CES 2011: Top five most buzz-worthy announcements

by Reads (44)

We all know it in our heart of hearts, cameras don’t take center stage at CES. TVs, video games and new hardware get the most attention at the show. The camera cycle is just getting underway, and most launches are refreshes of existing low-end point-and-shoots.

The pebble-sized projector embedded inside the Sony Handycam HDR-PJ50V

Vegas still has a way of surprising us. Read on for our picks of the five most buzz-worthy announcements to come out of CES in the world of imaging.

Olympus makes good on premium compact
We had a look at the XZ-1 before a pre-show press event, but the compact XZ-1 still impressed us as one of the bigger announcements at the show. Available in black or the spiffy white shown below, the XZ-1 will pack Zuiko optics into a slim, sleek camera body.

CES 2011

The lens could be the key to the XZ-1’s success. The 4x optical zoom has a nice maximum aperture of 2.5 at telephoto, which could be a slight edge over some of the competition. A chic and ergonomic form-factor certainly doesn’t hurt either.

Lady Gaga delivers
When Polaroid announced a year ago that it would appoint Lady Gaga as a new creative director, we figured she’d done little more than collected a paycheck for attaching her name to a line of new products.

CES 2011

Surprisingly, she was back this year with products in tow. A pair of sunglasses capable of taking pictures and a compact, wireless photo printer are part of her “Grey Line.” Will she be back in 2012 with even more?

Sony announces camcorders with built-in projectors
Nikon was the first to embed a tiny projector within the nuts and bolts of its Coolpix S1000pj. Now Sony joins in on the video side with three camcorders sporting similar projectors.

CES 2011

It’s not an easy technology to demo in a bright convention hall, and honestly the projection looked a little bit weak even in the small dark cubby Sony created to display the image. Still, it’s a great application of the tech and makes sharing your vacation footage ridiculously simple.

It also didn’t hurt that they threw a little star power behind the brand name at the always-glam press conference.

CES 2011
Sony’s Sir Howard Stringer and stars of The Green Hornet

GPS goes mainstream
After making its way into a few models last year, in-camera geo-tagging has been included in several new models for 2011. The Sony TX100V and HX7V will be equipped with GPS technology to record shot location and direction.

CES 2011

Sony also loads these premium point-and-shoots with 1080 HD video and 3D Sweep Panorama modes. We can expect to see GPS continue to spread throughout 2011.

Casio gets tricky
Casio did us all a favor and rather than re-issuing another run-of-the-mill, 14+ megapixel point-and-shoot with HD video, they did something unique with the Tryx. In case you missed the coverage and the giant banner ads wrapped around the Las Vegas monorail system, the Tryx is a slim compact that can twist free of its frame for unconventional shooting.

It will either catch on with consumers or they’ll find it baffling. If that’s the case, Casio still has plenty of 14+ megapixel point-and-shoots lining store shelves. Either way, here’s to thinking outside of the box.



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