Nuggets: Canon breaks out the pixels

Whopping resolution with PowerShot

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This month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas saw Canon become one of the first to smash through the three-megapixel barrier, with its 3.3 megapixel PowerShot S20 digital camera.

The upgrade for Canon's PowerShot S10, it comes in a "metallic champagne" casing and measures just 4.1 x 2.7 x 1.3 inches. Professional photographers will appreciate the fact that, in addition to Type I and Type II CompactFlash cards, it's compatible with IBM's microdrive, giving you a whopping 340MB of photo storage.

Speaking of glass, you get a 6.5-13mm aspherical zoom lens, with built-in 2x and 4x digital teleconverters to extend the zoom range of the lens to 8x when used alongside its 2x optical zoom function. Other features include a Mode Dial on top and an Omni Selector button on the back. The Mode Dial acts as an on/off switch and controls recording, playback and data transfer settings. The Omni Selector button controls a whole load of things, including zoom and image playback selection.

You're spoilt for choice for picture taking modes, as among others there's Full Auto, Manual, Stitch Assist, and five image modes -- slow-speed shutter, high-speed shutter, Night Scene, Landscape, and Black and White.

At its top resolution setting the camera delivers images of up to 2048 x 1536 resolution. There are also two other modes, offering 1024 x 768 or 640 x480 for posting on the Web, or cram then onto a small memory card.

The software bundle includes Adobe PhotoDeluxe and Canon PhotoStich for combining a series of images into a panorama.

The PowerShot S20 is out in March, no details on UK pricing as yet.

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