September 2002: Canon has added two new models to its PowerShot range of compact digital cameras.
The PowerShot G3 is a successor to the popular G2 and features the same 4-megapixel sensor plus a fast f2.0-3.0, 4x optical zoom lens (focal length equivalent to 35-140mm), supported by 3.6x digital zoom.
The PowerShot G3 sees the introduction of a new ultra-fast DIGIC (DIGital Imaging Core) processor, which provides improved image quality and camera performance. Combining the key elements of CCD Control, AE/AF/AWB, signal processing, JPEG compression, memory card control and LCD monitor display, Fast data processing and improved AF accuracy are key DIGIC features, along with improved shadow and highlight details and enhanced battery performance.
A new RAW storage option is accessible when shooting in JPEG. Pressing the camera's function button immediately after taking a shot allows users to store the file in RAW format, offering more options for highest quality processing on the computer.
Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space (iSAPS) is another technology that improves image quality. Subject parameters are analysed and cross-referenced against Photographic Space data - a vast library of statistical information built into every new Canon digital camera - to provide improved subject rendition.
The PowerShot G3 also offers 12 shooting modes, including full two custom modes, manual control, and selectable focusing points and metering modes. FlexiZone AF/AE allows complete control of the position of the focus and exposure point in the viewfinder frame and is ideal for off-centre and even on-the-edge compositions.
A new Main dial, similar to that on EOS system cameras, has been added to the handgrip to provide further control over certain key functions and the vari-angled 1.8-inch LCD monitor, similar to that on the PowerShot G2, gives the photographer 100% coverage of the subject. It is also easy to use in bright outdoor lighting. More information has been added to the top LCD of the PowerShot G3 to increase usability of the camera, especially when the main colour LCD screen is turned off.
The PowerShot G3 has the most comprehensive auxiliary flash system of any digital compact camera in the world, and is compatible with the complete range of Speedlite EX flashes including the Macro-Ring Lite MR-14EX and the Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX. Other accessories include wide-angle and tele converters that extend the lens angle of view to cover from 24mm to over 240mm (35mm-film equivalent). The G3 can also be directly connected to all of Canon's Direct Printers.
New Compact PowerShot
Also fitted with a 4-megapixel sensor is the new PowerShot S45, which has a 3x optical zoom lens plus 3.6x digital zoom. Another feature of this compact model is its 9-point AiAF system, which allows single focus point selection.
This new camera is essentially an upgrade of the S40, adding newly announced technologies such as the DIGIC processor, FlexiZone AF/AE, 9-point AiAF, Custom exposure mode, two manual white balance presets, focus bracketing, orientation sensor and up to 3-minute movie clips (using a high speed CF card).
Both models are compatible with both PC and Mac and come with a full suite of software, including the latest version of Canon's ZoomBrowzer (EX 4.0), a new File Viewer Utility and Picture Transfer Protocol. Also supplied is Canon's PhotoStitch, RemoteCapture and PhotoRecord software and Adobe Photoshop 5.0 LE.
3-Megapixel Digital Ixus
Canon has also announced a new digital Ixus model, the IXUS v , which features a three megapixel CCD sensor coupled with a 2x optical zoom lens (35-70mm equivalent).
The new model incorporates many of the new functions of the cameras listed above, including the Canon DIGIC (DIGital Imaging Core) ultra fast processor, Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space (iSAPS), 9-point AiAF and the ability to record video clips of up to 3 minutes in length on a high speed Compact Flash card (which Canon has also released).
Built from high quality stainless steel, this camera fits neatly into pocket or purse and the lens retracts into the body when the camera is not in use.
For details of all the new models, go to www.canon.com.au.