B&H Pulse: The Biggest Stories from CES 2012
If you've been following B&H Pulse on Twitter, you've noticed that we've been tweeting the latest announcements as they came in. Now that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is over, here's a roundup of the most-watched stories, to cut through all the clutter.
If you want to keep in the loop of all the latest announcements, be sure to follow Pulse on Twitter.
Fuji X-Pro 1
As perhaps one of the most exciting announcements to come out of CES, the Fuji X-Pro 1 is, without a doubt, one of the most-highly-anticipated cameras announced. After loads of leaks on the internet, it was only a matter of time until the company decided to go public to journalists waiting with bated breath.
The camera features a 16MP CMOS APS-C-sized sensor, and classes it up with a retro-styled chassis that hearkens back to the days of the Contax G2. It even has a viewfinder similar in technology to its little brother, the X100. Perhaps most excitingly, it also is being released with three new prime lenses that will appeal to most classically trained photographers, street photographers, wedding shooters, and portrait photogs.
You can head on over to B&H InDepth to see why this camera has lots of photographers hot and bothered.
Canon Powershot G1-X
It's been a while since Canon announced a new G-Series camera, and fans of the line will be pleasantly surprised by what's at the heart of the new Canon G1-X. The company decided to give this camera a sensor slightly larger than Micro Four Thirds, but not quite as large as its APS-C cameras, like the Rebel.
At its widest angle, the camera featured an f/2.8 aperture that will help to deliver better performance in low light by reducing the need for higher ISO levels.
B&H InDepth spent a little time with the camera, and their findings are very positive.
Professional photographers rejoiced at the newly-announced Nikon D4. The new camera is built around its new 16MP full-frame sensor, as well as other upgrades, which include 12fps, full 1080p HD video, an Ethernet port for wireless transferring of files, and being the first camera to utilize the new XQD card format.
Beyond this, the new D4 also features new ergonomic changes that, while subtle, should make shooting for long periods much more comfortable. More can be seen over at B&H InDepth.
Nikon 85mm f/1.8
Buried under the news of the D4, Nikon also announced their updated 85mm f/1.8 lens. The new FX-format lens can be used on both full-frame and APS-C sensor cameras, and features a new silent wave motor for autofocusing, as well as a seven-bladed aperture for smoother bokeh.
For videographers pairing the lens onto Nikon's latest HDSLR cameras, the lens also has a switch to enable manual focusing when used with a follow focus system.
Lots of questions about this lens have been answered on B&H InDepth.
Ready to be surprised? Polaroid shocked CES goers with the announcement of their new SC1630 camera—the first camera to feature an Android operating system. Don't expect prints to pop out of this camera, though. You'll need to embrace a much more modern style of instant photography. Indeed, the new digicam features a large display screen for users to interact with the Android OS system. The new camera also features WiFi abilities, and can download apps such as Pixlr-O-Matic and the upcoming Instagram for Android.
Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta
Adobe announced a free download of Lightroom 4 Beta for photographers to test. Kelby Training offered sessions and walkthroughs of the new beta program on their website. Major new updates include video editing and a white-balancing brush, in addition to new developments in noise-processing algorithms.
Give it a try yourself, over at Adobe's download page. (It's free.)
Sigma's New Lenses
In other mirrorless camera news, Sigma announced their new lens lineup for Micro Four Thirds digital cameras. The new lenses feature the company's EX branding, meaning that these new primes will be at the top of their game. Expect the new 19mm f/2.8 EX DN and 30mm f/2.8 EX DN to be on the list of many users looking for fast apertures and affordability.
JVC 4K Camcorder
Ready for a 4K imaging processor at an affordable price? The JVC GY-HMQ10 handheld camcorder shoots at exactly 3840 x 2160 pixels of resolution. The GY-HMQ10 uses a half-inch, 8.3 MP CMOS image sensor, and a Falconbrid large-scale integration (LSI) chip to produce 3840 x 2160 footage at 24p, 50p or 60p. The camcorder uses MPEG-4 technology, and a variable bit rate H.264 codec to process the 4K video in real time at speeds up to 144 Mbps. Real-time processing allows a live signal to be output via HDMI to a projector or monitor, and also to be recorded on SDHC or SDXC memory cards.
More can be found over at B&H InDepth.
GoPro's New WiFi Backpack
Fans of the super-popular GoPro HD cams will be delighted to know that the company has announced a new special backpack attachment for your camera. But it's not an ordinary backpack—it will allow you to use WiFi or Bluetooth to stream your exploits to a smartphone app, and even control it remotely.
You can read more on the new attachment over at Gizmodo.
Home Theater and Audio
The 84-Inch Giant
"It's awesome," is what one returning CES goer told me about the new LG 84-inch behemoth Ultradefinition television. The television features a 3480 x 2160 resolution, and is also capable of showing footage in 3D.
To get an idea of just how big this thing really, head on over to Gizmodo.
Panasonic's Latest Plasma
Panasonic's new VT50 plasma television features the company's new Infinite Black Ultra Panel. The new technology is capable of delivering deeper blacks than previously available (when calibrated correctly of course). In fact, Panasonic states that there are 24,576 steps of gradation, in addition to a more anti-reflective screen, and a web browser that uses a smartphone app to avoid entering data with an onscreen keyboard.
Engadget had a brief eyes-on with the new VT50.
Samsung's Super OLED Televisions
Samsung unveiled their new Super OLED televisions with a 55-inch giant leading the fray. Super OLED technology features self-emitting RGB sub-pixels, and is faster than LED technology. In real life, that means that it will virtually eliminate motion blur (making it perfect for sports). The new televisions also feature motion control, voice control, and even facial-recognition technology.
The Verge has more on the new television.
Lenovo LeTV with Android
Lenovo has created a new 55-inch television with a customized version of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), thus blurring the lines between computers, tablets, and televisions even more. With full HD resolution, it also features USB ports, a microSD card slot, and HDMI-in.
Engadget had an eyes-on with the new display.
Sennheiser's New Headphones
Audiophiles will want to get their ears into Sennheiser's new cans. The HD 700 comes in at around 1,000 smackeroos, and is capable of 10Hz to 42kHz frequency response. Let's just say that that is louder than you'll really need.
Engadget has more info on these new headphones.
Samsung 7 Series for Hardcore Gamers
Get ready to experience a brand new gaming laptop. Samsung's Series 7 computers have been available for a while overseas, but gamers will be happy to know that they'll finally be hitting the New World's coastline. Considered an Ultrabook, the new laptop sports a Core i7 CPU, 2GB AMD Radeon HD6970M card, a 5,900mAh battery, JBL speakers, and a 300-nit, 1080p display.
Most importantly, the keyboard features the WASD keys conveniently highlighted in a different color, along with an analog dial for toggling power modes. In practice, that will make PC gaming much easier.
Engadget has a hands-on video with the new Ultrabook.
Ultrabooks were all the rage at CES 2012. The new category of computers is expected to take off quite well this year—especially around the summer. To understand Ultrabooks more, know that they are a PC packed into a notebook-sized package (like the Macbook Air). With that much power under the hood, also understand that their price range will vary.
The Verge has all the details on the brand new laptops.
Intel's New Technology Plans
Ready for even more merging of technology? Just when the term "Ultrabook" has started to become popular, and tablets are in nearly everyone's hands, Intel has announced that they intend to include touch-screen capabilities in every one of the Ultrabooks that contain their technology. This will be a perfect fit with the new touch functionalities in the upcoming Windows 8.
You can read more about Intel's plans on The Verge.
3M's 46-inch Multi-touch Table
Something tells me that someone is going to have to make a very big microfiber cloth for 3M's new 46-inch multi-touch table. With a 1080p resolution, and capable of supporting 20 simultaneous touches, it is also smart enough to ignore palm and elbow touches. The new table is designed for more professional users, and probably won't end up in your den for you to play virtual foosball just yet.
More on this can be seen over at The Verge.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime with Ice Cream Sandwich
Asus' superpowered tablet now features the latest operating system from Google. Coupled with the Transformer Prime's quad-core processor, it is capable of being the multi-functional device that many consumers crave. It plays 1080p video files with no problem, browses the web much faster than previous tablets, and plays games seamlessly.
PCMag.com got their hands on the new tablet.
To stay up-to-date with the latest news and releases, follow B&H Pulse on Twitter.