Thursday, March 6, 2008

Top Ten Most Exciting New Digital Cameras of 2008

Because of the temporal anomaly this year - PMA happening in January, we've had a large wave of new cameras coming out. We are already at 104 from the major manufacturers and more from the "clones" and "generics". We only track the majors, and we've counted 104 so far. Here they are, all the new digital cameras of 2008. Out of those 100+, which ones do we think are the most exciting announcements? Not necessarily the best cameras pixel by pixel, but the most exciting announcement for their price and market segment. The answer, right below:

Top Ten Most Exciting Announcements of 2008 (in our opinion)
1. Pentax K20D, a new DSLR with a new 14.6mp CMOS Pentax-Samsung sensor at $1300. Similar to Samsung GX20
2. Casio EX F1, a 6mp 1/1.8" speed-demon with a 12X sensor-shift stabilization lens, DNG RAW.
3. Fuji S100 FS, a 2/3" SuperCCD giantsumer with a 28-400mm stabilized lens with a ring. Oh my!
4. Canon Digital Rebel XSi 450D - the Rebel steals features from the 1D and 40D and jumps to 12mp. Oh and *shock* it gets a spotmeter!
5. Sony A350 and A300 - affordable price (return to Minolta principles?), choice of more megapixels or faster burst mode, attempt to improve Live View to the level of P&S digicams, battery grip for all
6. Sigma DP1 - the promise of a 1.7X Foveon sensor, RAW and 28mm f/4 lens, among other things
7. Pentax K200D - the K100D/Super gets a power-user makeover with weatherproofness, 10mp sensor, and more
8. Olympus SP570uz, 20X wild zoom (26-520mm), sensor-shift, RAW, zoom ring, 4 AA but 10mp 1/2.33" sensor.
9. Panasonic FX35 - Sleek compact that starts at 25mm with *fingers crossed* Venus IV
10. Olympus E420 - small size, new 10mp LiveMOS sensor, new pancake to go with it, only thing missing is sensor shift image stabilization (but there are some Leicasonic 4/3rds MegaOIS lenses)

Dropped from our Opinion Top 10 and why
*. Casio EX-Z200 and EX-Z100. More exciting newer cameras pushed them out. Not a knock on the Z200/Z100
*. Sony A200, a follow-up to the price-space currently occupied by the Sony A100. Pushed out by the A350/A300 duo.
*. Fuji F100fd, the F-series tries to get serious, but no RAW, no manual exposure. But a step in right direction. According to dpreview, the F100fd does not offer shutter priority and aperture priority!. This will get this camera dropped from the top 10 when we do our next update!
*. Samsung NV24HD, 24mm wide caught our attention. Dropped because of newer cameras, nothing against it so far.

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