Waking up at 4am is not my idea of fun, just keep thinking Photokina 2016. I was on the 5:59am train from Reading to London then onto the EuroStar with the first stop being Brussels.

I got to spend just over two hours in Brussels awaiting my connecting train to Cologne. With it being my first time in Brussels, it was not what I expected. For some reason I was expecting canals and winding back streets with greenery all around. How wrong was I. As I walked down from the train station to Brussels Centre all I thought is “this cant be it”. I definitely need more time in this city to appreciate the surroundings and what it has to offer.

After a coffee and cake it was time to start heading to Cologne. I love this city, I really do. With this being my second time visiting Cologne there were already plans flowing through my mind. With covering streetwalks, filming videos on two completely different cameras and get to Photokina 2016 for interviews and kit reviews. I had a lot to cover in just 4 days.

Photokina 2016

Photokina is a magical place for photographers. With all the new equipment on show for everyone to cast their eyes over and making their wish list. This year there were some big announcements from Olympus, Cannon, Nikon, Leica and Hasselblad.

At Photokina 2016, Olympus announced the new Olympus OMD EM1 Mk II. A camera that they’re trying to aim at the professional and high end enthusiast. The EM1 has been the companies flagship line for a while now, and the last one was already very good. The new additions to the camera make’s it faster. It is also more feature packed with new things like an improved image stabilization system, improved viewfinder, etc. When paired with all the companies newest lenses, it makes for a great solution that the professional photographer can use in many instances.

Take a look at my video on the Olympus OMD EM1 MKII. It gives a hands on look at the camera along with details of all the new and upgraded components. In this interview we cover high speed shooting, twin SD cards, New grip, new menu layout along with other improvements.

The Olympus OMD EM1 MKII also has the new 12-100mm F4 Pro Zoom Lens attached.

On my travels I also got the chance to test the Leica Q before sending it back on return to the UK. Putting it through the paces with low light photography, quick action street photography and how the video performed.

Above you can see two samples shot in the Cologne Cathedral lit by just the candles and the window light. Taken at 1/30th F2 ISO 3200 using the Leica Q and then edited with my style after. In the B&W I’ve added grain in to the image for my look. You can see more examples in the gallery above as I’ve included 77 shots taken on my travels.

Make sure to checkout my YouTube video and blog post on my final thoughts regarding the Leica Q and its performance.