Presented last week at Photokina, the following five cameras represent changing ideas about what the pocket cam should be. Sandwiched between cell phones and high end DSLRs, the once ubiquitous point-and-shoot is evolving to incorporate features that represent both professional capability and mobile usability.
With a highly refined design and vintage styling, the Fujifilm XF1 carries the same optimized quality from the X series in a smaller device. Thoughtful touches like a manual ring zoom, textured faux leather and an aluminum body make the XF1 a joy to use and hold. The XF1 is available in the USA from Best Buy for $499.
Leica X2 À La Carte
While not a new model, the Leica X2 À La Carte is now actually being made by the German manufacturer as opposed to Panasonic, who previously handled Leica's lower end offerings. As part of the "à la carte" program, the camera comes with numerous custom options. To show off the flashy colors on offer, Paul Smith designed a limited edition of 1,500 X2 cameras in yellow, orange and green. Pricing and availability will be announced in October 2012.
Samsung Galaxy Camera
Samsung's Galaxy Camera takes a tip from the popular smart phone by incorporating social image sharing apps—as well as regular apps—into the interface along with wireless connectivity. Serious Instagram users will appreciate the 21x zoom lens and 16M BSI CMOS sensor that are a significant cut above the Galaxy S III's camera specs. The device runs off of Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" and will be available later on in 2013.
Olympus PEN EPM-2
With performance comparable to the costlier Olympus O-MD, the E-PM2 is a highly capable option for a fraction of the price and weight. Sleek styling, interchangeable lenses and an intuitive touch UI will certainly appeal to users looking for an introduction to the micro four-thirds world. The PEN EPM-2 is currently available for pre-order from Olympus for $549.99.
The adorably small Q10 might look like Wall-E with its pop-up flash, but don't let the playful personality fool you. Pentax has improved the lilliputian model with an adapter that enables compatibility with 25 million K-mount lenses. Just to prove their point, the folks at Pentax strapped the Q10 to a comically large, telescopic 560mm lens. The Q10 arrives October 2012 with a suggested retail price of $599.95.