Pre-CES 2011: We've just returned from the extra-terrestrial themed pre-show 'Digital Experience' where we've seen a little bit of the future (or, at least, had a chance to get our hands on the products we'll be showing you in the coming days).

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The two most interesting cameras were undoubtedly the Olympus E-PL2 and Olympus XZ-1, both of which we've already had the opportunity to preview. However, they were far from the only new cameras that we saw tonight - there were plenty more tempting products nestling beneath the giant inflatable UFOs, including new compacts from Casio, Samsung and Sony.

Olympus was showing off its carefully re-worked PEN E-PL2 (click for our preview) Also on show was the promising-looking Olympus XZ-1 we've also just previewed.
Samsung had ever-larger LCDs for its DualView cameras It was also demonstrating its newly re-gripped NX11
Panasonic represented the trend towards 3D PocketWizard was one of the few photo accessory brands represented

But it wasn't just cameras - this is the first CES that we've covered, and it certainly is a broad-ranging show. As well as the usual photographic suspects - Sandisk, Kodak and the like, we fully expected to see stands from companies such as Microsoft, but we still found the apparent invasion by Ford and Continental tires rather alien.

Casio officially showed-off the TRYX (pronounced 'tricks') Kodak continues to pursue the popular pocket camcorder market
Some prototypes seemed a bit rough 'round the edges Ford - not a regular at Photokina or PMA

Apologies to anybody hoping for the promised live blogging from the event - it would seem that the organizers didn't think journalists at one of the world's largest technology shows would want internet connectivity, and turned it off just before the doors opened. Another disappointment (and one which is becoming increasingly wearing) is that so many of today's releases were leaked before the show opened. Walking around the alien-themed pre-show we were struck by the irony that this year, the truth was already out there...