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G12 and ultra-zoom Ixus from Canon

September 14, 2010: Next month will see the release of two new Canon digicams, the anticipated PowerShot G12 and the 35x zoom PowerShot SX30 IS, reports Margaret Brown.

Replacing the PowerShot G11, the G12 (pictured right) adds HD (1280 x 720) movie recording with stereo sound to the features offered by its predecessor. But, otherwise, little has changed. The 5x optical zoom lens is the same as the G11’s and the user interface is virtually identical. With Hybrid IS, the G12 now offers more advanced image stabilisation, reducing shift camera shake (when the camera moves horizontally in relation to the subject) as well as the usual vertical shaking.

Sensor resolution remains at 10-megapixels, although the G12 boasts a ‘high sensitivity’ CCD sensor, which is coupled with Canon’s DiG!C 4 Image Processor. The user interface is virtually identical to the G11’s. Canon has added a High Dynamic Range mode which simultaneously captures three images with different exposures and combines them in-camera to reduce highlight blowout and loss of details in shadows. Burst capture speed has also been boosted to two frames/second. The G12 is also 24 grams lighter than its predecessor.

The PowerShot SX30 IS (below left) claims to be the first digicam with a 35x optical zoom lens that covers from a wide 24mm (35mm equivalent) to the equivalent of 840mm at full tele zoom. Up to 4x digital zoom is also available. The long zoom range makes the SX30 IS particularly suitable for travellers who want a camera that can cover the widest range of subjects. Close-up focusing is available to within a centimetre of the lens in macro mode. The camera weighs 552g.

Improved optical image stabilisation is provided to enable users to use shutter speeds approximately 4.5EV slower than possible with an unstabilised lens. This enables users to capitalise on the extended zoom range, particularly in dim lighting. A new Zoom Framing Assist button makes it easy to locate subjects while shooting with long focal length settings. A press of this button zooms the lens out quickly while the subject is located; releasing it zooms back in again.

A 14-1-megapixel CCD sensor enables users to print their images up to A2 size. The SX30 IS also comes with a DiG!C 4 Image Processor that enables it to include 720p video capabilities with stereo soundtrack recording. A new Dynamic IS mode minimises camera shake while shooting movies and Scene Detection automatically carries out the optimum image processing for that scene.
The SX30 IS comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and is compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards as well as MMC media. Its built-in flash  covers up to 5.8 metres when the lens is set at wide-angle and the camera’s hot-shoe can accept Canon’s EX series Speedlites when a more powerful flash is needed.

Both cameras have been scheduled for release in October. Once again, Canon has not supplied RRPs. Full details of the new models can be found at

– Margaret Brown, Photo Review

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