By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The ultra-zoom category will see increasing competition this year as manufacturers compete in an emerging “hybrid” category that straddles the line between digital SLRs and point-and-shoots.
The ultra-zoom market is split in terms of its positioning, observed Mette Eriksen, research director, InfoTrends. Some vendors offer high-end, SLR-like models (with RAW capture, hot-shoes, etc.), and others, entry-products targeting sub-$200 price-points.
Most PMA introductions leaned toward the higher-end of the market.
Samsung promised a new “hybrid” interchangeable lens camera that does not have a reflex mirror, so is not an SLR (much like the micro Four Thirds cameras introduced by Olympus and Panasonic). Details at press time were sparse, but the model is expected to offer an APS-C sized image sensor, an electronic viewfinder and a live-view LCD. It is due in the second half of the year.
Sony unveiled its first ultra-zoom digital camera to incorporate a 9-megapixel CMOS image sensor. The Cyber-shot HX1 boasts 1080p HD video recording. It can burst at 10 fps and incorporates a 20x optical zoom (28mm) Sony G-lens.
The $499 HX1 will offer a 3-inch LCD, optical stabilization, manual controls and a “sweep panorama” mode that can stitch together three successive images into a single panorama.
Pentax entered the market with the new X70, targeting a $399 price point. The 12-megapixel model features a 24x optical zoom lens (26mm), a 2.7-inch LCD, image stabilization, 720p HD video recording and a burst mode of up to 13 fps. It also offers face detection and macro focusing as well.
The X70 will ship in April.
Kodak continued to seek the mass consumer with the $199 Z915, a 10-megapixel model with a 10x optical zoom lens.
The camera features the company’s Smart Capture scene mode, which in addition to automatically choosing the right scene mode, applies Kodak’s Perfect Touch image correction technology to the photo.
The Z915 also features a 2.5-inch LCD display and optical image stabilization, and will ship in red, blue, black and gray when it hits stores in April.
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.