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PMA 2010 Part 1

PMA 2010 Part 1

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PMA Pre-Show Report

February 21, 2010

A lot of high-pixel count compacts and other stuff was introduced in the weeks before the show. I am pretty sure we're not done.

It seems strange these days, going to PMA. After all, so many cameras were announced in the weeks leading up to this day that I wonder why we have the show at all. Some companies are brazenly stating that they won't even bother to announce key models at the show, but might have something for us shortly after it's over. Some key companies (Canon, Pentax, Leica) don't even have booths.

But I suspect there will be more, and the big guns won't go off until the press is assembled. I suspect there will be two, and perhaps more, big product announcements at the show, based on my schedule of meetings and press conferences.

A quick summary

The ruggedized camera market, which at one time was almost fully owned by Pentax, is becoming a crowded field, with Sony getting down and dirty with the ultra-slim TX5 water-, dust-, shock- and freeze-proof, while Olympus brought out an HD Video-enabled Tough model.

Olympus also sent a shockwave through the industry with a lower-priced digital Pen camera, the E-PL1, which will sell for under $600. I think we will see more lower-priced Electronic Viewfinder Interchangealbe Lens, AKA "EVIL," cameras introduced at the show and certainly beyond, but the E-PL1 addresses one of the key issues surrounding this still-young category: the cost has been too high for many to make the jump. This might help.

Fujifilm, Olympus, Nikon, and Samsung all introduced compact cameras with 14MP sensors, something that was practically unheard of this time last year. It seems they haven't gotten the memos I sent about how too many pixels on tiny sensors can result in inferior images. Sigh.

Like I said, this is just the beginning and I expect plenty...if not cameras, then lots of interesting accessories and software.

Let's recap what's been announced so far, divided by manufacturer...

DxO Optics Pro now supports Pentax, Sony, Panasonic cameras

Fuji unveils boatlaod of cameras for 2010
Fujifilm announces 6x7 film camera

New Jobo frame is .37 inches thick
Jobo cube multi-card readers have room for memory cards

Kodak to launch Ektar 100 film in large format

Lowepro announces new camera backpacks and bags

Nikon adds wide angle lenses for full-frame DSLRs
Nikon announces P100 26x superzoom compact
Nikon L cameras add longer zooms
Nikon unveils slim S-series compact digital cameras

Olympus Digital Pen E-PL1 to list for $599.99
Olympus adds two Micro Four Thirds zoom lenses
Olympus Tough gets hi-def makeover
Olympus announces digital camera with 30x optical zoom

Panasonic launches new Lumix ZS7, TS2, ZR3 Compacts
Panasonic's new HD camcorders are built for low light

Pentax announces three stylish Optio Compacts: I-10, H90, E90

Samsung Announces 12MP entry-level digital camera
Samsung unveils pair of fashion cams
Samsung announces two long-zoom compacts

Sony announces pocket-sized, ruggedized camera

THK announces three Kenko tele converters
THK announces four budget-priced Slik tripods
THK introduces a pair of ball heads

Transcend announces 8-inch digital frame

Unibind MyBook turns 4x6 prints into photo books


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