Canon packs a powerful punch in its latest Powershots

Canon is going for power with the latest additions to its PowerShot stable, the S100 and SX40 HS. Canon is bridging the gap between the point-and-shoot and DSLR brigade with these two models, both of which are the first to feature the latest generation of Canon’s DIGIC image processor which, it says, offers faster speeds – up to 9.6 frames per second on the S100 on the new High-Speed Burst mode.

Canon-S100

The s100 also boats a longer range (5X) zoom while keeping an aperture of f/2.0 at the wide-angle end. This means that you can use faster shutter speeds in low light, which is good news. And the new DIGIC 5 is claimed to produce exceptional, low noise pictures in all kinds of conditions.

The S100 replaces the S95, and is still small enough to slip in a pocket. There is no viewfinder – all composition is done using the 3-inch LCD.

The cameras also now boast GPS – an interesting use for this is that you can take out your compact camera on a long walk or bike ride, for instance, and then go back on a dedicated day and find the same shots to work on with your DSLR – a handy addition for keen landscape photographers.

The PowerShot SX40 HS, meanwhile is a superzoom camera – it boasts a zoom of x35 and a 12MP sensor. Its ‘Intelligent IS’ system has been designed to assess the shooting conditions and set up the best stabilisation mode, so that the photographer can make the most of the massive lens range. It also works when using the Full HD (1080p) movie capture mode, to help your video footage stay clear and smooth.

There’s also a Super Slow Motion Movie mode, allowing you to add creativity to your movies, or analyse your sporting performance.

The PowerShot SX40 HS offers full manual control, along with creative filters such as Poster Effect, Fish-Eye and Miniature.

There is much debate among users about the benefits of superzooms. While some love them, and see them as excellent cameras for ‘travel’, without having to carry around a bag full of extra lenses, others believe that the zoom quality is little better than digital zoom. At the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference. Very keen photographers will probably stick with their lens kits but for anyone, who, for whatever reason, just wants to carry one reasonable portable, the superzoom is probably a decent compromise.

There is similar debate around the addition of GPS – its usefulness will depend on how many images you take, how much travelling you do and how organised you are. If you take excellent notes, and label your images quickly, you probably don’t care whether a camera has GPS, but for the rest of us mere mortals who download images and then forget about them for a few weeks/months/years, it can be a really useful tool.

The PowerShot SX40 will cost around £459 and the PowerShot S100 around £439.

Canon expands its PowerShot, IXUS and PIXMA ranges.

Mention the name Canon to many camera aficionados and it will be greeted with an almost god like reverence, for Canon is for many, the first and last word in compact cameras. That said, the printer range is not too shabby either. So Canon fans rejoice, as not content to sit around sitting on its laurels, it has announced enhancements to its already lauded PowerShot, IXUS and Pixma ranges.

 

Powershot

The IXUS 1100 HS at just 21.9 mm is billed as the slimmest 12X optical zoom compact in the world, with an impressive 28mm wide angle lens and a 3.2” high colour touch screen. The IXUS 230 HS together with its slim 22.1mm figure gets an increased zoom to 8X, a larger 3” screen and full 1080 HD movie recording capability.

The PowerShot SX150 IS has an improved 14.1 ccd sensor up from the previous model’s 12.1 megapixels and Intelligent IS which chooses the most appropriate settings and stability according to the shot you’re looking for.

The PIXMA range of all in one printers has had a revamp with five new models. The high end wireless PIXMA MG6250 and MG8250 versions are aimed at photographers who want quick professional quality prints with 9600 dpi from the 6 ink engine on a 10x15cm borderless print in 20 seconds, whilst the MG8250 also offers a 35mm film and slide scanner. Both versions use Canon’s Intelligent touch system using a built in 8” TFT colour screen.

The mid range MG5350 is up next, with its 5 ink print engine producing photos and documents at 9600 dpi. It also has a 3” TFT screen and wireless connectivity. All three printers feature a cloud printing link giving you access to print your online pics directly and also through mobile devices with Google cloud print.

 

The budget value PIXMA MG2150 and 3150 printers are suitable for a compact everyday all in one solution, with Canon’s FINE cartridge  outputting at 4,800 dpi resolution.

 

The new PIXMA range is available from £49.99 to £300

 

First look: Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

Canon-Powershot

I’ve always been one of those people who have to look the part. It might be an iPad 2, a top of the range notebook, or the very latest DSLR. Those little envious sideway glances from people aspiring to own one but can’t for whatever reason, are the very things I live for. Photographers are the worst of the lot though. Just get a few of them in a room together and they can’t wait to compare notes. I’ve always had a trusted SLR and for me, it looks the part. Reasonable bulky, a decent lens and a strap and it’ll pass muster as belonging to someone who knows how to take a snap or two. Compacts though are a different matter entirely. They use technology that can produce some damn fine pictures; the trouble is, can they look professional enough?

The Canon Powershot SX230 HS may be on the small side, but it certainly packs a punch with a wide range of 12.1 megapixel shooting options and 1080 HD video recording too. It has a 3 inch full colour LCD screen, but thankfully for me, no touch screen controls, just a neat combination of buttons and dials that hide a plethora of features. For a start, the camera gives you a whopping 14X optical zoom, (equivalent to a focal length of 28-392mm) the lens popping out a good four inches from its housing, which conveniently retracts automatically when you turn the camera off. It’s got a decent standard low light sensitivity with an ISO ranging from 100 to 3,200 whilst there is an additional low light option that boosts the ISO to 6,900 but with a significant drop in picture quality to 3 megapixels.

Check out the Infosync review:

Serious photographers will be delighted to see the Powershot SX230 has a full range of manual controls available to use as well as the more popular automated formats leisure consumers crave. Simply selecting the EASY mode will let you just point and shoot with the camera’s intelligent auto system selecting the best possible option for you. There are though a number of semi auto scene modes built in too such as ‘kids and pets,’ ‘landscapes’ or ‘smart shutter’, whilst the built in face and smile detection will zero in on subjects it thinks you want to be the focal point of your picture.

The feature that stands this model apart from its predecessor, the SX210 however is the built in GPS. This will identify where you are in the world and automatically label your pictures accordingly. Be careful though, using the GPS function is likely to drain the battery life pretty quickly.

The one annoying aspect to the SX230 for me was the flash housing popping up each time I turned the camera on. It happens to be just where your index finger rests when you hold the camera, so you either get distracted pushing it closed, or it doesn’t pop up when you need it because your finger is blocking it.

That apart, I was really impressed with the SX230. It gave me some great quality pictures and video without causing me too much concern; it was compatible with my standard memory card, and although the on screen menus were a little clumsy to navigate though, I got the hang of them in the end.

The SX230 is certainly a lot smaller than my SLR and though using it I felt more like a tourist than a professional photographer, the end results certainly gave my SLR a run for its money.
RRP from £250

Canon gets sensitive with latest launch

Has Canon been getting in touch with its feminine side, I wondered as I read the latest press release from the digital camera giant. Well its latest range of cameras certainly have, as they all claim to offer high sensitivity. Okay, it has more to do with producing excellent images regardless of lighting conditions, rather than making an attempt to understand all your little whims and foibles, and coming up with more than a box of chocolates and a last-minute bunch of blooms from the garage on your anniversary.

Canon-IXUS

No, the HS System means that all of the latest cameras to be released – the PowerShot SX230 HS and PowerShot SX220 HS, the IXUS 310 H, the IXUS 220 HS and the IXUS 115 HS, should all be capable of delivering high-quality images whether you’re taking snaps of mates on a night out, or recording a beautiful sunset on holiday.

The two PowerShot superzoom models are aimed at holidaymakers and travellers, with the SX230 having the added bonus of being the first Canon camera to feature GPS tagging and logging. This means that it collects location data from satellites and then geotags your pictures with details about where they were taken. The images can then be displayed on maps in the likes of Google Maps, Flickr and Picasa.

It also has a massive 14x optical zoom, which should enable you to take all the pictures you want to take while you’re away, without the need for extra lenses and gadgetry. The PowerShot SX230 HS comes in pink, blue and black and the metal body of the PowerShot SX220 HS is available in purple and grey. The cameras will be available from mid-March and prices have yet to be confirmed, although the SX230 HS will be $350 when it comes out in the US.

The IXUS 310 HS, meanwhile, has an enhanced intuitive touch interface as well as an ultra-wide angle 24mm lens with an f/2.0 maximum aperture. The IXUS 220 HS has an ultra-wide 24mm 5x optical zoom lens houses in a slimline chassis, while the entry level market is the target market for the IXUS 115 HS. All have features including Full HD movies and high-speed shooting.

The IXUS 310 HS’ stainless steel body comes in a choice of silver, brown, pink and gold, while the IXUS 220 HS is available in silver, black and red. The IXUS 115 HS has a metal body that comes in silver, grey, pink and blue.

The IXUS 115 HS is available from early February 2011, priced at £179, while the IXUS 220 HS will be on sale from mid-February, priced at £199.00

The IXUS 310 HS will be on sale from early March, priced at £299.

All the new models have the benefit of creative filters such as Miniature Effect (for both video and stills), Monochrome, and Toy Camera, for lots of fun when taking snaps, while more experienced photographers gain a grasp of control with both shutter speed and aperture control.

For the ultimate point-and-shoot camera, Canon has included Smart Auto – which is capable of detecting 32 different scenes, and selecting the correct settings for you – this facility is also offered when you’re recording video. And if you like to take lots of pictures, Canon now offers Best Image Selection, which will choose the best one for you before deleting the rest – great for saving time when you’re out and about.

If you’re buying a new camera with your summer holidays in mind, the PowerShot cameras and the IXUS 220 and 115 will both fit in an optional waterproof case that is suitable for diving up to 40m, while you can also buy a cheaper case for the two Ixus models that is suitable for depths of up to 3m, so will suit snorkellers and swimmers.

New year, new lineup from Canon

Well, while we’ve all been busy stuffing our faces with mince pies and drinking up the national beer lake, the folk at Canon have been busy with other things.

That must be why they are greeting the new year not with a hangover but with a new lineup of five new cameras and 10 – yes 10 – new camcorders. Surely with such a raft of products coming on to the market, there must be something for everyone, from the snapper to the professional? Well, let’s take a look and find out.

Canon-CES

Moving images first, and Canon’s collection of 10 camcorders. The professional videographer is catered for with the XA10, which promises full manual control and professional audio features, along with a price tag of just a smidge under two grand. But you’ve time to save up as it isn’t released until April. For enthusiasts with time and money (around £1,400) to spare, and who can wait for its release in March, the LEGRIA HF G10 has been created to offer features and technologies taken from the professional range of camcorders. All of these feature the Canon HD CMOS Pro sensor, offering better performance in low light and a wide dynamic range.

For anyone wanting to take video of friends and family, Canon has introduced the LEGRIA HF M41, M46 and M406 (from around £750-£600), which takes high-definition movies using a compact chassis. And you can get creative with the Cinema-Look Filters, Story Creator mode and Touch Decoration, which allows for in-camera manipulation. Story Creator suggests scenes for you to shoot under a number of subjects, such as travel or kids and pets. If you want to take HD movies but are on a budget, look out for the LEGRIA HF R28, R26 and R206 (with prices ranging from around £350-£480 and due February) , which are aimed at those just starting out in the world of HD video. And finally if you’re on a really tight budget, standard definition comes from the LEGRIA FS46 and FS406 (around £230-250 and due February).

For stills photography, meanwhile, Canon is plugging its PowerShot A-series as offering a compact camera for everyone. There are five new models just released, most of them powered by Canon’s DIGIC 4 image processor.

If you want to get creative, look for the A1200 and A2200, which both offer six creative filters for some fun experimentation. You can also benefit from Live View Control, which allows you to see how changing settings will alter the final picture before you actually take it. Tracking Auto-Focus ensures your subject remains sharp.

Looking for a first digital camera? Then set your sights on the affordable PowerShot A800, which keeps the button layout simple, offers intuitive shooting modes and Smart Auto technology. For a little more versatility, including a wide-angle lens, Blur Reduction and an optical viewfinder, which is great for more traditional photographers, check out the A1200.

The lithum-ion powered A2200 has a 4x optical zoom and a number of shooting functions, while coming in at the top of the range are the A3200 IS with its wide-angle 5x zoom lens, and the A3300, which boasts a 16Mp sensor (the highest-resolution sensor ever to be included in a Canon compact camera) and chic metal chassis.

The A3200 IS (£129), A3300 IS (£149), A1200 and A2200 all now offer 720p high-definition (HD) video capture.
The A2200 is released this month, the A800, A3200 IS, A3300 IS in February and the A1200 in March.

More at www.canon.co.uk