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Canon announces two new A-series Powershots
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, February 9, 2004 - 09:00 EST)

In its fourth announcement of the day (and the first digicam announcement), Canon has introduced two new A-series Powershot digital camera models.

We don't currently have specifications for either model, but the PowerShot A75 and A310 are both 3.2 megapixel (2048 x 1536 pixel) cameras which should reach the market in April. The entry-level A310 features a 5mm (33mm equivalent) f/3.6 fixed focal-length lens, 1.5-inch LCD display, 5.1x digital zoom, five-point AiAF focusing, built-in flash with a range of 6.6 feet, shutter speeds from 1/2000 to one second, a choice of evaluative, center-weighted or spot metering, and a 640 x 480 pixel movie mode with sound. The A75 features a 5.4 - 16.2mm (35 - 105mm equivalent) f/2.8 - 4.8 3x optical zoom lens, 1.8-inch LCD display, nine-point AiAF focusing with manual focusing possible, built-in flash with a range of 14 feet, histogram feature, choice of auto / shutter priority / aperture priority / manual and a selection of scene modes, and an optional case waterproof to 130 feet. The PowerShot A310 will cost $199, and the PowerShot A75 will cost $299.

Canon's PowerShot A310 digital camera. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Canon's PowerShot A75 digital camera. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

CANON ENHANCES POWERSHOT LINE OF DIGITAL CAMERAS WITH A PAIR OF AFFORDABLE, NEW, HIGH RESOLUTION A-SERIES MODELS

LAS VEGAS (PMA, BOOTH # E11), Feb. 9, 2004 - Canon continues to make digital photography accessible, affordable and enjoyable for users of all skill levels with the introduction today of two newly enhanced PowerShot point and shoot digital cameras. From the simplified sophistication of the feature-filled and versatile 3.2 megapixel PowerShot A75 model with its 3x optical and 3.2x digital zoom to the amazingly economical entry-level 3.2 megapixel PowerShot A310 digital camera with its 5.1x digital zoom lens, these two digital cameras provide a compact and comfortable introduction to the fun and freedom of digital photography Canon style.

The natural successors to last year's enormously popular PowerShot A70 and PowerShot A300 digital cameras, the PowerShot A75 and PowerShot A310 both offer new and upgraded features previously found on higher level and more expensive digital cameras. Among the noteworthy enhancements for 2004 is the designation of 3.2-million pixels as the minimum resolution to be found on any new Canon digital camera (increased from the previous minimum of 2-million pixels as found on the PowerShot A60 digital camera).

"Whether you are a professional photographer earning a living with our top-of-the-line equipment; an advanced amateur or photo enthusiast, or a person who simply wishes to capture, save and share meaningful memories, personal milestones and family functions, we are committed to creating Canon cameras that have a place in your life," states Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc, a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ). "These two PowerShot cameras offer a warm welcome to all who wish to experience the fun of digital photography first-hand and the satisfaction of achieving remarkable results quickly, easily and affordably."

Print/Share Button
In addition to upgrading a number of features over their predecessor models, Canon has introduced the new Print/Share button that speeds and simplifies printing to compatible Canon and PictBridge enabled printers and one-touch image transfer to Windows XP, Me, 2000, and 98 computers for use with image processing programs, uploading to the Internet, or placement in email. Located on the backside of the PowerShot A75 and A310 digital camera is the new Print/Share button. When the camera is connected to the printer the Print/Share button illuminates green to let the user know to press the Print/Share button to begin the printing process.

Canon's new Direct Transfer function offers users five options to download images to Windows computers covering everything from all images in the camera, all new images in the camera, user-selected individual images, images selected for batch printing and even a setting to create Windows Wallpaper from an image. Finally, Canon's new Direct Print options - in conjunction with Canon CP-type printers - permit creation of passport style ID prints on 4x6 paper as well various print sizes (selectable on the cameras' menu). Direct Print also offers users the opportunity to print thumbnail frame sequences from movie clips generated in the camera and output to a Canon CP Printer.

Like all A-Series PowerShot digital cameras, the new A75 and A310 models utilize Type I CompactFlash card media (32MB included) and are powered by AA batteries (four with the A75 and only two with the A310) or by optional rechargeable Canon Alkaline NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride NB4-200 AA-size batteries).

The DIGIC™ Difference
Image quality with both new digital cameras is enhanced and improved as a result of Canon's proprietary DIGIC (Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit) chip processor. Introduced in 2003, DIGIC combines the roles of image processing and camera function control into one chip resulting in faster display and write times for each image and lower power consumption, extending battery life. Moreover, because DIGIC technology was designed specifically for use in digital cameras it is also capable of handling JPEG compression and 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.

PowerShot A75 Digital Camera
The 3.2 megapixel PowerShot A75 digital camera captures JPEG images at a peak resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, with reduced resolution settings of 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768 and 640 x 480. Compression settings of SuperFine, Fine and Normal can be selected for any resolution setting.

The PowerShot A75 features a 3x (35-105mm equivalent) Canon optical zoom lens with a 3.2x digital zoom lens and can focus as close as 2 inches from the subject (in macro setting). New for 2004, the A75 digital camera features a larger and markedly improved 1.8-inch 118,000-pixel LCD monitor with a histogram display and a zoom capability of up to 10x on playback. Among the other upgraded features on the PowerShot A75 is the camera's new nine-point autofocus system (improved from the A70's five-point system). This feature enables the camera to evaluate a larger percentage of the picture area, and improves the odds of locking on to the desired subject instantly. For photographers who wish to take control of the focusing, the A75 features an override function that lets them choose between center-area autofocus or good, old-fashioned manual focusing as they wish.

Like its A70 predecessor, the PowerShot A75 digital camera has a built-in flash with automatic red-eye reduction and Slow Sync settings and a maximum range of 14 feet. The camera's standard exposure modes are Auto, Program, Manual, Shutter-priority and Aperture-priority with other shooting mode options offered including Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Fast Shutter, Slow Shutter, Movie and Stitch Assist.

New for 2004, the PowerShot A75 digital camera also features an additional Special Scene mode that optimizes image quality for six common shooting conditions: Indoors, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, and Underwater. (For the Underwater mode, an optional underwater case, waterproof to 130 feet, is required.) The camera is also equipped with an orientation sensor that automatically detects vertical or horizontal shooting and correctly positions the image when playing back on the camera's monitor or using Canon software.

The camera's new Postcard Date Imprint mode provides a user selectable date stamp that can be imprinted in the corner of a picture, similar to those found on 35mm "QD"(Quartz Date) cameras. When selected, the Postcard mode also deliberately crops the image creating a slightly longer rectangle to fill a 4 x 6 postcard. When shooting in Postcard mode the camera automatically reduces the resolution to 1600 x 1200 with fine compression (an ideal setting for 4 x 6 images with no need for the user to manually set the resolution and compression).

PowerShot A310 Camera
Despite its position as the entry-level digital camera of this entry-level series of PowerShot cameras, the new PowerShot A310 digital camera offers consumers remarkable quality, surprisingly high-end features and overall incredible value. This 3.2 megapixel digital camera features a fixed focal length 33mm equivalent f/3.6 all-glass Canon lens with a 5.1x digital zoom and close focusing capability of 1.2 inches in macro mode. The PowerShot A310 features a five-point AiAF Autofocus compared with the model A75's nine autofocus points. The camera's built-in flash has a maximum range of 6.6 feet and features settings for automatic, red- eye reduction and slow sync.

Like its predecessor, the PowerShot A300, the new PowerShot A310 digital camera has a shutter speed range from one second to 1/2000 of a second, offers a choice of evaluative, center-weighted and spot metering modes and the option of selecting the peak resolution of 2048 x 1536 or reduced resolutions of 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768 and 640 x 480 (Medium1, Medium2 and Small, respectively). Movie resolution options are 640 x 480 (up to 30 seconds with sound) or reduced resolutions of 320 x 240 and 160 x 120 (up to 3 minutes with sound). Additionally, sound memos of up to 60 seconds can be appended to any still image file and played back in the camera or computer.

While the Viewfinder/LCD monitor display on the PowerShot A310 digital camera is 1.5 inches and 78,000 pixels (compared with the model A75's 1.8 inch/118,000 pixel LCD), it nonetheless features the same 2x -10x zooming capability on playback.

Like its "big brother," the PowerShot A75, the PowerShot A310 features Canon's new Print/Share button for simplified, one-touch Direct Printing to Canon and PictBridge-compatible printers as well as one-touch downloading to Windows XP/Me/2000/98 computers. The PowerShot A310 also supports PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol), making it fully compatible with Mac OS X.

The PowerShot A75 and PowerShot A310 will be in stores April for estimated street prices of *$299 and *$199 respectively.

Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The Company is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America, and is ranked #39 on the Business Week list of "Top 100 Brands." Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ) is a top patent-holder of technology, ranking second overall in the U.S. in 2003, with global revenues of $24.5 billion. Canon U.S.A. employs more than 10,000 people at over 30 locations. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

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1 $300 Adorama Gift Certificate

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