The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas may not be the main trade show for the photography industry, but that doesn’t stop camera companies from jumping at the chance to show off their latest products. Usually, new camera announcements at CES are pretty standard. Likewise, most manufacturers introduced new point-and-shoots which are basically slightly-improved versions of current models, and Nikon unveiled a new entry-level DSLR, the D3300 (above), of which the most striking feature is a redesigned, compact kit lens.
There were also a few announcements on the professional end. Nikon announced the development of a D4s professional DSLR, stating in no specific terms that it will be better than the D4—go figure. We’ll definitely be keeping our eyes on that one, but unfortunately there isn’t a lot to report on it yet. They also announced a full-frame 35mm f/1.8 lens, a great compliment to their 28mm, 50mm, and 85mm f/1.8 offerings. Panasonic showed off a mockup of a new GH series camera that shoots 4K video, and a new Leica-branded 42.5 f/1.2 portrait lens. Like Nikon, Panasonic is remaining mum on the specifics of the 4K camera, but if history is any indicator, this could be a great asset for independent filmmakers looking for an affordable 4K solution, much in the way the GH2 was with full HD. Fujifilm showed a couple of new lenses for their X-series cameras, a 10-24mm f/4 and a 56mm f/1.2 portrait lens (seen above mounted on an X-Pro 1). On the subject of lenses, Sigma showed off a new 50mm f/1.4 in their Art line. If it’s anything like their 35mm f/1.4 Art, this will be quite a good lens.
Now for a couple genuine surprises. Polaroid’s minuscule C3 action camera (above, right) is part colorful spy cam, part GoPro, and comes alongside many other new products from the company, proving there’s still plenty of reason to love Polaroid. Canon’s new Vixia Mini (above, left) is, well, also part GoPro as it uses a fixed fisheye lens, but is intended for more casual video shooting and features an articulating touchscreen and built-in-wifi. These are both obvious attempts to breathe new life into a stagnating low-end camcorder market that, like point-and-shoot cameras, has suffered in the wake of smartphones. It’s great to see companies trying new things, and hopefully these products will be met with success.
Finally, new TV technology was everywhere, of course. 3D has faded in favor of 4K and curved screens. These new TVs may actually be of importance to photographers as the high resolution screens make great displays for slideshows and the like. And for filmmakers, 4K is no longer just a high-budget option. 4K consumer video cameras are emerging at a variety of price points, like Sony’s AX100 that features a 20MP 1″ sensor and costs just $2000. So having a television that can actually show your videos at their full resolution might, you know, be important (just make sure you’re also picking up plenty of extra hard drives to store all your 4K footage!) Not ready to make the jump to 4K? Don’t worry, 1080p isn’t going away just yet—Sony, Canon, and others still make a plethora of 1080p cameras that shoot beautiful footage, but if you’re planning on purchasing a video camera in the next year, you now have more options than ever.
Note: this article contains information on unreleased products and is not representative of items currently available at Pro Photo Supply.