updated 10:05 am EST, Thu January 15, 2009
Canon PowerShot A480
In an unusual between-shows update, Canon today launched the PowerShot A480. The replacement for the A470 has a much smaller (about 25 percent) footprint and a new, highly simplified control scheme that scraps the mode dial for easier buttons and a reportedly streamlined software front end. Its optical zoom shrinks slightly to 3.3X but is compensated for by a much sharper 10-megapixel sensor.
Most other shooting features are carried over and include software-based blur reduction based on motion detection, face detection and light sensitivity up to ISO 1,600. Video recording is an option but is capped to VGA (640x480) resolution. As with most A-series PowerShots, the A480 takes AA batteries for power instead of a proprietary lithium-ion pack.
Contrasting against Canon's usual worldwide or US-first announcements, the new camera has been introduced to Europe first and should be available in February for £129 after tax in the UK or €159 after tax in Europe, putting the American equivalent between $188 and $209. It's not yet known if a US launch is slated, though its naming suggests a release in the near future.