Feel the need for high-speed shooting without having to lug around a hefty camera? Well, come this March, you'll be able to slip Casio's slim Exilim EX-FS10 into your pocket for $350. Despite being only 0.64 inches thick, this ultra-compact cam offers a 30fps burst mode and a 720p high-definition movie mode. If that's too small for you, the slightly larger Casio Exilim EX-FC100 adds optical image stabilization to the mix.
Pocket camcorders were huge at this year's show, with new ultra-compact camcorder lines from both Sony and Panasonic, as well as a new high-def RCA Small Wonder model, the EZ209HD. But Kodak, whose popular Zi6 HD model from 2008 garnered rave reviews, has possibly the most intriguing new pocket video camera of the lot: The rugged, waterproof, dustproof, and freeze-proof Zx1, a solidly built 720p HD model with an HDMI connector and a colorful lineup. The Zx1 goes on sale this April for $150.
Olympus SP-590 UZ
Behold the new king of megazoom cameras, to the tune of a massive 26x optical zoom range. The Olympus SP-590 UZ sets a new bar with a 26mm wide-angle to 676mm telephoto zoom range. That means it's an amazingly powerful, amazingly versatile camera for wildlife shooters, sports photographers, and landscape photo artists. This 12-megapixel advanced camera also offers 28 shooting modes and can run on four AA batteries. The SP-570 UZ will be available in March for $450.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-G3
Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-G3 may have been the star of this year's CES when it comes to sexy, feature-packed cameras. This slick, 10-megapixel camera has a huge 3.5-inch touchscreen on the back, but the marquee feature here is its Wi-Fi connectivity. Thanks to partnerships with Picasa, Photobucket, YouTube, and Dailymotion, the DSC-G3 offers one-click uploads to those sites directly from the camera, and it even has a Web browser onboard to access and upload to other sites. This slick Cyber-shot is available immediately on Sony's site for a pricey-but-enticing $500.
Pentax Optio P70
Despite its very slim, 0.6-inch-wide frame, the Pentax Optio P70 is a heck of a lot of camera for $200. The 12-megapixel Optio P70 does 28mm wide-angle shots with its 4x optical zoom lens, 720p widescreen HD video, has a mode that automatically fires the shutter when a subject smiles, an Auto Picture mode that optimizes settings automatically, and a feature called Pixel Track Shake that fixes the image noise that sometimes creeps into low-light shots. The P70 will be available in red, white, and silver starting in February.
Canon Vixia HF S10
If stunning, full high-definition video is what you're looking for, Canon's Vixia HF S10 may be just the thing. This 32GB flash-drive camcorder can also record to SD or SDHC cards, and it's packed with Canon's new Digic DV III Image Processor and an 8-megapixel CMOS sensor. Using the maximum bit rate supported by the Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) format, the Vixia HF S10 produced some stunningly colorful, sharp, and high-contrast images during a CES demo. Pricing and release dates haven't been announced, but this might be the ultimate high-end HD camcorder for avid videographers.
Olympus and Kodak may have the megazoom down to a science, but Samsung's pocketable HZ10W has the widest wide-angle of any new digital camera announced at this year's show. The 10x Schneider lens ranges from an ultrawide 24mm to 240mm on the telephoto end. The solidly-built HZ10W also shoots 720p HD video, and will be available in January for $300.
It falls a bit short of the Olympus SP-570 UZ's 26x optical zoom range, but the Kodak Z980's 24x optical zoom (26mm wide-angle to 624mm telephoto) is by no means a slouch. What's more, the Z980 has an optional vertical grip and a secondary shutter button on its side, making it possibly the better choice for photographers with a penchant for vertical shots. This megazoom monster will be available for $400 in April.
Once you hold the Olympus Stylus-9000 camera in your hands and zoom in to the max with its 10x optical zoom lens, you won't believe your eyes. Despite being only 1.2 inches deep, the camera's 28mm to 280mm wide-angle lens keeps coming out, and coming out, and coming out. Then it comes out some more. It's like watching clowns pile out of a small car. This very slick looking 12-megapixel Olympus camera also offers dual mechanical/digital image stabilization and hits stores in February for around $350.
Need a little bit of style with your HD camcorder? Samsung's light, bullet-like HMX-106 isn't just the first camcorder to offer a 64GB solid-state drive (SSD) as a storage format, but it also looks good doing it. Its dead-quiet operation, touchscreen flip-out LCD, SD/SDHC card slot, full HD recording in the easy-to-edit H.264 codec, and optical image stabilization are nice drawing points, too. It will be released in March, but pricing information isn't available just yet.
Pocket camcorders were big at this year's show, and Panasonic may have announced the most full-featured unit. The SD/SDHC-card-based SDR-S15 doesn't do HD, and though it's a bit bigger than ultraportable HD models announced by Sony, Kodak, and RCA, it also may be a bit smarter. The SDR-S15 boasts Panasonic's Intelligent Auto mode, which optimizes the exposure and settings depending on your shooting environment, and a powerful 10x optical zoom for a pocket camcorder. It's available in April for $300.
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