By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Digital camera manufacturers will leverage enhanced processing power in 2009, packing compact digicams with HD recording, sophisticated scene modes and high speeds.
Casio will add two new models into its "high speed" line of rapid-shooting digital cameras. Both models will retail for considerably less than their $999 predecessor, the E1, launched at last year's International CES. They'll also be slower, capable of burst modes of 30 fps when shooting 6-megapixel stills.
The 9-megapixel FC100 can record 720p video and features a high-speed movie mode that records at 1,000 fps. It includes a 5x optical zoom lens, sensor-shifting stabilization and a 2.7-inch LCD. It will retail for $399.
The $349 FS10 shares most of the FC100's features but with a 3x optical zoom lens and a 2.5-inch LCD.
The EX-S5 ($179) is a compact model that features a 10-megapixel sensor, a 3x optical zoom lens, 2.7-inch LCD and the company's YouTube capture mode. It will be sold in gray, champagne, purple, pink, black and blue.
The 10-megapixel EX-Z270 features a 4x optical zoom lens (28mm), optical stabilization, a 2.7-inch LCD, face detection and YouTube capture mode.
For $299, the 12-megapixel EX-Z400 features a 4x optical zoom lens (28mm), 720p video capture, a 3-inch LCD, sensor-shifting image stabilization and YouTube capture.
Kodak will ramp up the zoom on its newest Z-series model. The 12-megapixel Z980 sports a 24x optical zoom lens (26-24mm, 35mm equivalent), a 3.5-inch LCD screen, 720p HD video recording and Kodak's smart capture mode.
The camera will also feature a hot shoe and a vertical shutter release. It will ship in April for $399.
Olympus will ship six new models in late February/March.
The company will rebrand its Stylus SW series into the new Stylus Tough line, which will connote the ability to be submerged underwater and withstand shocks and temperature extremes.
All of the new models will feature face detection, shadow adjustment, the company's perfect-shot preview mode, and an intelligent automatic mode.
New for 2009 is a beauty mode, which can be activated before or after capture to soften wrinkles and improve skin tones.
Leading the introduction is the SP 590 UZ which offers a 26x optical zoom, f2.8 lens (26mm-676mm, 35mm equivalent). The 12-megapixel camera features a 2.7-inch LCD, sensor-shift stabilization, wireless flash control, RAW file capture, manual exposure modes and an HD output. It will retail for $499.
The Stylus 9000 will be the company's first Stylus model to offer an ultra zoom lens. The 12-megapixel 9000 features a 10x optical zoom lens (28mm), a 2.7-inch LCD, sensor-shifting stabilization and a $349 price tag.
The 12-megapixel Stylus 7000 features a 7x optical zoom lens (37mm-260mm, 35mm equivalent), a 3-inch LCD, HD output and will retail for $299.
The Stylus 550 WP (waterproof) will feature a 3x optical zoom, 10-megapixel resolution, a metal body and the ability to be submerged in up to 10 feet of water for 30 minutes. It will retail for $199.
In the new Stylus Tough line, the 12-megapixel 8000 will feature a 3.6x optical zoom lens (28mm); a 2.7-inch LCD; Olympus' tap-control interface, which activates camera functions by tapping on various parts of the camera body; and sensor-shifting image stabilization. It is waterproof to a depth of 33 feet, shock-proof up to 6.6 feet and can withstand 220 pounds of pressure. It will retail for $399.
The 10-megapixel Stylus Tough 6000 features a 3.6x optical zoom lens, tap control, sensor-shift stabilization and is waterproof to a depth of 10 feet.
Pentax will unveil the 10-megapixel Optio E70. It features a new pixel-tracking shake-reduction feature to improve low-light images, a face-detection mode capable of finding up to 32 faces in a frame, and a smile-capture mode to time the moment of image capture when a subject is smiling. A blink-detection mode alerts users when a subject's eyes were closed after a photo was taken.
The E70 sports a 2.4-inch LCD, 3x optical zoom lens (32mm), and the company's auto-picture mode for assigning one of seven shooting modes automatically based on shooting environment.
It will be available in gold, red and blue for under $150.
The 12-megapixel P70 is the company's first to record HD video (720p) at 15 fps. It features a 4x optical zoom lens (28mm), a 2.7-inch LCD, pixel-tracking shake reduction, face and blink detection and smile capture. It will be available for less than $200 in silver, red and white.
Samsung's 10-megapixel HZ10W sports a 10x optical zoom lens (24mm-240mm, 35mm equivalent), 2.7-inch LCD screen, face detection, 13 scene modes, smile shot, optical and digital image stabilization, and can record 720p video at 30 fps. The camera can zoom while shooting.
A successive recording mode lets consumers pause and resume filming without creating separate video files. A blink-detection feature will automatically capture three consecutive images if the camera detects closed eyes.
A beauty-shot mode will brighten skin tones and remove blemishes from subjects in-camera.
Using Samsung's Digital Contents Management (DCM) program, the camera will organize images based on date, contents, color and themes. It will retail $299 and ships this month.
The TL100 is due in March for $229. The 12-megapixel camera features a 2.7-inch LCD, 3x optical zoom lens and a compact form factor at 14mm thick. It offers a "smart auto" mode for automatically choosing the right scene mode based on shooting conditions, MPEG-4 movie recording, face detection, smile shot, blink detection and Samsung's DCM program.
Sakar will debut three new models under its recently acquired Vivitar brand. The 8-megapixel V8400P is an underwater model with a $129 retail. The DVR840XHD is a combination camcorder capable of recording 1080p video or 5-megapixel stills to a memory card. It features a 3-inch LCD and a 5x optical zoom and will retail for $249. Finally, the 12-megapixel VT328P-12MP features a 3-inch touch-screen LCD, 3x optical zoom and a $149 retail price.
Sony's opening price point camera for 2009 will be the $129 S950. The 10-megapixel camera will feature a 4x optical zoom, face detection, digital stabilization, a 2.7-inch LCD and ISO 3200.
In its mainstream W series, Sony will ship the 12-megapixel W220 for $189. It will offer a 4x optical zoom lens (30mm), a 2.7-inch LCD, smile shutter, face detection with child/adult priority, dynamic range optimizer and the company's intelligent scene-recognition mode.
The W220 will also include MPEG movie recording, HD out via component connection and in-camera retouching.
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