updated 03:25 pm EST, Thu January 18, 2007
Canon PowerShot cameras
Canon today launched three new additions to its PowerShot line of entry level cameras. The company's A450 and A460 are 5-megapixel models designed for beginners with a wide grip and intuitive buttons. Each is similarly capable of five-point autofocusing and recording 640x480 video at 10 FPS (frames per second). Available only in grey, the A450 features a 3.2X optical zoom lens; the A460 adds blue, red, and silver options as well as a 4X lens for better image framing. A dedicated playback button on the A550 finds its way to the back for quickly replaying footage. All three cameras use Canon's newer DIGIC II processor for better image quality, display images on a 2-inch LCD, and support higher-capacity SDHC cards. The AA battery-powered cameras have yet to receive pricing; the A460 and A550 will be available next month, while availability for the A450 has not been determined.
The A550 is designed to help novices who are more interested in mid-range features. Sensor density increases to 7.1 megapixels with less complicated features, according to Canon. Commonly used auto scene modes -- including Night Snapshot -- are placed directly on the mode dial rather than residing in the Camera's menu. The more compact A550 also raises the number of autofocus points to nine while boosting the maximum frame rate on 640x480 videos to 30 FPS, according to Electronista.