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Photography's faithful flock to Japan's biggest camera show

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Once a year, Japan’s photographic industry congregates in Yokohama for CP+ — a camera and imaging show that brings out three times as many enthusiasts as it does tradespeople. The four-day long event provides plenty to do for the 65,000 or so attendees, with photo exhibitions, seminars, and presentations for pros and amateurs alike. But the biggest draw is the hardware. CP+ is the first place anyone in the country will see the new bodies, lenses, and accessories before they make their way into camera stores later on in the year.

In a country as steeped in photograpy as Japan, it isn’t hard to imagine the enthusiasm in the crowd as Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Fujifilm, Pentax, Casio, Sigma, and Tamron unveiled their new wares. And while we didn’t see quite as much new gear as we did last year, we used our time to see what the show is really all about.

  • To show off its high-speed ZR400 and ZR700 point and shoot cameras, Casio brought in a bouncy, rubber slackline. The landing after this backflip might have been a little shaky, but like the announcer pointed out, it was a really big trick.

    To show off its high-speed ZR400 and ZR700 point and shoot cameras, Casio brought in a bouncy, rubber slackline. The landing after this backflip might have been a little shaky, but like the announcer pointed out, it was a really big trick.

  • A visitor checks out a full-resolution image from Fujifilm's X100S. 16-megapixel RAW images might not be the most storage-friendly medium, but for those times when your print has to be gigantic, it's the only way to go.

    A visitor checks out a full-resolution image from Fujifilm's X100S. 16-megapixel RAW images might not be the most storage-friendly medium, but for those times when your print has to be gigantic, it's the only way to go.

  • Pentax showed off a trio of limited-edition colorways for its diminutive Q10 camera inspired by the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Aside from the NERV logo and model number on the top, there isn't much else to separate the camera from a regular Q10 except availability — Pentax is only making 1,500 of each color.

    Pentax showed off a trio of limited-edition colorways for its diminutive Q10 camera inspired by the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Aside from the NERV logo and model number on the top, there isn't much else to separate the camera from a regular Q10 except availability — Pentax is only making 1,500 of each color.

  • Here, Olympus imagines how you might use its Pen E-PM2 Micro Four Thirds camera. As you can see, the lightweight body and 14-42mm zoom lens will coordinate perfectly with your pink apartment, lacy pillows, and wicker thing.

    Here, Olympus imagines how you might use its Pen E-PM2 Micro Four Thirds camera. As you can see, the lightweight body and 14-42mm zoom lens will coordinate perfectly with your pink apartment, lacy pillows, and wicker thing.

  • "People are here for all kinds of different reasons," says a Panasonic rep. Full-frame DSLRs with bracket-mounted diffused flashes are de rigueur at the show.

    "People are here for all kinds of different reasons," says a Panasonic rep. Full-frame DSLRs with bracket-mounted diffused flashes are de rigueur at the show.

  • We spot one of Olympus's weather-sealed OM-Ds in its natural habitat. In the background, an E-5 DSLR, long thought extinct, lurks closer to the lagoon.

    We spot one of Olympus's weather-sealed OM-Ds in its natural habitat. In the background, an E-5 DSLR, long thought extinct, lurks closer to the lagoon.

  • One of the few genuinely new pieces of kit at CP+ was Sony's 20mm f/2.8 E-mount pancake lens, shown here next to the existing 16mm f/2.8 pancake. The new lens will be available sometime in April for around $350.

    One of the few genuinely new pieces of kit at CP+ was Sony's 20mm f/2.8 E-mount pancake lens, shown here next to the existing 16mm f/2.8 pancake. The new lens will be available sometime in April for around $350.

  • The Pentax Optio WG-3 doesn't do a whole lot to improve on last year's model, but it does add a secondary LCD on the camera's front. You can use it to show the time, altitude, temperature, or in this case, barometric pressure.

    The Pentax Optio WG-3 doesn't do a whole lot to improve on last year's model, but it does add a secondary LCD on the camera's front. You can use it to show the time, altitude, temperature, or in this case, barometric pressure.

  • We spot this model at the Nikon booth, wandering perilously close to a watering Olympus OM-D. The image was taken with a D600 and 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens.

    We spot this model at the Nikon booth, wandering perilously close to a watering Olympus OM-D. The image was taken with a D600 and 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens.

  • There might not be any Ultra High Definition content in Japan until NHK starts broadcasting next year, but that's not holding Sony back. Here, the company shows a PS3 displaying a full-res image on one of its 4K sets using the company's PlayMemories software.

    There might not be any Ultra High Definition content in Japan until NHK starts broadcasting next year, but that's not holding Sony back. Here, the company shows a PS3 displaying a full-res image on one of its 4K sets using the company's PlayMemories software.

  • Nikon's D4 and 14-24 f/2.8 wide-angle zoom lens, flayed open for all to see. 14 lens elements in 11 groups — check. Pentaprism viewfinder — check. Hybrid carbon fiber and kevlar shutter — that might be it right there.

    Nikon's D4 and 14-24 f/2.8 wide-angle zoom lens, flayed open for all to see. 14 lens elements in 11 groups — check. Pentaprism viewfinder — check. Hybrid carbon fiber and kevlar shutter — that might be it right there.

  • This 5-megapixel TLR-style camera from Japanese company Bonzart is called the Ampel. A knob on the right can flip between different Instagram-like filters, and the lens button on the camera's front lets you switch between regular and tilt lenses for fans of the miniature look.

    This 5-megapixel TLR-style camera from Japanese company Bonzart is called the Ampel. A knob on the right can flip between different Instagram-like filters, and the lens button on the camera's front lets you switch between regular and tilt lenses for fans of the miniature look.

  • We've been critical of the state of Wi-Fi-enabled cameras out there, but Sony's NEX-5R and NEX-6 offer some interesting potential with downloadable apps. Here, Sony shows one off that it's currently working on called Motion Shot, which creates a composite shot out of multiple frames.

    We've been critical of the state of Wi-Fi-enabled cameras out there, but Sony's NEX-5R and NEX-6 offer some interesting potential with downloadable apps. Here, Sony shows one off that it's currently working on called Motion Shot, which creates a composite shot out of multiple frames.

  • Is your mouth's perpetual darkness having an adverse effect on your oral hygiene? Toyo Living Corporation has you covered with the <emph>world's first</emph> light-up toothbrush, the Beldente. We're not sure what it has to do with photography, either.

    Is your mouth's perpetual darkness having an adverse effect on your oral hygiene? Toyo Living Corporation has you covered with the world's first light-up toothbrush, the Beldente. We're not sure what it has to do with photography, either.

  • On the left is the world's first still telephoto zoom lens, Nikon's 85-250mm f/4-4.5. Launched in 1959, it took advantage of calculator-based optimization to get the most sharpness across its zoom range.

    On the left is the world's first still telephoto zoom lens, Nikon's 85-250mm f/4-4.5. Launched in 1959, it took advantage of calculator-based optimization to get the most sharpness across its zoom range.

  • Perhaps not the most practical outfit, but par for the course at CP+. The stage is surrounded by Sony's current lineup of products to demo, from the full-frame RX1 point and shoot, to the NEX-VG900 video camera.

    Perhaps not the most practical outfit, but par for the course at CP+. The stage is surrounded by Sony's current lineup of products to demo, from the full-frame RX1 point and shoot, to the NEX-VG900 video camera.

  • Nikon, proudly representing the real hip-hop for over 80 years. Just one of many areas to try out the company's equipment.

    Nikon, proudly representing the real hip-hop for over 80 years. Just one of many areas to try out the company's equipment.

  • If you need some help making believe that your iPhone is an old-school rangefinder, Gizmon's iCA case and its physical shutter button might be what you're looking for. New this year is a retractable cable release in the shape of a film canister, pictured right.

    If you need some help making believe that your iPhone is an old-school rangefinder, Gizmon's iCA case and its physical shutter button might be what you're looking for. New this year is a retractable cable release in the shape of a film canister, pictured right.

  • Railroad photographer Izumi Hirota takes the stage at Tamron's booth to walk the crowd through his workflow.

    Railroad photographer Izumi Hirota takes the stage at Tamron's booth to walk the crowd through his workflow. "Taking photos of things that are formless; this smoke, light, air — that's really challenging."

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