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CES 2011: Final Thoughts

CES 2011: Final Thoughts

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Winners in Vegas

January 12, 2011

The Consumer Electronics Show 2011 is history. Which products and trends stood out?

Photos and Video by Brian Green

 

Last week was a busy one here at the Adorama Learning Center News Desk as we reported on the introduction of over 70 new cameras and camcorders at CES, as well as many other related products. Which ones stood out? What trends emerged, good or bad? Here’s a very subjective list.

How’s TRYX?

The most innovative camera design to come out of the show was the Casio TRYX. Check out this demo video, shot exclusively for Adorama.



 

The TRYX is getting a lot of well-deserved post-show attention. The camera reminds me of those "camera of the future" mock-ups I used to write about in the 80s at Modern Photography. Well, looks like the future is here!

 

 

Meet the Gagaroids
 
For the second year in a row, pop diva Lady Gaga was Polaroid’s presenter and showed three products, one of which is practical, one of which was inevitable, and one of which was…well, something only Lady G could pull off. The practical one is a Bluetooth printer (above left) which will make prints off of any wirelessly connected camera phone (except for iPhones, alas). The inevitable one is a digital instant camera (above right), using a built-in ZINK inkless printer, but with the ability to save and store the digital image. About time! And finally, there are the Gaga Polaroid sunglasses (right), which have a built-in camera. The image gets projected on the surface of the glasses so people looking at you can see the picture you just shot. She called the sunglass-cam “the future of photography.” As if.

At least Gaga wasn’t wearing a meat outfit…

 

Olympus Upgrades the Pen…And Then Some

Olympus added two exciting new cameras, the faster, more responsive E-PL2 (which, among other things, offers improved AF that works while shooting HD Videos), and the surprise announcement of the elegant XZ-1 (above), a premium pocket cam for enthusiasts and pros with a slightly larger sensor and a zoom lens that starts off at 28mm f/1.8 that will compete against the likes of the Canon Canon S95, the Pansonic LX-5, and other posh compacts.

 

3D, Against The Odds

Sales of 3D home theater monitors were slower than expected this past season, so what happens at CES? We see a plethora of 3D cameras, camcorders, screens, lenses, and accessories introduced. New at the show were several cameras that have “pan 3D”, a new technology where you move the camera on a horizontal plane while two pictures, shot from slightly different perspectives, are captured and combined to create a 3D image using a single lens. It’s a cool idea...but if, after over 100 years, 3D in any form hasn’t been widely adapted yet, is it realistic to expect 3D to gain mass popularity now?

 

Megapixels for the Masses

16MP is the new 14MP. And 14MP wasn’t so great. Remember: The more pixels on the same size sensor, the worse the overall image quality, especially in the heavily-marketed higher speeds. A couple of dozen 16MP compact digital cameras were announced at CES, for no reason other than the fact, in general, that uneducated consumers think more pixels mean better pictures. It ain't necessarily so. (More about 16MP cameras in a future blog post.)

 

So, what's next? PMA, in Feburary, right? NO! The big photo trade show won't happen until September, and it has a new name: CLiQ. More about CLiQ coming soon!

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