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Canon's PowerShot A520 digital camera. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Canon replaces PowerShot A85
(Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - 07:17 EST)

Canon Inc. has today announced a new digital camera model that updates an existing model in much the same fashion as a similar announcement a couple of weeks ago.

The PowerShot A510 was a replacement for the PowerShot A75, and featured overhauled styling, a more powerful zoom lens, and improved power consumption. The new PowerShot A520 replaces the PowerShot A85 model announced last July, and features near-identical updates to the styling, the same updated zoom lens, the same SD / MMC storage slot (instead of CompactFlash on the A85), and the same reduction in the number of batteries required for operation. The changes bring about exactly the same improvement in size and weight (13% smaller and 10% lighter than the A85), and the same two new scene modes first found on the A510 are also on offer here - Night Snapshot and Kids & Pets. The main difference between the A510 and A520 models differ is the image resolution; 4.0 megapixels for the new A520, vs. 3.2 megapixels for the A510.

The Canon PowerShot A520 will ship this March at a price of $299.99, $100 more than the PowerShot A510. Three sample images from the new camera can be found on Canon Japan's BeBit website.

Canon PowerShot A520

Canon's PowerShot A520 digital camera. Courtesy of Canon, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Camera Effective Pixels

Approx. 4.0 million

Image Sensor

1/2.5-inch CCD (Total number of pixels: Approx. 4.2 million)


5.8 (W) - 23.2 (T)mm (35mm film equivalent: 35 - 140mm)
f/2.6 (W) - f/5.5 (T)

Digital Zoom

Approx. 3.6x (Up to approx. 14x in combination with the optical zoom)

Optical Viewfinder

Real-image zoom viewfinder

LCD Monitor

1.8-inch, low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD, approx. 115,000 pixels

AF System

TTL autofocus
Focus lock and Manual focus are available
9-point AiAF/1-point AF (fixed to center)

Shooting Distance (from the front of the lens)

Normal AF

45cm (1.5ft.) - infinity

Macro AF

5 - 45cm (2.0in. - 1.5ft.) (W) / 30 - 45cm (11.8in. - 1.5ft.) (T)

Manual focus

5cm (2.0in.) - infinity (W) / 30cm (11.8in.) - infinity (T)


Mechanical shutter + electronic shutter

Shutter Speeds

15 - 1/2000 sec.

The shutter speed varies according to the shooting modes.
Slow shutter speeds of 1.3 sec. or slower operate with noise reduction.

Metering System

Evaluative, Center-weighted average or Spot (Center)

Exposure Control System

Program AE, Shutter-priority AE, Aperture-priority AE, Manual exposure control

Exposure Compensation

± 2 stops in 1/3-stop increments


Auto*, ISO 50/100/200/400 equivalent
* Camera automatically sets the optimal speed.

White Balance

Auto, pre-set (available settings: Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent or Fluorescent H) or custom

Built-in Flash

Auto*, on*, off
* Red-eye reduction available.

Flash Range


45cm - 3.5m (1.5ft. - 11.5ft.) (W)


45cm - 2.2m (1.5ft. - 7.2ft.) (T)


30 - 45cm (11.8in. - 1.5ft.) (W/T)

when ISO speed set to Auto

Shooting Modes


Creative zone

Program, Shutter-speed priority, Aperture priority, Manual

Image zone

Portrait, Landscape, Night scene, Fast shutter, Slow shutter, Special Scene (Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & Pets and Night Snapshot), Stitch assist and Movie

Continuous Shooting

Approx. 1.9 shots/sec.

(Large/Fine mode, LCD monitor off)


Activates shutter after an approx. 10-sec./2-sec. delay. Can be set using the custom settings.

PC-controlled Shooting

Available (USB connection only. Exclusive software program is included in the camera kit.)

Recording Media

SD memory card/MultiMediaCard

File Format

Design rule for camera file system and DPOF compliant

Data Type

Still images

Exif 2.2 (JPEG)*1


AVI (Image data: Motion JPEG; Audio data: WAVE (monaural))


Superfine, Fine, Normal

Number of Recording Pixels monitor, advance

Still images


2272x1704 pixels

Medium 1:

1600x1200 pixels

Medium 2:

1024x768 pixels


640x480 pixels


640x480 pixels, 10 frames/sec. (Approx. 30 sec.)

320x240 pixels, 15 frames/sec. (approx. 3 min.)

160x120 pixels, 15 frames/sec. (approx. 3 min.)

The data in parentheses refer to the maximum movie length per shooting.

Playback Modes

Single (histogram displayable), Index (9 thumbnail images), Magnified (approx. 10x (max.) in LCD monitor, advance or reverse through magnified images possible), Auto play, Sound memos (up to 60 sec.) or Movie.

Direct Print

Canon Direct Print and Bubble Jet Direct compatible, and PictBridge compliant

My Camera Settings

The start-up image, start-up sound, shutter sound, operation sound and self-timer sound can be customized using the following methods:


Using the images and sounds recorded on the camera.


Using downloaded data from your computer using the supplied software.


USB (mini-B, PTP [Picture Transfer Protocol])
Audio/Video output (NTSC or PAL selectable, monaural audio)

Power Source

AA-size alkaline batteries (included in the camera kit)

AA-size rechargeable NiMH batteries NB4-200 (sold separately)

AC Adapter Kit ACK800 (sold separately)

Operating Temperature

0 - 40 degrees C (32 - 104 degrees F)

Operating Humidity

10 - 90%


90.7x64.0x38.4mm (3.6x2.5x1.5in.) (excluding protrusions)


Approx. 180g (6.3oz.) (camera body only)


(W): Wide angle end, (T): Telephoto end


This digital camera supports Exif 2.2 (also called "Exif Print"). Exif Print is a standard for enhancing the communication between digital cameras and printers. By connecting to an Exif Print-compliant printer, the camera's image data at the time of shooting is used and optimized, yielding extremely high quality prints.

All data is based on Canon's testing standard. Subject to change without notice.

Original Source Press Release:

Canon's New 4.0 Megapixel PowerShot A520 Digital Camera Offers Consumers Lightweight Design with Heavyweight Results

New PowerShot A520 Digital Camera Features 4x Optical Zoom, SD/MMC Media And More Compact Than Previous Models

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 1, 2005-- Canon's new PowerShot® A520 compact digital camera combines the sought after simplicity of a family-focused camera, a phenomenally faithful four megapixel image sensor and a powerful 4x optical zoom to produce pictures that all can be proud of with the image quality Canon is renowned for. The camera will be in stores this March for an estimated street price of $299.99*.

Named for their use of AA batteries, Canon's A-series digital cameras offer comfortably placed controls and feature high image quality in order for consumers to capture, save and share images of meaningful memories, personal milestones and family functions.

"We created the A520 model to give consumers an enhanced level of image quality and resolution without sacrificing the flexibility, freedom and fun that digital photography can be," explained 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 - News). "The PowerShot A520 digital camera continues Canon's long-standing tradition of providing consumers with imaging excellence in an affordable and uncomplicated package."

PowerShot A520 Digital Camera
Like its little brother, the PowerShot A510 digital camera, the new PowerShot A520 model also is 13 percent smaller and 10 percent lighter than previous models, and is also equipped with a longer 4.0x 35-140mm (35mm format equivalent) optical zoom lens with Canon optics for sharp images. The new lens features all-glass construction and two aspherical elements in a seven-element formula.

In order to make the camera smaller, Canon engineered the new PowerShot A520 model to accept SD and MMC media. Even with its small size, the camera sports a large 1.8-inch LCD screen for easy preview and review. It also includes Canon's exclusive DIGIC image processor for fast processing speed, excellent image quality, and crisp, vibrant colors.

The PowerShot A520 digital camera requires only two AA batteries, while providing the same number of shots (300 with LCD screen on) as previous models that used four batteries, thanks to reductions in power consumption made possible by improvements in key components and circuit design.

The PowerShot A520 digital camera is equipped with a nine-point AiAF "Smart" autofocus system and 13 shooting modes. The standard shooting modes are Full Auto, Program, Manual, Shutter-priority, and Aperture-priority with additional modes including Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Fast Shutter, Slow Shutter, Special Scene, Stitch Assist and Movie. The Special Scene modes, which helps make it easy for beginners to achieve optimum results in many popular photo opportunities, has been enhanced with the addition of two new settings called Night Snapshot and Kids & Pets. The PowerShot A520 digital camera is also capable of recording movies with sound for up to three minutes per clip, making it perfect for capturing memories in motion.

The new camera's grip is ergonomically improved, and the control layout is even easier to use than before. Other camera functions including self-timer and review have also been enhanced for greater creative flexibility from previous models

The DIGIC® Difference
Image quality is enhanced and improved as a result of Canon's proprietary DIGIC (Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit) image processor. 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, which extends 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.

Print/Share Button
Located on the backside of the PowerShot A520 digital camera is the Print/Share button. This button simplifies and accelerates direct printing to compatible Canon and PictBridge-enabled printers and one-touch image transfer to computers*** for use with image processing programs, uploading to the Internet, or as email attachments. When the camera is connected to a compatible printer or computer via the supplied USB cable, the Print/Share button illuminates to let the user know to press the Print/Share button to begin the printing or downloading process.

The PowerShot A520 digital camera kit includes a USB cable, audio and video cable, wrist strap, 16MB MultiMediaCard and two AA-size Alkaline batteries as well as the Canon Digital Camera Solution Disc Version 22, featuring the latest versions of Canon's powerful software and ArcSoft PhotoStudio.

Optional Accessories
In addition to its rich feature set, the PowerShot A520 digital camera is compatible with a wide variety of optional accessories including supplementary wide-angle (WC-DC52), telephoto (TC-DC52A) and close-up lenses (52mm Close-up Lens 250D). These accessories enhance the new camera's versatility and make it easier to use in specialized applications such as real estate and insurance photography. An underwater housing, WP-DC60, is also available and can be used at depths up to 130 feet. The combination of the A520 digital camera with the WP-DC60 housing unit is great for family vacations at the beach, while skiing, or simply to help protect the camera from the elements.

New High Power Flash HF-DC1
Canon was able to improve the performance of the A520 digital camera's built-in flash relative to its predecessor - the PowerShot A85 digital camera, with a maximum distance range of approximately 11 feet at ISO 100. To further enhance the built-in flash of the A520 digital camera, Canon has developed a new optional accessory called the High Power Flash HF-DC1. The flash is a supplementary unit that operates wirelessly and increases the effective flash range up to approximately 30 feet. The HF-DC1 flash is supplied with a mounting bracket so it can be attached to the camera, but it can also be hand-held or mounted on a tripod or accessory light stand to adjust the lighting angle for pro-like quality results. Multiple HF-DC1 units can be synchronized with a single camera for even greater lighting flexibility. This smart high powered slave flash unit is compact and compatible with almost every PowerShot digital camera**.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
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 rated #35 on the BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands." Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ - News) is a top patent holder of technology, ranking third overall in the U.S. in 2004, with global revenues of $33.3 billion. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.

Specifications are subject to change with notice.

  • All prices are set by the individual dealer and may vary.
  • Except for early models including the PowerShot 600, 350, and Pro70.
  • One touch image transfer is available for Windows XP, ME, 2000 and 98.

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