Today, September 21, the Photokina “World of Imaging” Trade Show will start in Cologne, Germany.

The Photokina is the world’s leading fair for photography and imaging and is held every second year at the Cologne Exhibition Center in Germany. It is considered the highlight and the center of photography for all photo enthusiasts – be they amateur or professional photographers or simply photography aficionados. It will be held until Sunday, September 26.

The first Photokina was held between 6th and 14th May 1950, and over the years Photokina has been the place manufacturers have announced some of their most significant new products.

Click here for the Photokina Facebook page, and here to follow the Photokina on Twitter.

Photokina 2010 preview / predictions / hopes (source: Digital Photography Review)

  • More Mirrorless Large Sensor Compacts – Star of Photokina 2008 was Panasonic’s G1, and in the past 2 years Pansonic’s G-series Micro Four Thirds cameras have come on in leaps and bounds. We expect to see updates from at least one of the existing players, and hope to see bigger hints of what’s to come from those that have yet to join the party.
  • 3-D – As mentioned above the ‘next big thing’ to hit digital photography (whether you like it or not) is 3D capture, driven by the arrival of 3D movies/broadcasts and compatible flatscreen TVs. We suspect that 2011 will see a lot of talk but very little action, but once 3DTVs go mainstream the flood of compatible cameras that follows is all but inevitable. Expect to see lots of intention this year.
  • Compact cameras- It looks like we’re finally getting our wish for more exciting compact cameras and more to choose from at the high end of the market, with large sensors, photographic controls and high quality lenses marking a welcome return of the ‘enthusiast’ flagship compact. Further down the ranges expect to see even more HD movie capture, even more fancy gizmos (face recognition, GPS, touch screens, ultra fast CMOS-powered burst modes etc), but little in the way of genuine innovation in mass market compacts.
  • Lenses- They seem to take forever to develop, but we certainly expect Photokina to see new lens announcements from all the major manufacturers. This is especially important for the new mirrorless systems, which lack the support of a legacy lens system to bolster their lineup. They need fast, small lenses to entice system buyers.
  • Surprises?- These days it’s rare for there to be any really big surprises during the show itself (though it’s not unheard of). We do know of a couple of announcements due on the opening day, but we pray for a genuine surprise. Will Olympus announce that the E-5 is the last Four Thirds camera with a mirror (as they’ve been hinting)?, will Canon and/or Nikon surprise us with a mirrorless system camera or large sensor compact? Will Fujifilm announce a new film camera? (oh, yeah ,that’s right, they did that last time), will there be a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III or Nikon D700 upgrade? Only time will tell, and we’ll be on the show floor to ensure you get the very latest news as it happens.