CES 2013 Wrap Up – What Happens in Vegas…

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CES 2013 (aka, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV) is now history, and lots of cool new gadgets, toys and innovations were released (see the video montage above, courtesy of Blunty3000).  Unfortunately, not many groundbreaking releases came from the world of photo-videography.

Since 2012 was an on year for the biennial Photokina Photo and Video Trade Fair in Cologne, Germany, as well as the PhotoPlus Expo in New York, which was also held in late autumn, it seems as though most of the Camera Companies chose last year to unveil their latest releases.  Indeed, we saw some amazing imaging devices released in “ought 12” – including the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 and PEN Lite E-PL5, the Fuji X-E1 and the Panasonic Lumix GH3, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t anything worth mentioning at this year’s CES.  Here’s our picks for the Best of CES 2013…

Best Cameras

Again, slim pickin’s here, but there were a few notable products released…

Fuji X-100s and X-20 – These are essentially updated versions of the Fuji X-100 and X-10, but what really makes these exciting is that they incorporate an all new X-Trans II sensor and EXR image processor II.  The predecessors to this powerful sensor and processor duo were already renowned for producing best in class image quality (heck…  best in just about ANY class), but now it seems as though Fuji have solved some of the biggest issues of their camera lineup.  The new cameras now have blazing fast autofocus, thanks to some phase detection pixels at the center of the new sensor, and the new cams incorporate some innovative new manual focusing options as well.  We’re hoping that we’ll see this new technology added to the X-Series Compact System Cameras as well (X-Pro1 and X-E1)

Sigma DP3 Merrill – The 3rd installment to Sigma’s DP Merrill compact camera lineup comes with the same 46-megapixel Foveon X3 APS-C sensor as the other two DP Merrill cams. The biggest difference between the DP cameras lies in the lenses they have attached.  The DP1 comes with a 28mm-equivalent lens, the DP2 comes with a 45mm-equivalent, and the new DP3 has a 75mm-equivalent lens f/2.8. Fans of the DP Merrill cameras swear by them for the quality of the images they produce, while non fans might swear at them for the lack of quality in video.

Samsung NX300 – Samsung have yet to crack the upper echelon of mirrorless cameras, but they are definitely pushing the envelope.  The NX300 features on sensor phase detection and a capacitive, tiltable touch screen.  Couple that with Samsung’s new single lens 3D technology and the head start they have in the smart camera arena and it’s easy to see that Samsung are quickly becoming a dark horse in the mirrorless race.

Wake me up when it’s over

Less noteworthy announcements…

Pentax releases Q10 in 100 different color combinationsReally?

Nikon Launches 1 J3 and S1 cameras – Yawn…

Canon Launches Powershot N – See above…

Point and Shoot Cameras Galore – It seems like everyone launched the latest in the line of P&S cameras that will be obsolete by next week.

Coming Trends

Here’s some interesting things we see brewing in the industry

4K Video – Now that just about every camera in creation can capture HD-resolution video, it looks like the TV industry has decided to raise the bar by introducing 4k (aka “ultra HD”) television.

The new Ultra HD TVs are cool to say the least.  Of course, they’re also expensive, with some models coming in at around the $10k USD mark.  But Ultra HD is the coming trend, so video cam makers like RED, Sony, and even, GoPro are producing camcorders that can capture 4K video. 4k technology is in it’s infancy at this point, but look for the tech to get better as the price gets smaller.

Smart cameras – Camera tech is evolving quickly, especially in the mirrorless realm.  A few years ago, the first smart features, such as face detection, led to a host of other capabilities, such as smile detection. Today, camera manufacturers like Samsung are pushing the envelope even further by adding new and innovative smart features, such as the ability to control cameras via voice commands or hand gestures.

Wi-Fi, Apps, and Smart Devices that will integrate with your camera – 2012 saw some manufacturers (like, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic) adding wi-fi capability and apps directly to their cameras (Both iOS and Android) making tablets and smart phones compatible with you camera so that you can use it control your camera’s functions (i.e. using your smart device to take a picture/video, change ISO or zoom in and out).  Look for continued evolution in 2013, as well as the introduction of new smart devices, like the Panasonic 4k Windows 8 Tablet (introduced at CES 2013, see video below).

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