Canon today announced its new PowerShot flagship, the eight megapixel S80 digital camera which features a 28mm wide lens and a large 2.5-inch LCD screen. The camera will become available in October for $549.99 and features many of the features of its predecessor, the PowerShot S70.
The PowerShot S80 digital camera retains Canon's powerful, high quality, wide angle UA (Ultra High Refractive Index Glass Aspherical) lens with a 3.6x wide-angle optical zoom (35mm film equivalent: 28-100mm). The camera allows users to capture a wider image area than most other compact digital cameras on the market, and with Canon's DIGIC II image processor plus 8.0 megapixels of resolution, the camera keeps image quality at its utmost.
The camera's improved autofocus reduces the time required for focusing by up to approximately 20 percent compared to its predecessor. In addition, the refined exposure control under low-light conditions results not only in better exposure accuracy but also in better focusing performance. Canon improved the exposure control by a full stop, which allows for easier focusing and produces better photos in dark conditions.
Thanks to Canon's DIGIC II image processor, the S80 model supports movie recording in XGA size (1024 x 768 pixels) at 15 frames per second for the first time in any digital camera. Compared to the previous maximum - VGA (640 x 480 pixels) - XGA recording has about 2.5 times more pixels, and the data amount is about twice as high. Continuous recording of XGA up to a file size of 1GB is available on the S80 model.
Following the Canon PowerShot S2 IS digital camera, the PowerShot S80 model provides a choice between single frame and sequence frame for Movie Prints. When Single is selected, any frame from a movie can be selected and printed on a single sheet. Print quality depends on the mode used during movie recording, with XGA producing the best quality. In Sequence mode, the camera can, when connected to a compatible Canon Compact Photo Printer, print a series of miniature thumbnail images that provides an overview of the movie's content.
Although it has a large feature set, the PowerShot S80 digital camera is amazingly compact. Simple yet impressive, the shape of the new camera fits snugly into the palm of the hand. Canon built the elegant design with a combination of aluminum magnesium alloy and high-gloss aluminum to create a sturdy and shiny body, which includes a soft-touch finger rest to improve holding stability. Silver banding on the camera highlights the predominantly black front piece. The S80 model also includes a creative rear panel design that offers convenient operation on the camera is possible through a new multi-control dial and omni selector.
The Canon PowerShot S80 offers users 21 different shooting modes, allowing the camera to effectively handle a variety of situations. As with the S70 model, there are five modes in the Creative Zone, plus 12 new Special Scene modes as well as the My Colors mode, Stitch Assist Mode and Movie Mode. The 12 new Special Scene modes include Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Night Snapshot and Digital Macro.
Also new to the S80 model is a real time histogram which is displayed on the new 2.5-inch LCD screen while shooting. It can be turned on and off in the shooting menu. When the LCD screen is turned on and set to display information, the histogram is shown in the bottom left corner of the LCD screen. In previous models, exposure compensation values were displayed by a scale shown at the bottom of the screen, which made it difficult to check the compensated exposure. When the PowerShot S80 digital camera is set for live histogram display, exposure compensation settings are displayed numerically, taking up much less space and making adjustments easier to evaluate as a result.
True to the PowerShot tradition, the PowerShot S80 model has 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 camera's startup, autofocus, shutter response, playback and image processing speed while reducing power consumption by 35 percent compared to the original DIGIC chip. Image transfer speed is accelerated (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.
The PowerShot S80 Kit will include a full set of Canon's powerful yet easy-to-use digital camera software, including the latest versions of ZoomBrowser EX, ImageBrowser, PhotoStitch and PhotoRecord, as well as ArcSoft PhotoStudio. The standard kit will also include an Interface Cable IFC-400PCU and AV cable AVC-DC300, a lithium-ion Battery Pack NB-2LH and Battery Charger CB-2LW, a 32MB SD memory card, instruction manuals and a Wrist Strap WS-300. Optional accessories include a Waterproof Housing WP-DC1, a wireless auxiliary flash unit High Power Flash HF-DC1, Soft Leather Case PSC30 and the choice of wide-angle or telephoto supplementary lenses.