-format camera, the Fuji GFX 50S, which had been rumoured to appear at the show. The resulting announcement didn’t disappoint.

Although the camera itself won’t be ready to buy until 2017 – and it will cost a pretty penny when it does become available – early indications are that this could be a real game changer when it comes to the ultimate image quality in a (relatively) small body.

It has a sensor which is 1.3x larger than full-frame, packing in a whopping 51.4 megapixels. It also has a newly designed focal plane shutter which can shoot at its quickest at 1/4,000 second.

To go along with the camera, Fuji revealed that three lenses for the system would be available from launch, with a further three arriving by the end of 2017.

Panasonic GH5


We were expecting an update to the GH4, so it was no surprise to see that the GH5 is in development. It won’t be available for a little while, but there are some very exciting features that videographers in particular should find appealing, especially 6K video recording – as well as the ability to record 4K at 60fps.

The company also said that it would be fitting cameras with 8K capability by the time the next Olympics rolls around in 2020. The GH5 is expected to start shipping in the early part of 2017. You can learn more via the link below.

Related: Panasonic Lumix GH5 – what you need to know

Panasonic G80, Panasonic FZ2000, Panasonic LX15


Panasonic, as ever, was keen not to rest on its laurels and had three more cameras to show us, all of which will be available much more quickly.

There’s the G80 (pictured above) – not to be confused with the GX80 announced earlier this year – which features a DSLR-like body shape, along with a 16MP sensor, electronic viewfinder, 4K video recording and inbuilt Wi-Fi.

The FZ2000 is Panasonic’s new flagship bridge camera. That features a 1-inch sensor, a Leica 20x optical zoom and unlimited 4K video recording.

Finally, the LX15 is a premium compact camera which also features a 1-inch sensor and should go head to head with the likes of the Canon G7X Mark II and the Sony RX100 IV. It also has an f/1.4-2.8 3x optical zoom lens and, this being Panasonic, is capable of recording 4K video.

Canon EOS M5

Canon M5 3

OK, Canon didn’t technically announce the EOS M5 at Photokina, but it didn’t announce anything else either. The EOS M5 was announced just a few days before and it seems that the company is finally starting to take the mirrorless market seriously.

It has a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, a Digic 7 processor (the fastest Canon makes), up to 9fps shooting, an electronic viewfinder, a touch-sensitive LCD screen and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Olympus OM-D EM-1 II

Possibly the most exciting development of Photokina for ordinary photographers (sorry, Fuji) is the announcement of the OM-D EM-1 II, which – like the GH5 – came as a development announcement.

Olympus is targeting sports and wildlife photographers with this camera, which will become its flagship product when it goes on sale.

It’s got a completely rejigged AF system, and can shoot at up to 18fps in full-resolution RAW files. If you’re happy to turn off continuous autofocus, you can push that to an incredible 60fps.

Not only that but there’s a 20-megapixel Four Thirds sensor, an electronic viewfinder, a True Pic VIII processor and 4K video recording.

Olympus also sneaked in a PEN E-PL8 camera, but with zero fanfare we’re not sure how important Olympus sees this product.

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What was your top camera of Photokina 2016? Let us know in the comments below.

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