The Cameras of CES

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Illustration for article titled The Cameras of CES

Wedged between the biannual Photokina show last September and the annual PMA show this coming February, CES is not the best place to find new camera announcements. Absent from the action are heavyweights Canon, Nikon, and Pentax—and even some middleweights like Panasonic. But some of the scrappier little vendors made a few waves to fill the radio silence. Here are four worth watching:

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

Casio introduced the first slim camera with a 7X optical zoom tucked inside the camera. At an inch thick, it's plumper than many other slims when turned off. But with the internal zoom, it doesn't get the big-boner effect of most rivals when they get turned on. This is also Casio's first camera to use a CCD that moves to counteract camera shake. (It's playing catch-up the pioneer of image stabilization, Panasonic, plus Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Olympus.)

More after the jump...

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This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
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Fujifilm took an awesome camera, the F31fd, and made it way better by squeezing it down from 27.8 millimeters to just 23mm (.9 inches) thick. And it squeezed in room for a slot that can take cheap, ubiquitous SD memory cards (along with Fujifilm's old standby: overpriced, underappreciated xD picture cards.)

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

Kodak brought haut couture to the lowly poor with the swell-looking V803 camera. Priced at reasonable $200, it provides higher-end features including 8-megapixel resolution, and ISO 800 light sensitivity. But its real beauty is skin-deep: a choice of ten exterior colors. The gold, green, red, and (believe it or not) white finishes are especially sweet-looking. But we don't' yet know what the photos will look like.

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This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
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Samsung's L73 is clad in Sammy's new deep-gray, stainless-steel finish. It isn't ultra-skinny, but has a sexy, curvy, voluptuous figure that we wouldn't kick out of bed. And its Samsungs first camera with has face-detection technology. It also has Samsung's pretty-new touch technology, that lets you breeze through complex menus by pressing or sliding your finger over buttons that run along the right and bottom sides of the screen.

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DISCUSSION

Fujifilm took an awesome camera, the F31fd, and made it way better...

Can't concur with you there. From Fuji's digicam comparison page, the only changes from the F31fd beyond the cosmetic are an increase to 8.3 megapixels (up from 6.3), a 1/1.6" size sensor (up from 1/1.7"), and a max ISO of 2000, down from 3200...and that sensitivity's only available through a scene mode. Otherwise, the camera's max ISO has been dropped to 1600. Fuji did shrink the F40fd's depth by a few millimeters...but it also increased the F40fd's width and height by a few millimeters.

I do salute the addition of the SD slot. I had to reinvest in xD cards when I bought my F30, the single biggest drawback I had with migrating to it.

This dpreview forum thread has an interesting comment:

Please note that this is to upgrade the F20 and not the F30/31. The F20 never had AP/SP to begin with. The successor to the F30/31 will probably be an F50fd and should be announced in another 2 months.

That naming scheme makes sense, though I have no idea if the poster has any reason to believe Fuji will have an F50 ready for PMA 2007.