Canon has announced their new crop of digital cameras ahead of the PMA show that starts this coming Sunday. Even though the digital camera market is maturing and slowing, it seems like the manufacturers introduce more models during the course of a year. This time, we see a new Digital SLR (Canon EOS 30D), a new prosumer model (Powershot S3 IS), and several other Powershot models to update the line or replace models that were introduced last year. The upside to all these models is that you’ll be able to find a high quality camera at just about any price point.
Canon EOS 30D
Occupying the slot above the Digital Rebel XT and meant as a replacement for the 20D, the new Canon EOS 30D features an 8.2 megapixel sensor and five frame per second shooting capability. The camera will be available in March at a price of $1399 for just the body.
The improvements over the 20D include a more rugged shutter – rated for 100,000 cycles, a 2.5 inch, 230k pixel LCD, and a new spot metering capability, in addition to the existing metering modes in the 20D. Also, Canon has improved the folder management in the camera to allow easier organization.
Canon Powershot S3 IS
The Canon Powershot S3 IS is the successor to the previous S2 IS. Now featuring a 6 megapixel sensor, the S3 IS is a camera that works for more advanced photographers as well as people who just want to point and shoot. The image stabilization from Canon allows you to shoot at shutter speeds 3 stops slower than normal and is an absolute must on a camera that has a 12x optical zoom. The flip out, rotating 2.0 inch LCD allows for shooting at fun angles.
The macro and super macro modes on the S3 IS lets you take pictures as close as 0 inches from the end of the lens barrel. The S3 IS also continues in the footsteps of its predecessor by providing a nice movie capture mode (up to 640×480 at 30 frames per second or 320×240 at 60 frames per second). Another new features is the ability to capture a “MovieSnap” – you can capture a frame to be a 6 megapixel still image while shooting in movie mode.
The Canon Powershot S3 IS will be available in May for $499.
Three New Digital ELPH Models: Powershot SD700 IS, Powershot SD630, and Powershot SD600
The popular SD line comes back year after year to be one of the best selling, and for good reason. Each Digital ELPH is a great compact size and produces high quality images. This time around, Canon has announced three new 6 megapixel ELPHs.
The Canon Powershot SD700 IS will be available in April for $499. The big news with this model is that Canon miniaturized their lens-shift image stabilization to fit in the SD700 IS. The image stabilization allows you to shoot at shutter speeds that are 3 stops slower than would normally be necessary. Since the IS is handled with the hardware of the camera, the image quality is not degraded as it would normally be with anti-shake systems that boost ISO sensitivity. Also new is a 4x optical zoom. The camera includes a 2.5 inch LCD and comes in ice metal silver, moonlight silver, and ebony black.
The Canon Powershot SD630 will be available in April for $399. The big news here is the 3 inch LCD that takes up so much space that Canon had to remove the optical viewfinder. This makes the SD630 the first Digital ELPH that doesn’t have a viewfinder. In another new feature, the SD630 uses a “touch control dial” to make it easy to scroll through images or menu options. The SD630 has a 3x optical zoom.
The Canon Powershot SD600 will be available in March for $349. In addition to the 6 megapixel sensor, the SD600 has a 2.5 inch LCD and 3x optical zoom. This one does have a viewfinder.
New A Series Cameras: Powershot A700, A540, A530, A430
All of the new models in the A line feature the DIGIC II imaging processor and enhancements to the My Colors mode. On previous cameras, the My Colors features were applied when you captured the images. In these new cameras, you can apply the effects after the image has been captured.
The Canon Powershot A700 features 6 megapixels and a nice mid-length 6x optical zoom. A 2.5 inch LCD provides ample space for framing and reviewing images. 22 shooting modes provide plenty of flexibility for a range of shots. Look for the A700 in March for $349.
The Canon Powershot A540 is pretty much the same as the A700 except that it has a 4x optical zoom (instead of the 6x). The A540 will be available in March for $299.
The Canon Powershot A530 is the direct successor to the very popular A520. It shoots at 5 megapixels with a 4x optical zoom lens. A smallish 1.8 inch LCD on the back lets you review your images. The Powershot A530 will be available in March for $229.
The entry-level Canon Powershot A430 provides an even more affordable option. Available in March for $179, you’ll get 4 megapixel resolution, 4x optical zoom, and a 1.8 inch LCD.