Canon's new chip on the block
Canon on Thursday unveiled a new image chip called the Digic III, along with four new compact cameras. The new image processor offers less image noise, and faster start-up, autofocus, and shutter response times. Battery life is also extended because of the chip's efficiency, according to Canon. The Digic III debuts in the new PowerShot G7, as well as three new additions to the Digital Elph series cameras.
The PowerShot G7 is a matte black 10-megapixel camera with 6x optical zoom lens and a 2.5-inch LCD screen available this October for about $600. It seems to follow the new trend of manufacturers packing compact cameras with digital SLR-associated features. The camera starts up in 1.4 seconds, has optical image stabilization, can shoot at ISO 1600 for low-light shooting with no flash, and even comes with a hot shoe, according to Canon specifications. It also detects and focuses on faces within a framed shot, not just faces centered by the photographer. Like many other point-and-shoot cameras being sold these days, the G7 includes consumer favorites like image presets for different shooting conditions, and in-camera color and saturation adjustments.
The PowerShot SD40 Digital Elph ($350 ), introduced Thursday, has a stainless steel body with a 1.8-inch LCD and a 7.1-megapixel chip. In a bold departure from the usual silver and candy colors seen on most point-and-shoots, the camera comes in a brown and copper finish version.
Blue, pink and silver are the other color options on the PowerShot SD40, introduced Thursday. The camera comes with a docking station for transferring photos from camera to PC via USB port-photo transferring and battery recharging.
The 10-megapixel PowerShot SD900 Digital Elph ($500), introduced Thursday, has a titanium body with a 2.5-inch LCD and 3x optical zoom lens. With the use of 4GB SDHC memory cards, the movie mode can take video at 15 frames-per-second for up to 33 minutes.
The PowerShot SD800 IS Digital Elph ($400), introduced Thursday, has a 7.1-megapixel sensor, a 2.5-inch LCD, and a 3.8x zoom lens (28-105mm film equivalent). It has optical image stabilization and can shoot at an ISO speed of up to 1600, features that are somewhat helpful for low-light shooting. For its capability, the PowerShot SD800 is relatively small. Canon lists its specs at 3.52 x 2.28 x 1. That is about the same size as a deck of cards.