Canon offers new cameras, camcorders, all-in-one

Canon U.S.A. Inc. on Thursday unveiled new ELPH digital cameras, new ZR and Optura mini-DV camcorders, and a new PIXMA all-in-one "multifunction photo center."

The PowerShot SD500 Digital ELPH and PowerShot SD400 Digital ELPH are digital still cameras with 7.1-megapixel and 5.0-megapixel sensors, respectively. Designed as compact point-and-shoot systems, the new Digital ELPH cameras feature a new "Perpetual Curve Design" that Canon says fits the user's hand more naturally. Both cameras sport 3x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom; a wide variety of shooting modes and other features. The SD500 features a new 9-point smart autofocus system and more powerful built-in flash with six modes, and can also use optional accessories like a waterproof case. Both cameras support USB 2.0 and write pictures to SD flash media. Look for them in April; the SD400 will cost $399 and the SD500 will cost $499.

New mini-DV camcorders work in widescreen

Canon's three new mini-DV camcorders include the Optura 50 and Optura 60 and ZR400 models. All three camcorders share some common characteristics, including a 16:9 widescreen recording mode that uses the full width of the CCD sensor rather than "letterboxing" a 4:3 image. They also feature DV Photo Plus, Canon's technology to capture still images along with video. They new camcorders are compatible with Canon and PictBridge-compatible printers. All the new cameras write digital images to MultiMediaCard (MMC) flash media.

The Optura 50 and 60 features 2.2-megapixel sensors with 10x optical zoom and 14x optical zoom respectively; nine-point auto-focus; optical image stabilization; scene modes that can be selected using a side-mounted control wheels, and "Night Mode," which lets users grab video in low light conditions. While both cameras include FireWire cables, the Optura 60 also supports USB 2.0 and comes with an "Advanced Accessory Shoe" to connect directly to certain Canon accessories. Both new Optura cameras hit store shelves in March, the Optura 50 for $799 and the Optura 60 for $899.

The ZR400 is Canon's new entry-level mini-DV camcorder. It features a 1.33-megapixel sensor, 14x optical zoom and 0.6x wide attachment. The new camcorder costs $549 and will ship in April.

New PIXMA printer aimed a photo enthusiasts

Canon also introduced the new PIXMA MP760 Photo-All-In-One, a multifunction print center the company says is aimed at photo enthusiasts. The MP760 can print directly from slides and negatives. It also includes card slots for direct digital photo printing from CompactFlash, MicroDrive, SmartMedia, SD, MMC, Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro media. The device has a built-in 2.5-inch color LCD screen so you can review digital photos before printing them. The inkjet printing engine uses a five-color ink tank system with individually replaceable tanks.

The integrated Film Adapter Unit (FAU) lets the MP760 scan 35mm slides or negatives at up to 2400 x 4800 dots per inch resolution. Canon includes film holders that permit batch-scanning of up to six negative frames or four mounted slides. Built-in software can adjust for scratches, dust and faded film, and the MP760 can print from those slides or negatives without using a computer. It can also scan paper documents.

The printer outputs 25 pages per minute in black and 17 pages per minute in color, and it has a built-in duplex unit to output double-sided pages at up to 4800 x 1200 dpi. The printer reaches store shelves in March for $299.

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