Adding to their entry level, easy to use, "FE" line, Olympus has announced the FE-115, FE-130, FE-140, which will be available in March. Designed for a beginning digital camera owner, the new FE cameras provide simple modes and on-camera help and tutorials to help you learn how to take great pictures. The FE-130 will have an estimated street price of $179.99 and the FE-140 will be available for an estimated $229.99. A $149 model, the Olympus FE-115 will also be available sometime in the spring of 2006.
Olympus has announced three new digital cameras in their Stylus line. The Olympus Stylus 710 and Stylus 810 provide the familiar weatherproof compact design of previous generations, at 7.1 megapixels and 8 megapixels respectively. The Olympus Stylus 720 SW is a "S"hockproof and "W"aterproof, 7.1 megapixel addition to the line. The Stylus 710 will be available in February for $349.99, the Stylus 720 SW will be available in March for $399.99 and the Stylus 810 will be available in March for $429.99.
Any time you drop a few hundred, or thousand, dollars on a digital camera, PDA, notebook or other computing device online, there's a little uncertainty. Of course buying something from Best Buy online is one thing, while Cheap Dealz USA out of Brooklyn is something entirely different. What can you do to protect yourself from those who make a living off of unsuspecting shoppers?
Casio has announced the Exilim EX-Z600 digital camera. So far, no news for a release in the US, but we will keep you posted if this changes. The slim Z600 features a 2.7 inch LCD that is brighter than screens on previous cameras. Available starting in March 2006, the Casio Exilim Z600 will be available in silver, black and blue.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ7 is the newest addition to the Panasonic Lumix line, succeeding the FZ5. The FZ7 adds a 6 megapixel sensor to the popular ultra-zoom camera line. The Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 12x optical zoom lens ranges from 36-432mm (35mm equivalent) and the MEGA Optical Image Stabilizer keeps things clear on those long shots. It will be available in March for $399.95.
In an announcement today, Konica Minolta has said that they're exiting the camera business. Since they announced their "partnership" with Sony in July of 2005, they've been working to sell a portion of their assets to Sony. Sony is expected to continue to develop digital SLR cameras using the Maxxum/Dynax assests from Konica Minolta.
We've finally made it to one of the first steps in the Pentax/Samsung partnership. As expected, the first model out has the Samsung name on an existing Pentax camera. A jointly developed camera will come later. For now, the Samsung GX-1S digital SLR has been announced.
As I think back to my meetings and briefings at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), I always like to step back and think about the trends that I saw with the new digital cameras that were announced and the ones that are yet to be announced. As far as camera hardware, we saw several 3 inch LCDs on tiny cameras, a lot more attention paid to product design, several efforts to hit the $150 price point, and further confirmation that the megapixel "war" is over.
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