New Point-And-Shoot Cameras Add Pro Tools, Ultra-Zoom

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NEW YORK —

The PMA Show may have moved to the fall, but that didn’t stop camera manufacturers from introducing a host of new spring-targeted point-and-shoot cameras.

The latest new offerings range from advanced models with professional-quality performance and control, to new compact digicams with ultra-zoom lenses. Some of the models include the following:

Canon

introduced four PowerShot point-andshoot models: the SX230 HS, Elph 500 HS, Elph 300 HS and Elph 100 HS.

The Canon Power- Shot SX230 HS (shipping in March at a $350 suggested retail) features 12.1-megapixel resolution, a Digic 4 image processor, 14x zoom lens (roughly equivalent to 28-392mm), image stabilization and a 3-inch LCD. It will record video in up to 1080p HD resolution, and has a superslow- motion feature.

Also unveiled were three PowerShot Elph models: the Elph 500 HS, Elph 300 HS and Elph 100 HS.

The Elph 500 HS (available in March at a $300 suggested retail) is one of Canon’s new “highsensitivity” models replacing the SD3500 IS and SD4000 IS. It features a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, Digic 4 image processor, 1080p HD video capture and a 3.2-inch touchscreen LCD. The 4.4x zoom lens (24-150mm equivalent) opens to a bright f/2.0 aperture.

The Elph 300 HS (March, $250) replaces the SD1400 IS and includes a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, 1080p HD video capture, a 5x optical zoom lens (24-120mm equivalent) and a 2.7-inch LCD. The Elph 100 HS (March, $200) replaces the SD1300 IS and features a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, Digic 4 image processor, a 4x optical zoom lens (28-112mm equivalent), 1080p HD video capture and a 3-inch LCD.

Fujifilm North America

said Tuesday that its FinePix X100 premium digital camera will begin shipping in March.

The X100, which will ship in March with a $1,200 suggested retail, is targeted at professional and advanced photographers looking for a high-performance compact camera.

Key features include a d-SLR-equivalent 12.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, a Fujinon 23mm single-focal-length fixed f2 lens, a 2.8-inch 460K-dot LCD screen, and a hybrid viewfinder that can instantly switch between optical and electronic modes.

The camera’s ISO sensitivity ranges from 200 to 6,400 and is expandable to 100 and 12,800. It features manual control and accepts images in RAW format.

HD videos, which are captured in 720p resolution, can be recorded using aperture-priority AE to produce a soft, defocused background effect.

Nikon

unveiled eight new Coolpix compact point-and-shoot cameras, including three models with new super-zoom capabilities.

New super zooms include the Coolpix P500 (March, $400 suggested retail) with a 36x optical zoom, the S9100 (March, $330) with an 18x optical zoom, and the L120 (February, $280) with a 21x optical zoom lens. All lenses use Nikkor advanced optical elements.

Other models include the Coolpix P300 (March, $330), the S6100 (March, $200), the S4100 (February, $180), the S3100 (February, $140) and the L24 (February, $120).

All feature Nikon’s Expeed C2 digital image processing engine, scene auto selector, best shot selector and smart portrait system.

The P500 offers a 36x (22.5-810mm equivalent) Nikkor ED zoom lens, 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, advanced low-light performance, hybrid vibration reduction (VR) stabilization, 5 fps high-speed continuous shooting, in-camera high dynamic range (HDR), night landscape, FullHD 1080p resolution, and a 3-inch 921K-dot vari-angle LCD.

The S9100 features an 18x Nikkor ED zoom lens (25-450mm 35mm equivalent), 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, up to 3,200 ISO sensitivity, backlighting scene mode with HDR, a 3-inch 921K-dot LCD, 1080p HD video capture and hybrid VR image stabilization.

The L120 is an affordable 21x wide-angle Nikkor zoom lens camera with 14.1-megapixel resolution, hybrid VR image stabilization, low-light sensitivity up to ISO 6,400 (reduced resolution), a 3-inch 921K-dot LCD, 720p HD video recording and easy auto mode.

The new S6100, S3100 and S4100 feature a new pet portrait mode that automatically detects the face of a specific dog or cat to optimize exposure and focus.

The Coolpix S6100 is a pocket-sized model with a 7x optical zoom, 16-megapixel resolution and 3-inch 460k-dot touchscreen LCD. The Coolpix L24 is an affordably priced compact with 14-megapixel resolution, a 3.6x optical zoom, and video recording. The Coolpix P300 offers a 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor with a 4.2x f1.8 (24mm-100mm, 35mm equivalent) Nikkor optical zoom lens, bright f/1.8 aperture setting, 1080p/30 fps HD video recording, up to ISO 3200 sensitivity, manual control and a 3-inch, 921Kdot LCD screen.

It has advanced night portrait mode, night landscape mode and high dynamic range mode.

Olympus

unveiled three compact point-andshoots, including the VG-100 ($90 suggested retail), VR-320 ($200) and SZ-10 ($250). The VG-100 ships this month, while the latter two will arrive at retail in March.

The highlight of the trio is the compact Olympus SZ-10, featuring 14-megapixel resolution, an 18x (28- 504mm equivalent) optical zoom lens and a 3-inch 460K-dot LCD. The SZ-10 will also capture HD video in 720p resolution.

The camera includes a range of Magic Art Filters for stills and videos, and a 3D mode that uses a pan and sweep shooting technique.

The VR-320 will incorporate a 14-megapixel sensor, a 3-inch LCD, 720p HD video capture, and a 12.5x optical-zoom lens.

The Olympus VG-110 is a basic 12-megapixel model with a 4x optical zoom, a 2.7-inch LCD and VGAquality video capture.

Pentax

unveiled a new and improved Optio WG-1 (shipping in April at a $350 suggested retail) allweather camera featuring waterproofing to 33 feet, shock resistance from up to a 5-foot drop, and crush resistance for up to 220 pounds.

Other features include a 14-megapixel sensor, an enhanced digital microscope mode with five macro LEDs, fast face-detection technology, smile capture, and blink detection for portraits including a Self- Portrait Assist mode adaptable for use with socialnetworking uploads.

The WG-1 will include a wide-angle 5x internal optical zoom lens (28-140mm equivalent), 720p/30 fps HD video capture and a 2.7-inch LCD screen.

Pentax will also make a version of the WG-1 with built-in GPS (WG-1 GPS), which will ship in April with a $400 suggested retail.

Samsung

introduced the PL20 ($120) and ES80 ($100) cameras. The PL20 will ship in March featuring a 14-megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom lens (27-135mm equivalent) and 720p/24 fps HD video.

The ES80 will ship in April featuring a 12-megapixel sensor with a 5x optical zoom lens (27-135mm equivalent).

Sigma

introduced the DP2x 14-megapixel compact camera with a 14-megapixel APS-C image sensor, improved autofocus capabilities and Analog Front End (AFE), which converts full color data through the Foveon X3 image sensor into a digital signal. The DP2x features a fixed 24.2mm f/2.8 lens, allows RAW image capture and includes a True II image processor.

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