The New, the Strange, the Megapix
Aside from the assorted strange new stuff and the assortment of predictable 3+ megapixel cameras, the most notable trend at this year's show was manufacturers dumbing down their products. Taking tips from the film side of the imaging business, many of the new digital cameras sported very point-and-shoot designs demanding little of their users beyond the ability to press a trigger. While some featured advanced functions, even high-end cameras were given an ease-of-use once-over to minimize the user's learning curve. Essentially, we're talking about digital cameras anyone can use.
Samsung Optical showed three digicams. Among the more interesting was the combination camera and MP3 music player. The Cybermax 35 ($289), available this spring, aims for a younger, hipper crowd than the usual digicam buyer. It shoots a VGA image saved on a 2 MB CompactFlash card. Unusually absent were the digital cameras introduced at CES under the Samsung Electronics brand. The company also has plans to produce an MP3 digicam.
Minolta, FujiFilm and Sony all showed new models focused more on design than resolution.