Powerful Point-and-Shoots at CES

Photo autopilot

Kodak brought out three new models—all with a new suite of features
called Smart Capture that basically take the pictures for you. The
elements include face detection, digital image stabilization, auto
activation of fill flash (to kill shadows on faces) and auto selection
of light sensitivity (ISO) and scene mode. The cameras also auto-apply
Kodak's perfect touch technology, which tweaks contrast and color of
the photos.

In addition, all three cameras can capture high-def (720p) video – a
capability Kodak first brought to point-and-shoots a few months ago in
the V1253 model.

On top of all that, each camera has its own claim to fame. The M1003
is a 10-megapixel model for just $199. The V1273 ($299) has a
three-inch touchscreen for editing photos on the camera. And the
10-megapixel, 12X optical zoom Z1085 IS ($329) shoots in near blackness
at a light sensitivity of ISO 4000. (Most point and shoots stop
somewhere between ISO 800 and ISO 1600.)

Samsung's armada

Samsung easily wins the numbers game with ten new models. Here are highlights.

Probably the coolest, the NV24 HD ($349) follows Kodak's lead by
bringing HD (720p) video recording, plus a dock that plugs into
high-def TVs. And if the set is a Samsung, you can control the camera
using the TVs remote control. This 10-megapixel shooter has an
ultrawide zoom lens (starting at 24 millimeters), ISO 3200 light
sensitivity, optical image stabilization and Samsung's new
self-portrait mode that won't snap your pick until you are centered in
the frame.

The 8.1 mega-pixel NV30 and 10 mega-pixel NV40 models have many similar features but lack the HD recording and wide-angle lens.

Samsung's other models are less revolutionary. It brings out two
slim cameras, the NV4 and i8 ($279 and $299), that include the
company's portable media player features – letting you use the camera
as a music and video player and set up music-accompanied slide shows of
your photos. The L100, L110 and L210 ($199-$269) are
traditional-looking cameras that include multimedia slide show,
self-portrait mode and an LCD that brightens or dims based on the
lighting conditions it's in.

Big Frames

Kodak introduced two digital photo frames (including one that lets
you beam pictures to it over Wi-Fi) in what might have once been
considered a large size—10 inches diagonal. But that hardly compares to
the 32-inch (1080p resolution) digital frame that Smartparts introduced
last week. Shame the $899 thing can't also work as a TV. While it can
play video from memory cards, it doesn't have any video inputs for a
cable box or DVD player.

Smartpants also brought out a $279 frame with a built-in printer.
Um, I guess if you have the cutest granddaughters in the world,
visitors to the home might demand photo copies on the spot--Sean Captain

Want more? Check out our entire CES 2008 coverage here.