PMA 2007: The hottest camera trends

We're likely to see even more computer-like functions built into cameras in the near future

Tthe hotshots of the camera industry are in Las Vegas to show off their latest digital camera offerings. Many of the cameras on show at the PMA expo have already been announced, and it's clear that development has stagnated slightly.

The digital technology used in cameras is becoming increasingly mature, and most of the models being shown off at PMA are simply updates of previous models. We've covered many of these this week here at From these new models released we can see three clear trends across the industry:

Clever functions

'Face detection', 'red eye removal' and many others - all camera manufacturers are now building more and increasingly advanced functions into their camera models. The ability to recognise particular objects in photos looks to be one of the most common features this spring.

With speedier processors, face detection features are set to become increasingly better and more common, and we're likely to see even more computer-like functions built into cameras in the near future.

Thousand and one ISO

The race isn't about megapixel counts anymore; now camera manufacturers are competing on how high their light sensitivity settings can stretch. Currently at the top of the bunch is the Olympus FE-250 with a maximum ISO setting of 10,000.

Other manufacturers are satisfied with an ISO of a few thousand. The benefit of high light sensitivity settings is that you can take photos indoors without having to use a flash. But a certain drawback is this usually means some white noise in images.

Image stabilisation

Another way of improving photos taken without flash is to use various types of image stabilisation functions. PMA visitors have seen a multitude of camera models with slight variations on this theme.

Image stabilisation can occur through moving optics or a moving image sensor, as well as through various forms of digital technology that compensate for shaky hand movements.