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Canon PowerShot A480 Overview

A month after it was unveiled in Europe, the Canon PowerShot A480 has been launched in the US market in the runup to the Photo Marketing Association tradeshow as a replacement for the year-old PowerShot A470 model. Compared to that camera, the Canon A480 has a completely restyled body that's about a quarter smaller overall, has a more traditional shape, and simplifies the user interface by removing the mode dial and adding dedicated buttons for control of zoom, operating mode and playback.

The 3.3x optical zoom lens in the Canon A480 is ever so slightly wider-angle and less powerful than the 3.4x zoom of the A470, and offers 35mm equivalent focal lengths from a rather tight 37mm wide angle to a 122mm telephoto. Maximum aperture ranges from f/3.0 to f/5.8 across the zoom range. The sensor resolution has been boosted from seven to ten megapixels, from a 1/2.3"-type CCD image sensor, and the Canon A480 is based around the previous generation of DIGIC III image processor. The number of scene modes has also been increased from ten to fifteen.

Most other specifications are similar to the previous camera. There's no optical viewfinder, with images solely framed and reviewed on a 2.5", 115,000 dot LCD display. Power comes from two AA batteries, and media is stored on SD / MMC cards. As well as still images, the Canon A480 can record 20fps VGA or 30fps QVGA video in QuickTime Motion JPEG format. Sensitivity ranges from a minimum of ISO 80 equivalent to a maximum of ISO 1,600 equivalent.

The Canon PowerShot A480 will ship in the USA from March 2009, priced at US$130.