CES Round Up Part Two – Bridge, Enthusiast, Rugged & CSC

In this second of our two-part look at the recent announcements made at the Consumer Electronics Show that took place last week in Las Vegas, we look at the Bridge, Enthusiast, Rugged and Compact System Camera models. We looked at the Compact and Superzoom models in part one, click here if you missed it.

Bridge cameras are an increasingly popular choice for photographers. They typically combine a superzoom lens with a compact, DSLR-style body, featuring a comfortable handgrip, a wide range of advanced shooting modes and a pop-up flash unit.

Panasonic announced the LZ-30 which pairs a 16 megapixel sensor with an amazing 35x lens, giving a 35mm equivalent range of 25-875mm. Available in black and red, it’s a great way to expand your horizons.

Fuji announced two powerful new models, the HS50 EXR and SL1000. Both models combine a high-performance 16 megapixel CMOS sensor with a massive zoom lens. 

The HS50 EXR sports a 42x manual zoom lens giving an amazing 35mm equivalent range of 24-1000mm. This is complimented by an ultra-responsive phase-detection autofocus system, normally only found in DSLR’s, that gives super fast, accurate focusing, so you never miss a moment. The high resolution electronic viewfinder gives a clear view of your subject, whilst an articulated 7.6cm LCD screen, 1080p move recording and RAW image recording complete this impressive model. 

The SL1000 shares most of the impressive specifications of the HS50 but utilises a tilting LCD screen. The real difference, however, is the stunning 50x zoom lens, which offers an amazing 35mm equivalent shooting range of 24-1200mm, letting you go beyond the reach of almost every other camera available.

Most of the major camera brands have at least one rugged model in their range, with some, such as Olympus and their popular Tough range, offering a wide selection. Ideal for outdoor pursuits, underwater use or for people who simply want a durable model that can handle the beach, snow and the knocks and bumps of everyday life, they’re an increasingly popular choice. 

Most models are waterproof to a given depth, dustproof to resist sand and soil ingress, shockproof to withstand drops onto hard surfaces from heights of up to 2 metres, and freezeproof to temperatures as low as -10⁰C / 14⁰F. Selected models are also crushproof and can withstand being subjected to loads of up to 100kg.

Pansonic unveiled two new models at CES, the FT5 and FT25. The FT25 features a 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor and 4x zoom lens. It’s waterproof to depths of 7 metres, shockproof from heights up to 1.5 metres and freezeproof to -10⁰C. It can also record HD movies in stunning 720p and has dedicated underwater white balance settings to ensure realistic colours whilst submerged. It’s available in a choice of black, blue, red and silver.

The FT5 features a 4.6x zoom lens, waterproofing down to 13 metres, shockproofing from heights up to 2 metres, is crushproof to 100kg and dust and freezeproof. In addition, it includes GPS and GLONASS support , together with Wi-Fi and NFC technology, which lets you share images with a smartphone or tablet without even having to remove the card from the camera, particularly useful in challenging conditions. Full HD movie recording in stunning 1080p is also supported, the FT5 is available in black, blue and orange.

Fuji introduced the XP60, which is available in black, blue, green, red and yellow. It pairs a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor with a 5x zoom lens and can recording Full HD movie in stunning 1080p. It’s waterproof to 7 metres, shockproof to 1.5m and is dust and freezeproof.

Olympus also introduced three new models to their pioneering Tough range; the TG-630, TG-830 and new flagship TG-2. 

The TG-630 and TG-830 both sport a 5x zoom lens, with the TG-630 waterproof to 5 metres and shockproof to 1.5 metres. The TG-830 is waterproof to 10 metres, shockproof to 2.1 metres, crushproof to 100kg and includes built-in GPS and an electronic compass.

The flagship TG-2 features a 4x zoom lens with a fast f/2.0 aperture and aperture priority shooting mode. It's waterproof to depths of 15m, shockproof from heights up to 2.1 metres and crushproof and dustproof. It includes built-in GPS and an electronic compass, and whilst all three new Olympus models have a dedicated white balance mode for underwater use, the TG-2’s is linked to its built-in manometer, ensuring that as you dive into the depths, the white balance is adjusted for the increasingly blue water.

Pentax and Fuji both unveiled new models aimed at the enthusiast. The Pentax MX-1 classic looks hark back to rangefinder cameras and even features brass top and bottom plates, designed to wear and weather over time to give your camera a unique look. Its fast f/1.8-2.5 lens can produce beautiful background blur, whilst it also offers RAW support and Full HD 1080p recording. It’s available in black and silver for just £399.

The Fuji X20 offers classic looks with cutting edge technology, utilising the ultra-fast phase detection autofocus system normally only found in DSLRs. Its fast f/2.0-2.8 lens offers a 4x zoom range, whilst the advanced optical viewfinder displays key shooting information. 

The X100s features a large APS-C sized sensor typically found in most DSLR models. The fast f/2.0 23mm lens is ideal for landscape and street photography, with the advanced phase-detection autofocus ensuring super-fast, accurate focusing. The retro design includes dials for exposure compensation and ISO, putting complete control at your fingertips.

Compact System Cameras
There were a couple of new compact system cameras introduced, with Nikon launching the Nikon 1 J3 and S1. The S1 becomes Nikon’s entry model in the 1 Series, with a compact body and minimalist button layout a stark contrast to its advanced features. The J3 includes a mode dial on the top, enabling quick and easy access to the various shooting modes. The S1 is available in black, white, pink, khaki and red, with prices starting from just £479.

Finally, Samsung unveiled the newest addition to their growing NX range, the NX-300. It uses a 20.3 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS sensor, and 7.6cm tilting AMOLED screen and built-in Wi-Fi for easy sharing with your smartphone or tablet. In addition, the NX-300 is the first compact system camera that can record 3D movie footage. The optional NX 45mm f/1.8 lens can switch between 2D and 3D modes and delivers sensational footage.

As is customary, new DSLR models were noticeably absent from the show this year. Manufacturers seem to prefer to unveil models later in the year, away from the noise of CES to allow the models maximum exposure, so we wait with baited breath for the new additions.

All of the new models featured in the CES blogs will be arriving with us in the next few weeks. Keep an eye on the website and twitter page @ParkTweets for the latest information.

Jon Penney
Park Cameras

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