Camera manufacturers are introducing some new products. Among the new cameras are a number of point-and-shoot models designed for the amateur.
All include autoeverything features that many amateurs have come to expect: autoload, autowind, autofocus, autoflash, auto DX-coding and so on.However, a few do have some innovative features.
Canon's Sure Shot Ace, for example, has a waist-level finder as well as an eye-level finder, great for shooting from overhead, at low level or around corners. It also has a detachable wireless remote that can trigger the camera from up to 16 feet away. The Ace lists for $260.
Another new camera from Canon, the Sure Shot Joy, allows you to take two, three or four shots continuously. This feature is useful if you're recording an action sequence or you want extra shots to give to relatives or friends. No price or delivery date yet.
The best thing about the Konica Pop Super is the price - $128.
The Olympus Infinity Twin, which lists for $325, features a twin lens system that allows you to shoot with either a 35mm or 70mm lens, wide-angle or telephoto. It also has a self-timer that can take two shots in a row, rather than one, plus a motor drive setting that allows you to take a sequence of up to four consecutive shots.
The Pentax IQ Zoom 70 features a 35-70mm power zoom lens that can be increased to 100mm with an optional tele-extender. The Pentax IQ 60 camera has a 38-60mm zoom lens and macro capability. No price or delivery date on either camera.
Nikon's Zoom Touch 500, which lists for $404, features a 35-80mm zoom lens with four zoom control modes. You can zoom continuously; step zoom between 80, 64, 53, 44 and 35mm; take three shots in a row - a long shot, a medium shot and close-up; or take a close-up head-and-shoulders shot and then a full body shot. You don't move, the lens does!
The viewfinder changes magnification with the lens and features both red and green LEDs showing both focus and flash status. The built-in flash works in both low light and for flash fill. You can shoot continuous sequences as well as single shots. There is also a creative override that allows you to set the exposure for plus or minus two stops.
Yashica's new T3 AF camera, which lists for $430, features, in addition to an eye-level finder, a waist-level finder that can be used for shooting low-level or overhead shots. The lens is 35mm f-2.8.
Kodak's new S300MD motor drive camera, at $89.95, features autoload to first frame, autowind, push-button autorewind, and a fixed-focus 35mm lens with a range from 4 feet to infinity. It has, however, a comparatively slow 1-100th of a second shutter speed.
Between now and the end of the year, look for a host of new point-and-shoot cameras to come onto the market. This is where the hot market is right now.
Some will be just that: point-and-shoot. The cheaper versions may limit you to one or two ASAs, usually 100 and 200, or 400. They will contain fixed-focus lenses that depend on depth of field rather than on autofocus to get a sharp picture, and relatively slow shutter speeds.
For a little more money, you may opt for either zoom lenses or wide-tele versions that let you shoot either wide-angle or moderate telephoto shots. You may also get more sophisticated autofocus, ranging in price from cheaper versions that autofocus within a safety range, to the more expensive versions that focus exactly on the subject and have a flash that acts in concert.
At the top of the line will be the "bridge" cameras, designed to be used as simple point-and-shoot cameras at first and then, by pressing a few buttons, convert to such professional options as multiple exposure, sequence photography and exposure bracketing. You'll pay for what you get, so the price is likely to be something of a shock.
Because so many new cameras will be coming out, there is too little space here to go into all the details. Watch upcoming issues of photography magazines for more detailed information, or visit your local photography store.