2011 CES Tradeshow Final Camera Report

2011 CES Events Featured News


More Megapixels ?

Right before CES, PDN Gear News writer Dan Havlik, said something on Twitter about camera manufacturers still thinking that people want more megapixels. And maybe they do. But experienced photographers and tech journalists know better. Regardless, Sony, Samsung, Casio, Panasonic, Canon and Fujifilm are all pushing new digital cameras with pinky fingernail-sized 16-megapixel sensors. For those of you who still think more megapixels are always better – they’re not. Take note of the high-end point-and-shoot cameras with 10-megapixel sensors and the 12-megapixel Nikon D3s pro digital SLR – sometimes less is more. To be fair, in-camera image processing and noise reduction keep getting better so the new cameras will probably be just fine. But the resolution increase isn’t driven by any real need or benefit. It’s just a marketing tool to sell you a new camera. Personally, I’d happily trade some pixels for cameras that are faster, have better low light capability and better auto focus. But “More” and “Bigger” are always going to be easier to sell. </rant>

New Pocket Superzoom Cameras

So what was good? I’m excited to see a bunch of new pocket superzooms – pocket-sized cameras with 10x or longer zoom lenses. I think this is the most compelling compact camera category right now and I’m happy to see camera makers getting more competitive with it because it means the cameras will get better. At this point in my photographic life, the only compact cameras that interest me are pocket superzooms. I want it all and I want it to fit in my pants pocket.

New pocket superzoom offerings from Casio, Samsung, Sony and Fujifilm are stepping up the zoom range and incorporating more high-end features. There are also some new value-priced pocket superzooms for under $200 (Fujifilm Finepix T300 and T200, Samsung PL210), something I don’t think we’ve seen yet in the pocket superzoom camera class. The most interesting new pocket superzooms are the Samsung WB700, which has an 18x zoom lens and still manages to be smaller than most of the competition, and the Fujifilm Finepix F550 EXR, which has a 15x zoom lens, a 16-megapixel backlit CMOS EXR sensor and built-in GPS.

Samsung WB700 Pocket Sumerzoom Digital Camera Fujifilm Finepix F550 EXR Pocket Superzoom Digital Camera

Recently, I’ve been shooting with the Nikon Coolpix S8100 and Canon PowerShot SD4500 IS pocket superzoom cameras – both introduced in 2010. If you want to know more about pocket superzooms, I wrote a Pocket Superzoom Camera Guide a few weeks ago – guess I’m going to need to update it now, huh?

Next – Waterproof Cameras & Pocket Camcorders >>


2011 CES Intro & Favorites Megapixels & Pocket Superzooms Waterproof Cameras & Pocket Camcorders Conclusion

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About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of PhotographyREVIEW.com and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • John Moyer says:

    Your list of competitors of the Olympus XZ-1 missed “the big elephant in the room,” the Canon S95!
    Excellent camera, most direct competitor, and $100 less.

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