CES 2008: Sunday Run-Down

by Reads (19)

The last day before CES 2008 officially begins is wrapping up, and while we neither expected nor received any major news from the major players today, new releases from some of the less prominent and dominant manufacturers certainly got our attention.

Casio’s F1 wows with speed

Perhaps the biggest camera news of the day came by way of Casio, with the unveiling of a production-ready version of the 60-fps Casio EXILIM Pro EX-F1. Press conference demos and a couple of minutes of shooting time with the F1 have at least begun to convince me that this ultra-high-speed camera isn’t just a marketing ploy: in terms of build quality, ease of use, and pure speed, the F1 seems to be the real deal. Whether it stands up in terms of image quality is another question, and given Casio’s previous struggles in this area, only time and testing will tell.

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Video demos of the F1’s 1200-fps video capture capability garnered crowd applause, and with this level of functionality it’s easy see applications for this technology more broadly (if not necessarily as initially implemented in this particular device) in scientific, sports, and wedding photography and videography.

The first open-floor question posed to the panel of Casio execs was hardly a surprise: will we be seeing some variant of the the F1’s high-speed CMOS sensor in a DSLR any time soon? Sadly, the short answer is probably not. Per Casio’s product line prospectus, it looks like there will be no move by the company into DSLRs in 2008.

Cohesive image coming together for Samsung cams

Samsung offered up a completely revamped compact lineup today as well, showing off three new L-series models, the PMP-ready i8 and pre-production NV4, and three new NV-series models, including the 24mm, ultra-wide-angle NV24.

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It would seem that the days of Samsung’s struggles with brand identity for its higher-end cameras are over. Trends begun in the NV series seem to be carrying over to Samsung’s other compact models, and some of the shooting features – including dual image stabilization on some NV models – should help Samsung bridge the gap between style-motivated and functionality-motivated users.

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Kodak shows off touchscreen model

It looks like Kodak is getting into the touchscreen camera business with a new EasyShare model.

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This slim, stylish 12-megapixel V1273 features a 3-inch LCD touchscreen and a 3x zoom. We’re told that suggested retail pricing will be around $280.

Kodak was also showing off a slightly retro-styled Z-model, boasting a 5x zoom and optical image stabilization.

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It’s definitely a nice looking camera, and from a quick once-over, it seems that both of these models have a solid feel and intuitive layout that may bode well for their popularity and market viability.

More on the formal announcement from Kodak highlighting all of its new offerings tomorrow.

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