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Spring preview: Cameras and camcorders

Most of the spring cameras and camcorders are already available--though we're still awaiting some significant dSLR announcements--but a few interesting new models are still slated for April and May shipment. Long zoom lenses in both categories seem to dominate, but with interchangeable lens models and no-compromise flash-based HD camcorders, there's a lot this year to appeal to enthusiasts.

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Lori Grunin
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Lori Grunin
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1 of 7 Panasonic

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1

Price: TBD

Availability: TBD

The outlook: Panasonic adds HD video capture to the repertoire of its so-called "hybrid" cameras--point-and-shoot bodies with interchangeable lenses--looks like it'll whet the creative juices of enthusiasts the way the EOS 5D Mark II's did for professionals.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 preview

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2 of 7 Olympus America

Olympus E-620

Price: body-only, $699.99; with 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 lens, $799.99.

Availability: May 2009

The outlook: The E-620 offers an attractive price for its feature set, which includes a flip-out LCD and in-body image stabilization.

Olympus E-620 preview

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3 of 7 Canon USA

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS

Price: $599.99

Availability: April 2009

The outlook: Though new to the U.S., the camera's been shipping overseas for several months, and was picked as an Editors' Choice by CNET Australia. The CMOS sensor, which promises better photo quality, is its big attraction over the SX10 IS.

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS preview

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4 of 7 Sony Electronics

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1

Price: $499.99

Availability: April 2009

The outlook: With its Dynamic Wide Panorama mode and 1080p video capture, the HX1 was one of the buzziest cameras at PMA.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 preview

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5 of 7 Samsung

Samsung TL320

Price: $379.99

Availability: May 2009

The outlook: It's got an AMOLED display and cool retro dials, plus a wide-angle (24mm-equivalent) 5x zoom lens and some manual controls. All of that adds up to a potentially interesting compact point-and-shoot.

Samsung TL320 preview

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6 of 7 Panasonic

Panasonic SDR-H80

Price: $449.99

Availability: April 2009

The outlook: Ridiculously long 70x zoom lens notwithstanding, the Panasonic HDC-H80/H90 standard-def hard-disk camcorders replace the seriously popular H40.

Panasonic SDR-H80 preview

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7 of 7 Eastman Kodak Co.

Kodak Zx1

Price: $149.95.

Availability: April 2009

Kodak slims down its Zi6 HD mini camcorder and outfits it in bright hues, taking a stop to ruggedize it along the way. The resulting Zx1 looks like it'll be a more serious Flip MinoHD contender than its older sibling.

Kodak Zx1 preview

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