By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Olympus announced its second consumer-level digital SLR, the Evolt E-500, which will join the company's existing E-300.
The 8-megapixel E-500 will ship in October with a 3.2x optical zoom (28-90mm/35mm equivalent) lens for an estimated $899.99 ($799.99 without lens).
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Seeking to overcome the limitations of hybrid film-digital interchangeable lens digital camera systems, Olympus has introduced the first all-digital SLR system based on the Four Thirds standard.
The 5-megapixel E-1 and accessory Digital Specific Lenses are designed from the ground up specifically for digital cameras with an entirely new CCD and lens system designed to negate the limitations inherent in previous digital SLRs (which have had to rely on 35mm lenses designed for film cameras).
Canon said it would ship the new EOS Rebel XSi, the successor to its consumer-level Rebel XTi digital SLR, to dealers this April.
The 12.2-megapixel XSi camera will offer an improved autofocus sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion, a 3-inch live-view LCD and Canon's new DIGIC III processor. The XSi is Canon's first consumer-level SLR with live view and it can focus on an image without the reflex mirror coming down.
Digital-SLR sales jumped 17 percent through the first quarter of 2008, according to The NPD Group retail tracking service.
Digital SLR sell-through reached 279,000 units, while dollars grew 21 percent vs. the year-ago quarter to $278.2 million.
Nearly 1.5 million digital SLRs were sold in 2007, up 36 percent from the previous year. Dollar volume for the full year grew 21 percent to $1.3 billion, according to NPD.
Olympus will ship a pair of EVOLT digital SLRs to dealers this summer along with a new model in its Stylus line.
Both the E-510 and E-410 will be available for less than $1,000 and offer the company's 10-megapixel Live MOS image sensor, 2.5-inch Live View LCD with a 170-degree viewing angle and Olympus' supersonic wave filter dust-reduction system. They also incorporate the firm's TruePic III processor and are compatible with 4/3 standard lenses and accessories.
Olympus said last week that it will ship the E-520 digital SLR to dealers in July.
The 10-megapixel E-520 replaces the E-510 and sports several enhancements, including a new CCD-shifting image-stabilization system, autofocus live view, the second generation of Olympus' HyperCrystal display technology and face detection.
The first fruits of the Samsung, Pentax partnership were announced in the form of Samsung's first digital SLR, the GX-1S.
The 6-megapixel camera, based largely on Pentax's existing d-SLR technology, features Schneider optics and will work with both Schneider and Pentax d-SLR lenses. It will ship in a kit with or without a Schneider D-XENON 18mm-55mm lens in March. Pricing was not finalized.
Pentax will bring a pair of new K-series digital SLRs, including its first d-SLR with a live-view mode, and four new compacts to market this spring.
The K20D will replace the K10D and features a new 14-megapixel image sensor developed for Pentax by Samsung. The two firms entered into a d-SLR co-development partnership in 2005.
The K20D offers a 2.7-inch LCD display with 230,000-dot resolution and a live-view mode.
Melville, N.Y. — Nikon rolled out its PMA introductions yesterday, including a new consumer digital SLR to eventually replace its D40.