Canon has revealed a selection of new compact cameras ranging from the simple to the Wi-Fi-toting feature-filled. The PowerShot A2500 pairs a 16-megapixel sensor with Face Detection and minimal controls, while the IXUS 255 HS (or ELPH 330 HS depending on where in the world you live) boasts Wi-Fi sharing and GPS via your smartphone.
In a bid to persuade users it's still worth carrying a dedicated camera and not simply using a smartphone to fulfill their photographic needs, manufacturers are adding even more features to their compacts. As such, the IXUS 255 HS packs a 10x optical zoom (it has a focal length equivalent to 24-240mm in 35mm format) and Wi-Fi capabilities into a small and stylish package.
The IXUS 255 HS has a 12.1-megapixel 1/2.3-inch type back-illuminated CMOS sensor. A DIGIC 5 image processor allows a burst speed of 2.4 fps, which jumps to 6.2 fps if you drop the resolution to 3 megapixels, while an ISO range of 80-6400 promises good quality images in a variety of lighting conditions.
An Auto mode with scene detection, from 58 variables (21 in movies), is there to help ensure your photographs turn out well, as is facial recognition and image stabilization which works in both stills and videos. Full HD video recording is available at 1080p (24 fps) and the camera remains pocketable, measuring 97.2 x 56.4 x 22.5 mm (3.8 x 2.2 x 0.9 inches) and weighing 144 grams (5 oz). It will be available in black, silver and pink.
In terms of wireless ability, the IXUS 255 HS can connect to both iOS or Android smartphones or tablets using the Canon CameraWindow app. This allows images or videos to be instantly uploaded to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. GPS via mobile functionality also allows users to utilize their smartphone to log where images were taken.
The PowerShot A2500 is aimed squarely at the sort of person who wants a digital camera with the minimum of fuss and on a tight budget. It combines a 16-megapixel CCD sensor with a 5X optical zoom (giving a focal length equivalent to 28-140mm in 35mm format) and uses Canon's DIGIC 4 image processing.
Showing its easy-to-use budget credentials, the camera has minimal physical controls and a 2.7-inch LCD on the rear with just 230k dots. Users are however still supported by face detection, digital image stabilization and a Smart Auto mode which features scene detection from 32 variables. There's also a Help button which provides a guide on how to use the camera and its functions.
The PowerShot A2500 – which is available in black or red – measures 97.7 x 56.0 x 20.9 mm (3.8 x 2.2 x 0.8 inches) and weighs 125 grams (4.4 oz). It's capable of shooting HD video at 720p and has an Eco mode which reduces battery consumption, reportedly allowing users to get up to 30 percent more photos.
The IXUS 255 HS is due to be available from March for a price of US$300, while the PowerShot A2500 will make its way to stores from April and cost $130.
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