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.
The Sony Cybershot DSC-H1 is a perfect example of consumer driven product evolution. The H1's 5.1 megapixel resolution, 2.5 inch LCD screen, and Super Steady Shot (image stabilized) 12X optical zoom provide photographers with an incredible increase in performance, flexibility, and creative potential when compared to the Olympus C3000 -- and the H1 costs about a hundred bucks less than consumers shelled out for the C3000 in 2001! Is the H1 the best choice for you?
HP announced seven new cameras at CES. Three news ones in the "R" Photosmart line - the R927, the R727, and the R725; three new ones in the "M" Photosmart line - the M425, the M525, and the M527; and a new E series camera - the Photosmart E327. Along with the camera hardware improvements, HP also introduced their on-camera HP Design Gallery technology that allows the photographer to apply several creative touches to their images. While pricing for each camera has not been determined, HP has announced that they will range from $119-$199.
Along with several new products that they're featuring at CES, the one digital still camera (they also have a hybrid camera - the Cyber-shot DSC-M2) that they've announced is the Cyber-shot DSC-S600. It looks like Sony is aiming for a much lower price point than they have in the past with this model, for which they're taking pre-orders for $199 now.
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