CES roundup: when can I get that new camera?

Our heads are still spinning from all the major camera and camcorder announcements at last week's Consumer Electronics Show.

Available in March 2009

Canon Vixia HV40 (pricing not yet available)

What Is It? High-definition HDV camcorder.

Scouting Report: Tape-based camcorders may be on their last legs, but the HV40 looks like a good one: This high-def successor to the excellent Vixia HV30 can record at a 24 frames per second for a film-like look.

Casio Exilim EX-FS1 ($350)

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What Is It? Ultracompact high-speed burst mode camera.

Scouting Report: One of the scene-stealers at CES, the EX-FS1 offers the popular high-speed burst mode found in Casio's EX-F1 and EX-FH20-except at a slightly lower 30 fps and in an ultracompact frame.

Casio Exilim EX-FC100 ($400)

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What Is It? Compact high-speed burst mode camera.

Scouting Report: Although slightly larger than the EX-FS1m the EX-FC100 may be a better option for one good reason: that extra $50 gets you optical image stabilization with the same 30fps burst mode.

Olympus SP-590 UZ ($450)

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What Is It? 26X megazoom camera.

Scouting Report: With a whopping 26X optical zoom range that extends from 26mm wide-angle to 676mm telephoto, Olympus has unleashed its megazoom successor to the excellent SP-570 UZ.

Olympus FE-3010 ($150)

What Is It? Pocketable entry-level fashion camera.

Scouting Report: The 10-megapixel FE-3010 has eye-catching looks and an Intelligent Auto mode, but the limited optical zoom (3X) and image stabilization (digital only) look like shortcomings.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15 ($200)

What Is It? Compact wide-angle camera.

Scouting Report: The 5X optical Leica zoom lens on the FS15 goes as far as 29mm on the wide-angle end. This Lumix also boasts advanced Intelligent Auto features.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7 ($160)

What Is It? Fashionable compact camera.

Scouting Report: A stripped-down version of the FS15, the colorful FS7 omits a wide-angle lens and lacks some of the FS15's Intelligent Auto features.

Polaroid PoGo Instant Digital Camera ($200)

What Is It? Next-gen Polaroid camera with a built-in printer.

Scouting Report: Polaroid is going back to the future with the PoGo Instant Digital Camera, a bulky 5-megapixel model that spits out 2-by-3-inch sticker pics via its onboard inkless printer.

Samsung HMX-H105 (pricing not yet available)

What Is It? 32GB SSD high-definition camcorder.

Scouting Report: The HMX-H105's light, silent, bullet-like frame holds a 32GB solid-state drive, and recording to MPEG4 H.264 means that footage can be edited with more apps than AVCHD.

Samsung HMX-H104 (pricing not yet available)

What Is It? 16GB SSD high-definition camcorder.

Scouting Report: With the same basic specs and style as the HMX-H105, the HMX-104 has a smaller 16GB solid-state drive.

Sony MHS-PM1 Webbie HD ($170)

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What Is It? High-def pocket camcorder.

Scouting Report: Sony's entry into the high-def pocket camcorder camp offers a swiveling lens designed for filming yourself, as well as the ability to shoot 5-megapixel stills.

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Sony Handycam HDR-XR520V ($1500)

What Is It? High-capacity (240GB), high-end, high-definition camcorder with built-in GPS.

Scouting Report: At the top tier of Sony's camcorder announcements, the XR520V records AVCHD-format video to its enormous 240GB hard drive, shoots 12-megapixel stills, and has a built-in GPS receiver for geotagging and sorting clips.

Sony Handycam HDR-XR500V ($1300)

What Is It? 120GB high-definition camcorder with built-in GPS.

Scouting Report: With the same basic specs and GPS capabilities as the XR520V, the Handycam XR500V has a smaller--but still roomy--120GB hard drive.

Sony Handycam HDR-XR100 ($750)

What Is It? 80GB high-definition camcorder.

Scouting Report: The HDR-XR100 provides an 80GB hard drive, a 10X optical Carl Zeiss zoom lens, 1920-by-1080 HD video, 4-megapixel stills, and Smile Shutter and face detection, but no built-in GPS.

Sony Handycam HDR-CX100 ($600)

What Is It? Flash-drive high-definition camcorder.

Scouting Report: The 8GB HDR-CX100 captures more than 3 hours of HD video and offers point-and-shoot-camera features such as Smile Shutter and face recognition.

Sony Handycam DCR-SX60 ($400)

What Is It? Flash-drive standard-definition camcorder with 60X optical zoom.

Scouting Report: The 16GB DCR-SX60 has a 60X optical Carl Zeiss zoom lens, expandable storage via Memory Stick, and a touch-screen LCD.

Sony Handycam DCR-SX41 ($330)

What Is It? Flash-drive standard-definition camcorder with 60X optical zoom.

Scouting Report: With the same basic specs as the DCR-SX60, the Handycam DCR-SX41 has a smaller 8GB flash drive but the same huge 60X optical zoom lens. However, there's no optical image stabilization--a huge omission with a zoom range like this one.

Sony Handycam DCR-SX40 ($300)

What Is It? Flash-drive standard-definition camcorder with 60X optical zoom.

Scouting Report: With the same basic specs as the DCR-SX60 and DCR-SX41, the Handycam DCR-SX40 has a smaller 4GB flash drive but the same huge 60X optical zoom lens. However, there's no optical image stabilization--a huge omission with a zoom range like this one.

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Tim Moynihan

PC World (US online)
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