This isn’t a BEST OF PMA post. It’s a MOST INTERESTING OF PMA post. After the show I’ll list my favorites. But when I see something that’s different or interesting, I want to call it out to see what everyone else thinks.

Let’s start with compacts. I tend to ignore the point and shoot cameras at these shows because, well, there’s just too darn many of them. The camera manufacturers should release no more than three or four of these puppies a year – not three or four a month.

But there are some that are “interesting.” Take the nine-MP Ricoh CX1. Ricoh has been doing innovative things lately. The CX1 certainly is innovative. Let’s start with the fact that it has a 9MP CMOS sensor. I’ll pause here so you can think about that…

That’s pretty radical. First they get props for not doing the monster megapixel thing. And second? Most compacts don’t make room for a CMOS sensor. What does a CMOS sensor mean to us as photographers? How about four frames per second shooting rates? That’s what you would expect from an inexpensive DSLR, not a compact.

Then there’s the crazy dynamic range on the CX1. It naturally compensates for loss of range due to demosaicing and does so with introducing noise. This adds an additional stop of dynamic range to the CX1, protecting highlights.

And now for the REALLY interesting stuff. The CX1 has a built-in HDR mode! Now we’re talking. I knew it was only a matter of time before some company built this into a camera. I also think it’s only a matter of time before ALL companies build this into their cameras.

Lastly, the CX1 has a very high speed mode – which is actually just a DV mode, but it’s positioned as a high-speed shooting mode.

This camera lacks a few features that I’d personally need if I were going to replace my beloved LX3. I want HD video and RAW mode. The CX1 has neither. But I do think that they may have started a trend here and for that I congratulate them.


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