Photokina No More The numbers behind the end of the biggest photo trade show shutdown after 70 years

In an announcement from the international photography expo last week, the Photokina trade show was officially suspended indefinitely after 70 years of operation.

We have extensively covered the show all through the past decade here on LensVid and it provided a fantastic place to conduct hands-on looks of new products and both on and off camera talks with industry leaders.

While certainly upsetting, the announcement should not come as any real surprise to anybody who had to follow the downhill trajectory of the photo industry in the past decade even before the onset of the current pandemic.

Photokina no more after 70 years

For those who have not been following, we covered this subject extensively in a series of yearly videos with infographics looking at different aspects of the photo industry and we are planning a summary of the past decade early next year.

Our camera industry 2018 infographics – the numbers for 2019 (and from what we see so far for 2020) are even worse


However, we can already tell you that since 2010 the number of cameras sold worldwide dropped from over 120 million to less than 15 million in 2019, and by the looks of things, 2020 will see the first drop in decades below 10 million cameras sold globally.

If you combine this huge drop in sales with the cost of securing a spot in an international trade show, the numbers simply don’t add up anymore especially when companies now understand that much of what used to be done person to person can be done online.

As sad as we are that Photokina is probably gone for good, there still are some other large photo and especially video tradeshows around the world like CP+, NAB, IBC, CineGear, and a few others that might continue in a post CUVID world. How will these trade shows look and how successful they will be is anybody’s guess at the moment.

No real substitute for one on one interviews

We can say however that from our perspective as journalists there is really no substitute for those large physical events with all the people, products, activities, and opportunities to meet, talk, and try new things.

Photokina will surely be missed.

LensVid Past Photokina coverage

LensVid Photo-Industry series

You can check out more LensVid exclusive articles and reviews on the following link.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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