Photokina 2012: Exploded Camera Gear

Ever wonder what your cameras and lenses look like on the inside?

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When trade shows like Photokina come around, manufacturers love to disassemble their gadgets, giving curious camera geeks like ourselves a chance to look past the metal and plastic skin to the intricate electronic wonders within. Here's a gallery of cameras and lenses that have been disassembled and destroyed for the sake of our gawking. There aren't many of Sony's full-frame RX1 mega-compacts on the floor here at the show, but they do have one exploded and under glass. You can see the burly magnesium alloy used to build the body, but more importantly, you can see that massive, purple, full-frame sensor. This is definitely one of the hottest cameras at the show.
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Sony has another new full-frame camera on display here this year, the A99. Notice how much more stuff there is crammed into the A99 than the RX1 we saw in the last slide. The magnesium alloy harness surrounding the A99's guts, though, looks plenty tough, which is what we like to see in a high-end DSLR.
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The Fujifilm X-Pro1 isn't as new or as small as the X-E1 that was announced here at the show, but it's still interesting to look at what's inside. Check out how small the hybrid finder unit is in the top right.
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This sensor unit was on display at the Olympus booth to demonstrate how the sensor-shift IS works inside some of their bodies. Animated .gifs don't work very reliably on the site, so we're lacking the motion aspect of the demonstration, but it's a good look at the Micro Four Thirds chip without having to worry about getting dust on the sensor.
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Canon is celebrating 25 years of its EOS system and they brought a couple of artifacts with them to help celebrate. It's hard to tell exactly what body this is, but it's clearly a film body, not a DSLR.
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Here's the same camera shown from the back. Note the lack of LCD display. There was a lot of electronics going on inside the bodies well before digital came along.
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This is the K-5 Mark II, subjected to the saw of course. If you look at the LCD screen, you'll notice that the display is actually bonded to the glass casing, which was done in order to cut down on glare caused by the unnecessary space.
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This is the K-5 II's little sibling, the K-30, cut in half and shown from the front. Notice how tightly-packed the electronics are in the sensor area.
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Before it was sawed clean in half, that 600mm F/4L IS II would've set you back a cool $13,000 on a good day. But, it didn't die for naught, because we get a unique look at its guts. While there aren't that many elements, those giant piece of glass are pretty impressive.
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In stark contrast to the mammoth Canon 600mm, this Fujifilm X-mount 60mm macro is positively packed with elements.
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Here's a look at the slightly cheaper, $7,000 Canon 400mm F/2.8L IS II. It's not as big as the 600mm, but it has a few interesting elements, including the monstrous one near the front and the extremely rounded one right behind it. If you want to see what it looks like when it's not cut in half, check out our video unboxing.
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The front elements of the Samyang 8mm Fisheye are huge and extremely curved, which helps explain why fisheye lenses tend to be so expensive. It's also interesting to see how thick they are at the base compared to the center.
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This halved lens at the Tamron booth wasn't labeled and the rep we talked to wasn't entirely sure exactly which model it is, but judging by the size and the arrangement of the zoom/focus rings, it's probably the 18-270mm all-in-one zoom. It has a very serious front element and tons of room in the barrel to give the elements room to move around. Not surprising for a lens with such a wide focal range. There also appears to be VC built-in, so the elements can move around to combat camera shake.
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This is the 26x zoom lens found attached to the Fujifilm X-S1 DSLR-looking super zoom. Again, lots of empty space inside the barrel.
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This $6,700 Zeiss spotting scope has a 7-megapixel camera built into it, but it's not meant to be a high-end imaging device. It does have an extremely long reach, though, which makes the cut-in-half view fascinating. It can go from 600 at the "wide" end of its range all the way up to 1800mm.
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The 14-24mm Nikor zoom lens is a wide angle staple in the Nikkor lens arsenal, but not many people get to see what it looks like on the inside. It's often regarded as a fairly heavy lens and this should help illustrate exactly why that's the case. Almost every piece of glass in there is impressively thick.
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Pentax has been known to put out crazy color-ways for their DSLRs, but I doubt we'll see this one make it to market any time soon. If they could make it work -- there might be some light leak issues -- I would totally buy one.
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