In addition to releasing new scanners and printers today, Canon U.S.A. Inc. has introduced new digital cameras and digital camcorders.
In fact, the company has rolled out five new PowerShot digital cameras. The new models include: the A300 (3.2 megapixels), A60 (2.0 megapixels), A70 (3.2 megapixels), S400 Digital Elph (4.0 megapixels), and S50 (5.0 megapixels). The prices are $299, $349, $449, $599, $699, respectively and they will be available in March or April.
All of the models incorporate Canon’s DIGIC (Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit) Image Processor and the company’s new iSAPS technology. Plus, every PowerShot camera will directly connect to several Canon Bubble Jet Direct and Card Photo printers.
Canon’s DIGIC combines the jobs of image processing and camera function control into one chip. The result is image processing that’s faster than a general purpose CPU because it employs parallel processing rather than the sequential, one pixel at a time processing methods used by conventional digital cameras.
In addition to improved performance, DIGIC can also handle digital camera functions, including JPEG compression/expansion; memory card control; LCD/Video control and processing; gain control (control of CCD signal amplification); auto Exposure; auto focus; auto white balance control; and more. The result: cameras that offer faster image processing, longer battery life, and the ability to record three-minute movie clips with sound, according to according to Yukiaki Hashimoto, Canon’s senior vice president and general manager of the Consumer Imaging Group.
iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) can predict certain camera settings such as focusing distance, exposure and optimum white balance based on zoom focal length, overall light level and tonal distribution data. Canon refers to this collective data as “Photographic Space.” By incorporating iSAPS technology into its PowerShot line, the cameras can analyze a scene just before the image is made and in doing so, increase the speed and precision of the camera’s autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance.
Canon has also introduced a high-end digital SLR camera: the $1,999 EOS 10D, the first of the company’s cameras to sport the DIGIC Image Processor and direct connectivity to several Canon Bubble Jet Direct printers and the CP-100 Card Photo Printer. The camera boasts a seven-point autofocus system; three frames per second drive speed in nine-frame bursts in either JPEG or simultaneous RAW + JPEG capture settings; an extended ISO range of 100-3200; manual white balance mode; selectable color space options including Adobe RGB and sRGB; a scrollable 10x zoom playback mode; and USB connectivity.
The EOS 10D also supports EXIF 2.2, DPOF 1.1, FAT32, and Compact Flash Type I and II, and is completely compatible with all EF-series lenses, including the new EF 17-40mm f/4L USM. The camera incorporates a 6.3 megapixel CMOS sensor designed that has a picture area of 15.1 x 22.7mm and 2:3 aspect ratio. A new amplifier circuit boosts the S/N (signal to-noise) ratio to provide an extended sensitivity range from ISO 100 to 3200 and noise reduction at all ISO speed settings.
When it comes to digital camcorders, Canon has rolled out the Optura 20 and Optura 10 DV, which feature a 16X Genuine Canon Optical Zoom Lens and a 1.33 Megapixel CCD image sensor for creating digital still images directly onto the camcorders’ memory card. The cameras’ CCD lets you record digital photos at 1280 x 960 resolution. Or while recording video, they can simultaneously capture VGA-quality (640 X 480) digital photos directly onto a memory card.
In addition, both units offer selectable focusing points to capture images of off-center subjects; StitchAssist software for creating panoramas; the ability to simultaneously record video and digital photos; Direct Print capabilities using Canon’s Card Photo Printers and select Canon Bubble Jet printers; Auto Exposure Bracketing; a Motion JPEG Movie mode for producing short video clips; digital effects including vertical and horizontal wipes and mosaic fades, black-and-white and sepia; digital stereo sound; an external microphone terminal; and more.
Users of the Optura 20 will enjoy a number of additional features including a larger, 3.5-inch bright LCD viewfinder (the Optura 10 has a 2.5-inch viewfinder), which is designed to make it easier to compose video segments. As with the Optura 10 LCD screen, it can be rotated for high or low-angle shots and swivel 180 degrees. The Optura 20 also offers a Super Night Mode and Low Light Plus Mode, allowing for continued recording even when it’s dark. An assist lamp in the front of the camera illuminates the subject. The Optura 20 is also bundled with a higher capacity battery, the BP-512.
The Canon Optura 20 DV camcorder will be available in March at a suggested retail price of $999. The Optura 10 DV camcorder will be available in May for $899. Both offer FireWire connectivity.