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Canon announces five new PowerShot digital cameras (UPDATED)
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 09:00 EST)

Canon USA has today announced five new digital cameras in its PowerShot line, all but one replacing existing cameras.

The new PowerShot S50 (the one model that doesn't actually replace an existing unit) becomes Canon's first 5 megapixel camera. Other than increased resolution, the camera is near-identical feature-wise to the S45, featuring a slightly more powerful digital zoom (as you'd expect with the increased resolution), and also adding direct-print compatibility with the latest Canon printers. The PowerShot S50 will ship in March for $699.

The PowerShot S330 is being replaced by the new PowerShot S400 Digital ELPH. Featuring a super-hard laminated finish with rounded corners, this camera has a 4 megapixel resolution and a 3x optical zoom, and will ship in March for $599. The 5-point AF of the prior model has been replaced by a new 9-point AF. Other additions include center-weighted metering and a custom white balance.

The PowerShot A60 and A70 are replacements for the existing A30 and A40 models respectively. The cameras both feature totally redesigned bodies with size reduced about 30%, and with aluminum covers instead of plastic. Resolutions are raised to from 1.3 to 2 megapixels, and from 2 to 3.2 megapixels respectively. The cameras both get 5-point autofocusing, manual focusing, iris apertures, center-weighted and AF-linked spot metering, improved movie modes with sound, flash exposure compensation and more. The cameras will ship in March at prices of $349 and $449 respectively. These cameras will use the same accessory lenses as the PowerShot A30 / A40 (24mm wide-angle for $99, 245mm telephoto for $129) but will require a different adaptor ring costing $20. A double-element closeup lens is available for $105 list. An underwater housing is to be available, which has been upgraded to 130 ft. depth, with pricing not yet set...

The PowerShot A200 is replaced by the new Powershot A300 - which increases the resolution to 3.2 megapixels, improves the autofocus from 3-point to 5-point, adds center-weighted and AF-linked spot metering, features an enhanced movie mode with sound capability, and more. The camera retains the same fixed focal-length lens as the previous digital camera is retained. The PowerShot A300 will ship in April at a cost of US$299.

PowerShot S50
PowerShot S400 Digital ELPH
PowerShot A60
PowerShot A70
PowerShot A300
Replaces:
PowerShot S45
PowerShot S330
PowerShot A30
PowerShot A40
PowerShot A200
(click thumbnails for bigger picture) Canon's PowerShot S50 digital camera. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture! Canon's PowerShot S400 digital camera. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture! Canon's PowerShot A60 digital camera. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture! Canon's PowerShot A70 digital camera. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture! Canon's PowerShot A300 digital camera. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Imaging Sensor
Resolution Approximately 5.0 million effective pixels Approximately 4.0 million effective pixels Approximately 2 million effective pixels
Approximately 3.2 million effective pixels
Recording Pixels 2592 x 1944 2272 x 1704 1600 x 1200
2048 x 1536
Sensor Type
Interline CCD, with primary RGB filtration
Sensor Size
1/1.8-inch diagonal
1/2.7-inch diagonal
Lens
Focal Length 7.1 - 21.3mm, ƒ2.8~4.9 (equivalent to 35 - 105mm in 35mm film format) 7.4 - 22.2mm, ƒ2.8~4.9 (equivalent to 36 - 108mm in 35mm film format)
5.4 - 16.2mm, ƒ2.8~4.8 (equivalent to 35 - 105mm in 35mm film format)
5.0mm, ƒ3.6 (fixed focal length, equivalent to 33mm lens in 35mm film format)
Zoom ratio
3x
-
Optical construction 7 elements in 5 groups (one Aspherical element) 7 elements in 5 groups (two Aspherical elements)
9 elements in 7 groups (one Aspherical element)
5 elements in 5 groups (one Aspherical element)
Aperture control Iris diaphragm; stops down to ƒ8.0 Round shaped aperture; stops down to ƒ7.1 (wide) / ƒ13.0 (tele)
Iris diaphragm ; stops down to ƒ8.0
Rounded aperture; operates at ƒ3.5 or ƒ5.6
Closest focusing distance
1.6 feet / 0.5m (normal shooting)
3.9 inches / 10cm (macro mode, @ wide-angle setting - magnification 0.32x)
1.5 feet / 0.46m (normal shooting)
2 inches / 5cm (macro mode, @ wide-angle setting - magnification 0.32x)
1.5 feet / 0.46m (normal shooting)
2 inches / 5cm (macro mode, @ wide-angle setting)
7.9 inches / 0.2m (normal shooting)
2 inches / 5cm (macro mode, @ wide-angle setting)
Autofocus Nine-point TTL system, Single Center-point AF, Flexizone AF (freely move Center point) Nine-point TTL system , or Single Center-point AF
Five-point TTL system (with user-selectable Center AF point, visible on LCD monitor)
Special focus settings
  • Macro
  • Manual focus
  • Focus lock (AF on subject, lock focus by pressing Manual Focus button)
  • Macro
  • Landscape
  • Macro
  • Manual focus
  • Focus lock (AF on subject, lock focus by pressing Manual Focus button)
  • Macro
Accessory conversion lenses
none
24.5mm wide-angle, 0.7x (WC-DC52) and 252mm telephoto, 2.4x (TC-DC52)
none
Image Recording
JPEG image recording
8-bit JPEG; Three compression settings (“Super Fine”, “Fine”, “Normal”)
RAW file recording 12-bit RAW recording; output to Photoshop as 8-bit or 16-bit Photoshop files
none
Data recording format
DCF (Design rule for Camera File system); DPOF v. 1.1 (Digital Print Order Format); EXIF 2.2-compatible
Reduced resolution options
1600x1200 (Medium 1), 1024x768 (Medium 2), 640x480 (Small)
1024x768 (Medium), 640x480 (Small)
1600x1200 (Medium 1), 1024x768 (Medium 2), 640x480 (Small)
Storage media
CompactFlash cards, Type I ( FAT32 compatible if card is over 2GB)
Shooting Controls
Shooting modes (On Mode dial): Program AE, Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE, Manual, Stitch-assist, Movie Program AE (Auto), Manual, Stitch-assist, Movie
(On Mode dial): Program AE, Shutter-priority AE , Aperture-priority AE , Manual, Stitch-assist, Movie
Program AE (Auto), Manual, Stitch-assist, Movie
Image Zone modes (on Mode dial) Green Zone (full auto), Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Fast shutter, Slow shutter
-
Green Zone (full auto), Portrait , Landscape , Night Scene , Fast shutter , Slow shutter
-
Photo Effects settings
Vivid color, Neutral color, Low Sharpening, Sepia, Black & White
Metering Evaluative, Center-weighted, Spot (choice of Center Spot, or linked to any of 9 AF points) Evaluative, Center-weighted , Spot (Spot metering always at center)
Evaluative, Center-weighted , Spot (choice of Center Spot, or linked to any of 5 AF points )
Exposure compensation
+/- up to 2 stops, 1/3-stop increments
ISO sensitivity
  • Auto
  • ISO 50, 100, 200, and 400 settings (user-set)
Shutter speed range 15 seconds ~ 1/1,500 (slow speeds longer than 1.3 sec. in Tv or M modes only) 15 seconds ~ 1/2,000 (slow speeds longer than 1.3 sec. in Slow Sync or M modes only)
15 seconds ~ 1/2,000 (slow speeds longer than 1.3 sec. in Tv or M modes only)
1 second ~ 1/2,000 (slow speeds longer than 1/6 sec. in Slow-sync or M modes only)
White Balance

Three options available:

  • TTL auto white balance (determined by camera)
  • Pre-set white balance (daylight, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent, fluorescent H)
  • Custom (Two settings; read and set WB off of white or neutral gray object)

Three options available:

  • TTL auto white balance (determined by camera)
  • Pre-set white balance (daylight, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent, fluorescent H)
  • Custom (read and set WB off of white or neutral gray object)
Performance
Continuous shooting speed up to 2.0 fps in Large/Fine mode; requires LCD monitor be turned off up to 2.5 fps in Large/Fine mode; requires LCD monitor be turned off up to 2.6 fps in Large/Fine mode; requires LCD monitor be turned off
up to 2.2 fps in Large/Fine mode; requires LCD monitor be turned off
Viewfinder & LCD
Optical viewfinder Real-image optical zoom viewfinder; Eyepoint 16.2mm
Real-image optical zoom viewfinder; Eyepoint 16mm
Inverted Galilean optical viewfinder; Eyepoint 16mm
LCD monitor
Can be used as viewfinder during shooting, or for image review
LCD size 1.8 inches / 46mm diagonal; 100% coverage relative to imaging sensor 1.5 inches / 39mm diagonal; 100% coverage relative to imaging sensor
1.5 inches / 38mm diagonal; 100% coverage relative to imaging sensor
Special features Enlarged playback (2x ~ 10x); brightness adjustable in two levels
Enlarged playback (2x ~ 10x)
Digital zoom Continuous, up to 4.1x possible ( 12x maximum when combined with lens optical zoom) Continuous, up to 3.6x possible ( 11x maximum when combined with lens optical zoom) Continuous, up to 2.5x possible (7.5x maximum when combined with lens optical zoom) Continuous, up to 3.2x possible ( 9.6x maximum when combined with lens optical zoom) Continuous, up to 5.1x possible
Movie mode
Resolution
  • 320 x 240 (QVGA); up to 3 minutes in duration, with sound
  • 160 x 120 (Q2VGA); up to 3 minutes in duration, with sound
  • 320 x 240 (QVGA); up to 3 minutes in duration, with sound
  • 160 x 120 (Q2VGA); up to 3 minutes in duration, with sound
  • 640 x 480 (VGA) ; up to 30 seconds in duration, with sound
  • 320 x 240 (QVGA); up to 3 minutes in duration, with sound
  • 160 x 120 (Q2VGA); up to 3 minutes in duration, with sound
Movie framing rate
15fps
Movie playback
On camera’s LCD monitor (with sound); Standard TV monitor using video-out cord; or within Mac/Windows PC using Apple QuickTime™ software (v. 4.1 or higher required)
On camera’s LCD monitor ( with sound ); Standard TV monitor using video-out cord; or within Mac/Windows PC using Apple QuickTime™ software (v. 4.1 or higher required)
Movie file format
AVI (Image data: Motion JPEG; Audio data: WAVE / monaural)
Flash
Built-in flash yes; automatic firing, auto w/ red-eye reduction, flash ON, flash OFF yes; automatic firing, auto w/ red-eye reduction, flash ON, flash OFF, Slow Sync
yes; automatic firing, auto w/ red-eye reduction, flash ON, flash OFF,
Maximum distance (wide) 16 ft / 4.8m; (tele) 9.8 ft / 3m (ISO at Auto) (wide) 12 ft / 3.5m; (tele) 6.7 ft / 2m (ISO at Auto)
(wide) 14 ft / 4.2m; (tele) 8.2 ft / 2.5m
6.7 feet (2.0m)
Flash with camera in Manual mode Manual flash only; output adjustable in three levels (via Function button)
-
Manual flash only; output adjustable in three levels (via Function button)
-
Flash sync speeds
1/60 ~ 1/500 (normal flash modes)
Slow-sync flash (With balanced fill): Possible in Night Scene mode; and after Menu activation in P, Av, and Tv exposure modes Possible in Slow Sync mode (1 ~ 1/500), or Slow Shutter Speed mode (15 sec ~ 1 sec)
(With balanced fill): Possible with flash in Tv, M , and Night Scene mode; set on shooting mode dial
(With balanced fill): Speeds to 1 sec. possible in Slow-sync mode; set on LCD monitor using Flash button
Computer Interface
Direct-connection to computer
USB; via dedicated Canon USB cable IFC-300 PCU (supplied w/ camera)
Direct printing
Direct printing, without computer Compatible with Canon CP-10 and CP-100 card printers, and letter-size Bubblejet S820D, S830D, S530D printers (and new spring 2003 printers )
(printer driver is built into camera; menu appears on camera’s LCD monitor)
Compatible with Canon CP-10 and CP-100 card printers, and letter-size Bubblejet S820D, S830D , S530D printers (and new spring 2003 printers )
(printer driver is built into camera; menu appears on camera’s LCD monitor)
Compatible with Canon CP-10 and CP-100 card printers, and letter-size Bubblejet S820D, S830D, S530D printers (and new spring 2003 printers )
(printer driver is built into camera; menu appears on camera’s LCD monitor)
Battery
Type Rechargeable NB-2L Lithium-Ion battery (included with camera) Rechargeable NB-1LH Lithium-Ion battery (included with camera)
(four) AA-size alkaline batteries (also compatible with Ni-MH AA-size batteries)
(two) AA-size alkaline batteries (also compatible with Ni-MH AA-size batteries)
Shooting capacity LCD off—approx. 460 images; LCD on—approx. 210 images (@ 73° F / 23° C) LCD off—approx. 440 images ; LCD on—approx. 190 images (@ 73° F / 23° C)
Alkaline AAs: LCD off—approx. 800 images ; LCD on—approx. 250 images (@ 73° F / 23° C)
LCD off—approx. 1000 images; LCD on—approx. 350 images (with Canon NB-1AH batteries, same temperatures as above )
LCD off—210; LCD on—75 (@ 73° F / 23° C)
LCD off—450; LCD on—200
(with Canon NB-1AH batteries, same temperatures as above )
LCD playback time Approx. 180 minutes (@ 73°F / 23°C) Approx. 140 minutes (@ 73°F / 23°C)
Approx. 280 minutes (@ 73°F / 23°C, with alkaline or Ni-MH batteries)
approx 90 minutes (@ 73°F / 23°C, with alkaline or batteries)
approx 120 minutes (with Ni-MH AA batteries)
AC adapter Optional AC Adapter Kit ACK 700; includes AC adapter CA-PS700 Optional AC Adapter Kit ACK 500; includes AC adapter CA-PS500
Optional AC Adapter Kit ACK 600; includes AC adapter CA-PS500
Optional AC Adapter Kit ACK 800; includes AC adapter CA-800
Body & Dimensions
Body colors and materials
Aluminum alloy exterior; bright silver finish or black finish
Aluminum alloy front cover; bright silver finish with metallic blue grip Aluminum alloy front cover; bright silver finish with metallic gray grip Polycarbonate, with sliding lens cover (acts as master On-Off switch)
Dimensions (W x H x D) 4.4 x 2.3 x 1.7 inches (112 x 58 x 42mm) 3.4 x 2.2 x 1.1 inches ( 87 x 57 x 28 mm)
4.0 x 2.5 x 1.25 inches ( 101 x 64 x 31.5 mm)
4.4 x 2.3 x 1.4 inches (111 x 58 x 37mm)
Weight (w/o battery or CF card) 9.2 oz. (260g) 6.5 oz. ( 185 g)
7.6 oz. ( 215 g)
6.2 oz. (175g)
.
All specifications above are based on Canon Inc.’s standard test method.
Specs are preliminary, and subject to change without notice.
Specifications superior to previous camera are in italic

UPDATED 2003-08-04 03:17ET: We just noticed whilst editing our database that the Canon PowerShot A300 does not have a video out port. The table above suggests otherwise, saying that movies captured by the camera can be viewed on a "Standard TV monitor using video-out cord" - this is incorrect for the A300.

Original Source Press Release:

CANON CONTINUES AGGRESSIVE APPROACH IN THE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY MARKET WITH INTRODUCTION OF FIVE NEW POWERSHOT MODELS

New Cameras Offer Exclusive DIGIC and iSAPS Technology, High-Quality Glass Optics, Direct Connect with Select Canon Printers and Advanced Camera Features at Every Pricepoint

New Additions Bring Total PowerShot Lineup to Ten Models

LAKE SUCCESS, February 27, 2003 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ), is mounting one of the most aggressive new product introductions in its 68-year history with the introduction of five new PowerShot digital cameras. Each new camera, from the entry-level A300 3-megapixel model, to the fully-featured S50 5-megapixel model, incorporates advanced features and exclusive technologies. Currently consisting of ten models, Canon’s line of PowerShot digital cameras offers one of the widest selections of any brand in the industry. And while each model is distinctly unique in features and pricepoint, every PowerShot camera incorporates Canon’s exclusive DIGIC Image Processor for maximum camera performance, the highest quality Canon glass optics for incredibly sharp photographs, and Canon’s new iSAPS technology which enables the camera to achieve precise exposure and true color rendition. In addition, every PowerShot camera will directly connect to several Canon Bubble Jet Direct and Card Photo printers for fast and easy creation of high-quality prints in the home or office.

The new Canon PowerShot models include: The A300 (3.2 MP), A60 (2.0 MP), A70 (3.2 MP), S400 Digital Elph (4.0 MP), and S50 (5.0 MP). These new models join Canon’s existing line of PowerShot cameras including the PowerShot S200 Digital Elph (2.0 MP), S230 Digital Elph (3.2 MP), S45 (4.0 MP), G2 (4.0 MP), and G3 (4.0 MP).

“The introduction of five new PowerShot digital cameras is one of the most aggressive product announcements Canon has made in recent memory, and a clear indication of our desire to become the preferred brand of digital cameras among consumers,” said Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “With ten camera models now available in our PowerShot line, along with unique and exclusive technologies such as DIGIC and iSAPS incorporated into each model, Canon is uniquely positioned to provide consumers at all levels of expertise and financial means the ability to produce excellent photographs quickly, easily and with confidence,” Mr. Hashimoto added.

Elements of Image Quality
The image quality of any digital camera cannot rest solely on the resolution of its image sensor. While resolution is clearly a key element of image quality, two additional factors must be taken into consideration. First is the quality of the camera’s optics. The second is the quality of the camera’s image processor. Collectively these three units, working together, ultimately determine the image quality of any digital camera. Today, Canon is the only manufacturer of digital cameras that combines its own dedicated Image Processor (DIGIC) and its own high-quality, all-glass optics with high-resolution image sensors to achieve maximum image quality.

Canon Optics
Canon’s heritage as an imaging company dates back almost 70 years to the company’s founding in 1934. Since then, Canon has worked hard to perfect the process of creating extremely high-quality optics for its line of imaging products and is now the world’s largest manufacturer of cameras and lenses. Canon is a global leader in optical design, with many advanced and original technologies such as aspherical and fluorite optics, optical image stabilizers, ultrasonic motors, and more. These combined technologies allow Canon users to achieve the sharpest images possible.

Canon’s DIGIC Image Processor
Canon’s proprietary image processor, called DIGIC, was developed specifically for use with its line of digital cameras and combines the jobs of image processing and camera function control into one chip. Canon’s DIGIC (short for Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit) is much faster at image processing than a general purpose CPU because it employs parallel processing rather than the sequential, one pixel at a time processing methods used by conventional digital cameras. The extra speed of DIGIC makes it possible to incorporate higher quality signal processing algorithms than conventional digital cameras, while at the same time improving buffer performance and consuming less battery power because signal processing is completed more quickly on a per-image basis.

However, DIGIC does much more than image processing. Because it was specifically designed for use in a digital camera, it is also capable of handling nearly every digital camera function including JPEG compression/expansion; memory card control; LCD/Video control and processing; gain control (control of CCD signal amplification); Auto Exposure; Auto Focus; Auto White Balance control and most other functions of the camera. The result is a camera that offers faster and more powerful AF than ever before, faster image processing, longer battery life, and the ability to record 3-minute movie clips with sound.

iSAPS Technology
Over the past 68 years, Canon has accumulated a vast amount of photographic data and know-how and used it to create some of the most innovative camera products in the marketplace. Now, using that same data and know-how, Canon has developed an exclusive technology called iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) that can predict certain camera settings such as focusing distance, exposure and optimum white balance based on zoom focal length, overall light level and tonal distribution data. Canon refers to this collective data as “Photographic Space.” By incorporating iSAPS technology into its PowerShot line, the cameras can analyze a scene just before the image is made and in doing so, increase the speed and precision of the camera’s autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance.

PowerShot S50
Canon’s new PowerShot S50 is the company’s first 5 megapixel digital camera and features a high-resolution 3x f/2.8 optical zoom lens together with a compact, black brushed aluminum alloy exterior. In addition, the S50 includes Canon’s exclusive DIGIC Imaging Processor with iSAPS technology to provide enhanced image quality, increased processing speed and improved camera features including a 9-Point AiAF autofocus system for faster and easier focusing; 9-position White Balance; selectable metering modes for precise exposure in almost any shooting condition; selectable Second-Curtain sync flash; an improved Movie Mode that captures clips up to 3 minutes apiece with sound; and Direct Print capabilities with Canon’s Card Printer CP-100 dye-sublimation printer and several Canon Bubble Jet Direct printers. The PowerShot S50 will be available in March and have a suggested list price of $699.

PowerShot S400 Digital Elph
The PowerShot S400 Digital Elph is the world’s smallest 4 megapixel digital camera with a 3x optical zoom (3.6x digital / 11x combined) lens and a 9-point AiAF autofocus system that makes focusing quick and easy, even with off-center subjects. The camera also offers a stainless steel body with a new super hard Cerabrite finish to guard against scratching; an improved Movie Mode that captures clips up to 3 minutes apiece with sound; and Direct Print capabilities with Canon’s Card Printer CP-100 dye-sublimation printer and several Canon Bubble Jet Direct printers. The PowerShot S400 will be available in March and have a suggested list price of $599.

PowerShot A60 / A70
The PowerShot A60 (2.0 MP) and A70 (3.2 MP) cameras are ultra-compact AA-battery powered models that provide numerous high-end features including an aluminum alloy exterior; 3x optical zoom lens, 5-point AiAF autofocus system, enhanced Movie Mode with Sound for clips up to 3-minutes, close focus to 2-inches and a full range of exposure modes including Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual. Each model is compatible with the optional WP-DC700 Waterproof Housing good to depths of 130 feet, as well as supplementary wide-angle, telephoto and macro converters for added flexibility. The PowerShots A60 and A70 are scheduled to be available in March at suggested list prices of $349 and $449, respectively.

PowerShot A300
The PowerShot A300 is an entry-level, 3.2 MP model that includes ample features and camera functions. The AA-battery powered camera is equipped with a 33mm fixed focal length all-glass autofocus lens and a 5.1x digital zoom. It also offers 5-point AiAF and an enhanced Movie Mode feature allowing for up to 3-minutes of video with sound. Like all other PowerShots introduced at this time, it completely supports driverless downloads via PTP with Windows XP and Mac OS X, as well as EXIF 2.2, and DPOF 1.1. The PowerShot A300 will be available in April at a suggested list price of $299.

Pricing and Availability
Canon’s new PowerShot digital cameras will have the following suggested retail prices and availability:

PowerShot S50 -- $699 (March)
PowerShot S400 -- $599 (March)
PowerShot A70 – $449 (March)
PowerShot A60 -- $349 (March)
PowerShot A300 -- $299 (April)

Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. In 2001, the Company was listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America, and was ranked #41 on the BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands." Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is a top patent-holder of technology, ranking third overall in the U.S. in 2001, with global revenues of $22 billion. Canon U.S.A. employs approximately 11,000 people at over 30 locations. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

# # #

All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.
All pricing subject to change without notice.

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