This year, manufacturers opted for practical improvements over headline-grabbing features like absurdly small designs, gigantic LCDs or Android-powered UIs. But that doesn't mean 2014's lot skimps when it comes to innovation. Much to our surprise, Casio offered up one of the most interesting models. The EX-100, which is currently only expected to hit stores in Japan, includes a unique bracketing mode that varies not only exposure, but also white balance, focus and other settings in order to capture the perfect shot without a lot of photo know-how or prep. Sigma's dp Quattro was another showstopper, with its unusually wide body, highly capable sensor and a trio of fixed lenses. We were also very impressed with Canon's PowerShot G1 X Mark II, which delivers DSLR-like image quality in a package that's smaller than most mirrorless cams.
There was also a bit of innovation on the storage front. SanDisk's new U3 SDXC card is fast enough to capture high-bitrate 4K video. You'll need one of these to capture 4K clips with Panasonic's new GH4, or to take full advantage of the Fujifilm X-T1, which caught our eye with a weather-resistant housing, speedy performance and a bounty of dedicated dials. Olympus, meanwhile, caught us off guard with its Stylus SP-100, a 50x superzoom that includes a unique gun sight -- a laser-projected bulls-eye helps you aim the camera quickly when you're targeting a fast-moving subject way off in the distance. On the other side of the hall, Sony's Alpha 6000 was one of our favorites in the mirrorless category, with super-fast focusing performance and a full suite of features, such as a bright OLED viewfinder and WiFi (the latter of which could be found on just about every camera at CP+). It was a fantastic show all around -- and we're already counting the days until Photokina, which kicks off this September in Cologne, Germany.