Photography, Videography and Smartphone Accessories - The Tech You Need To Know About From CES 2016

Jan 12, 2016
by Fraktiv  
In our second instalment of our coverage of CES 2016, we focus on photography, videography and must-have smartphone accessories.
Whilst photographers and videographers are pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to trade shows, many manufacturers now choose to announce their consumer/prosumer and occasionally professional products at CES. As with a great deal of technology, yesterday's high-end gear is being ever-more democratised, allowing us all to own our own drones, 4K video cameras and other bits of kit - for ever-decreasing prices - a lot of which is now largely on par and sometimes ahead of equipment used by broadcast and film industry professionals. Photo and video products are seldom immune from this trend - though owning gear is one thing, being able to use it is another - and CES 2016 had a few gems up its sleeves both for early-adopters and those looking for something more traditional.


On the photography side, Nikon chose CES to announce its new D5 camera, sitting as the new flagship of its professional range. Due in March, with a price tag equal to that of a small car ($6,500/£5,200 body-only), and boasting extremely high-end features and capabilities, it's very much a camera for professionals, although Nikon paired this announcement with details of their slightly more affordable, but still undeniably professional D500 ($2,000/£1,730 body-only), packing many of the D5's features into an APS-C format body.

Photography Videography and Smartphone Accessories - The Tech You Need To Know About From CES 2016
Nikon's new full-frame D5 (left) and DX (APS-C) format D500.
The D5 will offer a 20.8-megapixel full-frame sensor, 153-point autofocus, 12-14fps continuous burst, 4K video, ISO sensitivity up to an insane 3,280,000 and a new EXPEED 5 processor. Its D500 little brother is broadly in line with the majority of those features, whilst packing the aforementioned APS-C sensor, but drops its ISO sensitivity to a more modest but still staggering 1,640,000.

Interestingly, the D500 also shoots 4K video, but whilst the D5 is thought to be limited to just 3 minutes, the D500 is rumoured to be able to shoot up to 30 minutes. As more details about the two new models surface, undoubtedly this huge difference will be proved right or not (the confusion is due to a few conflicting press releases by Nikon at CES), so we'll soon see.

Nikon have packed a hell of a lot of good stuff into their new flagship professional camera, launched at CES.

On the lens front, Panasonic and Olympus were the only notable companies bringing out some shiny new glass to the party, with both offering new telephoto lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras. Panasonic's offering was the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3, whilst Olympus brought along their M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 IS Pro, which is now one of the fastest long lenses available for M43 camera bodies.

For the hordes of videographers out there shooting on cameras such as the incredibly popular Panasonic GH4, you now have the option of long lenses with pretty fast apertures, something that's been a long time coming to the M43 platform.

The Leica 100-400mm is available for pre-order for around $1,800.
The Olympus 300mm is available for pre-order for around $2,500.
Photography Videography and Smartphone Accessories - The Tech You Need To Know About From CES 2016
The Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 (left) and Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3.

Photography Videography and Smartphone Accessories - The Tech You Need To Know About From CES 2016

Photography Videography and Smartphone Accessories - The Tech You Need To Know About From CES 2016
After a few design iterations, Kodak's prototype 8mm film camera was finally seen in the flesh at CES 2016.
With some of the lower-end videography announcements already mentioned above in our previous CES article, the last and least expected announcement in videography circles came not from Arri, RED or some other high-end firm, but from industry stalwarts, Kodak, a company celebrating its 50th year making Super 8mm film.

Whilst still very much a prototype, Kodak introduced a prototype 8mm film camera, currently simply called the Kodak Super 8 Camera, and plans to have a full set of cameras, film development services and post-production tools available soon to allow film-makers to re-discover the now rarely-used medium.

With a built-in 3.5" display, an interchangeable C-mount lens mount, new 6mm prime and 6-48mm zoom lenses, manual focus and iris, USB and HDMI connectivity, variable frame rates (9-25fps) and an integrated rechargeable battery, the camera promises to blend a lot of old and new technologies into a very interesting product.

With a 50ft. colour cartridge costing around $50-$75 for around 2 minutes 30 seconds of film (including processing, digital scanning and delivery back to you), and the camera costing a rumoured $400-$750, it's going to be a very bespoke tool to add to a film-making toolbox, with no easy learning curve either for those not accustomed to film...but it heralds the very welcome return of a trusted old friend.

One point to note is that Super 8 film is usually digitally scanned at no greater than standard definition resolution (there are a few exceptions, depending on the quality of the film stock and processing), so as Kodak have alluded to a 'full set of cameras' being available, film-makers may choose to see if a 16mm version of the camera might appear, yielding HD and 2K digital scans.

After all, with practically every other stand at CES showing at least 4K technology, it seemed rather quaint for Kodak to be pushing to re-introduce basically an SD level of technology, although that would be largely missing the point!


As you can imagine, CES is a pretty big deal in the tablet and smartphone world - for every company other than Apple that is, who choose not to attend - but aside from the numerous new phone and tablet releases, there's an ever developing market in the accessories that are announced at the show. With most being predominantly auto or audio-centric, we've chosen to look at a handful of others that may be of interest to the biking community.

With modern smartphones packing the computing power equivalent of a late 1990s desktop computer into your pocket, it certainly makes sense to look after them, so it's no surprise that manufacturers like Urban Armor Gear, Moshi (with their shock-absorbing 'Endura' case) and even Pelican were in attendance, offering their latest protection. One surprising new case came from MTB body armour manufacturers, D3O, in the shape of the new GEAR4 and EFM cases, which feature the company's well-known D3O impact protection material, and are available in a range of colours as well as classic orange.

Photography Videography and Smartphone Accessories - The Tech You Need To Know About From CES 2016

From left to right: D30's GEAR4 case, Pelican's Marine case, Olloclip's Studio accessories kit, Moshi's Endura case and mount.

Of course, your smartphones take megapixel photos or record 4K video is pretty much standard fare now - whether you're a hobbyist or a pro grabbing a quick clip for Instagram - and whilst companies like Hitcase have been making great accessories to give you improved control over your images for a while, this year's CES saw one of the heavyweights of the lens making industry, Zeiss, joining the fray in partnership with Fellowes, to launch the ExoLens system for Apple iPhone 6. Three lenses - a 2.0x telephoto, a 0.6x wide and a macro - have so far been announced, and the ExoLens system also adds the ability to tripod-mount your phone, with the product due to be available in late Q2 2016.

The ExoLens system features three interchangeable Zeiss screw-on optical elements for iPhone 6 models.

Taking your iPhone a stage further towards being a semi-pro video camera was Olloclip, who announced their modular Studio system. Like Hitcase, Olloclip already sell a variety of clip-on optical products to add macro, fisheye, wide, zoom and polarizing lenses to your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S4/S5, but the Studio case adds a 'finger grip' system, as well as standard threaded tripod mounts, cold shoe adapters (for adding lights or a microphone), and a kickstand.

Moshi's Endura case is available from February for around $60.
Pelican's Marine case is also available from February for $80-90, depending on the model.
D30's GEAR4 and EFM cases are being rolled out though partner brands worldwide and will cost upwards of €30 ($32), depending on the model.
Olloclip's Studio range for various iPhone models is available from February for around $90.
The ExoLens system with Zeiss optics is due Q2 2016, with current guide pricing of $299 for the frame plus wide and macro lenses. The telephoto lens will come separately for $199.

And as if all that wasn't enough, once you're off the trails, you can now even turn your smartphone into a virtual reality headset - perfect for watching your 3D 360° run down Whistler's A-Line of course - by clipping on the Speck Pocket VR CandyShell Grip.

Similar to the much-hyped and soon-to-be-available Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, Samsung Gear VR...the list goes on (headsets that were aplenty at CES 2016), the Pocket VR is expected to retail for around $70 later this year, just a bit cheaper than the $400-$3000 price range for the more heavyweight models.

But if you want your VR kicks right now, you can pick up I Am Cardboard's VR headsets for as little as $15 right now, ready for use with your mobile device in seconds.
Photography Videography and Smartphone Accessories - The Tech You Need To Know About From CES 2016
Fancy a budget VR headset? Clip one onto your smartphone and watch Danny rip...below...

No VR headset? Try loading the video below full-screen on your mobile device and sitting on a swivel chair. As you turn, your view will move around the video as Danny takes on Cascadia, giving you the ability to look in any direction...left, right, up and down.

Coming up in our final CES 2016 article...drones and wearable technology. Catch up with Part 1 of our coverage which looks at POV Cameras, Camcorders and Web Broadcasting.

About the Reviewer: Oli da Costa moved into video production and post-production 16 years ago, filming, editing and creating motion graphics for film, TV and online under his company, Fraktiv. In 2011, Oli co-founded geebeebee media, producing and filming content for Pinkbike, Crankworx and leading bike brands. Oli also advises international broadcasters on production equipment, editing techniques and workflow. Industry affiliations: Adobe Community Professional, Sony Independent Certified Expert

MENTIONS: @Hitcase / @GoPro / @geebeebee


  • 13 2
 Man that Kodak camera gets me so excited. I would love to get into shooting actual film. I love film photography and love my nikon F3 but a modern film camera would be so rad.

It's just too damn expensive. $50 for 2 ½ minutes of film at such low quality? No thanks... But It has potential, but this prototype/price point doesnt work for the masses. kodak could really revive a market for nostalgic videographers, but until then, I'll be dreaming
  • 6 1
 The Kodak guy at CES said that camera costs $750.00. With that you could get an high entry-level / prosumer-level dslr or a most of a good lens. I'm sorry, but, 8mm film videos just can't be worth that.
  • 7 0
 Kodak is absolutely high out of their minds. Although they did basically start digital sensors from what I understand they went bankrupt because they kept going with the whole film thing for too long, jump on digital too late. Now they're releasing a film video camera that forces you to ship out the film to get it processed then shipped back to you through snail mail. Maybe I'm wrong but I think they're doing it all over again....... W T F
  • 1 3
 kodak some how upscales the footage to 4k and send you it when you get the film processed.
  • 2 1
 Hey, if kodak is going back to their roots and it kills them, I respect that. I'll happily help them ride that train to the end as long as they can. I'd certainly buy this, or even just the film to shoot through an old camera. Film is still a great medium even if you folks think analog is outdated.
  • 6 1
 This is awesome. This isn't made for the likes of run-and-gun action-videographers who shoot badly lit action 20times over. It is made for cinematographers who takes their time preparing for every shot.

Take into consider that this actually includes shipping and return, development AND scanning, which is absolutely brilliant, since the ecosystem for doing so really doesn't exist anymore as it did 20years ago.

"You buy the camera and the film, shoot it, ship it in an old school yellow envelope, we process it, scan it in 4K and upload it." -Jeff Clarke CEO of Kodak to Engadget
Since when was 4K low quality? It is not upscaling, since film is not measured by digital measurements, but in analog. Film doesn't have resolution as such, but is a recontinous tone, which means it has indefinite resolution, the only limitation is the optics, shooting technique and the grain in higher ISO films.

The masses Kodak is thinking about, is not the A7/5DMKIII shooters out there, but the RED and Black Magic folks who shoot serious footage.

For more in depth info whatch these: (Tested) (The Art of Photography) (Engadget article)
  • 4 1
 Film has always been a costly format to's only because we're so spoilt with high-capacity practically infinitely resuable memory cards that cost less than $30 that we might moan about the film costs from Kodak. As @megatryn said, this isn't a tool for 20-take run-and-gun action-videographers, but for those trying to achieve a higher aesthetic in their production style...or just a completely different look.

I have my doubts over their claim to be able to scan 8mm to 4K though, as although film is theoretically resolution-less, cheap optics, mass batch-processing (which will have to happen if their new film ecosystem is to work), and the grain structure of 8mm film will mean that I'd expect 1280x720 HD to be as high as they can go without the image being dominated by the inherent film grain, though if they have some revolutionary new tech to do this, I'm all ears!

Basically, Kodak aren't going to make their absolute finest quality film stocks - made for JJ Abrams (Star Wars) or Christopher Nolan (Interstellar), amongst others - available for a $750 8mm camera, but overall, I look forward to seeing what they're going to do.
  • 6 0
 Problem with those 360 cameras is that it bends the image and makes me get motion sickness.

"And as if all that wasn't enough, once you're off the trails, you can now even turn your smartphone into a virtual reality headset - perfect for watching your 3D 360° run down Whistler's A-Line of course - by clipping on the Speck Pocket VR CandyShell Grip."

Definite barf central.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, I am also having a hard time wrapping my mind around this 360 concept. The interface is clunky, I can't figure out easily what direction is forward, and quite frankly, the experience is fragmented compared to sitting back and watching a normal video - IMHO. Others will undoubtedly disagree and that is cool. But then again, I am not into the whole first-person gaming experience either which may be swaying my opinion. Of the two videos shot from Danny's Cascadia production, the non-360 is far more eye-friendly. Again - IMHO. But hey, the tech is cool and it just needs a good use-case to make it work.
  • 2 0
 A7SII . for video at the price range it sits in i doubt the new Nikon will touch it. The D5 would sit in the still images category 3 minutes of 4K video is not much use to a film maker .does it shot in and record in S log ? we will have to see. the D500 we will have to wait and see, but being a APSC camera that sensor it is not going to get the very high ISO for really low light footage,
  • 4 1
 we are supposed be getting a new fleet of d5's at work. I colleague was testing one this summer during a lax tournament. The thing is unreal.
  • 3 0
 Wow I thought bikes were over priced, granted I know nothing about photography. Now I know why people look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them what my bike cost.
  • 1 0
 Super excited that Nikon have finally produced an updated semi-pro DX body to replace the D300s. Was considering selling all my DX lenses & going full frame, but the D500 looks to solve my issue. Just need that rrp to come down a bit!
  • 1 0
 What do you think about the D500???.... The thing looks amazing in paper, at least for sport and wildlife. 200 shots buffer, 100+ AF points, sealed, etc , etc...

Can the D500 compete with the FX Nikon cameras like the D750?
  • 4 1
 Are they going to have and advent giveaway? I am going to dream about the D5 tonight.
  • 4 0
 money money money !!!
  • 4 0
 Phase One XF 100mp?
  • 2 1
 that's more for portraits than getting a shot of some guy landing face first on gravel.
  • 1 0
 I can't afford a to switch all my lens to Nikon... Canon wtf where's the rebuttal!!! & Who's making a zoom lens for the iPhone?
  • 3 4
 I don't know why people still buy Nikon or Canon anymore, Sony is killing it with their mirrorless cameras... the A7 Gen 2 is only $2,000 for the body and it's a full-frame sensor
  • 3 2
 autofocus performance... It doesn't matter what size sensor , dynamic range or number of megapixels you have, If your intended target is not in focus everything else is moot.
  • 2 8
flag Bikerguy13 (Jan 12, 2016 at 23:44) (Below Threshold)
 A true photographer doesn't need autofocus @hermichut
  • 5 1
 Manual focus with a mirrorless camera is a joke, I cant take the previous comment seriously.
  • 4 1
 @Bikerguy13 , Seeing as we are operating in a Sport Photography context, do you really believe that autofocus is superfluous...... ????? that sort of statement devalues your credibility.
  • 4 2
 @Bikerguy13 A7 may match DSLRs with its image quality, but when it comes to ergonomics, nothing compares to a pro DSLR. I used D3, D3s, D3x and D4.
And the statement about autofocus is complete BS, you'll do well without it if you shoot landscapes or models in a studio but not when you shoot sports or anything that moves.
  • 2 1
 @flaminx0r Don't knock it until you've tried it
  • 1 0
 @bikerguy13 sorry I should rephrase that, 'Manual focus with a DIGITAL mirrorless camera is a joke'. I have many 'retro' film cameras without a reflex mirror (Ensign Lightbox cameras, multiple rangerfinder designs), however the aesthetics when using a digital without a mirror does not do it for me personally.

As an experienced photographer, do I have a right to 'knock it, now I've tried it'?

An opinion is an opinion.
  • 1 0
 It all depends on what you need the camera for. I have an A7 and and A7s and I love them for shooting them like I would my Leica... Manual focus doc/ street/ travel shooting. I love that I can use my vintage and Leica lenses with them.

On the flip side. When things are moving fast and I absolutely must nail a shot my go to are my Nikon D3 / D4 with autofocus. With all the choices out there I jumped on preordering my D5. My D3 is 8 years old, has over 400 000 actuations and has only been sent in to Nikon once electively. It's been rained on, dropped, covered in mud. You name it and it just keeps on trucking. That's worth the high price tag for me. It's all about perspective anyway since medium format digital has an entry fee of about 20k and goes up from there and one of my Leica lenses retails just shy of 10k.

Of course this is also how I make a living so the expense is a write off and easily justifiable. If I were a hobbyist it would be tough to swallow but I'm by no means a pro rider and had no problem dropping a ton of dough on a fancy carbon enduro bike. I guess I still have my priorities straight Smile
  • 1 0
 @flaminx0r I guess my perspective is slightly skewed as a landscape photographer, I'm just confused why mirrorless versus reflex mirror cameras would have such a difference in autofocusing capabilities... it seems to me that it shouldn't matter
  • 1 0
 Here is a good summary/comparison of autofocus types.. warning, may appear complicated...
  • 2 1
 god damn, The things I would do for a D5... my old D700 is worried.
  • 1 0
 D700 was ahead of its time. Still love mine
  • 1 0
 I just ordered an IPhone lens from Moment, go check them out
  • 1 0
 Check out Deathlens fisheye phone lenses too. $35 and comes with a case
  • 2 1
 anyone know how to live stream while biking?
  • 2 0
 If they have obs for Linux you could technically use a raspberry pi and a webcam along with a 4g hotspot to do it.
  • 2 0
 would be a good experiment to try, I'm trying to figure it out with a canon 6D with a blackcap switcher but need a few more things like a satellite and to figure out how to run the Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher Review and a cheap monitor
  • 1 0
 Check the first part of our CES coverage: In the UK, EE offer the 4GEE Action Cam that streams directly via a built-in 4G cellular link.
  • 3 3
 What the F are you all talking about?
  • 1 1
 I ride mountain bikes

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