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Canon PowerShot A1200 Overview

Posted: 01/05/2011

The Canon PowerShot A1200 is based around a 12.1-megapixel, 1/2.3"-type CCD image sensor coupled to a 4x optical zoom lens that offers focal lengths ranging from a useful 28mm wide angle to a moderate 112mm telephoto. Maximum aperture varies from f/2.8 to f/5.9 across the zoom range. The Canon A1200 includes an optical viewfinder, an increasingly rare but useful feature in bright light or when batteries are running low. The A1200's 2.7-inch LCD monitor has a resolution of 230,000 dots (~76,800 pixels, with three dots per pixel).

The Canon A1200's sensor allows sensitivities ranging from ISO 80 to ISO 1,600 equivalents. Exposures are determined using Evaluative, Center-weighted Average or Spot metering, and direct control of shutter speed or aperture isn't possible on this camera (except for a "Long Shutter" mode which lets you choose shutter speeds between 1 and 15 seconds). 2.0EV of exposure compensation is available, in 1/3EV increments. Seven white balance modes are available on the Canon A1200 - Auto, Manual, or five presets. The PowerShot A1200's built-in flash strobe has a range of 13 feet at wide angle, dropping to 6.6 feet at telephoto, and recharges in around twelve seconds.

The PowerShot A1200 offers Canon's Smart Auto mode, which intelligently selects optimal settings automatically for you, based on 32 predefined shooting situations. Eleven manually selected scene modes are also available, and the camera includes Creative Filters such as Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid and Poster Effect. A new Discreet mode disables the the camera's sound, flash and AF assist beam for shooting in quiet situations.

As well as still images, the PowerShot A1200 can capture video clips at 720p HD resolution (1280x720 pixels) at 24 frames-per-second, a first for the Canon A-series. VGA (640x480) and QVGA (320x240) resolutions at 30 frames-per-second are also available. Miniature Effect is available during moves, which drops the frame rate to as low as 1.5 fps. The Canon PowerShot A1200 stores images on SD / SDHC / SDXC / MMC / MMC Plus / HC MMC Plus cards, and draws power from two AA batteries. Battery life is rated at 200 shots on a charge, to CIPA testing standards using Alkaline batteries. Connectivity options include USB 2.0 high-speed data and NTSC / PAL standard definition video.

The Canon PowerShot A1200 ships from early March 2011, priced at around US$110. Available colors are black and silver.