DigitalCameraReview.com
CES 2010: Curtains close at LVCC
by Allison Johnson -  1/11/2010

The towering banks of LCDs have come down and the last of the exhibits have been packed away. CES 2010 came to a close Saturday night, and we're taking a look back at some of the odds and ends from the show. The Kodak Slice gets some hands-on treatment and we take it slow with the Casio Exilim EX-FH100 in 30fps mode as we bid the Consumer Electronics Show goodbye for another year.

Kodak Slice and Playsport
Alongside the announcement of four new EasyShare models, Kodak stepped into touch screen territory for the first time. The Kodak 'Slice' is a slim, ultracompact unit with a 3.5 inch touch panel on the back. A tiny zoom toggle rests on the top deck next to the shutter release, on/off button, and farther down, an image playback button. That's the total button count, making this a nearly touch-only camera.

Press materials announced that the camera would be arriving in black, nickel, and radish hues. Radish, as it turns out, is a purplish pink. The whole unit feels solid, though not too weighty. A demo of the touch interface in playback mode shows that photos can be advanced with a swiping motion, a feature we've seen in several touch cameras to date.

In our brief hands-on time, the display seemed to be bright and sufficiently sharp. When the camera comes to full production, we'll be interested to see how well the touch interface works compared to those on board existing touch cameras.

The Kodak Playsport was also introduced for the show. It's a ruggedized 1080p HD video recorder. As the name would suggest, it's designed for a tougher customer than the Zi8 before it. The Zi8 proved in our own review to record decent video for a very attractive price, so it seems reasonable to assume that the Playsport will do the same in much rougher conditions.

Both the Slice and Playsport will be available in April.

Casio keeps fast pace with Exilim FH100
Under the strobing lights of the Casio booth, we got a demo of the Casio Exilim EX-FH100's 30 fps capture mode. The 10x zoom lens is pushed out to the telephoto end in our video of a small roller coaster taking a plunge down a hill.

The Exilim FH100 employs mechanical image stabilization to the 10x optical zoom range, giving a longer reach than previous compact high-speed Casio cameras. It will shoot videos in a slo-mo 1000 fps at a reduced resolution.

Panasonic pursues 3D
The head of Panasonic's booth was dominated by a large 3D theater, complete with a line of eager viewers, velvet ropes, and a wall of flickering 3D glasses.

Inside was a program that invited viewers to step into their "3D World." The darkened room was treated to an impressive display of 3D footage captured with their new 3D video camera, one of which was parked at the side of an aisle.

Sony announced their commitment to 3D video as well. A retro-fitted 3D Jimi Hendrix video played at their booth alongside their promotion of a Sony-branded 3D Blu-ray player.

Megapixel wars go on... and on...
The LVCC turned out to be another battleground in the megapixel wars as manufacturers pumped out compact camera after compact camera with 14 megapixel sensors. Consumers may need to start investing in those SDXC cards announced by Panasonic - at this rate, image files will quickly become too unweildy for their standard memory cards.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, though. Samsung's NX10 hosts 14.6 effective megapixels on a much larger APS-C sized sensor. Canon's most recent advanced point and shoots toned down pixel density too. It looks for now that manufacturers are keeping pixel count lower on their high-end point and shoots and continuing to push for more megapixels on their entry-level cams.

See you at PMA
CES is behind us, but the road to PMA 2010 in Anaheim is short. Though we won't see Canon there this year, we'll get to catch up with the imaging companies that didn't have a big presence in Las Vegas. Look for more cameras and more trade show coverage from California at the end of February.