The Consumer Electronics Showcase brings the latest gadgets all in one place, and digital cameras are no exception. While the smartphone has continued changing the compact camera, the latest point-and-shoots are nonetheless intriguing. From $80 budget cameras to $500 superzooms, CES 2014 brought a welcomed in several interesting models. Here's what each major manufacturer welcomed in at the event.
The Canon N100
Canon's CES announcements were limited to just compact cameras, with no interchangeable lens models introduced at the show. The camera giant announced two expected upgrades in the PowerShot SX260 and ELPH 340, but the N100 is one that makes you go “hmmmm.”
The N100 is unusual because it includes two lenses—the usual one on the front and a second one in the back that takes a picture of the photographer. Which begs the question, is taking a photo through an LCD screen an attractive pose? While the double lens that puts the photographer in the images in intriguing, the 1/1.7” sensor and f1.8 lens aren't real common for the $350 price point and should produce excellent images.
The Nikon L830
Nikon was one of the few manufacturers—if not the only one—to introduce both compacts and DSLRs at CES this year. The L830 and L30 will be the first compacts for Nikon this year, available at the end of January. The L830 is a budget-friendly long zoom model that doesn't include manual modes but offers a nice 34x optical zoom. It uses AA batteries, has an ergonomic design and should be easy to use. The L30 is also a no-fuss camera with AA batteries, with easy to use modes like the aptly named Easy Auto and Smart Portrait.
Our favorite compact from last year, the S6600, will be updated with the new Nikon Coolpix S6800. There aren't too many changes, but with the success of the previous model, that's not an issue. The 16-megapixel backside illuminated sensor performs well in low light for the price and category and the focus is sharp and relatively quick too. Nikon also introduced two more affordable Coolpix line shooters, the S5300 that still includes wi-fi, and the compact, stylish budget model, the S3600.
|The Fujifilm S8600|
Fujifilm introduced a handful of zoom cameras at CES this year. The most intriguing is the $500 FinePix S1, the first in the category to feature a weather and dust resistant design. But what most consumers will likely enjoy most is the ability to take telephoto, wide angle and macro shots in one camera. Expected out at the end of March, the S1 includes manual modes and a hotshoe slot to add-on an extra flash.
The S9400W, also announced at CES, has the same size sensor but sits about $150 less than the S1. It misses out on the weather-sealing, rechargeable battery and RAW shooting, but still features the same macro, wide angle and telephoto versatility. The Fujifilm S9200 is very similar but around $25 cheaper but axes the wi-fi and cuts back on battery life, so for such a small price difference, the S9400W is likely the better option. Fujifilm also introduced a more compact, affordable zoom option, the S8600 with a 36x zoom and $230 price tag, as well as an update to their outdoor cameras, the tough XP90. Both are expected out in March.
Fujifilm also introduced the $90 AX660 budget compact and $100 JX660 point-and-shoots, expected out on March 8, but full technical specifications are not yet available.
Sony had just one point-and-shoot to add to their line at CES, the $130 W830. The price and sensor look good for the category, as well as the ease of use, but with a 1 fps burst mode, it isn't very speedy.
Panasonic had two compact cameras to welcome in at CES, the ZS40 and LZ40. The company hasn't set a release date yet for these two models. The LZ40 looks to be a basic compact zoom with a 1/2.3” CCD sensor and 42x optical zoom. The ZS40 really caught our attention though with a control ring, 10 fps shooting, RAW mode and macro to telephoto (30x) versatility. Without a price set yet, we are withholding our grade, since the 1/2.3” sensor and f3.3 lens doesn't get put it in line with the other advanced compacts.
Among Samsung's products at CES is their latest smart camera, the Galaxy Camera 2. Samsung makes the best connected cameras out there, this new model uses an Android operating system for running imaging apps. The updates include a faster processor, more smart shooting modes and a new retro look. While the access to imaging apps is excellent, the 1/2.33” sensor is small for the $500 price tag.