CESCES NEWS BLOGLAS VEGAS – Here’s some more breaking photography news from CES. Includes stories on Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Fuji, Ricoh and Minox…

Smartphones kill off Minox digital compacts.

Minox has pulled out of the digital compact camera market in the face of increased competition from camera phones. Managing director Thorsten Kortemeier told AP: ‘We will not do any more compact cameras. I will not invest in them any more.’ MINOX STATEMENT NEWS UPDATE

Sigma SD1 used by CSI

Sigma says the UK’s Home Office has chosen its SD1 DSLR camera to help police forensic units solve crimes. Officers will use the on-board infra-red feature to help find traces of blood. Sigma UK refused to say how many it has sold to the Government on grounds of confidentiality.

Low-end compacts out of focus

General Imaging says it wants to focus on higher-end compact cameras as smartphones hit the lower-end market. Next month it will release a new £150 compact called the G100 with features such as multiple exposure and HDR. Asked if it would ever consider venturing into the compact system market, a UK spokesman said the firm would ‘not rule anything out’, though he admitted this would be a ‘quantum leap’.

Pentax hints at new DSLR

Pentax wants to develop its range of consumer DSLRs. A spokesman was tight-lipped over what we can expect but insisted its range must cater for all levels of consumer, including the lower-end. Pentax also admitted that the Thailand floods have caused a shortage of DSLR components.

Sigma lukewarm on Nikon CSC

It seems unlikely Sigma will make lenses for the Nikon 1 system as it tells AP its primary market is ‘serious enthusiasts’. Asked if it hopes Canon will enter the CSC market, Sigma’s chief operating officer Kazuto Yamaki said: ‘If they introduce a camera like Nikon’s we have no interest.’

Fuji to launch limited edition X100

Fujifilm is set to launch a limited edition, all-black, version of its X100 at the end of February. Each of the 10,000 units will feature a unique serial number and come in a kit that includes a leather case, metal lens hood, metal adapter ring and protective filter. The X100 Black will not go on general sale. For details visit www.finepix-x100.com

Panasonic shows two ‘concept’ lenses

Panasonic is expected to launch two new X-series lenses later this year, if a pair of concept models on display at CES are to be believed. An X Vario 12-35mm and 35-100mm f/2.8 were on show alongside a timeline which indicates a possible launch around the time of the Photokina event in Germany in the autumn.

Ricoh mulls K-mount GXR unit

Ricoh may launch a Pentax K-mount version of its GXR system, as well as a variable-angle LCD monitor. Ricoh’s Digital Camera business development manager Keisuke ‘Keith’ Minagoshi told AP that a K-mount module or adapter was ‘still under discussion’. Ricoh also confirmed that ‘some suppliers’ of parts for the GXR were badly hit by last year’s Thailand floods and production has not yet returned to normal. Ayumi Saito, from the group’s marketing division, said the firm has raised production since but would not reveal current levels.


As we leave Las Vegas, photo manufacturers gear up for the CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show. It takes place in Yokohama, Japan from 9-12 February and promises a few interesting products that were being kept firmly under wraps at CES. AP will keep you posted…