is introducing three new Mac compatible PowerShot digital cameras: the PowerShot A40, A30 and A100. Interestingly, optional waterproof cases are available for all three models, allowing the cameras to be used as deep as 100 feet underwater.
The PowerShot A40 has a 2.0 megapixel CCD sensor while the PowerShot A30 features a 1.2 megapixel CCD. Both cameras incorporate a 3x optical zoom lens and offer a movie mode (with sound on the A40); a shutter speed range of 15 seconds to 1/1500 second; manual exposure; spot metering; selectable ISO settings from 50 to 400; built-in flash with five modes and magnified playback up to 10x for convenient image review.
The PowerShot A100 is a 1.2 megapixel model and Canon’s entry-level digital camera in the PowerShot series. It’s a single-focal length, autofocus 1.2 megapixel model incorporating Movie mode, Photo Effects, Direct Print capabilities using Canon’s new CP-100 dye-sub printer and magnified playback up to 10x.
Aside from the difference in their CCD sensors (A40 is 2.0 MP/ A30 is 1.2MP), the PowerShot A40 and A30 include several new features not found on previous mid-range PowerShot camera models including: a selectable 3-point AiAF system with single-point center focus and focus lock; a wider shutter speed range of 15 seconds to 1/1500 second; Evaluative and Spot Metering; ISO ranges including 50/100/200/400 and Auto; Movie mode (with sound on the A40); Photo Effect mode; 2x-10x enlarged playback function with scrolling; and Direct Print capabilities with Canon’s new CP-100 printer as well as the current CP-10.
The PowerShot A40 and A30 cameras are equipped with a 5.4-16.2mm f/2.8-4.8 (equivalent to 35-105mm in 35mm format) 3x zoom lens. The all-glass lens is designed using nine elements in seven groups, including one highly-refractive, glass-molded aspherical element. The aspherical element effectively suppresses distortion and provides high resolution, according to Yukiaki Hashimoto, vice president and general manager, Photographic Products Group, Canon U.S.A.
The PowerShot A40 and A30 are powered by four AA-size batteries (PowerShot A100 uses two AA batteries). The PowerShot A100 is targeted to consumers making the move from analog to digital. It has a Direct Print capability with Canon’s new CP-100 and existing CP-10 photo printers.
The PowerShot A100 also incorporates a number of high-end features including the popular Photo Effects mode originally introduced in the highly advanced PowerShot G2 camera, Hashimoto said. A low sharpening mode has been added to the Vivid, Neutral, Sepia and Black-and-White modes for a total of five separate effects.
The A100 has a maximum shutter speed of 1/2000 second and can record movies in QVGA (320 x 240 pixels) and Q2VGA (160 x 120 pixels) at 15 frames per second. Up to 10 seconds of continuous recording is possible in QVGA, and up to 30 seconds in the Q2VGA format. Additional features offered with the PowerShot A100 include: 3-point AiAF focusing; magnified playback to confirm critical focus, high-speed continuous shooting at 2.5 fps, 3.2X digital zoom capability, built-in flash with four flash modes and RGB primary color filters. The A100 uses two AA-size batteries and is compatible with CompactFlash Type I removable media.
Each camera is Mac OS X compatible and comes with QuickTime 5.0, Canon RemoteCapture 2.2 and PhotoStitch 3.1. They also come with ImageBrowser 2.2 and a Photoshop-compatible plug-in for the Mac.
Suggested retail prices are US$399 for the PowerShot A40 and $279 for the PowerShot A100. Pricing for the PowerShot A30 hasn’t been announced yet. The new cameras will be available this spring.