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Wrapping up the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show: What photographers need to know

Create: 01/10/2016 - 15:50
CES 2016, Las Vegas.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev., is where major manufacturers, including camera companies, announce new products. It covers everything from cars to computers to the latest technology to fitness products to online services.

When it comes to photography, there were several announcements worth noting from this year's even held Jan. 5-8, 2016.

Nikon finally announced the D5, which supplants the D4S as its top-of-the-line full-frame DSLR. On paper, the specs are impressive: 12 frames per second with a 200-shot buffer, an astounding top ISO of 3.28 million and a rock-solid shutter rated at 400,000 actuations.

As if that wasn’t enough, it also announced the D500, a solid APS-C DX format DSLR with specs that are similar to the D5, except for the sensor and its immense ISO range.

Nikon also jumped into the action-camera market with its oddly named KeyMission 360 that has front- and rear-facing lenses – each with its own sensor.

The Micro Four Thirds format saw no new cameras but long telephoto lenses. Olympus added to its PRO series with a reasonably fast f/4.0 300mm lens (600mm full-frame equivalent) that is 8.9 inches long. Panasonic announced a Leica-branded 100-400mm zoom (200-800mm full-frame equivalent) that is even shorter at 6.8 inches long while becoming the longest lens for the format.

Olympus delivered another camera for its Tough series, although the latest model doesn’t appear to bring any major changes. Panasonic added to its ZS series with two new models, both with Leica-branded zoom lenses. The higher-end camera has a one-inch sensor.

Canon did not announce a new camera or lens for its revived EOS M lineup, although it did show off five new PowerShot models in various colors and two body styles, including three new models in its long-running ELPH series. It also announced two Vixia video cameras and a compact wireless printer.

With Nokia cameras off of the market, for now, and Microsoft showing very little commitment to its Lumia line, Zeiss no longer has a smartphone for its lenses. Zeiss is now partnering with Fellowes, the maker of computer peripherals, to produce three lenses for Fellowes’ existing ExoLens line. It includes wide angle, telephoto and close-up lenses for the iPhone 6 with lenses for other smartphones expected.

No further information was announced about Pentax’s upcoming full-frame DSLR.

These were the major announcements at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Next year, we’ll try for an on-the-scene report.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.