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Clever touches in cameras and camcorders

Some of the clever design touches we've noticed on this year's new cameras and camcorders.

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Lori Grunin
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1 of 6 Panasonic

Panasonic's alternate record button

When they lack an EVF, I frequently hold camcorders below eye level, which makes it difficult to use the record toggle button that sits on the back of the camcorder. In Panasonic's SW21, a secondary record button sits on the bottom right for operation with your right forefinger.
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2 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Kodak's vertical grip

For vertical shooting with its new Z980 IS megazoom, Kodak has positioned a second shutter button and automatically changes the operation of the mode dial to function as a zoom switch. In addition, there's a screw-on "dumb" grip--it's not a battery grip, as with SLRs--that expands the base of the camera for more comfortable vertical operation.
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3 of 6 Lori Grunin

Olympus' exposure compensation preview

Some of Olympus' new point-and-shoots include this neat preview of your exposure compensation alternatives.
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4 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Olympus lights it up

Pressing a button on the back of Olympus' new P series point and shoots lights up the buttons for easy viewing in low light--a very nice, useful touch.
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5 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Samsung's tilted lens

In a subtle but clever design move, Samsung tilted the lens on the Samsung HMX-R10. This has two benefits: it alleviates the wrist cramp you get because you're forced to cock your wrist back while viewing the LCD, and it allows you to pull your arms in close to your body, for a more steady hold, while shooting.
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6 of 6 Lori Grunin/CNET

Where's my shoe?

The top of Panasonic's HDC-TM300 got pretty crowded, so Panasonic moved the accessory shoe to the right side. Of course, this also necessitates a whole new series of accessories to support it...

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