There are a plethora of new digital camera releases this fall, and it could be an ordeal to sort through all of them. Following last week's round-up of summer announcements, here's a helpful guide to 10 of the most promising (or at least intriguing) devices to check out this autumn.
Check back next week for a closer look at some of the digital camcorders being launched this season as well.
KODAK EASYSHARE M590 Kodak's EasyShare M590 was one of the later summer entries, but it definitely didn't go unnoticed. The M590 is already an eye-catcher with its brushed and ultra-compact design (reminiscent of the Kodak Slice that debuted earlier this year) that comes in four shades (purple, red, black and silver).
It's so slim in fact that Kodak dubbed it the "world’s thinnest” shooter with 5x optical zoom. But that's not the only thing to boast about on this point-and-shoot. The 14.5-megapixel camera hosts a Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon lens with optical image stabilization, a 2.7-inch LCD screen (230K-dot resolution), and 720p HD video recording.
And given that the word "Share" is in the title, you can bet there are some easy uploading options. That is made possible by the (what else) "Share" button on the rear side of the camera, which provides direct uploading to e-mail, Facebook, Flickr, Orkut and YouTube.
Available now, the Kodak EasyShare M590 retails for $199.95, which appears like a sound deal for everything included here within one pocket camera.
CANON POWERSHOT SX130 IS Canon's PowerShot SX130 IS might look like a bulky camera (at least by compact camera standards). It also has weak specs in some spots, but its stellar features should make up for it.
In fact, a 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor shouldn't even be considered a soft spot, but it might appear that way in comparison to other cameras on this list. What does stand out with this camera are the 12x optical zoom, a 28mm wide-angle lens, 3.0-inch TFT LCD screen, optical image stabilization, a DIGIC 4 image processor, and a whole slew of preset shooting settings and effects.
The PowerShot SX130 IS is available now with an MSRP of $249.99.
FUJIFILM FINEPIX F300EXR When announced in July, it was obvious that Fujifilm was bringing a lot to the table with FinePix F300EXR. For starters, the F300EXR measures 4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3 inches and weighs 7.6 ounces.
Within that frame, Fujifilm has included a 24mm lens with 15x optical zoom, a 12-megapixel Super CCD EXR sensor, a max ISO of 12800, a 3-inch TFT LCD screen, a gyro sensor, and HDMI output. To control image stabilization, Fujifilm has implemented a hybrid autofocus system that includes both contrast and phase detection autofocus modes.
Like most point-and-shoot models, there are a wide variety of preset shooting features to choose from. But this one includes some extra-interesting ones, particularly the "film" settings for an old-school, retro appeal.
The FinePix F300EXR is already available with a list price of $329.95.
NIKON COOLPIX S1100pj Nikon's Coolpix S1100pj is more than just a pocket camera - it's also a projector. That's right. There's a built-in, 14-lumen projector.
The 14.1-megapixel shooter also sports a wide-angle Nikkor glass lens with 5x optical zoom, an ISO range up to 6400, a 3-inch LCD touchscreen, and it captures 720p HD video at 30fps. There are even five functions incorporated that comprise the image stabilization set-up, including motion detection and a feature called Best Shot Selector, which shoots up to ten shots while the shutter is pressed and automatically saves the sharpest image.
Given the multiple uses available with this camera and its compact size, it could make for the perfect companion on business trips - or even just displaying those vacation photos on the wall whenever you feel like it.
Available this month, the Coolpix S1100pj will cost $349.95, and there are five hues to choose from: black, silver, green, and violet.
SAMSUNG DUALVIEW ST100 While Samsung debuted two new DualView models this summer, the ST100 seems like a better bang for your buck.
Each of the new 14-megapixel DualView cameras sport a smaller, 1.8-inch LCD screen on the front of the camera, along with a 3.5-inch touchscreen (1,152,000-dot resolution) on the rear and record 720p HD video at 30fps.
Yet the ST100 is a more compact model, and it hosts a better lens in the shape of the Schneider 35mm lens with 5x optical zoom.
Available this month in black, purple and pink, the DualView ST100 will cost $349.99. If the lens isn't as great a factor for you (or you don't care about getting this one in pink), then the ST600 is still a solid option.
PANASONIC LUMIX FX700 Wrapping up the pocket camera section of this list is Panasonic's Lumix DMC-FX700. The 14.1-megapixel shooter hosts a 24mm ultra-wide angle Leica DC Vario-Summicron lens with 5x optical zoom and a Venus Engine FHD processor.
More notably, the FX700 offers up full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution video in AVCHD.
There are also a host of preset functions, but there are two to take note of when it comes to offsetting camera shake. That would be Motion Deblur, which automatically raises the shutter speed to reduce blurring, and then Intelligent Burst, which calculates the frame rate based on the subject’s motion and speed during burst mode.
Other specs to know include the 3.0-inch TFT LCD touchscreen and the ISO max of 6,400. There are also four sophisticated color options: black, gray, champagne gold and silver. This one is on back order at the moment, but it costs $399.
PANASONIC LUMIX FZ100 Not to praise Panasonic too much, the Lumix DMC-FZ100 will be the last mention of them here, but this one can't go unnoticed.
Like the FX700, this Lumix model utilizes a Venus Engine FHD processor, a max ISO of 6,400, and it also records 1,920 x 1,080 resolution HD video in AVCHD.
But for $100 more, you'll get a lot more with this megazoom camera. Sure it's bulkier, but it might be worth it. The FZ100 hosts a Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 25 - 600mm (35mm equiv.) lens with an impressive 24x optical zoom range. That can be extended to 32x with the Intelligent Zoom mode turned on.
It's also supposedly the "industry’s fastest level of burst shooting” for a megazoom model with a 14.1-megapixel resolution at 11fps.
For someone looking for a camera more powerful than a point-and-shoot but can't afford to spring for a DSLR, the $499 Lumix FZ100 is definitely something to consider.
NIKON D3100 Speaking of digital SLRs, let's start off with Nikon's follow up to the D3000, the appropriately-named D3100.
In comparison to some of its competitors (like the Canon Rebel T1i), the D3100 wins on a number of specs, such as the max ISO of 12,800, an 11-point center cross-type AF and an SD/SDHC/SDXC slot. The resolution on the 3-inch LCD screen is slightly low (230K dots), but it only weighs a pound.
Furthermore, for a DSLR like this, it's reasonably priced at $700 when it launches this month. That includes the 18-55mm kit lens.
SONY ALPHA SLT-A55V Sony finally introduced not just one, but two digital SLRs with video mode. One of them was the slightly higher-end Alpha SLT-A55V.
Using a 16.2-megapixel Exmor HD CMOS sensor and Bionz image processor, the Sony A55V shoots full HD 1,920 × 1,080 recording in AVCHD. But that is only aided by the rather innovative addition of the Single Lens Translucent stationary mirror. (SLT, get it?)
To making things simple, the SLT mirror simultaneously directs light to both the image sensor and the phase-detection autofocus sensor. This speeds up the autofocus process when capturing both video and stills considerably. It also provides a burst mode shooting speed of up to 10fps.
Some of the other nifty features include onboard GPS, auto High Dynamic Range mode, a 3-inch LCD (921,600-dot resolution) and an electronic viewfinder with 100% coverage and 1.1x magnification.
The Alpha SLT-A55V will retail for $749.99 when it launches in mid-October, but it is available for pre-order now. Unfortunately, that's the body-only price. But it is one of Sony's better (or best) DSLRs yet.
CANON EOS 60D Rounding out the list is the recently-announced Canon EOS 60D. This mid-range digital SLR is lighter than its predecessors in the same class but definitely packs more punch.
Powered by a Digic 4 image processor, this camera boasts a massive 18-megapixel CMOS sensor and a max ISO level boosted to 6,400. Some of the other notable additions since the 50D are the incorporation of a 3-inch articulated TFT LCD, 1080p HD video recording capability and HDMI output to display your loveliest creations on an HDTV at home or work.
Another refreshing and convenient change is the SD (rather than CompactFlash) card slot - at least if you already have a lot of gadgets using the same kind of memory cards.
The Canon EOS 60D will make its way to stores in late September, with the body-only price of $1,099. If you want the 18-135mm kit lens, expect to pay at least $1,400. This camera should be appropriate for anyone stepping up from a basic DSLR or even those who want a higher-end DSLR but can't afford to go beyond the mid-range level given the 60D's boosted specs and capability.
Any of these pique your interest? Think something is missing or overrated? Let us know below in the TalkBack section!