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CES 2010: It's (almost) show time
by Allison Johnson -  12/29/2009

That show of shows, the 2010 International CES, is just a week away. The Las Vegas Convention Center will play host to much of the consumer technology industry as manufacturers showcase their latest and greatest - digital imaging included. Take a look at some of our predictions for CES 2010 and check back next week for coverage from the show floor.

Economic upturn
Analysts are reporting that holiday shoppers bought more consumer electronics this year than they did last year, but take that information with a grain of salt. An extra shopping day between Thanksgiving and Christmas has been cited as one of the possiblt factors in the upswing in spending. Even with the first hints of an upturn in the economy, we don't expect this year's show to be the knockout glitz-a-thon that CES's past may have been. Still, this is Las Vegas, and the big electronic companies will want to put their best foot forward in 2010. We expect the show floor to be plenty crowded with exhibitors and attendees alike.

A compact camera has a short life cycle - not unlike your platter of holiday cookies - so expect to see some refreshes of current models starting with CES. As the camera year rolls on, we may see bigger announcements coming alongside PMA in February.

It's a Photokina year too, so manufacturers are sure to reserve some of their biggest announcements for the bi-annual show in Germany. Still, the cycle of new products keeps churning, so look out for a wave of announcements leading up to the start of CES.

More micro?
Samsung teased us with mock-up samples of their proposed NX camera at PMA 2009, and the rumor mill is all abuzz about the possibility of a working prototype making a debut appearance at CES. With the right look, performance, and price tag, Samsung could create a real contender in the growing "micro" space. Our early photos of the PMA prototypes showed a fully fleshed-out control layout - would the final version look similar? And is anyone else planning a contender in the "micro" category? We'll be covering it all next week.

Technology marches on
In 2009, we saw more compact cameras that perform multiple tasks. The Nikon Coolpix S1000pj "projecter camera" and the WiFi enabled Sony Cyber-shot G3 both sought to turn the average compact camera into a device that does more than take pictures. What new tricks do camera companies have up their sleeves this year? It seems that WiFi connectivity is being integrated into any device that stands still long enough, so we may see an expansion of that technology in the digital imaging realm. It's fair to assume that camera manufacturers are looking for ways to keep their customers connected to their surroundings, the internet, and their peers by incorporating new technology into compact cameras.

Taking the show on the road
DigitalCameraReview and the entire TechnologyGuide team will be out in force covering CES 2010. We'll bring you more information about products as they're announced, tidbits and photos from the show floor, and all the information that we're allowed to share with you.