CES 2011 will be a literal treasure trove of amazing camera goodness. Photography nerds may want to sit down now, because your legs will be shaking like jello by the time you finish this article. Here are five things every photojournalist and amateur shooter should be saving up for in 2011.
1. Panasonic's 3D Panoply. Avatar was OK, but you could totally do James Cameron one better if you JUST had a 3D camera. After all, blue paint is super cheap and you can make fake alien dreadlocks out of pipe cleaner. The H-FT012 is the first ever interchangable 3D lens. It has two optical systems inside the lens mount, which allows it to capture stereo images on Panasonic Lumix G series cameras.
The Lumix G is a "hybrid touch-control camera". It records in full 1080p, in case you prefer the traditional camera form-factor to the tube-worm design of the HDC-SDT750. That's the world's first 3D camcorder made for mass consumers. It has a big ol' conversion lens that looks so pretty I just want to squeeze it.
2. The ATC9K Unbreakable Camcorder. This is definitely my favorite-looking video camera ever. Oregon Scientific has made the AT9K as tough as possible. It is built out of shock-resistant material and is waterproof enough to tape your surfing or snowboarding. The camera features a flip screen / control panel in the back and a clip on the bottom that you can use to secure it to a bike or pogo stick or whatever.
My favorite thing about the ATC9K is how wildly TOUGH it looks. I'm pretty sure you could use that thing to pound in tent stakes, use it as a hacky sack, and then take it out for some light snorkelling without much worry. OK, maybe it won't be that tough, but the chunky plastic body and simple, idiot-proof design certainly gives it that impression.
3. Polaroid Brings Back Instant Photography. This teaser image was released by Polaroid a little earlier. Engadget did some enhancing and found what -looks- to be an ejection slot at the bottom of that camera's picture. It appears that a new "instant" style camera is en route.
We'll know for sure on December 6. It isn't clear yet how this new device will be differentiated from the blah 300 launched earlier this year. While THAT camera was just a rebranded Fujifilm, this one looks to be a higher-end offering altogether. I think we can expect this thing to be a dual-function camera, offering digital shooting as well as immediate photo printing. Maybe we'll even get video shooting capabilities and - get ready for this - the ability to shoot video, select certain scenes from the video, and print those on demand.
4. The Kodak PlaySport. And here we have the ultimate evolution of 'flip-style' camcorders. This phone-sixed video camera can take 5 MP stills...or 1080p HD video. It is also water-resistant to ten feet and has a rubber body for some shock absorption. Say hello to your new adventure camera.
5. Kodak's Pulse Frame has an Email Address. Digital picture frames are pretty Old Hat. But the Pulse has its own email address. You'll be able to set things up so you just email your photos to the frame and it will add them to the queue. Not world-changing, but a nice innovation for your living room or desk.