By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
If there's a unifying theme among new camera introductions at the show, it's that image stabilization is fast becoming the next “must-have” specification, alongside the more predictable positioning. There is some novelty as well, including the first camera to feature built-in video games and the first dual-lens model.
Canon is formally announcing the SD430 with built-in 802.11b wireless support. It will ship this month with a USB Wi-Fi dongle to connect to the company's existing PictBridge-enabled printers for $499.99.
Casio incorporated image stabilization in its latest Exilim model, allowing the new EX-S600 to record VGA-quality MPEG-4 video with minimal blur at 30 fps. The camera can also record still images while simultaneously recording video.
The 6-megapixel S600 features a 3x optical zoom, an adjustable 2.2-inch LCD, which the company said is twice as bright as previous models, and a battery life of 300 shots per charge.
A new Revive Shot mode was designed for photographing old photo prints, adjusting for obliquity and refreshing faded colors. The camera also features an automatic macro mode, a “quick shutter” function for high speed focusing and 34 “best shot” settings. The S600 features several built-in movie editing features, including motion print, for converting a video into a series of nine still images or a single still image. A past movie mode starts recording a movie from five seconds before the movie button is pushed. The camera will be available in three colors — gray, orange and blue, and will include a USB dock for a suggested $399.99.
HP unveiled three new Real Life technologies in several of its International CES introductions. The new modes include automatic in-camera red-eye reduction, Design Gallery for adding artistic effects and borders to photos in-camera, and Instant Image Advice, which provides real-time feedback to users on how to improve a specific picture the next time it is captured.
The 8-megapixel Photosmart R927 features a 3-inch LCD with a 170 degree viewing angle and the new Real Life technologies. The 6.2-megapixel R727 is a compact model with a 2.5-inch LCD and Real Life technologies. The 6-megapixel R725 offers the same feature set as the R727 but with a 2-inch LCD. Finally, the 5-megapixel E327 will offer a 1.8-inch LCD. Pricing is to be determined. The cameras ship in April.
Kodak announced the V570, which the company says is the first dual-lens digital still camera on the market. The V570 combines a 23mm wide angle lens with a 3x optical zoom lens (39–117 mm) for a total zoom capability of 5x in a non-protruding lens body.
To compliment its wide-angle capability, the camera offers in-camera panorama stitching to combine three pictures into a single photograph. The camera can also record VGA resolution video at 30 fps with built-in image stabilization and optical zooming while recording. A “freeze frame” option allows users to isolate individual still pictures in the video. It can save the video to 32MB of internal memory or an optional SD card.
The camera offers a 2.5-inch LCD, automatic red-eye reduction, 22 scene modes, on-camera cropping, picture blur alert and auto picture rotation. In-camera distortion correction, which can be switched on or off, helps to compensate for ultra-wide angle fish-eye effects. The V570 will ship with the Photo Frame Dock 2, which can display video and photo slide shows on the cameras LCD while performing its other dock-related functions. It will ship in January for a suggested $399.
FujiFilm will introduce four new cameras, including one that will offer built-in video games. Thanks to its Real Photo Technology system, the 5-megapixel FinePix V10 features light sensitivities as high as ISO 1,600 at full resolution. The improved sensitivity allows the V10 to shoot at faster shutter speeds to reduce the shake caused by moving objects.
The camera will also feature four built-in video games — number puzzle, block buster, shooting and maze — playable on the camera's 3-inch LCD screen. The camera's screen automatically brightens in dim environments. Additional features include a 3.4x optical zoom lens and six scene modes. It will ship in March for a suggested retail of $349.
The 6-megapixel FinePix F470 will offer a movie mode capable of capturing 60 fps with sound. The ultra-slim camera, which ships in March for a suggested $299, also features a 3x optical zoom, 16MB of internal memory and 10 scene modes.
FujiFilm will also introduce two new models in its entry-level A-series, the 4-megapixel A400 for a suggested $149 and the 5-megapixel A500 for a suggested $199. The cameras, which ship in February, are the first A-series models to incorporate FujiFilm's Super CCD image sensors. They also feature 3x optical zooms and 16MB of internal memory.
Norcent will announce the 5-megapixel DC-520 featuring a 3x optical zoom, 2.5-inch LCD, voice recording and Web cam capability. The camera features 9MB of internal memory, an SD card slot, VGA video recording and a five-shot burst mode. It will be available this month for a suggested $249.
Panasonic will introduce three new models, all incorporating its Mega O.I.S. stabilization technology and relying on two AA batteries for power. The 6-megapixel Lumix LZ5 and 5-megapixel LZ3 feature a 6x optical zoom lens, a 2.5-inch LCD screen and faster autofocus than their predecessors. A new “extended optical zoom” feature down-sizes an image to 3-megapixels to achieve a 8.3x zoom effect for the LZ5 and 7.5x for the LZ3.
The cameras also feature improved light sensitivity at ISO 1,600, VGA-video recording at 30 fps with sound (sound not available on the LZ3) and 14 scene modes. A “birthday” mode allows users to program the date of a child's birth so as to indicate on each photo how old the subject in question is at the time of the photo.
The company also announced the 5-megapixel LS2, a compact model featuring a 3x optical zoom lens, 2-inch LCD screen, 13 scene modes and 14MB of internal memory with an SD expansion slot. In burst mode, the LS2 can fire off three full-resolution frames per second to a maximum of five frames. Pricing and availability were not available at press time.
Pentax will use a new naming concept for its digital cameras, losing the numerical markers to indicate resolution but retaining the Optio branding. The company will introduce two new models at CES. The Optio A10 is the company's first 8-megapixel compact model, featuring a 3x optical zoom, 2.5-inch LCD and built-in shake-reduction technology available for stills and video recording. The camera can record VGA-quality MPEG-4 video at 30 fps with in-camera editing available. It will ship in January with a battery charging camera cradle with an extra port for charging a second battery for a suggested $399.95.
For entry-level users, the company will offer the $199.95 suggested Optio E10. The 6-megapixel E10 features a mode dial with a “simple mode” for easier operation, a 2.4-inch LCD screen, 3x optical zoom lens, 12MB internal memory and included AA batteries.
Sakar announced its 6-megapixel Message Camera, an entry-level model that can add message captions, voice clips and bordered frames to images in camera. The $129.99 unit features a 1.5-inch LCD, 4x digital zoom, video clip recording and 32MB of internal memory. The company will also offer a 4-megapixel model for $99.
Sony will court the value shopper with the 6-megapixel DSC600 for a suggested $199. The DSC600 features a 3x optical wide angle zoom (31–93mm/35mm equivalent), a 2-inch LCD with eye-level electronic viewfinder and a variety of scene and exposure modes. The camera also features a three-shot burst mode, VGA video recording at 30 fps, PictBridge support, 32MB of internal memory with a slot for Memory Stick Duo and center-weighted autofocus with an AF illuminator.
Vivitar's top-line product is an 8-megapixel ultra-zoom compact model. The ViviCam 8600 features a 2.8-inch LCD, a 6x optical zoom with electronic image stabilization and VGA video recording at 30 fps. It features a 2cm macro focus.
The company will also introduce a slim form factor model in the 5-megapixelViviCam 5386. The camera features a 3x optical zoom, 2.5-inch LCD screen, 16MB of internal memory with an SD card slot, PictBridge support and a QVGA/20 fps movie mode.
Finally, the 6-megapixel ViviCam 6320 sports a 2.4-inch LCD, 3x optical zoom and 32MB of internal memory. The 6-megapixel 6330s adds a slightly larger LCD at 2.5 inches and a QVGA movie mode.
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.