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Photography News from CES 2015

Last week the biggest event of the year in consumer electronics took place out in Las Vegas -- CES 2015. And while most of it centered on televisions, home theater systems, driverless cars, tablets, computers, and other gadgets, there were some pretty amazing reveals from Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, and Pentax on the floor that have many of us very excited about what the rest of the year has in store from these big names in photography gear. The first out the gate was Canon with their announced refreshes to the PowerShot line and the PowerShot ELPH series. The big news with the PowerShot line is the PowerShot SX530HS which includes a 50x optical zoom and a 100x Zoom plus -- Canon's own digital zoom technology. The SX530HS replaces the SX520HS and has very similar features and a very similar feel, making it a good update to a solid line. Next up is the PowerShot SX710 HS which replaces the PowerShot SX700 HS and packs a 30x optical zoom as well as being very pocket-friendly. The new PowerShot SX610 HS is an update to the PowerShot SX600 HS with 18x optical zoom and a sleek, slim build.
All three of these models also feature Auto Zoom, built-in WiFi, and full HD recording. Last out of this line-up is the PowerShot N2 which has a square design, zoom lens, and a flippable touchscreen that rotates up to 180 degrees, allowing you to capture great selfies! In the PowerShot ELPH series, Canon has announced the ELPH 160, 165, and 170. The ELPH series is aimed at the entry or novice market and seeks to compete against smartphone photography in the mobile world meaning these cameras come packed with a lot of features for a pocket-profile including optical zoom of up to 12x for the 170, a 20 MP sensor, Smart Auto mode, and a variety of artistic modes including Fisheye, Toy Camera, and Monochrome to help photographers get a particular look and feel in their casual shots.
The next big name out of the gate is Panasonic with their TZ70 and TZ57. These cameras are aimed at the travel market and feature slim profiles, great sensors, good zoom, and handy controls. The TZ70 has 30x optical zoom and a 5-axis Hybrid O.I.S.+ image stabilizer system to deal with the inevitable camera shake. It can also shoot full HD AVCHD video and has Panasonic's 240fps Light Speed AF technology, GPS, and built-in Wi-Fi. The TZ57 has a 20x optical zoom lens and a few more megapixels than the TZ70 but is not optimized for low-light shooting and lacks the TZ70's geotagging, Light Speed AF, and electronic viewfinder but does come with a tilting LCD screen for great selfies! Panasonic also showcased their new SZ10 for social events with a pocket-profile that goes easily into a purse or suit jacket and comes with a 12x zoom range and built-in WiFi. In their rugged line-up, they unveiled the FT30 which comes with a 4x 25-100mm equivalent lens, is waterproof up to 8 meters, shockproof up to 1.5 meters, freezeproof up to -10, and dustproof. It also has some nice features such as Creative Panorama, Time Lapse, Advanced Underwater to correct for color shifts underwater, and a Torch Light for dark settings.
Third in line is Pentax with their entry-level DSLR the Pentax K-S1. This line is slated to launch in the spring and is a APS-C format DSLR. Pentax was a bit stingy with details but did say that three lenses would be launched for this line: a 18-50mm lens and a super-telephoto as well as a large-diameter telephoto lens.
Last but certainly not least is Nikon with the D5500 aimed at advanced beginners -- photographers who are still learning but eager to make strides in creativity and to experiment a bit. The D5500 is the first Nikon camera to feature a touch-screen control panel -- a feature considered standard by many other camera makers -- an increased ISO range going up to ISO 25,600, can shoot video in 1920 x 1080 full HD at frame rates up to 50p/60p, as well as a much improved battery life. There will be much more news out of the photography industry over the course of the year but the news out of CES 2015 has us off to a great start! -da Bird
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