Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5
Release date: Late August ($500)
Panasonic's highly anticipated follow-up to the Lumix LX3 offers a bright F2.0 lens, 720p high-definition video with manual controls, RAW mode, very fast autofocus, an ultra-wide-angle 24mm lens, and full manual controls. Its redesigned 10-megapixel sensor is built for low-light shooting, and a test shot taken at ISO 3200 during a demo looked incredibly crisp for a photo snapped with a point-and-shoot camera.
Sony Handycam NEX-VG10
Release date: Late 2010 ($2000 as a kit)
Built around the same Exmor APS HD sensor and E-mount lenses as the excellent Sony Alpha NEX-5, the interchangeable-lens Handycam NEX-VG10 has a video-focused body with DSLR-like brains. It shoots 1920-by-1080 AVCHD video at 60 interlaced fields per second, and its maximum bit rate for video capture is 24 mbps. Sony's new camcorder will ship as a kit with a new optically stabilized 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 zoom lens.
Release date: September ($700 as a kit)
Last winter, Nikon's D3000 digital SLR was a hit with consumers looking for an entry-level DSLR, thanks to its ease-of-use, in-camera guides, relatively small size, and Ashton-Kutcher-fueled ad campaign. The new Nikon D3100 ups the ante for the category with a 14-megapixel sensor backed by the new Expeed 2 image processor, plus continuous autofocus in 1080p AVCHD video mode, a wide array of shooting settings, and expanded in-camera guides for novice shooters. The D3100 comes as a kit with Nikon's image-stabilized AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens.
Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR
Release date: Late August ($330)
A few years ago, you had to look to a beefy megazoom camera if you wanted a 15X optical zoom range; but the pocketable Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR serves up a wide-angle-to-telephoto reach of 24mm to 360mm in a body that's just 1.3 inches deep. The F300EXR bolsters that impressive zoom lens with full manual controls, aperture- and shutter-priority modes, 720p high-definition video capture, and Pro Focus and Pro Low Light settings that make good use of its EXR sensor's multiple shooting modes.
Canon PowerShot S95
Release date: Late August ($400)
Canon's latest pocketable powerhouse has some big shoes to fill. Its older sibling, the Canon PowerShot S90, is currently our top-rated point-and-shoot camera. The new PowerShot S95 starts with a spec list that boasts all the strengths of the S90--an F2.0 lens, RAW mode, focus- and exposure-bracketing, and manual controls--plus a little bit more: It adds 720p high-definition video recording, a new stabilization system for macro photos, Smart Auto mode, and Miniature and Fisheye scene selections, all for the same price as the S90.
Samsung DualView ST600
Release date: September ($330)
We liked the front-facing LCD screen on last year's Samsung TL225, and the camera also delivered nice image quality and had an excellent touchscreen-and-gesture-sensitive user interface. The new Samsung ST600 leads the charge for the company's second-generation DualView lineup, offering a larger front-facing LCD, a huge gesture-controlled touchscreen LCD on the back, and an ultra-wide-angle 5X optical zoom lens.
Sanyo Xacti VPC-PD2
Release date: September ($170)
It took a while, but at long last Sanyo has produced the first HD pocket camcorder equipped with an optical zoom lens. The Sanyo Xacti VPC-PD2 has a 3X optical zoom lens that covers a range from 38mm wide-angle to 114mm telephoto, and it can shoot 10-megapixel stills in addition to 1080p high-definition MPEG-4 video at 30 frames per second. The stereo microphones on either side of the camera are a nice touch, too.
Release date: October ($1400)
There's not a lot of great 3D content out there to watch, so why not shoot your own? The three-CMOS Panasonic HDC-SDT750 HD camcorder uses a detachable dual-lens setup to capture 3D video footage. Viewed on a compatible 3D HDTV with compatible active-shutter 3D glasses, videos and 14-megapixel stills shot with the camcorder will show a three-dimensional effect. Without the 3D conversion lens, it uses its F1.5, 12X optical zoom Leica lens to capture 1920-by-1080-pixel full HD video at 60 progressive frames per second.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX5
Release date: September ($300)
While we're on the topic of 3D, here's a more-portable 3D-shooting option for casual photographers. The Cyber-shot DSC-WX5 offers the same basic specs and shooting modes as the excellent Cyber-shot DSC-WX1, but with an added dimension. The WX5's 3D Sweep Panorama mode lets you capture panoramic images that show eye-popping depth when viewed on a compatible 3D TV with compatible active-shutter glasses. In addition, the camera's innovative Sweep Multi-Angle Mode provides an innovative 3D effect when you view photos on the camera itself.
Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3
Release date: September ($500)
You have not yet exited the realm of the third dimension. Fujifilm's second-generation 3D digital camera, the FinePix Real 3D W3, boasts two lenses, two sensors, 3D video recording in 720p high definition, manual controls for each of its lenses, and a unique screen that lets you view three-dimensional effects without having to wear special glasses. This camera doesn't have much competition so far, but at the moment it's clearly the most advanced 3D-shooting point-and-shoot camera for consumers.
Nikon Coolpix S1100pj
Release date: September ($350)
This may be the only camera in the world that's equally at ease displaying images in a business meeting and projecting drive-in movies for your Barbie dolls. The Coolpix S1100pj, Nikon's second-generation projector camera, uses a front-mounted projector with a 14-lumen brightness rating to share images and video with the people and walls around you. The S1100pj's latest trick is the ability to work as a peripheral projector for desktop presentations when connected to a computer via USB.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX700
Release date: Late August ($400)
Usually, buying a touchscreen camera involves a compromise: You obtain a quick, easy way to access menus and other in-camera settings, but you rarely get the benefit of manual controls. The Lumix DMC-FX700 is the first touchscreen camera we've seen that offers full manual settings along with aperture- and shutter-priority controls. Its fast-focusing F2.2 lens is another key drawing point.
Canon PowerShot SD4500 IS
Release date: September ($350)
The pocketable Canon PowerShot SD4500 IS starts with a one-two punch of a 10X optical-zoom lens (36mm to 360mm) and 1080p high-definition video recording, and then follows up with a three-four punch of a low-light-optimized 10-megapixel CMOS sensor and a high-speed burst mode that reaches shooting rates of up to 240fps.
Nikon Coolpix P7000
Release date: Late September ($500)
Nikon's new flagship Coolpix might be the only true competitor to the Canon PowerShot G11. It has a similar size and style, plus comparable features, including a 10-megapixel, 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor; a 7.1X wide-angle optical-zoom lens (28mm to 200mm, F2.8 to F8.0); a hot shoe that supports an external flash or microphone; RAW shooting; and five-way image stabilization that combines lens-shifting and digital methods. Fast, easy access to its advanced settings is another selling point: The control layout enables quick adjustments via three mode dials on top.
Sony Bloggie Touch MHS-TS20
Release date: October ($200)
We loved last year's Flip Video MinoHD for its slick and durable all-metal build as well as its video quality, and Sony's radically redesigned Bloggie Touch MHS-TS20 might take that winning combination of form and function even further. The company's new high-definition, 3-inch-touchscreen pocket camcorder also offers an all-metal body, and backs that up with 1080p video recording, 12-megapixel still capture, and completely revamped firmware that offers quick sorting and uploads to Facebook, YouTube, and other sharing sites.
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