CES roundup: when can I get that new camera?

Our heads are still spinning from all the major camera and camcorder announcements at last week's Consumer Electronics Show.

Available in April 2009

Kodak Zx1 ($150)


What Is It? Rugged, high-definition pocket camcorder.

Scouting Report: It may not have the name recognition of the Flip Mino HD, but Kodak's Zi6 is a top-notch pocket camcorder. The Zx1 is a ruggedized version of the Zi6 that records 720p high-def video and feels very solid in the hand.

Kodak Z980 ($400)

What Is It? 24X megazoom camera.

Scouting Report: Out-zoomed only by the 26X optical Olympus SP-590 UZ, this Kodak camera has some nifty design tricks: a second shutter button on the side of it to help with vertical shots and a detachable vertical grip to complement its 26mm-to-624mm optical zoom range.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS85 ($120)

What Is It? Fashionable AA-battery camera.

Scouting Report: For the bargain-bin price of $120, the Lumix LS85 offers Panasonic's Intelligent Auto mode and runs on AA batteries.

Samsung HMX-H106 (pricing not yet available)


What Is It? 64GB SSD high-definition camcorder.

Scouting Report: Samsung touts the HMX-H106 as the first-ever 64GB solid-state-drive (SSD) camcorder, and its bullet-like design is sure to turn heads. It records to MPEG4 H.264, which means its footage can be edited with more apps than AVCHD.

Samsung TL100 (pricing not yet available)

What Is It? Ultracompact 12-megapixel camera.

Scouting Report: The TL100 has stylish looks, a high megapixel count, and a slim, 0.65-inch-deep frame, but its 3X optical zoom and digital-only image stabilization are a bit on the skimpy end.

Samsung SL102 (pricing not yet available)

What Is It? Compact 10-megapixel camera.

Scouting Report: An entry-level addition to Samsung's point-and-shoot line, the SL102 is a sharp-looking camera with basic specs: a 3X optical zoom, face recognition, and digital image stabilization.

Samsung SL420 (pricing not yet available)


What Is It? Compact 10-megapixel camera.

Scouting Report: A bit more powerful than its younger SL102 sibling, the SL420 offers a few more in-camera features: smile-trigger shutter, blink detection, MPEG-4 movie mode, and dual optical/digital image stabilization.

Panasonic HDC-HS300 ($1400)


What Is It? 120GB hard-drive high-definition camcorder.

Scouting Report: The top-of-the-line addition to Panasonic's HD camcorder line offers full manual controls and a 3-CMOS sensor, which the company says captures outstanding low-light footage.

Panasonic HDC-HS250 ($1000)

What Is It? 120GB hard-drive high-definition camcorder.

Scouting Report: With the same basic specs as the HS300, the HCD-HS250 is a slimmed-down version that ditches the electronic viewfinder, full manual controls, and external mic shoe.

Panasonic HDC-TM300 ($1300)

What Is It? High-definition 32GB flash/SDHC camcorder.

Scouting Report: Another new top-of-the-line entry to Panasonic's consumer HD camcorders, the TM300 has the same basic specs as the HS300 and HS250, but records to flash memory and SDHC cards instead.

Panasonic HDC-HS20 ($800)

What Is It? High-definition 80GB hard-drive/SDHC camcorder.

Scouting Report: One of three HD entry-level additions to Panasonic's camcorder line, the touch-screen-controlled HS20 records AVCHD-format video to its 80GB hard drive and SDHC card slot and offers 5.1 surround-sound.

Panasonic HDC-TM20 ($650)

What Is It? High-definition 16GB flash/SDHC camcorder.

Scouting Report: The TM20 has the same basic specs as the HS20, but records AVCHD video to a 16GB flash drive and SDHC cards.

Panasonic HDC-SD20 ($600)


What Is It? High-definition SDHC camcorder.

Scouting Report: The SD20 has the same basic specs as the HS20 and TM20, but records AVCHD video to an SD/SDHC card only.

Panasonic SDR-H90 ($500)

What Is It? 70X optical zoom standard-definition camcorder.

Scouting Report: With a whopping 80GB hard drive that holds up to 72 hours of footage--as well as an SD/SDHC card slot in case you need more than that--the 70X optical zoom isn't the only mind-boggling spec on this standard-definition camcorder.

Panasonic SDR-H80 ($450)


What Is It? 70X optical zoom standard-definition camcorder.

Scouting Report: With the same basic specs as the SDR-H90, the SDR-H80 has a slightly smaller hard drive (60GB for 54 hours of video), but the same whopping 70X optical zoom.

Panasonic SDR-S26 ($330)

What Is It? 70X optical zoom standard-definition camcorder.

Scouting Report: Another entry in Panasonic's new 70X optical zoom standard-definition series, the SDR-S26 records to SD/SDHC card only.

Panasonic SDR-SW21 ($400)


What Is It? Ultracompact waterproof/drop-proof/dustproof camcorder.

Scouting Report: The not-quite-pocketable SDR-SW21 is a bit larger than your normal ultracompact camcorder and only records standard-definition video, but you can bring it 6.5 feet underwater, drop it from 4 feet, and unleash its impressive 10X optical zoom.

Panasonic SDR-S15 ($300)


What Is It? Ultracompact standard-definition camcorder with 10X optical zoom.

Scouting Report: Panasonic went for some powerful shooting options with the SDR-S15, so it's a bit larger than a pocket camcorder: It has Panasonic's Intelligent Auto mode to optimize your footage, and it packs a 10X optical zoom.

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