Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Canon 2/21/2006 Press Release




Canon

Press Releases - February 21, 2006



CANON EXPANDS THE "A-LIST":


New Easy-To-Use Powershot A-Series Digital Cameras Raise Resolution, Add Features And Make Great Pictures More Affordable





LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., February 21, 2006 – Canon’s newest quartet of A-Series digital cameras – the six-megapixel PowerShot A700 and the PowerShot A540 models, the five-megapixel PowerShot A530 model, and the four-megapixel PowerShot A430 digital camera – add an array of advanced, enhanced, yet easy-to-use features into compact and eminently affordable packages. These four new models expand upon Canon’s success as A-series models have captured the number one digital camera position for three years consecutively .

Among the featured enhancements on the PowerShot A540 and A700 digital cameras is a newly designed six-megapixel image sensor that together with Canon’s proprietary DIGIC II image processor helps to dramatically reduce "noise" for better image quality and achieves ISO equivalent speed ratings ranging from 80 to 800. This increased sensitivity allows the use of faster shutter speeds, thereby reducing the effects of camera shake and subject blur during hand-held photography in low light.

Even the entry-level four-megapixel PowerShot A430 model offers higher resolution and a longer optical zoom among its feature enhancements. Indeed, though the PowerShot A430 digital camera replaces last year’s entry-level 3.2 megapixel PowerShot A410 camera, the new A430 model’s features most closely compare with the mid-tier PowerShot A520 digital camera, America’s best selling model in 20051.

This formidable photographic foursome can brilliantly capture fleeting images in the blink of an eye. What’s more, a quick review of the shot on any of these cameras’ big and bright LCD monitor reveals whether that image comprises the perfect moment captured forever or whether it should be condemned to death by deletion (in time to take another photo worth keeping).

From close-ups capturing the unabashed joy of a baby’s face, all wide-eyed innocence, chubby cheeks and gummy grin; or powerful panoramas, vast vistas and once-in-a-lifetime looks at nature’s wonders, to the family functions and memorable milestones that punctuate life’s journey, these new pocket- or purse-sized PowerShot digital cameras easily create enduring images that depict and define special moments in time.

"While ‘the one that got away’ has always made for good fish stories worthy of perhaps a thousand words or more, the perfect picture is the one that is captured for all to see and not the one almost captured if only… These new A-series PowerShot digital cameras reaffirm Canon’s commitment to creating affordable, simple-to-use digital cameras that produce extraordinary quality images for the everyday picture-taker, the special occasion-shooter and the newcomer alike," stated Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A., Inc. "Indeed, it is that very commitment to affordable imaging excellence that has made our A-series PowerShot digital cameras America’s number one choice for the past three years1 and it is a tradition we intend to continue for many years to come."

The PowerShot A700 Digital Camera

A new addition to the line-up of PowerShot A-Series digital cameras, the PowerShot A700 model features six-megapixel resolution together with a retractable 6x 35-210mm optical zoom lens (35mm equivalent). The A700 model incorporates 22 shooting modes from fully automatic to fully manual to achieve optimum results for any photographic application. The new camera is also compatible with optional wide angle and telephoto lens converters, as well as a close-up lens and a wireless flash unit.

The A700 model offers ISO equivalent speed ratings ranging from 80 to 800 with dramatically less noise at ISO 400 than previous PowerShot models. The camera also features a large 2.5-inch 115,000-pixel LCD color monitor, making it easier than ever to review captured images and even to do limited in-camera image editing and retouching such as a new Face Brightener function to help compensate for backlit images. The PowerShot A700 digital camera will be available in March for an estimated selling price of .99 .

The PowerShot A540 Digital Camera

Except for its retractable 4x optical zoom lens with a focal length of 35-140mm (35mm equivalent); the PowerShot A540 digital camera is virtually identical to the PowerShot A700 model. Like the PowerShot A700 digital camera, the PowerShot A540 model features six-megapixel resolution and a 2.5-inch LCD screen. It also accepts Canon’s optional wide and tele converter lenses as well as a close-up lens and wireless flash. An optional waterproof housing system (with a depth rating of 40m/130 feet) is available expressly for the PowerShot A540 camera, making this model a natural for underwater photo enthusiasts, SCUBA divers and even snorkelers. Replacing 2005’s top-selling PowerShot A520 model1, the PowerShot A540 digital camera will be available in March for an estimated selling price of .99.

The PowerShot A530 Digital Camera

The heir apparent to 2005’s enormously popular PowerShot A510 digital camera, the new PowerShot A530 model features a five-megapixel CCD image sensor, the faster 80-800 ISO equivalent speed setting range and the same 4x retractable optical zoom lens with a focal length of 35-140mm (35mm equivalent) as the PowerShot A540 model. The PowerShot A530 digital camera features a 1.8-inch 115,000-pixel LCD screen and will be available in March for an estimated selling price of .99.

The PowerShot A430 Digital Camera

The line’s entry-level PowerShot A430 digital camera has a four-megapixel CCD image sensor and a 4x optical zoom (compared with the A410 digital camera’s 3.2 megapixel resolution and 3.2x optical zoom). Its movie mode also includes sound and maintains an ISO equivalent setting range of 50 to 400. Equipped with a 1.8-inch LCD screen, the PowerShot A430 digital camera will also be available in March at an estimated selling price of .99.

DIGIC II Image Processing Technology- Hi-Speed USB 2.0

True to the PowerShot tradition, the A-series cameras have many of the latest advances in Canon technology including the proprietary DIGIC II imaging processor. The processor enhances picture definition, vibrancy, and quality, while helping increase the speed of the cameras’ startup, autofocus, shutter response, playback, and image processing speed while reducing power consumption by 35 percent compared to the original DIGIC chip. Consumers benefit from accelerated image transfer speed (when used with a USB 2.0 compatible computer, printer, or other peripheral), thanks to the inclusion of a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port . The USB 2.0 port is backwards compatible (at no increased speed) with computers featuring standard USB 1.1 connections.

New Features and Special Effects

All of the new models offer a new widescreen 16:9 ratio resolution setting that facilitates creating panoramic-style prints. Additionally, all PowerShot models support 23 languages (now including Thai and Arabic). The new cameras have an improved direct printing function that permits greater flexibility in print settings, including a face brightener setting for backlit photos.

Canon also enhanced the ‘My Colors’ mode found in the new PowerShot line. Where previously, users could only enable ‘My Colors’ while shooting, the current iteration permits captured images to be retouched as well, without the need for special software applications or tools. Available My Color playback modes include Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, and Vivid Red; lighter and darker skin tones, as well as options for creating black & white, sepia, neutral and positive film effects. A color accent setting turns all colors but the one selected by the user to monochrome and the color swap mode enables users to alter specific colors in an image by sampling another color from the same image or any other image on the camera’s memory card. So, ‘My Colors’ provides PowerShot users with an incredible range of creative photo effects that can be accessed directly in the camera with no need for post-processing in a computer.

Direct Print

Like all PowerShot digital cameras, these newest additions to the A-series work seamlessly with Canon’s petite SELPHY Compact Photo Printers – an essential PowerShot accessory. Consumers simply connect their PowerShot digital camera to a SELPHY printer – such as the SELPHY CP510 and CP710 models. Press the lighted Print/Share button, and within seconds , images emerge. Presto! It is that simple. Canon’s SELPHY Compact Photo Printers are PictBridge compatible. They work with PictBridge enabled digital cameras and offer excellent image quality and ease-of-use, especially when paired with a Canon digital camera. At 28 cents-per-print , printing photos directly from a digital camera is both easy and affordable.

Canon will debut it latest PowerShot A-series digital cameras in its booth (#3509) during the Photo Marketers Association (PMA) exhibit in Orlando, Fla., from February 26h – March 1st, 2006.

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) is a top patent holder of technology, ranking second overall in the U.S. in 2005, with global revenues of .8 billion. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.





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