What Happens In Vegas… Part 1!
CES (consumer electronics show) is the one exception to the old adage: what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. In the case of CES the tech that makes its debut at the convention makes soundwaves all over the world as journos trumpet the latest technological advances on show.
Now in its 45th year, CES dishes up a banquet of tasty tech gear that has the geeks salivating. This year 150,000 tech fans walked through the doors and some 20,000 products made their debut. Unlike previous years where a general theme emerged – whether it was 3D TV or connectivity – this year’s show was a mishmash of all manner of gadget-y goodness. Android devices dominated, as did gesture and speech controlled devices and the Tablet was of course one of the hottest properties… But what of camera trends?
Several of the big gun manufacturers chose CES as the place to reveal a plethora of hot new products. We take a look at the gear that made its mark – the cameras, lenses, and accessories to watch out for.
The go-to fellas for quality lenses, Sigma have been a little quiet of late, but their announcement at CES of two new prime lenses for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras quickly put the company back in the spotlight. The new Digital Neo (DN) line launched with the 30mm f/2.8 EX DN and the 19mm f/2.8 EX DN lenses in Micro Four Thirds mounts for Olympus and Panasonic, and an E-mount for the Sony NEX-series cameras.
“The launch of our DN series with two fast prime lenses demonstrates our commitment to being a leader in innovation and quality, and providing photographers with excellent choices for lenses in this exciting new camera category,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “Sigma lenses empower photographers to be more creative with their photography, and we’re absolutely thrilled to be embarking on this new journey with products for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras for Micro Four Thirds and NEX mount systems…”
No news as to whether the company plans any lenses for Nikon’s N1 cameras as yet.
Since launching the SH100 last year, the clamour from consumers has been rising for more wi-fi integrated devices and Samsung has answered the call with the announcement that they will be adopting Smart wi-fi technology across the board on their camera and camcorder range. Five cameras and camcorders were announced that boast the new technology, including the WB850F, a compact travel camera with a whopping 21x zoom capability. The WB850 allows direct upload to Facebook, Picasa or Photobucket thanks to easy Social Sharing, so friends and family can catch up on your latest adventures in real-time. The Auto Backup feature also enables one touch backup to the Cloud via Samsung’s AllShare Play and Microsoft Skydrive, allowing images to be accessible to other devices.
Fuji also chose CES as the place to announce their foray into the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera game, with the announcement of the X-Pro1. Equipped with a new 16-megapixel APS-C X-Trans sensor, which Fuji claims will rival that of a full frame DSLR, it features Fuji’s EXR processor and a hybrid viewfinder. Able to shoot 1080p video it has a 1.23 million dot LCD screen and is all packed snugly away inside a magnesium alloy body that boasts the same retro good looks as the X100 and X10. The camera will launch with three new XF Fujinon lenses, a pancake, macro and prime lens.
With camera phones taking over the shoot and share department, Panasonic has brought out the big guns in an effort to recapture the point and shoot market with their Lumix range. The new range of Lumix cameras deliver CMOS sensors, Leica lenses, HD recording, stacks of new filters, in-camera editing and in the case of the headlining S27, a 10x optical zoom lens that should please the happy snapper.
Memory card giant SanDisk chose CES as the place to debut their latest SD card. Billed as the world’s fastest flash memory solution, this whip fast extreme memory card, the SDXC UHS-1, is capable of capturing up to 10 hours of full HD 3D video – that’s enough space for an entire day’s shooting. It boasts a massively impressive 45 megabytes per second read/write speed for fast shot to shot performance and quick data transfer, making it the ideal choice for videographers who use their DSLR for shooting movies. Available in 64GB and 128GB models.