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CES 2009 preview: Digital imaging

Dying technologies, newer technologies finally coming into their own, pedestrian product refreshes and lots and lots of digital photo frames: all in all, it looks like CES 2009 will be pretty typical.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
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.
Expertise Photography | PCs and laptops | Gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin

I expect a flood of digital photo frames at CES.
I expect a flood of digital photo frames at CES. Kodak

CES has always been a much bigger show for camcorders than cameras, and you can expect to see announcements from all the manufacturers--major and minor--with their product line refreshes for the first half of 2009. This year, that means far fewer new models supporting the dying MiniDV and DVD formats and a broader selection of flash- and hard-disk-based models for both the standard- and high-definition markets. Naturally, the latter formats will come in increased capacities as well. The interesting stuff usually happens at the low and high ends; in this case, I'm curious to see if more of the mainstream manufacturers (besides Kodak with its Zi6) embrace the cheapo mini camcorder trend. And if they do, can they get it right?

There's usually less to see for cameras; most of those CES announcements tend to be for the budget or style lines, or for models with a bit of a novelty spin. In that respect, I don't expect anything particularly out of the ordinary. That said, look for some more implementation improvements in wireless support.

And despite Kodak's recent OLED frame offering, there probably won't be many other OLED entrants in this space quite yet. Instead, there'll likely just be boatloads more of the same commodity LCD models.