You've heard the memes before. The camera industry is dying; smartphones have destroyed the market for point-and-shoots; mirrorless cameras' sales haven't lived up to the hype. But no one in Japan appears to be listening — cameras are the one consumer electronics field where the country remains the undisputed leader, and photography occupies a place in the heart of the populace like nowhere else.
With that in mind, spending a day or two at Japan's biggest annual camera trade show is a lot of fun for photo obsessives, even if there's little in the way of actual news from the event itself. Companies announce cameras like the Fujifilm X-T1, Sony A6000, Canon G1X Mark II, Panasonic GH4 and Sigma DP Quattro in the days and weeks leading up to CP+, and the show represents the first chance for the Japanese public to get their hands on the new products.
In the spirit of sharing the joy of photography, here's a selection of shots from the show floor.
- CP+ is held in Yokohama, a port city close to Tokyo. The capital region had its heaviest snowfall in 45 years last weekend, and piles of snow still line the street.
- Sigma's stunning DP Quattro cameras drew the biggest lines by far on opening day.
- This Canon exhibit showcased every EF lens in the camera giant's extensive catalog.
- Hasselblad continues its bizarre skinning of Sony cameras with the HV, a rebranded and rugged A99 that sells for an unbelievable $11,500. The HV follows the Lunar, which was based on the NEX-7, and the Stellar, based on the RX100.
- Never one to let a 4K opportunity promotion slip, Sony has set up a "photo theater" that lets show attendees view high-resolution photography on expensive new TV sets.
- Most companies demonstrate their cameras by hauling out models to pose in elaborate studio-style setups. The queues for these are often prohibitive.
- A model poses in Nikon's booth under countless LED lights in the company's trademark color scheme. The scene was designed to show off the low-light portrait abilities of the new Df DSLR.
- Canon, to its credit, is the only major company not to line up tireless women for show-goers to shoot. The company showed off its impressive new G1 X Mark II camera's macro abilities with a complex display of foliage.
- Canon staff show attendees how to use the full-frame 5D Mark III DSLR.
- Casio's FC400S puts a unique spin on the point-and-shoot — it's designed for golfers, capturing swing data at high speed and offering advice on technique.
- The traditional camera's decline makes room for upstarts like GoPro, which no doubt sees an opportunity in the extra visibility afforded to extreme sports by the Winter Olympics.
- Another new type of camera commonly seen on the Sochi slopes is the drone. Here, attendees examine DJI's Phantom range of camera-equipped quadrocopters.
- There were more complex drone rigs, too, including this one designed to carry the weight of a full-frame DSLR.
- This Sony Mavica prototype from 1981 was the world's first electronic still video camera, a precursor to digital cameras that stored single frames of video on floppy disks.
- The Kodak Professional Digital Camera System was the world's first DSLR, released in 1991. It consisted of a 1.3-megapixel sensor inside a converted Nikon F3 body alongside a separate processing and storage unit.