Adorama Camera
Adorama Learning Center
The ALC Blog
PMA@CES 2014 Round-Up

PMA@CES 2014 Round-Up

Back to The ALC Blog page

What we learned about the immediate future of photography, digital cameras and camcorders

January 9, 2014

The Consumer Electronics Show took place this week in Las Vegas. Learn what new digital cameras, camcorders and gadgets were unveiled while the rest of the country was chillin' in the Arctic Vortex.

In the world of still cameras—especially compact digital cameras, the photography trade show portion of CES was all about trying to shine a light in the big shadow cast by smart phones. Fewere new cameras but with more advanced features and, in almost every case, Wi-Fi and NFC for wireless communications. Attempts were made to make image transfer from stand-alone cameras simpler; time will tell how that works out in real-world situations and if this will help cameras compete more successfully with smart phones. What solutions did they come up with? Let's see!

Still Photography: Fewer, but Better, Compact Digital Cameras


Canon Fujifilm, Nikon, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony all stepped up their games with a smaller than usual selection of compact digital cameras, with Fuji and Panasonic being the most active. The most common new feature, which is likely going to be mandatory from now on, is built-in Wi-Fi. A record number of cameras with superzoom lenses (above 20x) were introduced, and many companies boasted improvements in sensors and/or image processing the generate better images in low light/high ISO situations.

Nikon: The sole DSLR to be introduced at the PMA@CES Trade Show was the Nikon D3300, which replaces the D3200 as the DSLR they hope point-and-shooters will upgrade to. As with its predecessors, the D3300 has its useful Guide Mode, which holds novice users' hands with explanatory notes for every setting. Nikon also updated its 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II kit lens and announced a new 35mm f/1.8 lens for full-frame DSLRs. Read more...

Canon was restrained at this show, introducing a mere three new compact digital cameras, but they certainly got a lot of attention with the  Canon PowerShot N100, which has an intriguing rear-facing wide-angle lens in a secondary camera for self-portraits, behind-the-scenes and reaction shots to the main still or video image capture by the 5x zoom front-facing lens. Wi-Fi and NFC equipped, the Canon N100 lets you transfer images and video directly to social networks, mobile devices and your computer. All the new Canons have Wi-Fi capabilities and offer other features designed to lure snapshooters back from their smartphones. Read more...

Sony, which used to debut many new cameras at CES, is showing just two new models—another sign of the effect smart phones are having on the world of digital cameras. The Sony a5000 is the successor to the NEX-5R (the NEX designation was killed off last year by Sony, replaced by the Alpha branding) and offers several improvements. Sony also introduced a budget-priced compact digital camera, the W830. Read more...

Samsung has given its most advanced digital camera an overhaul with the release of the NX30, while adding a pro-level lens and flash to the system. Featuring the same 20.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor that can be found on the Android-based Samsung Galaxy NX Gn120, the Samsung NX30 features numerous improvements including a higher-resolution electronic viewfinder, flip-out LCD monitor, new control dials, a port for an external microphone, NFC and WiFi capabilities, and an upgraded autofocus system. Read more...

Fujifilm unveiled the FinePix S1, the world's first all-weather superzoom camera to have a 50x optical zoom lens; Fujifilm also announced three more superzoom models, most of which boasted Wi-Fi and HD Video. For more pro-oriented users, Fujifilm announced a black version of its popular X100s posh compact, and a superfast 56mm f/1.2 portrait lens for its X-series MILCs. Read more...

While there were no big surprises in the four new Wi-Fi cameras introduced at by Panasonic, prosumers will be fascinated by the Panasonic DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 portrait lens—a lens that's so fast it can pratically see in the dark. Read more...

An old friend returns: Polaroid tapped into its instant picture sharing roots (after all, one can argue that the Polaroid Land Camera was the original image sharing network) with the announcement of the Polaroid Socialmatic, (nicknamed the "Instagram Camera") a Wi-Fi, Android-powered camera that with a built-in ZINK printer. Read more...

Finally, while Sigma didn't introduce any new cameras, they did offer next-generation versions of their two most popular lenses, the 50mm f/1.4 and 18-200mm long-ranger, for Canon, Nikon and Sigma DSLRs. Read more...

Video: Streaming, HD, And a Bit of 4K


Video saw more live-streaming-capable camcorders, a smattering of 4K recording devices ( plenty of 4K monitors were introduced at the show, but that's beyond the scope of this article) but the knock against 4K—for now—is there's precious little content avalable at this resolution, which is approximately four times that of HD video. As a result, HD camcorders are still very much in demand.

Sony led the way with 9 new camcorders including their first 4K consumer-oriented model, the Handicam AX100, and a ruggedized, wearable action camera, the AS100V. The rest of the camcorders were HD models at prices from $230-1,500. Read more...

Panasonic AW850

Panasonic  showed two HD camcorders, including one with a second lens that can be pointed at the camera operator—great for simultaneous reaction shots. They also showed a wearable 4K camera, the A100, which was intriguing but isn't ready yet. Read more...

Canon Minix

All of Canon's four Camcorders include two that are equipped with Wi-Fi. Want long zoom? How does 57x sound? Three models sport the same looong lens. Read more...

JVC R70

Finally, JVC annunced two rugged cameras designed for the outdoor/adventure market. The R70 and R10 are can be dropped nearly 5 feet, are dustproof, freezeproof and can be dunked down to 16 feet...and have a 40x optical zoom lens. Read more...

Wow! Gadgets Galore


There were tons of gadgets, this being CES after all. Here's a very selective look at some key products.

Lexar 3333x CFast card

Lexar announced the world's first 3333x CF card—although currently there's no camera that can keep up with it. Meanwhile, their lineups of 1066x and 800x cards are pretty darn fast, and will work now. Read more...

Fujifilm Instax Printer

Fujifilm announced an Instax Printer, the SP-1. It makes photo-quality prints using Instax Mini instant daylight film (yes, real, chemically processed, film!) from photos wirelessly transferred from your smartphone. Neato. Read more...

Toshiba refocus dual-lens camera module

Toshiba announced a dual-lens module, designed to be used in future smartphones, that uses its stereo vision to calculate depth and computationally allow users to refocus images. Sound familiar? Yes, but in this case, all you'll have to do to get this technology is to upgrade your phone, which you'll eventually have to do anyway. Read more...

DJI Phantom Vision 2 Camera Drone

Got a serious pro digital camera like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III that you'd like to get up in the air for aerial still or video footage? The unmanned DJI Drone was announced at the show and is designed to put heavier cameras in the sky. A less pricey alternative, the Phantom Vision 2 Camera Drone, has its own camera and can stay aloft for 25 minutes. Look! Up in the sky! Read more...

Soloshot 2

Could this be the ultimate Selfie helper? The SoloShot 2  is a robotic cameraman that keeps your camcorder or HDSLR focused on active, moving subjects without human intervention. The subject wears a transmitter and the base moves the camera so the subject's always in the shot—even a distant surfer dude. It's narly. Read more...

Flashpoint FPBF120

Finally, Adorama's exclusive lighting brand, Flashpoint, announced at the show a line of budget studio lights. Designed for hobbyists and professional photographers on a tight budget, the new lineup of Flashpoint Budget Studio Monolights and Lighting Kits include models with 120, 160 and 300 watt seconds and are priced from $50-100, a bit more in kits. Read more...

Not-Here-Yet Department


Nikon showed a new flagship pro camera, the D4s, under glass, which looked almost exactly like the D4; no details or specs were given, but that was enough for one well-known photography magazine to declare it the top camera of the show. Kodak announced a licensing agreement whereby a third party will be producting Micro Four Thirds MILC cameras for them but that's all we got. Anticipated new cameras from Pentax and especially Olympus never materialized but they may be holding out; we might see something from them next month at the CP+ show in Japan.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Forward this article to a friend
To use this functionality you should have JS enabled

COMMENTS

Feedback
Adorama.com is top rated for customer service HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99.9% of hacker crime. BBB Accredited Business