Camera manufacturers lined up in the weeks leading up to PMA 2010 to preview some of the new digital cameras they will be bringing to teh show this year.
Not the least of those were Nikon, Fujifilm and Olympus, which each announced collections of new models using advances in image sensor technology, thin-form body designs and longer zoom ranges. Another trend common to the three was the addition of high-definition video capture in many models, with prices slipping even lower for the capability.
The following are some of the highlights. For more PMA coverage see the Digital Imaging section on p. 30, www.TWICE.com, and our continuing coverage in the TWICE PMA Show Edition on Feb. 22.
Nikon announced seven new Coolpix point-and-shoot models across three model series — the P, S and L series. The highlight is the new Performance series P100 model.
Slated to ship this month at a $399 suggested retail, the P100 replaces the P90, with a loaded advanced feature set including a 10.3-megapixel back side illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor; built-in high dynamic range; 26x (26mm-678mm) zoom lens; 3-inch, 460,000-dot LCD screen; dual optical and electronic image stabilization systems; ISO3200 sensitivity; and video recording in FullHD 1080p/30 fps, 720p/30 fps, QVGA/30 fps and VGA/30 fps resolutions. Video is captured in the MOV file format with H.264 compression. The camera will also include a stereo mic and dedicated movie shutter button.
Other new models include the four style-focused thin-design S-series models: the S8000 (February, $299), S6000 (March, $249), S4000 (March $199) and S3000 (February, $149).
New models in the mass-market-oriented L series include the L110 with 12.1-megapixel resolution, a 15x zoom 3-inch 460,000-pixel LCD screen and 720pHD video recording (February, $279), and L22 with 12-megapixel resolution and a 3.6x zoom (February, $129.95).
Fujifilm introduced 13 new compact digital models slated to ship in February and March across seven model series, including the A, J, XP, Z, F, S and HS.
The highlight of the line is the HS10 (March, $499), which is billed as Fujifilm's first consumer digital camera to use a CMOS image sensor. The 10-megapixel BSI CMOS imager is said to deliver truer colors with better registration than cameras with CCD processing.
Olympus unveiled five compact digital cameras, including the third generation of its popular Pen-style Micro Four Thirds cameras.
The cameras include the new digital Pen E-PL1 (shipping in March at a $599 estimated retail, with M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm lens); a pair of new Stylus Tough cameras in the 8010 (February, $399) and 6020 (February, $299); and a pair of SP-series models in the SP-800UZ ($349) and SP-600UZ ($249).
The E-PL1 features a direct-record button for HD movies and Live Guide functionality to help simplify the user of settings and effects by showing them on the LCD viewscreen.
The camera also has 19 scene-select modes, from portraits to sunset shots, and a powerful pop-up flash.
Other features include 12.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor, in-body image stabilization, dust reduction, intelligent auto mode, face detection, in-camera panorama, iEnhance and Share (uses HDMI connection to a TV for playback using a remote).
New SP ultra-zooms cameras both ship in March and have 720p HD video capture and HDMI outputs. The SP-800UZ features 30x (28-840mm) wide-angle optical-zoom, 14-megapixel resolution, 3-inch LCD screen and lithium-ion battery power. The SP-600UZ has a 15x (28-240mm) zoom, 12-megapixel resolution, 2.7-inch LCD screen and AA battery power.
The new Stylus Tough 8010 and 6020 models feature 14-megapixel resolution, HD 720p video capture with HDMI output, and 5x wide-angle optical zoom lenses.
Both are designed for rugged use. The 8010 can withstand a drop from 6.6 feet, a depth of 33 feet under water and 210 pounds of pressure, and the 6020 can survive a 5-foot drop and a depth of 16 feet underwater.