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Canon PowerShot A80 announced - Canon introduce a 4.0 Megapixel PowerShot A80
designed 3x optical zoom with fast f/2.8 aperture, Vari-angleLCD monitor and nine-point AiAF (Artificial intelligence Automatic Focus). A 32 MB CompactFlash card is included with the camera, enabling it to store between 14 and 337.
Canon's engineers have built a camera with the features of the EISA European Digital Camera of the Year 2002 award winning PowerShot G2, but in a smaller, more stylish body and with all the advantages of today's technologies. Canon's purpose-built, high performance DIGIC (DIGital Imaging Core) processor drives 2.4 fps continuous shooting, up to three minutes of movie clips with full sound and Canon's patented iSAPS (intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) technology. iSAPS acts like a photographer's assistant, presetting the camera for faster focusing and more pleasing brightness and white balance settings. This is the first compact digital still camera from Canon to support PictBridge, the new industry standard for direct printing. It enables PC-free printing via direct camera-to-printer connection to any PictBridge compliant photo printer, regardless of brand.
"Our customers are really starting to benefit from Canon's long term, large scale R&D investment into optics and digital technology," explains Hiroshi Komatsuzaki, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. "This camera sets new standards for image quality, photo flexibility and value, outperforming other models on the market."
More pixels, larger CCD sensor
The 4.0 Megapixel CCD sensor is the same as that found in Canon's multi award-winning Digital IXUS 400 and PowerShot S45 models. Each of the individual pixels is almost 50% larger than in the PowerShot A70 enabling the camera to provide superb image quality that is suited to photo prints up to A3 in size.
14 shooting modes
A choice of 14 shooting modes allows users to take complete control of any shooting situation, dictating precisely the type and level of automation required. Along with all of the fully manual Program and Aperture/Shutter speed priority modes expected in an advanced digital, the PowerShot A80 includes two
custom modes for storing preferred camera settings. Portrait and Landscape modes minimise/maximise depth of field appropriately, and a Night Scene mode, providing slow sync speed for realistic shots, balances exposure to maintain both background and foreground detail. Stitch Assist mode enables
precise alignment of multiple images for panoramic and poster shots that can be merged with Canon's PhotoStitch software. Movie clips of up to three minutes are also possible with sound recording, playback and even editing functions all performed through the camera's menu screen. Photo effects include vivid colour, neutral and low sharpening, sepia and black and white.
New display, improved optics
When not in use, the PowerShot A80's Vari-angle LCD monitor completely reverses and swivels into its housing in the rear of the camera body, meaning it is completely protected. The screen can swing open a full 180o and be rotated to virtually any angle, allowing for shooting with the camera close to the
floor or high in the air. A lateral reversal or 'mirror image' function is available for easy self-portraits.
Introduction of the Vari-angle LCD monitor means less room for the PowerShot
A80's lens than in previous PowerShot A-series models, and necessitated a fundamental
redesign of the camera's optics. This redesign has meant the camera maintains
compact dimensions when not in use. Even though the CCD is larger than previous
models Canon has managed to design an f/2.8 3x optical zoom (35mm equivalent:
38 ? 114mm) with a shorter retraction length. Two aspherical elements have been
introduced to this
new model in order to keep focus crisp throughout the image, right to the very edge of the picture, despite the reduction in size of the camera's lens. Employing a rear-focus technique, moving only one element in the third group, the new lens delivers pin-sharp focus more quickly than previous models. The fast f/2.8 aperture is ideal for capturing images in low light conditions and for achieving narrow depth of field. A digital
zoom extends the effective zoom range to 11x combined optical and digital.
High-end processing, high-end performance
The complex algorithms required to accurately process functions such as white balance and colour rendition have all been integrated into Canon's unique high speed DIGIC processor. This allows the PowerShot A80 to deliver stunning quality images with no compromise in camera responsiveness. The DIGIC processor is so fast that it reduces power consumption by running only when needed. The PowerShot A80 will take up to 250* shots or provide up to 280 minutes playback from a single
set of batteries. The camera takes every-day Alkaline or NiMH rechargeable AA batteries, providing greater flexibility for travel and other occasions.
The AiAF (Artificial intelligence Automatic Focus) has been extended to nine zones, the first time such a powerful system has been deployed on a PowerShot A-series camera. Focusing is now more precise regardless of subject position. An Intelligent Orientation Sensor allows the AF frame to be weighted differently for horizontal and vertical shooting, further increasing the accuracy of exposure, and saving time when managing photos on a computer or slideshows on TV. Standard single centre-point AF is selectable and can be combined with a magnified display of the centre zone to enable highly accurate manual focusing.
Waterproof case and lenses
For those with an interest in water sports or diving, an optional waterproof case ? submersible to 40m ? is available, complete with anti-fog double glass and flash light diffusion plate. To increase the range of the lens, a bayonet mount adapter fits easily over the lens to accommodate both a Wide Converter and Tele Converter, extending the possible zoom range to 26.6?200mm (35mm film equivalent). A close-up lens for
extreme macro shooting is also available.
Printing without PC
The PowerShot A80 can be connected via a USB cable directly to any PictBridge compliant photo printer, regardless of brand, for PC-free printing of lab-quality images. The camera is also backward compatible with Canon's Direct Print and Bubble Jet Direct standards. When printing direct to a Canon printer, the
camera automatically selects the optimum communication protocol to maximise print speed and quality.
1. 14 images in Large/Superfine, 337 images in Small/Normal mode under Canon standard testing method. File size depends on scene complexity. images.
* 250 shots with LCD monitor on, using AA alkaline battery under standard testing conditions
Pricing and availability
The PowerShot A80 will be available from October 2003 for 349.