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.
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.