The annual CES show in Las Vegas from Jan. 9-12 always has plenty of product announcements, because that’s the purpose of the show, which used to be called the Consumer Electronics Show.
Companies involved in digital photography also announce new products, and this year, Panasonic was the busiest. Here is a look at the major announcements.
Canon released an update of its popular PowerShot G9X. The G9X Mark II offers faster shooting than the previous model. Canon also packaged its PowerShot G7X Mark II with a few goodies to create a “Video Creators Kit.” The G7X II has an LCD monitor that flips upward 180 degrees, while the G9X II has a fixed LCD.
For those who enjoy spending time outdoors, the Fujifilm FinePix XP120 should be able to stand up to whatever comes its way. It's waterproof to 65 feet, shockproof and has buttons and switches that were designed to be operated in less than ideal conditions. It will be available in four bright colors.
Meanwhile, Fujifilm announced that two of its most-popular models, the Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujifilm X-Pro2, will be available in a special “Graphite Silver” color option. The X-T2 will come with a small electronic flash in the same color, while the X-Pro2 is being sold with a graphite silver 23mm lens and matching shade.
When Nikon announced the D5600 last year, it wasn’t clear whether the camera would make its way to North America. Nikon made that official. The mid-range DSLR replaces the D5500 in its lineup. The D5600 brings some incremental improvements over its predecessor.
Panasonic was the most active of all of the companies, announcing three cameras and four lenses. On the lower end, the point-and-shoot Lumix FZ80 carries a 60X superzoom and 4K video recording.
The Lumix GX850 is an entry-level camera for the Micro Four Thirds format. The interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera has a 16-MP sensor, a touch-enabled LCD monitor that flips upward 180 degrees for selfies and 4K video recording – all packed into a small body.
Panasonic also released updates of four zoom lenses: Lumix G Vario f/4.0-5.6 100-300mm II; Lumix G Vario f/4.0-5.6 45-200mm II; Lumix G X Vario Professional f/2.8 12-35mm II ASPH.; and Lumix G X Vario Professional f/2.8 35-100mm II ASPH.
The last two are higher-end lenses that now include the use of aspherical elements. All of the lenses are sealed against dust and moisture, and the pro-level lenses use metal barrels for increased durability.
Panasonic also announced the flagship Lumix GH5 – the successor to its popular GH4, which has found a niche among videographers. The GH5 builds on the GH4’s abilities, adding even more video features with some to come via firmware updates. A new battery grip and XLR microphone control kit also will be available.
Other companies were quiet when it came to photography-related announcements. However, that will change in the coming weeks and months, because companies are always working on something that they hope will attract new interest in their products.