The world's biggest tech show, CES 2012, wrapped up a few weeks ago after displaying all the newest tablets, TV's and cameras to a huge crowd hungry for the latest gadget news. It's kinda like being Tim the Tool Man Taylor at a Binford Tools convention – but for tech geeks. One day I hope to make the trip in person, but for now I'll have to be content to monitor it from the wings on the internet. This column is a little short to cover all the exciting products unveiled – but I wanted to focus on the cameras that caught my eye.
Fuji Goes Retro
The huge news was the unveiling of Fuji Cameras first interchangeable lens, mirror-less camera, the X-Pro 1. It doesn't seem that impressive to type out, but this camera is taking firm aim at the Leica M9 digital rangefinder, which with a lens, costs the same as a small car. So for those of us without an extra 10K in our pocket, but want all the advantages of small rangefinder like camera, the new Fuji looks like it will be a winner.
The camera is modelled after Fuji's hugely popular 2011 hit, the X-100, which sold like hot cakes to photo enthusiasts looking for a retro styled camera with a digital upgrade. The 16 megapixel X-Pro 1 gives the user an updated version of the X-100's hybrid viewfinder. The viewfinder is either optical with the camera information and focus points overlayed, or with the flick of a switch, is a full digital electronic viewfinder. The X-Pro has pretty well the same manual styled controls of the X-100, but the big difference is the addition of interchangeable lenses.
Fuji is going to have three fast prime lenses available for launch – a 18mm f2, a 35mm f1.4 and a 60mm f2.4 macro (that's equivalent to a 27, 53 and 90 in a full sensor D-SLR camera). The absence of a zoom lens may deter some, but for the photo-enthusiast it's all good. The camera is rumoured to be selling for $1700US for the body and about $600US for each lens.
Upgraded Canon Compact
Camera giants Canon unveiled a new G1-X compact camera that is modelled after their hugely popular G12, but adds a sensor closer in size to an SLR camera. They boast that this gives you better quality and detail then your average compact camera, but with better portability then an SLR. The 14 megapixel camera is slightly larger then the G12, but looks easy enough to carry around.
The G1-X boasts and 28-115mm f2.8-5.6 lens, which will give you some wider then average shots. The camera also can shoot up to 12,800 ISO which makes it a great candidate for getting great pictures when the light gets low, even without a flash. I used to use a G10 quite extensively, and I loved the fact that it was small, but let you shoot with the same options as a D-SLR. This camera looks like a huge improvement over previous models and I excited to see what it can do. It is slated to sell for $799US.
New Nikon Flagship
Nikon unveiled it's latest flagship camera, the D4. If you have ever pressed the shutter on a D-series camera, you will know why it is the prized possession of many a professional photographer. The upgraded 16.2 megapixel version doesn't look like it will disappoint Nikon's loyal customer base.
The big upgrade is the addition of a full 1080P HD video mode which runs at 30 frames a second. Nikon has been later to the video game then it's Canon counterparts, but sample videos floating around the net look simply stunning. The D4 will also shoot stills at 10frames a second and sell for $6000US.