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Canon PowerShot SX200 IS joins manufacturer's ultrazoom offerings
by David Rasnake -  2/17/2009

Canon has rounded out its line of mid-priced ultrazooms today with the launch of the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS.

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS

Update to the platform that launched the popular SX100 and SX110 models, the compact SX200 features more zoom, more resolution, HD video recording, and Canon's newly developed Smart Auto feature set.

A thinner, lighter SX model
Visually, the SX200 IS is an interesting departure from previous Canon SX models. Instead of the soft, sloping lines of the SX10 and SX110, the SX200 has a more angular shape that's more in line with some of the current SD models.

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS

Compared to the SX110, the SX200 is also noticeably smaller and lighter, putting the new model into direct competition with true compact ultrazooms along the lines of Panasonic's TZ/ZS series.

Core competencies
Aesthetics aside, sensor and lens specs are at the core of any camera, and in this regard the SX200 comes well equipped: a 12x stabilized optic with a 28mm wide-angle end pairs with a 12.1 megapixel sensor and a DIGIC IV image processor.

A high-res 3.0 inch LCD handles all shot composition and review duties.

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS

Unlike other SX models, the SX200 gets its power from an 1120 mAh lithium-ion battery pack.

Smart Auto stills, 720p video
In addition to auto-exposure options, the SX200 features P/A/S/M manual exposure modes: combined with styling reminiscent of a classic rangefinder, manual exposure control should help further the SX200's case with enthusiast shooters.

The SX200 is also the beneficiary of Canon's recently launched Smart Auto technology. Canon's take on automatic scene detection works in tandem with the DIGIC IV processor to quickly and accurately analyze shooting conditions and respond accordingly.

With the point-and-shoot market shifting toward "do it all" devices capable of capturing crisp video in addition to stunning stills, Canon has upped the prominence of high-quality video shooting in its list of features. The SX200 is among the first mid-level PowerShot models to earn 720p high-definition video capture capabilities.

Pricing and availability
The SX200 is expected to make its way to retailers next month. Suggested retail for the new model is $349.