Getting Ready for Photokina

One of the biggest photography events in the western world is Photokina in Cologne, Germany, beginning Sept. 18, 2012. This amazing event happens every two years, and usually overlaps with Oktoberfest in Munich, just 5 hours away via train.


I'll be on site covering the show in Cologne, then visiting Oktoberfest afterward. One of the major themes we'll see this year is mobile photography. A large amount of floor space has been dedicated to this topic, and it's on the hot list for many manufacturers.

I also anticipate major announcements from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, and others. My sponsor, Lowepro, will be launching some terrific new products that I'm eager to discuss. I'll be posting on all of their social networks during the event, including Lowepro Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram (loweprobags). In fact, we'll be relying heavily on Instagram to share images on the other sites too.

As for my preparations, I'm traveling as light as possible. I'll be toting the MacBook Pro Retina Display for my heavy duty work (Aperture, Photoshop CS6, Final Cut X, etc.) and the new iPad for work in the field (iPhoto for iOS).

For my cameras, I'm placing my trust in the Olympus OM-D E-M5 system that will cut my gear weight by over half. I'll take five lenses and a backup PEN body. I'll also pack the new Olympus TG-1 for its tough, all weather capability and for its built-in GPS. Everything will fit easily in my Lowepro DSLR Video Fastpack 250 AWthat holds my camera gear, laptop, and iPad, yet fits easily on the plane both under the seat and in the overhead compartment.

At this point, you might be wondering why I'm getting prepared for this event a month in advance. I've learned over the years that if I start packing early, I forget much less. I'll keep you posted.

You can find more photo tips and "photography how tos" on my Pinterest page.


Man, envy you this trip, Derrick! Can,t believe you're leaving all Canons at home, but will be interested to hear how your "nimbleness" pays off! Recently took Amtrak from Lynchburg to Alexandria (VA) to do a small event shoot and took only minimal gear in smaller bag. Wow, without my good ole Fastpack 350, I felt naked and, in the end, I forgot my trusty large Rogue FlashBender! &$#%^!

I use the heavy duty Canons for my local assignments. I have one today in fact that will require my Pro Roller full of Canon gear.

But life on the road is a different animal for me. And if I can meet the requirements of the job with the OM-D system, I do so happily. There are many planes and trains on that trip.

I love your Nimble Photographer series. I am planning a big trip early next year and sure would like to take minimum gear. Your series have me convinced. Even now, I only take the big guns for local shoots where large prints may be required. How large have you printed 4/3 or crop frame photos? I rarely print larger than 11x14.

Hi Alan,

I have printed from both the PENs and the OM-D. Both are good, but the OM-D is better. It has more resolution (16MP vs 12MP), and I think better dynamic range too. 11x14 would be a snap with the OM-D, and you could go bigger depending on the image itself.


Hey Alan:

I've printed 16x20's from my old E-P1, and they've come out great. Even the ones printed from jpg originals have come out excellent (I hadn't yet discovered the magic of raw when I captured those images :) ).

Images from either an E-M5 or any of the PEN's will definitely print great at 11x14.