The opening day of CES 2011 is behind us and we've got a recap from a couple of the vendors we visited. Samsung showed off its new NX11 and Kodak brings the compact camera down to size.
Samsung pushes zoom, NX series
Samsung launched the NX11 in the week leading up to CES. It's the latest evolution in OEM's compact interchangeable lens line. The NX11 looks just a bit more compact than its predecessor, with a slightly redesigned grip and the addition of panoramic scene mode; very similar to the one Sony pioneered in its Cyber-shot cameras.
One of the models on the show floor was coupled to a 20-50mm lens with an iFunction button. Per usual, pressing the iFunction button brings up a sub menu with a variety of settings that can be changed by twisting a control ring around the lens.
The newest high zoom WB model was on the floor too. Samsung touted it as an ultra-slim 24x zoom camera when it launched last week. Slim? Yes. Ultra-slim? Not really. For a camera that packs a 24x zoom, you could call ultra-slim, but it's not going to slide into your shirt pocket easily.
Control-wise and style-wise, it's nothing new for Samsung. There's a nice two-tone look to the front and top panel and a dark red ring around the lens. The lens itself is quite large relative to the size of the camera body. The promise of a compact camera with manual controls and a 24x zoom is certainly tempting.
Kodak keeps things Playfull
Samsung may have been thinking of big zoom lenses, but Kodak was looking to miniaturize. The aptly named Kodak EasyShare Mini was announced for the show. Rather than a classic ultra-slim profile, the Mini is a regular compact camera shrunken down in size.
On the front is a small mirror that, in theory, will allow a user to frame a self-portrait with some degree of accuracy. The camera's mini sensor has 10.0 megapixels and the back panel has a 2.4-inch LCD. Holding it in my hand, I got the feeling that it could easily be attached to a key ring. With an obvious slant toward the tween crowd, the purple color I had my hands on will go over well with the Mini's target audience.
Similar to the Mini is the Playfull, a smaller twist on the rugged Playsport. It's waterproof to ten feet and sealed against dust, records 1080p HD video and does it all in style. A texturized rubber grip covers the surface of the Playfull with colorful (colorfull?) rings around the lens.
The Playfull will also record 5 megapixel stills. Also new in Kodak's product lineup for CES is a new generation of Playsport now shockproof and dustproof in addition to waterproof up to ten feet. The highlighter-colored EasyShare Sport was launched for the show, bring waterproof functionality to a chunky compact form-factor. Because of the waterproof functionality, it has a fixed focal length lens. Other OEMS have overcome this problem with internally contained zooming optics.
Rounding out the bunch is the EasyShare Touch with a 5x optical zoom and a 3.0-inch - you guessed it - touch screen. It also records 720p HD, all for around $150.
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