One of the trends we're noticing in the photographic market for 2011 is a new breed of point & shoot compacts that will take much better photographs because of the large sensors and fast lenses in these cameras. We wrote previously about the new cameras that fit this category in the last 2 months. Among them are the Canon G12 and S95, Nikon P7000, Leica D-Lux 5 and the Panasonic LX5. We still can't get over the love letter David Pogue of the NY Times wrote to the S95 (http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/a-love-letter-to-a-camera/) a few months ago. Mr. Pogue's enthusiasm is well founded for these cameras do produce incredibly sharp images with great low light results. One camera we're looking forward to in this category is the Olympus ZX1 , their game-changing pocket-sized camera that sets a new benchmark for rival compacts to follow. The XZ-1 is ideal for camera-savvy amateurs and professional photographers looking for a second camera. In addition to Olympus’ trademark stunning design, it delivers uniformly clear pictures even in low light, to SLR standards. A combination of three state-of-the-art features makes this camera disticntive: the extremely large, super-sensitive CCD sensor, the extremely fast TruePic V image processor and the extremely bright 1:1.8-2.5 i. ZUIKO DIGITAL lens. The XZ-1 is the first compact camerato come with a lens from ZUIKO, renowned as a leading manufacturer of the high-end optics that used to be available only in SLRs. It is also compatible with an ever-growing range of dedicated Olympus PEN accessories for mirrorless cameras. To further boost the quality of stills and movies, users can add an external flash, electronic viewfinder or external stereo microphone, with more accessories still to come. The compact XZ-1 comes in a matte black or white lacquered body with a large 3-inch OLED screen and the sharp looks to match its professional spec. It will be available in early February for $499.95. Once the ZX1 is available, you can come in & see a full array of these advanced point & shoots to try out and perhaps take one home. Or if you're curious, come in today and check these cameras out! (XZ1 photo courtesy of Olympus) Many thanks to the brave folks who came out for our DSLR class last night. If you missed out, come join us for our "Sports & Action Photography" class next Thursday at 7PM, here at the store!