Saturday, June 2, 2007

Fauxtokina 2007 Speculations (work in progress)

UPDATE 7/9/2007: This post has grown to an unmanageable and unreadable size so I broke it up into smaller pieces, one post per manufacturer. The content of this post is frozen. All new updates will go to the newer posts. Click or bookmark the Table of Contents of all the new Fauxtokina 2007 posts per manufacturer.


  • In a few hours, I will be starting an ambitious feature called "Fauxtokina 2007". It is a name I just made up! If the name sounds familiar, it should. Here's the story: Photokina is the biggest photography trade show that takes place in Koln, Germany every two years (2006, 2008, 2010). Usually manufacturers save their biggest announcements for that show (or the build-up before the show). A large number of new product announcements happen between July and late September in both Photokina and non-Photokina years. So I am naming that period (July-Sept) in non-Photokina years as Fauxtokina! (I hope this makes some sense).
  • I was trying to decide how to present this. If this was a magazine or a big website like dpreview, it would make sense to publish the whole thing once it was completed. But since this is just a lowly blog, I will be posting it as a work in progress, just as I write it! Comments, suggestions, corrections, critiques, etc are welcome!
  • dpreview's Timeline has been a very helpful utility for this project!
  • My previous giant project of this kind was Complete Photokina 2006 speculation. Take a look! (please note that is a very very very very long post!)
  • Coming first: Casio and Panasonic, then Pentax and Fuji. Then Olympus and Ricoh. After that, in no order, Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, Kodak, Samsung, HP, Sigma, Leica, GE, Sanyo, etc...


    Casio
  • Casio has found its market with the "bijou" Exilim series. Once upon a time Casio was among the front runners in digital cameras, but other companies jumped in and were able to leapfrog them. Then Casio managed to re-invest itself with the Z-series, which was first big in Japan, before starting to big quite popular in North America and Europe.
  • The Z-series is the most populous Casio lineup, usually having a 1/1.8" and a 1/2.5" line.
  • Just recently Casio jumped onto the 12mp 1/1.7" bandwagon with the EX-Z1200SR, which also added CCD-shift image stabilization. Casio had fallen behind in this segment as other companies managed to install either optical or sensor-shift stabilization to their 3x/4x "bijou" cameras. This allows Casio to catch-up. Being among the first to jump to higher megapixel sensors is not uncommon for Casio.
  • Their previous 1/1.8" cameras were the 10mp Z1000 and Z1050, which preceded the 8mp Z850 and the critically acclaimed EX-Z750 which was announced in February 2005. The jump to 10mp was also a move that had those cameras become more "bijou" than the Z850/Z750.
  • Their 1/2.5" cameras usually have 2-3 tiers, usually the top tier having the nicest/biggest LCD and such. The Z75 came out in late January along with the Z1050, while the previous line-up of 2006 consisted of the Z700, Z70, Z60 and the budget Z5... In 2005, they featured the Z500 and Z57, which replaced the 2004 models of Z55, Z50, Z40, Z30
  • One of the Casio experimetns was the tiny S-series using ceramic lenses. This was one of Casio's successful experiments and it continues with the S770 (Aug 2006), S600 (Oct 2005), and the one that started it all, the S500 (June 2005). Casio also released MPEG4 versions of some of these, such as the S600d.
  • The various AA-based lineups of Casio are on hiatus (or gone forever). The three-tier Z120, Z110 and Z10 were the last from Casio in August 2005. Also the Q-series said goodbye in December 2004 with the QV-R62, which preceded teh QV-R61, R41, R51, R40 and many more.
  • Casio's prestigious P-series saw its last action in August 2004 with the P7000, which came six months after the P6000.
  • Speaking of gone, the prosumer lineup of QV-5700 (Sept 2002) and QV-4000 (June 2001) were the predecessors of the P-series.
  • Casio does like to experiment but the P505 experiment (January 2005) did not produce any follow-ups. It was a camera with a high price and a short zoom ratio at a time where 10x and 12x IS super zooms were bursting onto the scene
  • Casio's latest experiment was the ambitious EX-V7 (January 2007), which looks great on paper, but the reviews so far have been rather disappointing.

    What to expect from Casio in the rest of 2007? (pure speculation!)
  • An 8mp 1/2.5" update of its portfolio, such as an 8mp version of the EX-S770 (August 2006), EX-Z700 (July 2006). The Z7x series just got an update in January with the Z75, but an 8mp version would not be a surprise either... Another possibility is a budget follow-up of the Z5 (May 2006), since their previous entry-level line-up of AA-based cameras is gone... Casio is not shy about doing six-month updates, so an 8mp version of the V7 may come out, but if I was Casio I would only do that if I was also able to fix some of the numerous problems pointed out in the professional V7 reviews.
  • Predicted names of speculated models: EX-S800, EX-Z800, EX-Z80, EX-Z6 and EX-V8.



    Panasonic DSLRs
  • In typical Panasonic fashion, the L1 came out as a flagship type of a model, just like the LC1. According to statements made by Panasonic representatives, there will be at least one more Panasonic DSLR. Given the relationship with Olympus and the links between the E330/L1, a 10mp DSLR is expected, with live view, sensor anti-shake and dust reduction. Sounds like the E510? Given how well the E410 did in the dpreview review, it sounds like a good idea! Other possibilities include a E410-like model. Less likely is a Panasonic version of the new Olympus flagship (E3 or P1 or E-P1 or something), but you never know

    Panasonic Non-DSLRs
  • The 1/2.5" Panasonic sensor is at 7mp, while the biggest sensor jumped to 12mp with the FX100
  • slotted in theory? A post in the Panasonic dpreview forum talked of two cameras being slotted in. The first half of the slotted in theory came true when the FX-100 was announced using a 1/1.7" sensor instead of the usual 1/2.5" sensor of the FX-series... So based on that, I am guessing that the slotted it would fall either under the LC-series or a wide-angle FZ-series or the LX-series but grown up.
  • 4/3rds non-DSLR? One possibility mentioned in the dpreview forums is a non-dSLR by Panasonic using the 4/3rds sensor (new 10mp nMOS or the older 8mp). Panasonic has already designed the LC-1 body which would be an interesting match for this sensor, and the in-camera tilting flash.
  • LC-series? The slotted-in theory could revive the LC-series. Or one with a 4/3rds sensor mentioend above. Since the FX-100 was in-between the FX- and the LX-, an upticking LX- could fall somewhere between the LX-, LC- and FZ-. Perhaps using a 28-200mm lens?
  • LX-series? The easiest thing would be to put the new 12mp sensor in the LX2 body. But based on the slotted in theory we could have an LC-like camera? LX2 was announced in July 2006 which makes it a candidate for a July refresher. An LX- with a 28-200 equivalent lens sounds like a slotted-in Lumix to me. Could the LX-series go wider like 24mm on the Ricoh GX100? Or how about a fixed-lens beauty like a GR-D? Please note that such a camera would look really good (and sell well too) in a Leica outfit!
  • Big FZ-series? The simplest thing would be to stick the new 12mp sensor in the FZ50 body. And they may do just that. Or perhaps not? One reasonable thing to speculate is perhaps coming up with a wide version of the big FZ? So they could have two models in parallel, one going long and one going wide? But perhaps these would not be parallel, but one follow the other? Going wide certainly helped the TZ3.
  • Medium FZ-series? The FZ8 grew up by gettting RAW and a few other necessities in Jan 2007. What's next? It's too recent to be upgraded just for the sake of megapixels (or perhaps a juicy 8mp sensor is waiting?). What if this guy goes wide as well? In parallel to the existing lens? Let's not forget that once Panasonic finds an advantage they are not shy about pushing it through: they are the ones after all who put a MegaOIS lens in every single camera they make, even the entry-level models.
  • Small FZ-series? The 1/3.2" were replaced by the TZ-series
  • TZ-series? In theory there shouldn't be any new TZ-series, but given how successful they are, Panasonic may add another model. The latest models (TZ3, TZ2) came out Jan 2007.
  • FX-series? We should have sniffed the FX-100 when Panasonic introduced the FX-30 after the FX-50 instead of something higher model-number-wise. But we didn't. There's plenty of FX- models out there right now, three new announced in Jan 2007 and three more July 2006. I don't see anything new this year. By the way, the smaller FX- series is known as FS- in Japan. Just to be create some unnecessary confusion I guess :-) No expectations of something new. Expect a CES 2008 refresh for the FX30, FX12 and FX10.
  • LZ-series? No expectations of something new this year. Expect a CES 2008 refresh for the LZ7 and LZ6.
  • LS-series? No expectations of something new this year. Expect a CES 2008 refresh for the LS60, LS70 and LS75.
  • did I forget anything?

    What to expect from Panasonic in the rest of 2007? (pure speculation!)
  • New models in July. That's what Panasonic's history suggests. Both LX1/LX2 and FZ30/FZ50 were announced in July 2005/2006. Incidentally Panasonic has not announced anything after July of each year since October 2003.So keep that in mind!
  • If Panasonic comes up with an 8mp 1/2.5" sensor, then perhaps we could see a refresher of at least the top of each line from 7mp to 8mp. This could upset the balance mentioned above.
  • Predicted names of speculated models: FZ60, FZ55 (if wide), LX3, LX5, LC3, FZ9, TZ5 (or TZ4). DSLR: L2 or L10



    Pentax DSLRs
  • 645. The Hoya merger has complicated things. Hopefully something more definite will be announced one way or the other.
  • Two DSLRs are expected according to Benjamin K and other sources
  • Factors to consider: Samsung, new sensors, K1000 urban legends
  • The K10D was announced Sept 2006, K100D/K110D in May 2006, while the *ist DL2 (you thought you wouldn't see that name again?) in Jan 2006. the *ist DS2 in Aug 2005, *istDL in June 2005, the *istDS in Sept 2004, and the original *ist D in Febr 2003.
  • A gift from Samsung perhaps (read the Samsung DSLR section for an explanation) was the Pentax K100D Super. Does the Super count as one of the two models to expect? It is a new model, but it's not really a new camera, it's the K100D with some updates. One obvious expectation is a 10 megapixel version of the K100D Super.
  • What else? Will we see a flagship from Samsung? Something above the K10D? Or perhaps a K10D Super as well? And where will the sensors come from? Sony must have something to use for their upcoming mid-range and flagship, but will they share with Pentax? How about Kodak sensors? They are already co-operating on the 645D. How about Samsung? While there are plenty of rumors out there, there is no concensus just yet. So this will be interesting to see!
  • more coming soon

    Pentax Non-DSLRs
  • After many years of soul-searching Pentax has managed to simplify their line-up to probably the cleanest line-up among all major manufacturers.
  • Pattern: Pentax, like Casio is not shy about doing shorter nine or even six-month cycles with cascading models. The new W-, T-, A-, E- and M- series have shown this pattern since their inception. So this should be fairly easy to predict
  • W-series: This is the most unique of the Pentaxes with the waterproof body. Expect an update in August/Fall 2007.
  • A-series: Sensor-shift stabilization made the A-series a bit unique at the start, now it's more common. Expect an update in August/Fall 2007.
  • T-series: The touchscreen is what makes it different. Expect an update in August/Fall 2007.
  • M-series: Transformed from AA to LiIon. A standard P&S every respectable is expected to have in their lineup. Expect an update in August/Fall 2007.
  • E-series: The entry-level camera. Expect an update in August/Fall 2007.
  • S-series: Perhaps an homage to their classic S-series that simply fell behind and got overrun by most other makers. Pentax did release the S7 in July 2006, so a summer refresher is reasonable to expect
  • Will these retired series be revitalized? SVi (May 2005), MX4 (10x zoom, Photokina 2004), X (Photokina 2004), 750Z (Photokina 2004). More likely scenario: None of these get refreshed.

    What to expect from Pentax in the rest of 2007? (pure speculation!)
  • 10 megapixel version of the K100D Super
  • The switch from a 7mp to an 8mp 1/2.5" sensor and from 10mp to 12mp 1/1.x will probably define the models below:
  • Predicted names of speculated models: W40, A40, T40, M40, E40, S8
  • Prediction: The 645D will be eventually given the green light despite rumors of its demise



    Fuji DSLRs
  • The S5 was formally announced at Photokina 2006 while the S3 at PMA 2004. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure nothing new is expected
  • However, given the S3 UV IR (uvir), I would not be surprised that if in late 2007 or early 2008 there was a Fuji S5 UVIR.
  • I do not expect Fuji to attempt to enter the sub-$1000 market this year

    Fuji non-DSLRs
  • Since Fuji is not going to enter the entry-level DSLR market anytime soon, they are a good bet to continue to offer advanced non-DSLRs.
  • Will this be the time they add either image stabilization to their lenses or sensor-shift stabilization? It would certainly make their cameras more appealing and competitive.
  • Embracing SD My Photokina 2006 speculation post heavily encouraged Fuji to consider SD support. I'm glad they did! Now let's hope Fuji uses the dual xD/SD slots in every new model they announce.
  • "Magic Sensor": 6mp sensors are falling behind in the wild megapixel race from a marketing perspective. Yet this sensor is the one that has the best low noise performance among sensors under 1/1.6". How can Fuji compromise these two and continu to introduce cameras using this sensor?
  • 1/1.6" S-series The S9000 (aka S9500) was announced in July 2005, while the S9100 (aka S9600) was announced in August 2006. This makes fall fo 2007 a reasonable time frame for a follow-up. Some questions: will Fuji use a similar sensor or jump in megapixels (eg 12mp?). Will they offer a dual xD/SD slot? Also will they add image stabilization given that all other major manufacturers offer some sort of stabilization either in-lens or by shifting the sensor.
  • IS-series Ths naming of the IS-1 may be an indicator of Fuji's plans for Image Stabilization. Because IS stands for Infrared Sensitivity in this case. Fuji has also made a sensitive version of the S3 Pro DSLR. Both of them came months after the original release. The IS-1 was announced in January 2007, about five months after the release of the original S9100 (aka (S9600). So I would not expect a follow-up to this series in 2007 if Fuji follows this pattern. Of course they could always decide to introduce the follow-up in parallel with a new S9xxx camera. But given that this is a very specific application camera, I would expect Fuji to follow the previous pattern.
  • mid-range S-series The S6000fd (aka S6500fd) came out in July 2006 in the slot typically reserved for the S5xxx series of Fuji. It features the critically acclaimed low-noise 6mp sensor. So what will Fuji do with this one? Ideally they should re-issue this camera by adding the dual SD/xD memory card slot. This will certainly increase the appeal of this camera, expecially to people with SD cards! Apart from that, what else? Will they add the 9mp sensor of the S9xxx series in it? Well, they already have a two-tier system with the S9000/S9100 there. Will they use the 8mp SuperCCD sensor perhaps? I would hope they re-issue this camera with an SD/xD card slot!
  • 1/2.5" S-series The budget-priced but featured packed S5700 (aka S700) was announced at PMA 2007 (Febr). It's pre-decessor, the S5200 (aka S5600) was introduced in July 2005, and its predecessor, the S5100 in July 2004, which came after the S5000 in July 2003. What got the S5700 out of sync was Fuji's decision to introduce a camera in-between, the S6000fd using the "magic 6mp" sensor in July 2006, essentially taking the July slot from the S5700. Given all that, I would not expect an update to the S5700 this year, but look for one at/by PMA 2008.
  • E-series The E900 was announced in July 2005, following the debut the E-series in July 2004 with the E500, E510 and E550. The E900 picked up in popularity after its price went down from MSRP... Ideally I would have liked to see a version of the E900 with the 6mp magic sensor and with the dual xD/SD slot. Or perhaps using the S9100 sensor or whichever future sensor Fuji will be using in their new cameras... The 9mp SuperCCD has already found its way to the A900.
  • F-series The revolution started at PMA 2005 with the F10, and continued with the F11 (Sept 2005), and then the F30 (PMA 2006) and the budgety F20 (July 2006). Fuji added some manual control (eg Av/Tv). The F31fd got face detection (Photokina 2006) and changed the cycle because of that. After that the F40fd was announced in Jan 2007, albeit without Tv/Av and with an 8mp 1/1.6" sensor (instead of the "magic" 6mp 1/1.7"). But it was the first F-series to support the dual xD/SD card which was big especially for this noisely-acclaimed series. But Fuji did not stop there. They re-issued the F40fd as the F45fd for the Argos chain in the UK, by putting it in a "beautiful ocean-blue metal body shell" (Fuji's words, not mine). The 9mp 1/1.6" sensor found its way in the F47fd (available in some markets eg UK). Still no Tv/Av however. So what's up with the F-series babylon? For one thing the F47fd could be made available to other markets as well. After all they put a 9mp SuperCCD sensor in the A900 which sells for under $200 right now. So why not? So what about the future? Where do we go from here? More megapixels? Bigger sensors? More efficient sensor and enging instead of more megapixels? How about some Tv/Av or even full manual control? We are talking about a 1/1.6" sensor here, not 1/3.2"!
  • The non-SuperCCD F-series. This general purpose series using "standard" sensors saw its last few models in early 2006 (F650, F470). Judging from the time-frame, Fuji may have put them on hold. The F650 as the name suggests was a 1/2.5" 6mp 5x optical LiIon, while the F470 had the same sensor but a 3x lens. We could see the F650 come up with a 1/2.5" SuperCCD sensor perhaps, but the SuperCCD advantages is more pronounced at 1/1.7" and beyond.
  • Z-series The Z5fd was announced in November 2006 with the face detection feature and a new 6mp 1/2.5" SuperCCD sensor. While megapixels are not everything, from a marketing perspective Fuji is going up against the 8mp and 7mp 1/2.5" Sony sensors and 7mp 1/2.5" sensors from Panasonic. Nevertheless, this is a SuperCCD sensor not a "traditional" sensor... One possibility is a follow-up version with a bigger LCD screen regardless of a new sensor being not introduced or not. Fuji does seem to introduce new ones every 8 months or so. So expect a Z6fd with either a SuperCCD or a traditional sensor (or perhaps both?).
  • A-series Fuji used to introduce new A-series cameras in PMA of each year. But the A700 came out at Photokina of 2006, while the next wave of A-series (A900, A820, A800, A610) came out in Jan/Feb 2007. The A900 is using the 9mp 1/1.6" sensor even. The A825 was a limited availability model (eg UK market for Comet). This is quite possibly the most serious attempt at a challenge to the long running Canon A-series. The Fuji A-series went from a 3x to a 4x lens, and they jumped to 1/1.6" sensors. But the Canon A-series did not stay put, as they jumped ahead with IS and 6x lenses. Nevertheless this is something to watch for in the future.
  • V-series The one and only V-series camera came out in January 2006, the V10. Nothing else in this line-up since. But I wouldn't be surprised if they revived it - depending on how well the V10 did based on their expectations. If nothing else, to include the xD/SD dual drive.

    What to expect from Fuji in the rest of 2007? (pure speculation!)
  • Another Z-series camera, the next generation F-series,
  • Predicted names of speculated models: S5 UVIR, Z6fd, Z7fd?, E600, S6100fd (aka S6600fd), IS-2, F50fd, F480, F750, S9200fd (aka S9700fd)


    Ricoh non-DSLRs
  • The GR-D was announced in Sept 2005. Some of the reviews pointed at some red flag issues given the price, the promise, the hype and the configuration. Will we see a Mark II? Given the progress we have seen with the GX100, I would expect so!
  • The GX-100 is creating a stir among the prosumeraholics in the dpreview forum. Announced at PMA, but given the success Ricoh may be tempted to follow it up with a 12mp version.
  • The Rx-series gets refreshed every 6 months or so, so a new model is expected by late Fall. R6 (March 2007), R5 (Aug 2006), R4 (Feb 2006). You can see the pattern!
  • The same pattern follows the RR-series, with the RR730 (Nov 2006), RR630 (Feb 2006), RR530 (Sept 2005). So a follow-up would not be a stretch!
  • Other Ricoh cameras currently available: 500SE (March 2007), 500G and R40 (May 2006), R30 (Jan 2007, GX-8 (April 2005), RX (March 2004). More on those later on...

    What to expect from Ricoh in the rest of 2007? (pure speculation!)
  • Predicted names of speculated models: GR-D Mark II, GX-120, R7, RR830



    Olympus DSLRs
  • Flagship? The leaked E-P1 DSLR! The details are in this post. A 10mp high-speed sensor and a number of other promising technologies according to the PDF file/presentation.
  • E-series? The E-510 and E-410 were just recently announced (March 2007) so do not expect any more. With the intro of the E-P1 Olympus will officially go to a three-tier DSLR structure. The prior models were the E400 (Sept 2006, limited markets), E330 (Jan 2006), E500 (Oct 2005), E300 (Photokina 2004), E1 (June 2003).

    Olympus non-DSLRs
  • 18x super zooms? The SP-550 looks very tempting on paper, but the compromises needed to be made for a 1/2.5" 18x optical zoom camera were quite a few. Obviously! Introduced in Jan 2007.
  • long zooms? The traditional 10x long zooms continue on their own path with the SP-510 (7mp, Aug 2006) and the SP-500 (6mp, Aug 2005). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to predit an SP-520 for August 2007 with let's say 8 megapixels. One question is whether this will get the sensor anti-shake technology. Perhaps Olympus will spawn two of them, one entry-level to compete with the Kodaks and the Fuji S700 and the Panasonics, and another one with anti-shake in the mid-range to compete with the likes of the 1/2.5" 12x Canon S-series and Sony H-series and Panasonic FZ-series.
  • Mid-range Once upon a time this was Olympus's bread and butter. But times have changed, the market has changed and so has Olympus. The SP-320 was the last one (Jan 2006), preceded by the SP-350, and SP-310 (August 2005). This series has skipped the the 10mp 1/1.8" sensor so far. Given the time frame adn the intro of the SP-550, it possibly means that Olympus has given up on the mid-range.
  • Turn back the clock? The critically acclaimed C8080 (see Phil's dpreview review) was Olympus's swan song (PMA 2004) in the top of the non-DSLR segment. In the step below, the 1/1.8" C-series segment the C7070 was the last one (Jan 2005) along with the C5500 (5x, Jan 2005). But if Canon revived the G-series (G6, August 2004), there is a possibility here. Apart from the G7, Panasonic tried its hand here with the LX-series and Nikon with the P5000. Quite possibly a more smaller/RF-ish type of model. The possibility for a successful model is there (eg RAW, hot shoe, control over noise and other parameters, decent lens, etc). But probably not.
  • 1/1.8" Stylus The big sensor Stylus line-up is fixed at a 3x optical lens. It features the 1000 (10mp, Aug 2006), the 810 (Jan 2006) and the 800 (8mp, May 2005). It is not unreasonable to expect the 1200 to feature the latest 12mp sensor in 2007.
  • 1/2.3" Stylus, 5x The 780 has sensor-shift stabilization (7mp, March 2007). The first Stylus with it was the 750 (7mp, Aug 2006). The 740 was without (7mp, Aug 2006). An 8-megapixel 1/2.3" sensor could prompt a new model.
  • 1/2.3" Stylus, Shockproof+ The 770SW is on the verge of breaking out as a successful model despite the xD card (7mp, Jan 2007). Obviously no stabilization because it is meant to be dropped and stepped on. Predecessors: 725 SW (7mp, Aug 2006, limited markets), 720SW (7mp, Jan 2006). This should be refreshed in Jan 2008, even if there is a new 8mp sensor. Or perhaps because of its popularity, a newer model would make sense.
  • 1/2.3" Stylus, Big LCD The 730 (no SW) features a 3" LCD and weatherproofs but not the shockproofness of the SW-series (7mp, Aug 2006). The most bling-bling of the line-up. An August follow-up seems reasonable esp with 8mp.
  • 1/2.3" Stylus, 3x The 760 was the first 3x Stylus to add sensor-shift stabilization (7mp, Jan 2007). The 700 came one year before (7mp, Jan 2006) and led the wave of new Stylus cameras with 1/2.3" sensors instead of the usual 1/2.5". Looks like a Jan 2008 refresh regardless. The 5x would lead the way. But I wouldn't be surprised with a follow-up this year either.
  • 1/2.5" Stylus, 3x The 600 was the last of its kind (6mp, Jan 2006). Before that, the 500 (Nov 2004), 410 (PMA 2004), and the debut of the Stylus line-up at CES 2003 (Jan) with the 300 and 400. This line-up is done! Case closed!
  • The Verve No, not the music group. The Verve was an idea that lasted for a couple of model cycles but was later absorbed by the Stylus line-up. Last Verve came out in Feb 2005. The original Verve (Photokina 2004)
  • The FE-series has grown from basic AA cameras to a little bit more than basic LiIon-based thinner cameras, with the first 1/1.8" and first 5x coming out.
  • 1/1.8" FE-series, 3x The FE-250 (8mp, Jan 2007). Since this is a budget series it doesn't make sense to use the latest sensors, perhaps a 10mp version by PMA 2008.
  • 1/2.5" FE-series, 5x The FE-240 (7mp, not wide, Jan 2007), the FE-200 (6mp, 28mm, Aug 2006). I doubt Olympus is going to pay for a top of the line 8mp sensor for a budget series before PMA 2008. How about bringing back the 28mm- 5x of the FE-200 instead? Olympus does not really have a wide-angle compact.
  • 1/2.5" FE-series, 3x The FE-230 and FE-210 (7mp, Jan 2007), FE-190, FE-180, FE-170 (6mp, Aug 2006), FE-140 (6mp, Jan 2006), FE-150, FE-130, FE-115 (5mp, Jan 2006), FE-120 (6mp, Aug 2005),FE-110 (5mp, Aug 2005), FE-100 (4mp, Aug 2005)
  • In the history books: D-series, IR-series, Verve, C7xx long-zooms, Cxx mid-range compacts (used to compete with Canon's Sxx-series).
  • Memo to Olympus: Stop with the stupid panorama dependency on Olympus-branded memory cards. It's silly, stupid and childish. Grow up please :-)
  • Wide angle compact? Despite all the camera model soup above, the only compact to start at 28 is the FE-200 (Aug 2006). Will Olympus take the next step by creating a new segment in the Stylus line-up that start at 28mm? Just like anti-shake/IS, they are behind the majority of manufacturers.
  • Time to embrace SD? Olympus is clearly losing sales because of their stubborness to use xD. One very clever solution would be to develop dual-drives for their cameras so they can take both xD and SD cards. Fuji did it and they are doing better because of it. This is common sense :-) This scheme would enable xD to continue to exist and be compatible with past, present and future cameras, and would not alienate current xD users.

    What to expect from Olympus in the rest of 2007? (pure speculation!)
  • First and foremost, the new flagship camera, the E-P1 or E3 or something like that. This will be the first direct replacement of the E1.
  • Olympus is getting trapped once again with its model numbering strategy.
  • An 8mp 1/2.3" sensor appears and magically a lot of their cameras get refreshed with that sensor.
  • A wide-angle (28mm-) Stylus?
  • Predicted names of speculated models: E-P1 or E3, SP-520, SP-530, Stylus 1200, Stylus 790, 785, 775SW, 765, 735, FE-260, 265, 270, 275, ..., 300 (too many of them!)


    Sony Sensors
  • Rumored is a bigger 1.1x sensor, but rumor is what it is until it sees the light of day
  • 12mp 1.5x sensor, in the Nikon DSLRs, expected to be in the new Sony mid-range DSLRs, and perhaps in newer Pentax/Samsungs.
  • 10mp 1.5x sensor, found in Nikons (D80, D40x), Sony A100 and Pentax K10D/Samsung GX10.
  • 6mp 1.5x sensor, a budget sensor that continues to go with the "new" Pentax K100D Super (and presumably the upcoming Samsung equivalent), along with the Nikon D40.
  • "R1" 1.7x sensor?. It seems like it was a single purpose sensor as it was not used by any other model. Two years later it's unlikely someone will pick it up, although at 10mp it would still make a nice prosumer camera!
  • 2/3" sensor revival?. The last ones were the 8mp sensors of 3-4 years ago. The last camera to use this presumably was the Samsung Pro 815 (Juen 2005). Will we see a 2/3" revival? Perhaps if Sony decides to revitalize the Minolta A-series?
  • 12mp 1/1.7" sensor. This was a jump in size from the 1/1.8" sensors of the past. The Sony W200 is believed to be the first one to be using it. Kodak and Casio have announced two new 12mp cameras, but they have been known to use other people's sensors (Sharp?) when they try to jump ahead in the megapixel rat-race. Will this sensor find its way in the line-ups of all the usual suspects replacing the 10mp 1/1.8"? Ironically, none of the recent Sony cameras are using the latter. I do not expect a megapixel jump until 2008.
  • 8mp 1/2.5" sensor. Too early for another jump in megapixels for sure. Probably 2008 before/if there is another jump. Their 2007 line-up has five of these already (H7, H9, T100, T20, W90) from PMA 2007.


    Sony DSLRs
  • Flagship? The flagship is expected sometime in 2008, some are saying it might be a 1.1x sensor, with Nikon having first dibs on it. They already talked about a flagship at PMA 2007. Will it be full frame, near full frame or APS-C? An A1 or an A300? Will they make a development announcement in the next couple of months, or will we just have to wait and see? Will the flagship be in the spirit of the Minolta flagships of the past, or will they try to match/outdo the Canons and Nikons for prestige purposes? Only time will tell!
  • Mid-range? The mid-range rumors are buzzing, an announcement is imminent they say (July 9). Expectation is for a 12mp 1.5x APS-C mid-range DSLR, expected to compete with the likes of the Canon 30D/40D, Nikon D80/D200, and Pentax K10D/+ and Olympus E510. Some are calling it A200 already. This is almost guaranteed to happen based on what Sony has said in the past (eg PMA 2007).
  • Entry-level? Based on what Sony has said the A100 will continue to slide (in price and features by competition) and become the defacto entry-level for Sony. Despite the fact that Sony makes 6mp APS-C sensors, they do not seem to be interested in making a 6mp entry-level like Nikon and Pentax. After all, they have the two older Minolta DSLRs to cover that... The A100 was announced in June 2006.
  • The Minoltas (for reference) The 7D was announced in Sept 2004, and the 5D in July 2005.

    Sony non-DSLRs
  • Sony has clearly disciplined their announcement strategy, with predictable announcements for the W-series, H-series and S-series between CES and PMA of each year. The T-series, being a trendy bijou, continues to be all over the place, as expected.
  • R-series? The R1 experiment was announced in September 2005. Two years is a long time, but for this camera perhaps Sony is using a mid-range DSLR cycle as opposed to a consumer digicam cycle. The camera had its share of big fans and not-so-big fans when it came out. I would be interested to see a follow-up. Since the next two Sony DSLRs are expected to be a mid-range and a flagship, there is room perhaps for another try at the R-series
  • F-series? The last F-series was announced in August 2003. That's an eternity ago. Will we see a revival? Hope yes, probably not.
  • Minolta A-series? While the shiny Minolta Z-series may consider itself an older cousin of the Sony H-series, the Minolta A-series was (surpingly) not revived under the Sony banner. Infact this camera looks ideally suited to slide in between the entry-level DSLR, the R1 and the W-/T-/H- series of Sony. One problem of course is that there hasn't been a new 2/3" sensor in quite a while. The last one to come out was the A200 (Sept 2004), A2 (Febr 2004), A1 (August 2003). The A-series was born out of the evolution of the Dimage 7-series and the short lived 5-series.
  • H-series The H-series is a February series. The H7 and H9 came out in Febr 2007, the H2 and H5 in Febr 2006 and the H1 in Febr 2005. Expect nothing until February 2008 :-) (That was easy!)
  • N-series Another easy prediction is a 12mp version of the N2, named... N3! Sony makes the sensors after all. The N2 (Photokina 2006) and the N1 (Oct 2005) point to a fall announcement for the N3.
  • LiIon 1/1.8" W-series The W200 was the first to use the new 12mp Sony sensor at PMA 2007. Its predecessor, the W100 was at 8mp (PMA 2006). Interestingly none of the W-series are using the 10mp sensor (not yet anyway). This is clearly a PMA cycle.
  • LiIon 1/2.5" W-series The W90 actually has 8mp and the W80 has 7 megapixels, just to confuse us :) The entry-level was the W35 and W55, at 7mp, with LCD size differentiating (Jan 2007). The W70 was at 7mp at PMA 2006. The W30 and W50 were 6mp in Febr 2006, differentiated by LCD size. This is clearly a CES-to-PMA release cycle.
  • AA-based W-series The last two of the series were the W5 and W7 in Febr 2006 at 7mp and 5mp 1/1.8" respectively. The debut of the line, the W1 came out in Feb 2005 at 5mp 1/1.8", inspired perhaps by the Sony V1 experiment. Sony switched these to LiIon in 2006, partly to make them smaller. I would say do not expect anything new here, but the S800 clearly points to the possibility of a revival. A slightly more advanced version of the S800 could easily be a W-AA-series! Why? Well why did they announce the S800 in Europe? It seems out of the blue. Were they testing the waters?
  • S-series Just like the S80, the S800 was introduced quietly in Europe in May 2007, as an 8mp 1/1.8" 5x optical camera, the first S-series with a 5x optical lens. This is the first time since the S45 that the S-series gets a 1/1.8" sensor. The S700 and S650 differentiate on screen size, but they both have a 7mp 1/2.5" sensor (Jan 2007). Sony was smart in having almost all their models at at 7mp. The S500 was quietly released in the middle of 2006, while the S600 was a CES 2006 product (6mp, 1/2.5"). The triple digit series made the jump to 1/2.5" sensors from 1/2.7". Prior to those, the S90, S80, S60 and S40 quartet came out in Febr 2005. All of them had 4mp 1/2.7" sensors. This is clearly a February release cycle.
  • T-series, 5x The debut of the 5x folded optics T-series was the 8mp T100 at PMA 2007 with SuperSteadyShot (IS).
  • T-series, 3x The 8mp T20 IS (PMA 2007) followed the T50 (7mp, IS, Photokina 2006), T10 (7mp, IS, Aug 2006), the T30 (7mp, IS, April 2006). The T30 was the first T-series with IS (Super Steady Shot). Prior to that, the 6mp T9 (Nov 2005), 5mp T5 (Aug 2005), 5mp T7 (March 2005), T33 (Jan 2005), T3 (Aug 2004), T11 (April 2004) and the one that started it all, the 5mp T1 (Oct 2003). One minor note is that the T-series started with 1/2.4" sensors but the recent models are using the more standard 1/2.5" sensors. Being a fashionable and trendy stylish line of cameras, a new model every 3-4 months is almost a must to keep them "fresh". I doubt they are going to increase the megapixels at 1/2.5", but they will probably make some improvements to justify the new models. If nothing else, perhaps a more budget-y version for the masses? Or bigger LCDs? Can't really predict what, but there will be something T-series for sure.
  • G-series A classic Sony experiment, the G1 may have surprised some by being "stingy" on megapixels. Perhaps so it won't fill up the on-board hard disk as fast :-) This came out in March 2007, so I wouldn't expect anything else until next CES/PMA.
  • V-series Revival? The V3 (Aug 2004) and the V1 (Aug 2003) came out a long time ago. Revival? I say why not, but it's probably not. Let's not forget the V3 was really an update from the S85 (June 2001), not a direct follow-up to the V1 experiment. Fall 2007 is exactly three years after the V3. Coincidence? :)
  • P-series Revival? The P200 came out in Jan 2005, the P150 in July 2004 (tested the new sensor), and the P100 in Feb 2004/ Revival? Nope! As iconic as they were of the Cyber-shot series, Sony has moved on with the T-series being the new face of the franchise. Nevertheless a 12mp version of a modernized P200 could sell in electronics chain stores and wherever megapixel-hungry consumers are shopping.
  • M-series Revival? The M2 came out in Sept 2005, and the M1 at Photokina 2004. Nothing came out in this series at Photokina 2006, so it is safe to assume this (hybrid) experiment is over.
  • L-series Revival? The L1 was another one of Sony's famous experiments, this one more on the low end, a tiny 4mp 1/2.7" camera (August 2004). Perhaps intended to compete with the smaller Canon Elph series with fixed lens or the Kyocera/Contax of the time. That was it. Should we expect a revival? Probably not.

    What to expect from Sony in the rest of 2007? (pure speculation!)
  • Will they revive the Minolta A-series? (They should!)
  • Predicted names of speculated models: N3, A1, A10, P300, A200, A300, V5, W8, W9, T-something, eg T40 or T60


    Samsung DSLRs
  • Mid-range The GX10 (Photokina 2006) is the Samsung version of the critically acclaimed Pentax K10D. Given that Samsung has waited more than 1.5 years for their GX1s/GX1L upgrades, I wouldn't be surprised if there is nothing new here. Of course this also depends on what Samsung is doing sensor-wise, and also whether they plan to come up with their own desing, as opposed to be building upon the Pentax version. The expectation in the Pentax camp is of two models, with a flagship prototype perhaps even. So what exactly happens with Samsung? A 12mp version of the K10D would not be a surprise. A 10mp version of the K100D is also very reasonable. But will they happen right now or in early 2008? I do not know as of right now :)
  • Entry-level The GX1S and GX1L started the Samsung DSLR era in early 2006. Both were based on the Pentax DS*/DL* versions. Clearly they are in need of an update. Samsung did not use the K100D (May 2006) because they had just entered the DSLR market, but the new K100D Super has Samsung entry-level model written all over it. Expect the K100D Super to be "Samsung-ized"

    Samsung non-DSLRs
  • Samsung took the bold step of rebooting their entire lineup in Jan 2006. Gone were the V-series, A-series, U-series, and letterless-XXX series. A pattern of releasing most of their cameras between CES and PMA emerged in 2006 and 2007. The NV-series got them a lot of eyeballs and headlines.
  • Sensor-wise Samsung is at 10mp 1/1.8" and 7mp 1/2.5" right now. Will they go to 12mp and 8mp respectively? Are they making their own sensors or buying from Sony and others? Or both?
  • Advanced? The Big Daddy (Pro 815) was the last of the 2/3" sensored cameras. It was announced in June 2005. Two years is a long time, but for this camera perhaps Samsung is using a mid-range DSLR cycle as opposed to a consumer digicam cycle. Should we expect a replacement? Probably not. Do we want a replacement? Probably yes! Will Samsung try their hand at something advanced again? Currently the NV- and the L- sereis are their top of the line, but they are really more mid-range in terms of features/functionality.
  • Long Zooms? The Pro815, along with the hybrid camera/camcorder units are the only long-zooms Samsung has announced so far. Perhaps that is their strategy: to cover the long zooms with the hybrids, but I think they are making a big big mistake to ignore the long zoom market which is one of the popular right now. But if they do, they should make sure they are competitive in terms of image quality!
  • The Price is Right? None of their cameras is over $300 as of right now. Not even the sleek NV-series. Samsung has a plan. The plan is to become #3 in worldwide unit shipments in 2007. And keeping the prices low and the models plentiful apparently was their strategy. Will they attempt something above this price range as part of their summer/fall upgrade?
  • NV-series Samsung succeeded by getting everyone's attention with the NV-series design and the PUI (pooey? aka physical user interface). The sexy and sleek design raised expectations but the reviews have shown that the IQ is definitely not as sleek as the design. The NV-series got started in July 2006 with a 10mp 1/1.8" model (NV10), a 7mp 1/2.5" with a 7x (but not wide) optical zoom with the first sensor-anti shake from Samsung (NV7 OPS). The 3rd one was a classic 7mp, 3x, bling-bling bijou (NV3). The NV-series got expanded in January 2007 with the NV11, using a 5x optical zoom with a 10mp 1/1.8" sensor. PSAM was in all but the bling-bling model. The NV-series was so sexy that it produced two dpreview reviews for NV-series, something rare for Samsung, to get 2 out of 3 cameras announced reviewed at a busy site like dpreview. So where do we go from here? The NV-series led the way in July 2006 before some of their feature and style propagated to the rest of the Samsung cameras. So it is reasonable to expect that perhaps this summer/fall we will see a new wave of NV-series cameras. The NV11 was an out of cycle introduction to take advantage of the 5x optical zoom that was also added to the the new S1050/S850 1/1.8" cameras. Since Samsung carefully rationed the name (NV11) we can expect that a 12mp version will be named NV12 (and 5x optical). Now what to do with the NV7? The smaller sensor betrayed this very nicely designed camera. Will Samsung continue to push it with 8mp? Can they fix some of their internal processing? Or can they use a 1/1.8" sensor instead? If they do decide to go with 8mp 1/2.5" sensors, expect an NV8 OPS and an NV3 update as well. Also the NV-series cameras are screaming for wide angle. Will they make at least one wide? They have had 28mm 1/2.5" cameras with the L74 being the latest.
  • L-series The L-series grew up after the 2006 reboot of the Samsung line-up. The L85 (8mp 1/1.8", 5x) is perhaps the precursor of the NV11/S1050/S850 models. The L85 along with the L60 (typical 6mp, 3x, LiIon camera) were announced in February 2006. A year later (Febr 2007) the L-series got some attention at PMA. The reason was the L74w that made itself an interesting travellers companion: featuring half a gigabyte of travel data on in in-camera storage, starting at 28mm wide, MPEG4, and a 3" touchscreen. The L77 was inspired by the NV7-OPS (1/2.5" 7mp, 7x optical, but no sensor-shift) but once again disappointed the wide angle fans. Then the L73 was a more conventional 7mp, 3x, just like the L700 but with the Smart Touch Interface. The previous wide L-series was the L55w (5mp, June 2005), released along with the L50 (5mp). So where do we go from here? All the 2007 L-series were introduces between CES and PMA 2007 and they all feature a 7mp 1/2.5" sensor. If they are going to be upgraded I would expect a CES to PMA 2008 upgrade. The exception perhaps is the unique L74w which Samsung may decide to upgrade since it is an attention grabber. That of course assuming they will jump to an 8mp 1/2.5" sensor. And how about the 1/1.8" L85? Will that get a follow-up or does it live on through the NV11, S1050 and S850? I doubt we will see more than 1-2 L-series upgrades this year (if so).
  • 1/1.8" S-series The first S-series with this size of a sensor was the S800 (Jan 2006). Then CES/PMA created four more of those, with 3x optical zoom (S1030, S830) and with a 5x optical zoom (S1050, S850). Another attempt perhaps to go at the venerable Canon A-series. All four of these feature PSAM. Given all the history I would expect these to be updated around CES/PMA of 2008, barring any change of plans by Samsung. If they do switch to a 12mp sensor, perhaps one of them could come first before the onslaught.
  • 1/2.5" S-series CES 2007 saw two new ones, the S630 (6mp) and S730 (7mp). The S630 was intended to be the blockbuster market-share grabbing camera as it is selling now at $100 and it features a 3x optical zoom. They follow their previous blockbusters, the S500 (5mp) and S600 (6mp) from Jan 2006 - which Samsung confessed in a press release they were million-unit selling models. Market-share grabbers is the best description for these. The S-series was introdcued in Jan 2006, the start of the reboot of the Samsung lineup. Prior to that, the triple-digit/no-letter occupied Samsung's entry level. Needless to say expect nothing new here until CES 2008.
  • D-series This one camera series was started at Xmas 2006 in the UK when Samsung announced the D103 (10mp, 3x, AA) which is very similar to the S1030 which was announced in early 2007 worldwide. Will Samsung expand upon this or just use it as a convenient way to introduce specific models to specific markets ahead of their worldwide release? If they decide to do the same thing this Xmas, then I predict a 12mp, 3x aka D123 :-)
  • i-series The i7 is a 7mp bijou with a rotating 3" LCD, while the i70 is a more traditional version of that (both Jan 2007). They replaced the i6 (6mp, Jan 2006), which replaces the i5 (5mp, May 2005) aka #1 (oh what a silly name!).
  • Revival? I highly doubt the V-series, U-series, A-series, the big chunky two-headed monsters (both camera lens and camcorder lens, two bodies in one unit), or triple-digit/no-letter series would make a comeback. Forget about it!

    What to expect from Samsung in the rest of 2007? (pure speculation!)
  • Long zoom cameras to compete in this popular sector?
  • It looks obvious that the majority of their updates are coming in Jan/CES/PMA 2008, with new NV-series in summer/fall of this year.
  • Predicted names of speculated models: D123, NV12, NV8 OPS, NV4, L84w, L87, L800, L83, S1250, S1230, GX-2, GX12, GX-20.


    Canon DSLRs
  • 1Ds series Photokina 2002 was the historic introduction of Mark I. Mark II came two years later at Photokina 2004. It's three years now, is it time for an update? Yes! Will we get one? We should have gotten one at Photokina 2006! So, not sure!
  • 1D series The original 1D was using a 4mp Panasonic CCD sensor many years ago. Then Mark II came out in Jan 2004, followed by a minor "II N" upgrade in August 2005, and the one and only Mark III in February 2007. Nothing else in 2007 here :)
  • 5D series The full frame for the masses with deep pockets (or credit lines) came out in August 2005. Two years now, time for an upgrade? Or not...
  • mid-range series The 30D came out at PMA 2006. This line-up, just like the Rebels is on a 1.5 year cycle. The 20D came out at Photokina 2004, while the 10D at PMA 2003. Before that, the Nikon-sounding 60D was out at the historical 2002 PMA, the one where a number of "affordable" DSLRs came out. The one that started the DSLRs for the masses revolution :) So the time is right for a replacement. The 40D. One question is whether it will have a 10mp sensor, or leapfrog to 12mp or more. The D-Rebel is already at 10mp. Not that megapixels alone matter, but marketing and a number of buys do give them more attention than they deserve. Given that Sony is about to jump to 12mp for the mid-range, which means Nikon and Pentax/Samsung are probably following suit, it would make sense for Canon to jump to 12mp now with the 40D, and then use the same/similar sensor in the new Digital Rebel at PMA 2008.
  • Digital Rebel without a cause The Digital Rebel revolution started in August 2003 with the 300D, then 18 months later at PMA 2005 with the 350D (aka XT), and Photokina 2006 with the XTi (400D). The 18 month pattern holds, and a replacement would come out at PMA 2008. Canon was sort of forced by the competition to use a 10mp in the 400D instead of an 8mp sensor. Regardless, I do not expect a new Digital Rebel this year. Most likely: New Digital Rebel at PMA 2008.
  • The sub-$500 Digital Rebel? Canon has shown that their profit-priority business model does not favor a Digital Rebel for the masses under $500. The only way they would come up with one as such is if the market numbers and sales they are looking at force them to do so. Canon has had Rebels more expensive than the competition going into the 2005 and 2006 holiday shopping seasons and they haven't flinched. I think this has maybe a 33% chance of happening.

    Canon non-DSLRs
  • A series is king Canon announced eight (8) A-series cameras in 2006. They will probably pass that in 2007 as they have already announced five and quite a few of them are up for "re-election"
  • G series The G7 (Photokina 2006) was a special and controversial G-series model. It lacked a number of defining G-series characteristics, and should not have been named G7. It was named as such, because, you guessed it, the G-series is a very respectable name in the market, so it would help sell a lot more units. This is not to say that the G7 is a bad camera. Not at all. This is simply to say that it is not a "true" G-series camera. A 10mp 1/1.8" sensor, with a 6x IS lens, but without RAW is an interesting proposition for buyers. A number of people would like to see that become a "true" G-series. One could speculate that the G7 came back (after three years of G-series slumber) because of the likes of the Panasonic LX-series and Ricoh trying to make headways into the open field. If Canon indeed plans to continue this series, then a new version should be released this summer. If Canon decides to jump on the new 12mp 1/1.7" sensors, then expect a 12mp G8. Another option would be for it to go wide, a trend of interest these days. But since this is just the first unit utilizing this 6x IS lens, I would expect a couple more before trying yet another design. Most likely outcome: 12mp follow-up to the G7 (without RAW or other traditional G-series features) in the Fall of 2007. The last "real G-series", the G6 came out at Photokina 2004, G5 in June 2003, G3 at Photokina 2002, etc...
  • S-IS series The S5 IS was just announced (May 2007), one of two Canon cameras using the 8mp 1/2.5" sensor. The previous one (S3 IS) came out in February 2006, the S2 IS in April 2005, an th S1 IS at PMA 2004. So the pattern is about one per year, this year's slight delay was either the sensor or perhaps the introduction of the TX-series. Given all that, I don't expect another one this year. Unless they decide to come up with a wide-angle version in parallel.
  • TX-IS series The 7mp TX-1 came to be (PMA 2007) to address the other hybrids along with the cutesy long zooms, such as the TZ-series by Panasonic, and Nikon S- twist bodies. If there will be a follow-up, I would expect it at PMA 2008. But for competitive purposes, Canon may bring it out early and boost the profile of the series. Canon usually likes to jump to newer sensors a few months after their release, and then they do a big refresh of their entire lineup (usually around PMA of each year). So maybe...
  • A series As the A-Series is King post above mentioned, it's raining A-series models from Canon. I am splitting them into subgroups for easier reading.
  • A 1/1.8" series A tradition like no other, the 1/1.8" A-series have been around for quite a while. The last two A640 and A630 (10mp, 8mp) in August 2006 replaced the A620 and A610 (7mp, 5mp) of August 2005. These replaced the double-digit A-series (eg A95, 5mp, August 2005). It is fairly obvious that new ones should come out at August 2007. Will it be just one or two? Canon doesn't usually jump on new sensors right away, but perhaps one of them could be at 12mp. Perhaps one of them could get the 6x IS lens of the G7, although Canon may feel that it would devalue the G7. So this probably won't happen unless there won't be a follow-up to the G7. Which is not impossible. Given that they chose not to overlap sensors between the A610..A640, we may see a new lens for one of the two that should come out. Or maybe just one comes out. Calling them A650 and A660 took a lot of soul-searching ;-)
  • A 1/2.5" 6x series The A700 introduced the 6x lens to the A-series, in an attempt to combat the 5x and 6x and 7x lenses that were springing up left and right in various competitors models. The A700 (6mp, Feb 2006) was quickly followed by the A710 IS (7mp, IS lens, August 2006). Perhaps some may call this a G7 Lite. This model is also up for re-election in August 2007. The S5-IS and SD850-IS were the vanguard of the 8mp 1/2.5" sensor, so a A720 IS with 8mp would not be a surprise. Another question is whether Canon will continue with a two-model 7xx series, IS and no-IS. I believe they will just continue with the two model strategy, the current camera and the new camera continuing together, until a new one comes out. Similar to what they do with the S-IS series. Expect one, but don't be surprised if they do two.
  • A 1/2.5" A5xx 4x series. The most popular and popular series also got IS in the A570 IS (PMA 2007). Along with it came the A560 and A550. Before those, the A530 and A540 came out at PMA 2006, and the A510 and A520 at PMA 2005. Usually two, but IS made them grow to three models in 2007. Nothing new here until PMA 2008.
  • A 1/2.5" A4xx series. The real entry-level series, competing on price with the other $100-ish cameras out there. Important for market share bottom fishing. The A450 and A460 (Jan 2007) followed the A420 and A430 (Feb 2006), the A410 (August 2005) and A400 (August 2004). Expect new ones at PMA 2008.
  • Elph, Ixus and Ixy: Canon uses different model names for this series in Asia, Europe and North America. This is very confusing. I am barely able to sort out the model #s for North America at the moment, so I will only be talking about North AMerican model #s. At later point, time permitting, I will be adding the other model names as well.
  • 1/1.8" SD-series (Elph) The SD500 (7mp) came out at PMA 2005. Because Canon got caught with 2" LCDs while the rest of the competition had gone to 2.5" for a while now, they were forced to introduce out of cycle updates. That's when the SD550 came out (August 2005). The big Elphs skipped the 8mp sensor, but jumped on the 10mp sensor with the SD900 (Photokina 2006). This makes them ripe for an upgrade perhaps to 12mp? That may sound like an overkill, but Sony, Casio, Kodak and Panasonic announced cameras of similar size with 12mp. Even if they stay with a 10mp sensor, expect an upgrade, perhaps in terms of LCD, and other usability features and such. I doubt IS or wide angle with this sensor. For those, they probably have to revive the S80 series. And before you laught, the G-series were revived three years after its last model. The S80 is only two years old :)
  • 1/2.5" SD-series (Elph) The wild world of the tiny shiny Elphs! We have 3x and 4x versions and one that starts at 28mm wide. To keep track of them, let's jump back to PMA 2005 with the intro of the SD400. After having to quickly come up with 2.5" LCD versions, the SD450 came to be in August 2005 and threw them out of cycle. The SD430 wireless was a wireless experiment probably for competitive purposes (October 2005). The Elphs then went back in cycle with the SD600 and SD630 at PMA 2006. The difference this time was LCD size, instead of sensor size. The SD630 was one of the few without an OVF. But Canon had to also respond to the IS sensors in the subcompacts popularized by the Panasonic FX- MegaOIS series. So the SD700IS (6mp, 4x, not wide) came out at PMA 2006. To respond to the newer 28mm wide FX- from Panasonic, Canon also went wide with the 7mp SD800-IS (Photokina 2006). PMA 2007 saw the usual cyclical bread and butter Elph refresh with the cheaper one SD1000 and the more expensive one SD750 (3" LCD), both at 7mp. Then Canon's first two 8mp 1/2.5" cameras includes the SD850-IS (not wide), which seems to be an SD700IS upgrade instead of a SD800IS. Oh the confusion! The bread and butter Elphs are going to be refreshed at PMA 2008. So the big question is whether we will see an 8mp 28mm wide upgrade to the SD800IS which would be one year old by the Fall. Finding a name for it will be a challenge, but probably the least of their worries. It's already spaghetti :)
  • 1/2.5" tiny SD-series (Elph) The SD20 (Photokina 2004), SD30 (August 2005), SD40 (Photokina 2006) makes it ripe for a Fall 2007 update, the SD50 probably at 8mp. Duh :-)
  • S-series revival? The last one, the S80, using 8mp 1/1.8" and starting at 28mm wide was announced in August 2005, a lifetime ago in terms of digital camera lifecycles.

    What to expect from Canon in the rest of 2007? (pure speculation!)
  • A 30D update (aka 40D), new 1/1.8" Elph, new 1/2.5" Elph starting at 28mm with IS, one or two 1/1.8" A-series, SD40 upgrade (SD50),
  • Predicted names of speculated models: TX-2, S7 IS, 1Ds Mark III, 5D Mark II, 40D, 450D, G8, A650, A660, A720, A720 IS, A730 IS, A470, A480, A580, A585, A590, A590 IS, SD950, SD1100, SD50, SD950 IS


    Nikon DSLRs
  • high end The Nikon DSLR story began on a hot June 1999 day with the intro of the D1. Then Nikon split it up into a big nasty and a high-speed branch, the D1X and D1h (PMA 2001). More than two years later the D2H (July 2003) came out, to be followed next year by the D2X (Photokina 2004). Nikon did not have any new designs, so they did the logical thing, they refreshed those models with sequential but not dramatic upgrades. The D2Hs (PMA 2005) and D2Xs (June 2006) came to be. Needless to say the time is right for a new Nikon flagship camera. Some of the rumblings on the e-street talk of a new Sony 1.1x sensor (near full frame) that Nikon would have a one year exclusive use option. An 1.1x sensor could perhaps allow Nikon to only introduce one new body and use a cropped high-speed mode for the sports shooters. That could cut R&D costs significantly, but would that be an acceptable option for the H shooters? The H has a head-start on the X, so would we first see an H and then an X? Or would Nikon merge them into a glorious awe-inspiring D3? Time will tell!
  • mid range The D200 was the November surprise in 2005 from Nikon, being the numerical follow-up of the historic D100 of the historic 2002 PMA. The D80 (aka D200 lite) came out in August of 2006. What happens here may depend on what happens at the flagship level. It would seem not to be prudent to have a new mid-range and flagship at the same price, unless there is considerable difference between the two. And if the 1.1x flagship sensor rumors are true, there would be plenty of space between. But don't be shocked if instead of the D300 we get a D90 instead if the new D3* uses an 1.5x sensor.
  • entry level The D70 started the affordable non-Rebel DSLR party in January 2004, followed by a refresher (D70s) in April 2005 (it was that successful). The entry-level was then taken over by the D50 (April 2005), but that didn't last long, as Nikon came up with a new entry-level (D40, November 2006) that was geared towards newer lenses. This was to head into the holiday shopping period. Shortly after that (PMA 2007) Nikon decided to bring a 10mp version of that camera, the D40x. I would expect this high rate of new DSLR intros to slow down for Nikon. The D40 and D40x look like they are the set that will head into the busy holiday shopping season. The D80 could drop in price further and provide an alternative for those who prefer to use their old lenses. No new entry-level DSLR until 2008.

    Nikon non-DSLRs
  • mid-range and above The P5000 is the closet thing to a mid-range+ camera at Nikon. The last advanced cameras were the wide-angle 8400 and the VR-superzoom 8800 at Photokina 2004, along with the 8700 (Jan 2007). These were using 2/3" sensors. I do not expect anything new here, although it would be nice if they did. Before that, the 5400 (May 2003), 4500 (May 2002) and 5000 (Sept 2001) were the advanced models from Nikon... See more on the P5000 below under the P-series.
  • long zoom The S10 (6mp, 10x, VR, Aug 2006) is reasonably due for an update. Its precedecessor, the S4 was similar but without VR (Sept 2005). It doesn't take a rocket scientist to predict a 7mp update in the Fall of 2007. Assuming Nikon plans to continue this series. The twist body is different from the competition, but a 6mp 10x lens is behind on zoom ratio and megapixels compared to all the other competitors out there.
  • subcompact S series Nikon decided that it was best to confuse everybody by putting most of their cameras in the S-series, regardless of size, shape or lens type. This brilliant idea started in January 2005 with the S1. Their newer subcompacts look either like the Canon Elphs or thicker versions of the Sony T-series. If you can't beat them, join them! Nikon has been among the first to install wireless options in some of their cameras. This trend should continue.
  • L series (aka El Cheapo). The El Cheapo series serves one purpose: Grab market share and promote the brand. Hook them in, and hope they buy a Nikon DSLR later on. A leap of faith perhaps given the features and options of the L-series. Nikon does not seem to be in a hurry to adopt the 8mp 1/2.5" sensor. Infact their long-zoom uses a 6mp sensor. Four new subcompacts were announced at PMA. Unless they plan on an 8mp sensor or some other new feature, I would not expect anything new in the subcompacts until PMA 2008. More on this later after I painfully go through them :)
  • P series The P5000 (10mp, 1/1.8", VR) took over the P-series at PMA 2007. Before it, at PMA 2006 the 8mp 1/1.8" P3, P4 which were replaced the P1 and P2 (Sept 2005). This line-up seems to be of the PMA variety, but perhaps Nikon will get encouraged from the reception of the P5000 and attempt a side-by-side model. Maybe they will be tempted to just release one with a 12mp sensor. Ideally though they should consider releasing a more advanced version, eg include RAW and make other improvements to issues pointed out in reviews. There is a gap in the mid-range/advanced segment right now, and it's there for the taking for whoever makes a reasonable model. Nikon has a chance to built upon the success of the P5000. I think it's 50-50% they will release another P-series this year.

    What to expect from Nikon in the rest of 2007? (pure speculation!)
  • New S-series long zoom model in Aug/Sept 2007.
  • Predicted names of speculated models: D3, D3X, D3H, D300, D90, S11, S12, S13, S14, P5500, P6000


    Kodak DSLRs
  • They left the professional business years ago. Some people are wondering whether they would attempt to enter the consumer market, or whether they are perhaps waiting for the prices to drop well under $500 or find another DSLR partner for a rebranding partnership. I would not expect anything DSLR-wise from Kodak.
  • History: The last two, the DSLR/C and DSLR/N were announced at PMA 2004, while the DCS-14N at Photokina 2002 may have been the one that doomed Kodak Professional DSLRs. As you may recall, Kodak tried to steal the thunder from Canon's 1Ds, and by rushing the announcement and subsequently the release, the camera got a really bad reputation that hurt not only its sales, but sales of the /n and /c and along with the "fixes" of the 14n.

    Kodak non-DSLRs
  • advanced? The last Kodak to make an impression to the avid forum users and enthusiasts was the P880, a camera that picked up momentum over time. Introducedin August 2005, it featured a zoom lens that started at 24mm wide, with an 8mp 1/1.8" sensor. Kodak usually tried their hand at this level every couple of years, so it would be interesting to see if they will try to revive and enhance this model. But I hope they dont just stick the 12mp sensor in it and that's it. But even that would be better than nothing (I guess). Without DSLRs, and with the prosumer market currently being left wide open by the traditional manufacturers, Kodak has an opportunity to make some waves. Will they take it?
  • Long Zooms Kodak's long zooms are in a sort of a three tier line-up. All of them are of course using 1/2.5" sensors. The top is the P-branded models, the P712 (7mp, 12x, IS, June 2006) replaced the P850 (5mp, 12x, IS, August 2005). One would expect a new P-series with the 8mp sensor in the fall of 2007... In the middle, the Z-series with IS, the Z712-IS at PMA 2007 (7mp, 12x, IS) and before that the Z612-IS (6mp, 12x, IS) at PMA 2006. One year separation between them, so expect a follow-up at PMA 2008, unless Kodak is in a hurry... And finally the entry-level of their long zooms, without IS, and with 10x lenses, the latest being the ZD710 (7mp, June 2007), which followed the Z710 (7mp, Photokina 2006), and Z650 (6mp, CES 2006), Z7590 (5mp, PMA 2005), and Z740 )5mp, CES 2005). Expect new ones here in 2008, not 2007.
  • midrange The Z885 (8mp, 1/1.8", 5x, March 2007) was a transfer of said camera from the C-series (C875) which apparently Kodak is retiring. A good attempt by Kodak at the low priced mid-range. But this wasn't alone. In June 2007 a 12mp version came to be, the Z1275, using a 12mp 1/1.72" sensor. Let the megapixels games begin. Give these two, I do not expect anything else here from Kodak.
  • dual lens/dual CCD The one and only combined 10x dual lens/dual CCD combo was the V610 (6mp, April 2006). The ones with a 23mm lens and a conventional 3x lens were: V705 (7mp, August 2006), and V570 (6mp, CES 2006). So will any of these get updated? It's a reasonable question to ask! And I do not have a guess right now! Too close to call as they say :)
  • V-series Kodak is not shy about jumping to 1/1.8" sensors, and the V1003 and V803 (CES 2007) used 10mp and 8mp sensors respectively. The previous V was the V603 (6mp, PMA 2006), and a few more in May 2005... One should expect these to get refreshed at CES 2008, but a 12mp version may come earlier to satisfy the megapixel hunger of marketing people and gadgeteers.
  • M-series New series that made its debut in June 2007 with four similar cameras (M883, M783, M853, M753) using 1/2.5" 7mp and 8mp sensors, with plastic vs metal body being a diffentiator. Nothing new til 2008 I would assume.
  • C-series With Kodak's announcement of leaving the low-end we should presume that the C613, C763 (PMA 2007) and C653 (CES 2007) were the last of the C-series. This is further supported by the changing of the name of the C875 to Z885. The C875 (8mp, 1/1.8", August 2006) was Kodak's latest attempt at the affordable mid-range AA-based zoom, getting a reasonably good review by dpreview. This was probably the most "exciting" C-series since its inception!

    What to expect from Kodak in the rest of 2007? (pure speculation!)
  • New 8mp 1/2.5" P-series 12x zoom with IS, a dual-lens/dual-ccd model? A P880 follow up?
  • Predicted names of speculated models: V1203, P812 IS, Z812 IS, P1280


    UPDATE 7/9/2007: This post has grown to an unmanageable and unreadable size so I broke it up into smaller pieces, one post per manufacturer. The content of this post is frozen. All new updates will go to the newer posts. Click or bookmark the Table of Contents of all the new Fauxtokina 2007 posts per manufacturer.

  • 2 comments:

    Dr Hiding Pup said...

    Olympus is obsessive when it comes to being tiny. Olympus XA, Pen F, OM series, E-1 (small for a pro camera), E-410... The idea that they'd pass on the couple of millimetres the xD cards allow them to shave off... no, they're not ditching that any time soon :-)

    1001 noisy cameras said...

    LOL! They should learn a lesson from their xD friends at Fuji! By sacrifizing those two millimeters they will increase their sales by more than 2 millimeters :-)