In terms of sheer numbers, Fujifilm had the biggest showing at CES 2011. They unveiled 16 brand-new FinePix cameras, and teased the crowd with some X100 prototypes.
The X100 is a serious piece of equipment, packing an APS-C CMOS sensor (that's the same type of sensor used in consumer dSLRs) into a classic rangefinder-type body. Although we only got to test a prototype for a minute or two, we can tell that this will have an exceptional amount of control. The hybrid viewfinder is a great concept as well -- you can frame the shot using the optical part, while the electronic viewfinder displays scene info. Fujifilm tells us that it will be available in March for "$1,000-ish." Check out the video demo below for more.
Moving on to more affordable cameras, we got to scope out some of the latest EXR-tagged models, including the F500EXR and F550EXR 15x-zooming compact zooms. These EXR cameras use bigger, better sensors than most compact zooms out there, so the image quality is usually very good. Take last year's F80EXR as an example -- for all of its faults, it had better image quality than any Panasonic, Nikon, or Canon models.
Fujifilm did make a change to its EXR processor this year; now it's a backside-illuminated CMOS rather than a CCD, but it's still a generous 1/2-incher. Low-light performance should be even better that it was before, and could very well outperform the leading CMOS-zoomers from Nikon and Canon. The Fuji siblings have longer zoom ranges and equally slick designs, though the body felt a little bit too small for comfort in the couple of minutes that we had for a preview.
The F550EXR has a few features that the F500EXR doesn't: It can shoot RAW+JPEG formats, where the F500EXR is JPEG only, and it sports a GPS system, both for geo-tagging and navigation (compass view, not a map). We've yet to see a good in-camera GPS implementation, but we'll keep our minds open.
We got a glimpse at the HS20EXR, an EXR-based superzoom and successor to the reasonably well-received HS10, though it was locked in a glass case. We asked, pretty please, to see it but it's still at such an early prototype stage that it wasn't really a working model. Outwardly, it looks very similar to the HS10, sporting the same 30x zoom lens with manual focus. Judging by the improved sensor, it could compete with Panasonic's class-leading FZ100.
Also of note, there are two new XP-series rugged models. The XP30 is particularly interesting; by our calculations, it's the first rugged camera with GPS. That just makes sense to us. There's also a non-GPS model, the XP20.
Fujifilm also debuted three S-series superzooms, the 18x S2950, 24x S3200, and 30x S4000. They're pretty much more of the same from what we've come to expect from the S-series: cheaply built cameras with huge zooms slapped on the front. We will tell people to shop around for a better superzoom, people will buy them anyway.
See individual product pages for more pricing info.