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CES 2013 preview: Digital cameras and camcorders

Just how dead is the market for point-and-shoots and consumer camcorders? We shall soon find out.

More Wi-Fi and Android-based cameras are likely at CES 2013. Sarah Tew/CNET

For digital cameras, the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show proved to be more interesting than past years'.

Instead of the usual humdrum point-and-shoots, we were greeted with three models targeted at enthusiasts and pros: the Fujifilm X-Pro1, the Nikon D4, and the Canon PowerShot G1 X.

Even a handful of the point-and-shoots announced were worth paying attention to, like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7, the Canon PowerShot Elph 520 HS, and at least three of the 18 cameras announced by Fujifilm.

Then there was the first Android-based smart camera, the Polaroid SC1630, which never materialized. (We eventually got the Nikon Coolpix S800c and Samsung Galaxy Camera, so it's not all bad.)

With all of this in mind, looking at what may come at CES 2013, I'm a bit more optimistic that we'll actually see some cool, if not groundbreaking, stuff.

A Fujifilm X-Pro2 on the way? Sarah Tew/CNET

Where the money's at

With smartphones continuing to eat away at the casual photography market, camera makers are focusing more and more on enthusiasts and professionals. Fujifilm is certainly doing that and it has scheduled another invitation-only press conference on January 7, so odds are we'll get a look at a new pro-targeted interchangeable-lens camera, perhaps the X-Pro2. We'll probably get a few lens announcements as well.

Nikon isn't likely to make any huge, completely new announcements. However, there is that D5200, which was announced for select worldwide markets, but not the U.S.

Announcements from other manufacturers about higher-end models probably won't happen with the abundance that came at Photokina 2012 in September. But, never say never, right?

More Android, more Wi-Fi

When it comes to point-and-shoots, I expect things will be pretty light. Last year the majority of the announcements came from Samsung and Fujifilm and that will likely be the case for 2013.

Though I really hope it doesn't, Fujifilm will probably announce another crazy number of FinePix cameras by creating several versions of the same model by making slight changes to the feature set (one with GPS, one with Wi-Fi, one with neither...).

Samsung put Wi-Fi in basically its entire camera line this year and I don't see that changing. In fact, all of the manufacturers should be going full force with Wi-Fi cameras except at the bottom of their lines (which will hopefully be shrinking anyway). Whether they will do it as well as Samsung does is another story (they won't).

Along with Wi-Fi, I expect there will be more attempts at putting some version of Android in cameras. I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung adds one or two more to its lineup and/or announces the availability of the Galaxy Camera on another carrier.

Similarly, it seems likely Sony will expand the app-ification of its cameras by putting up a few new models that can download Sony photo apps via its PlayMemories service. The thing is, some of this might not get announced at CES, but shortly after CES at the CP+ show in Japan.

Bloggie go bye-bye? Sarah Tew/CNET

Camcorders not dead yet

Canon, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, and Samsung have typically made their consumer camcorder announcements for the year at CES. This will most certainly be the case again for 2013, but, and maybe this is just wishful thinking, they'll cut back a bit on the number of models they announce.

What we'll see more of, though, are action cams for all those fun POV movies, more models with built-in Wi-Fi, and longer zoom lenses with optical image stabilization (the one area where smartphones can't compete).

Oh, and I'm pretty sure, with the exception of a rugged model here and there, the minicamcorder is dead.