Cameras

General Imaging Announces 9 New Cameras

Although they are still newcomers to the digital camera market, General Imaging is looking to move agressively into the digital camera market in 2008 with 9 new models. All of the new models (which are marketed under the licensed General Electric brand) a

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Jan. 23, 2008 - Although they are still newcomers to the digital camera market, General Imaging is looking to move agressively into the digital camera market in 2008 with 9 new models. All of the new models (which are marketed under the licensed General Electric brand) are at the low end, with the most expensive costing $249.99.

General Imaging claims that all of the new models will include smile detection and blink detection, features that have previously only been available on more expensive models. The smile detection feature works in a similar way to other cameras; when selected, the camera holds the shutter until it detects a smile, then takes the photo. The blink detection only works after the image is taken, though; the user is warned after an image is captured if one of the subjects is blinking, allowing them to retake the photo. General Imaging did not specify if they have improved their face detection features in other ways. in our review of last years' G1, we found the face detection feature to be hard to use and unable to detect more than one face at a time.

Two new models are introduced in their A series: the A735 and the A835. The A735 is an update to the current A730, and most of the features remain the same: it shoots 7 megapixel images, has a 3x optical zoom and a 2.5-inch LCD screen. The only new features are the aforementioned smile detection and a change in the color scheme: it is now available in red and silver. The A835 is an update to last year's A830, but again the smile detection is the only major change: otherwise, it remains the same 8 megapixel, 3x optical zoom, 2.5-inch LCD equipped camera.

On the slimline G series, there are two new cameras that replace last year's G1: the G2 and G3. Both are a little slimmer than last year, dropping down to a svelte .8 inches thick. The G2 shoots 8 megapixel images, while the G3 shoots 10.5 megapixel ones (the G1 was a 7 megapixel camera), and both cameras get a zoom lens boost up to 4x. That's the 35mm equivalent of a 38mm to 152mm lens. Both models also get a bump in the size of the LCD screen up to 2.7 inches, from 2.5 inches on the G1. But while the zoom and screen size have increased, the color selection on offer this year has decreased; the G2 and G3 are only available in red and silver.

For the mid-range E-series, there are three new models; the E840S, the E1035 and the E1050. The E840S shoots 8 megapixel images and has a 230,400 pixel 2.7-inch LCD screen. The E1050 is General Imaging's new flagship camera; priced at $249.99, it includes a 10 megapixel image sensor, 5x zoom lens and high definition movie recording. It can be connected to a HDTV with a standard HDMI cable, and General Imaging also claims that it includes a GPS receiver that can be used to tag images with a location. UPDATE: A previous version of this story indicated that the HDMI cable was included; it is not).

The E1050 ups the LCD screen size to 3 inches, and widens the lens a little: the widest angle that the lens can manage is 28mm, while the E1035 only goes down to 34mm. this means it can shoot wider angles; good for group shots and landscapes. The final E-series model is the E1235, which ups the resolution again to 12 megapixels. However, it is lacking the big screen of the E1050; the screen is a 2.7-inch model.

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Finally, the new X3 is an update to the existing X1 SLR styled model. The X3 takes 10.7 megapixel images and the screen size increases to 2.7 inches. The X3 can also capture high definition videos at a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. 

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