I haven't mentioned CES yet this year—the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which ended yesterday. I guess it's because I found the whole thing to be pretty much a giant yawn this year. Basically, a bunch of new digicams were announced. That's got to be exciting to people who just didn't have enough digital point-and-shoots to choose from before.
The new digicams included a waterproof one from Kodak (the EasyShare Sport), a "ruggedized" (waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof) one with GPS from Fujifilm (the FinePix XP30), and a Casio with a BSI sensor (the catchily named Exilim EX-ZR100). Probably the two most significant camera introductions at the show were the Olympus E-PL2, an improved uptick of the E-PL1, and the Samsung NX-11, both mirrorless cameras based on earlier models.
The Olympus E-PL2 sure is a sleek and handsome little box.
It's safe to say that cameras weren't creating the biggest splash at CES. In fact, I can't escape this nagging sense of foreboding in the back of my brain that the camera functionality of multi-use devices is beginning to fatally contaminate the concept of the "camera" altogether. Well, maybe that "fatally" is hyperbolic. But first you have the increasingly ubiquitous cross-contamination of video and still-picture functionality, and then there's the continued improvement of the cameras in phones; and given the astonishing number of tablets introduced at CES—I think I heard the number was 80—how long can it be before tablets replace laptops and include built-in cameras up in one corner? Seems like the still-picture single-use device category is starting to take a beating. I hope the photography area of CES 2021 won't be a forlorn little corner with a few cheap, basic remnant products in it, like the darkroom supply area of my local camera store is now.
I don't know, maybe this is just general curmudgeonliness, or something I ate. I had a bad weekend, despite the Packers win and the generally fantastic football (see the video at the link if you haven't already). Let me rephrase that: I didn't have a bad weekend so much as America had a bad weekend*. Whatever the cause, and whether or not this sense of foreboding I'm describing has any merit, this CES still seemed rather forgettable in my book.
*Despite this mention, I'd rather not have to ride herd on a discussion about the event in Arizona. Too far off topic, and I'm far too preoccupied with it as it is. Thanks for your co-operation.
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.