Canon takes Cinema camera to 4k

“High-quality 4K resolution imaging has become the new standard for advanced effects, Canon says, “and is particularly important for big-budget motion pictures that include scenes compositing live-action cinematography with high-resolution computer-generated imagery.”

And so, the EOS C500 4K is the new flagship model in Canon’s Cinema EOS System, the company says, capturing 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels) video that is output to external recorders as a 10-bit uncompressed RAW data stream.

“We developed the Cinema EOS C500 digital cinema camera to deliver the benefits of full 4K motion capture to Hollywood’s premier filmmakers,” Canon says.

The camera also outputs quad full-HD (3840 x 2160), 2K (2048 x 1080), and full HD (1920 x 1080). While outputting 4K or 2K video to an external recorder, the C500 PL simultaneously records a 50 Mbps Full HD video file in-camera to the user’s choice of one or two CF cards.

The C500 will be available in October in both EF- and PL-mount versions for $30,000.

Canon also debuted the C100 Digital Video Camera, which it says is “ideal for low-budget television production and independent moviemaking, museums, galleries, and film schools that utilize HD video, and wedding, corporate and event videography.”

The video camera is compact and affordable, the company says, while delivering full 1920×1080 HD video. The C100 is approximately 85 percent the size of the previous C300 model, “for maximum mobility.” It provides a push auto iris function, one-shot auto focus (or full manual focus and exposure control), a multi-angle 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen, an electronic viewfinder, built-in ND filters, dual XLR inputs, and a locking HDMI output.

The Super 35mm 16:9 CMOS sensor captures individual R, G, and B channels for each full HD 1920 x 1080 frame. “This high-sensitivity CMOS sensor provides creative depth of field capabilities for an excellent “bokeh” effect,” Canon says, and provides an ISO range of from 320 to 20,000, enabling the capture of images in low light with minimal picture noise.

The EOS C100 will sell in November for $8,000.



Canon cameras capture “ParaNorman” in 3D

To make the 3D animated puppet movie “ParaNorman,” film makers needed realistic photography of miniature puppets and sets, as well as sequential image-pairs needed for 3D, Canon says — and so they chose its EOS 5D Mark II SLR.

Not just one camera, either: the production used “a garrison of sixty” of the SLRs to capture more than 400,000 separate frames for the stop-motion animation of puppets in the horror/comedy about “a small-town boy who speaks to ghosts and must battle an assortment of otherworldly creatures to save his town from doom.”

Each 5D Mark II was mounted on a computer-controlled motorized horizontal slider, which moved the camera first right and then left for sequential capture of all the necessary 3D frame-pairs. “The slider is necessary because we can’t put two cameras side-by-side to successfully photograph little 8- to 12-inch puppets in a miniature world,” the studio says. “We have to use the inter-ocular distances appropriate to that world in order for it not to look miniature.”



Long-zoom Canon pocket cams find focus faster

Canon says its latest advancements in auto focus technology enhance AF speeds over previous SX-series cameras “to let you capture great shots as they happen, with significantly reduced lag time.”

The PowerShot SX500 IS has a 30x optical zoom with image stabilization; the lens ranges from the 35mm equivalent of 24mm wide to 720mm. The $330 camera has a 16 megapixel sensor and a 3-inch LCD.

The Zoom Framing Assist feature “is a tremendous benefit for those times when you lose sight of your subject after zooming in,” Canon says. “By simply pressing the Zoom Framing Assist button located on the lower front left of the camera, the lens will quickly zoom out to help you re-locate and frame your subject. A frame box appears on the LCD as a guide to place your subject in and releasing the button quickly brings the camera back to the initial “zoomed-in” range.”

The PowerShot SX160 IS has a 16x optical zoom (28–448mm) for $230.
More information is here.



Canon launches mirrorless ILC camera

Using the same sensor as its latest consumer  SLR, Canon will soon ship a compact interchangeable lens camera, which the company says combines “the perfect blend of advanced video features and excellent still image quality in a convenient size.”

The largest camera company is all but the last of the major players to enter the newest market: camera bodies that work with multiple interchangeable lenses, but which do without the moving mirror that gives SLRs both their namesake acronym — and their size.

The EOS M has an 18-megapixel APS-C-sized CMOS sensor, which Canon says “provides a shallow depth of field, incredible low-light image quality and a wide dynamic range to capture rich gradation and detail.” The ISO is 100–6400 for video recording, and 100–12800 for still images.

The EOS M’s “unique feature set” make it “an ideal movie-making tool,” Canon adds. It captures Full HD video with Movie Servo AF for continuous focus tracking of moving subjects, as well as manual exposure control, multiple resolution frame rates, and a built-in stereo microphone.

In addition to being smaller and lighter than the Rebel T4i with which it shares many imaging electronics, the new camera of course lacks many SLR features, including many buttons and dials, and an optical viewfinder. Unlike many compact ILCs, it also lacks an electronic viewfinder: photos must be framed on the 3-inch touchscreen.

Two new lenses are designed specifically for the new format:  the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM kit lens, and the optional EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens. Also, the compact camera can use the full line of Canon’s full-size EF and EF-S lenses with an optional mount adapter.

The EOS M with 22mm f/2 kit lens will be available in October for of $800.

Meanwhile, Canon cut its full-year profit forecast, Bloomberg reports, and its compact camera sales expectations.

The company cites a stronger yen, and expectations for weaker growth in the U.S., Europe and China.

Net income for 2012 is projected at $3.2 billion. Canon cut its sales target for compact cameras this year to 21 million units from 22 million forecast earlier. It also reduced sales targets for office equipment such as laser printers.

Canon still expects to sell 9.2 million SLRs.


Canon Rebel T4i zooms silently

Much to the pleasure of aspiring student filmmakers and parents everywhere, Canon says, its new Movie Servo autofocus and stepping motor lenses provide “quiet, continuous AF during HD video recording.”

The silent AF “helps ensure the camera only captures the sounds of the scene being recorded,” the company adds.

The feature debuts in the EOS Rebel T4i, the new flagship model in Canon’s entry-level SLR line. The camera’s new nine-point all cross-type AF array has “a high-precision dual-cross f/2.8 point at center,” Canon says, and is the first to feature the Hybrid CMOS AF system which increases AF speed by reducing the camera’s need to “hunt” for focus. The T4i “provides highly accurate focus regardless of your shot composition and ensures great focus no matter where the subject is located in the frame,” Canon says

The Rebel T4i is also Canon’s first touchscreen SLR, with an “intuitive” 3-inch pivoting display. “Using the touch panel, parents can select their child on the LCD screen and the camera will remain focused on that child while they stay in-frame, ensuring sharp focus in crowds and group shots,” Canon says.

The 18-megapixel APS-C-sized sensor and Digic 5 image processor capture five frames per second, and have an extended ISO range of 100–12800. The camera is $850, body only.

Canon accompanied the camera debut with two new lenses, an EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, and EF 40mm f/2.8 STM. Canon says its new stepping motor technology “allows the lenses to smoothly and silently focus.” The lenses are $550 and $200, respectively.




Canon to automate camera production

To reduce production costs, Canon says it plans to fully automate its camera production.

Robotic production lines may be operational in three years, and may offset further outsourcing of factory work to countries with lower labor costs such as China.

More on the story is here.



Canon camera sales rise

In a conference call for its overall 1Q12 financial results, Canon CFO Toshizo Tanaka reported a “slight decline of 1.2 percent” in sales, a 1.3 percent decline in gross profit as a percentage of net sales, a .2 percent increase in operating profit, and an 11 percent increase in net income.

For the camera segment in particular, “the market overall remained favorable, particularly for the sale of cameras reflecting growth in the emerging market,” Tanaka said, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. “Among this market environment, we achieved a nearly 30 percent increase in unit sales of SLR cameras, reflecting strong sales of our entry level models, and strong demand for a recently launched camera targeting advanced, amateur users. We also continue to see the best sales for interchangeable lenses. We posted strong sales for new compact digital cameras, launched in March, that incorporated WiFi connectivity. As a result, overall camera net sales increased 7 percent.”

In the full year projection for the camera segment, Tanaka expects “a strong global demand for SLR cameras to continue, driven by such factors as an expanding user base and replacement demand… Canon offers a broad lineup of SLR cameras to meet the wide range of market need. This year, we are updating our lineup with a particular focus on the higher-end segment. We have already announced new advanced amateur and professional level cameras. We will use our rich lineup to expand sales 27 percent to 9.2 million unit. At the same time, we will also work to increase sales of interchangeable lenses.”

In compact cameras, Canon is aiming to boost sales by 17 percent to 22 million units. It will launch new cameras “offering image quality that approaches SLR cameras,” Tanaka says.

The complete transcript is here.

Canon’s financial audio and pdfs are here.


Canon debuts second-gen “Cinema” cameras

Two new Canon cameras capture “4K” video — 4096 by 2160 resolution motion imagery that is “emerging as the new standard for advanced effects and post-production in Hollywood,” Canon says. “It is particularly important for big-budget motion pictures that include scenes compositing live-action cinematography with high-resolution computer-generated imagery.”

The EOS-1D C is an SLR camera providing video recording at 4K, as well as Full HD video, and 18-megapixel stills, using a full-frame 24 by 36mm CMOS sensor. 4K video is captured by an approximately APS-H-sized portion of the full image sensor.

The camera records 8-bit 4:2:2 Motion JPEG 4K video to dual CF cards. It has an expanded sensitivity range up to ISO 25600 “for exceptional motion-imaging results with reduced noise even in low-light settings.”

Also, Canon says its Log Gamma enables high-quality video “with rich gradation expression, making possible the type of impressive image quality required in motion pictures by maximizing both highlight and shadow detail retention while also providing a high level of color-grading freedom.”
The 1D C has a headphone jack for audio monitoring, and will be available this year for $15,000.

The Cinema EOS C500 captures 4K motion imagery with 10-bit uncompressed RAW data stream with no de-Bayering, with external recording, “in response to growing expectations for higher levels of imaging performance in premium Hollywood films and other production markets requiring the utmost in picture quality,” Canon says.

The camera has a Super 35mm-equivalent 8.85-megapixel CMOS sensor. The C500 has an EF lens mount. The otherwise-similar  C500 PL has a PL lens mount for use with film industry-standard Arri Positive Lock lenses.

Both cameras were discussed last November, when Canon announced its C300 model, and a focus on Hollywood cinematography.




Canon improves 5D SLR

With its new 22-megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor, the EOS 5D Mark III is the highest resolution SLR it has released to date, Canon says. The sensors’ gapless microlens design, new photodiode structure, and improved on-chip noise reduction “achieve higher sensitivity and lower noise levels for both RAW image data as well as in-camera JPEGs and movies compared to the previous 5D Mark II. The result is outstanding image quality in all shooting conditions, even low light.”

ISO range is adjustable from 100 to 25,600. The new SLR also has a 61-point high-density reticular autofocus system, and improved processing power enables a fast six frames-per-second continuous shooting speed — exceeding the speed of the 5D Mark II by more than 50 percent, the company adds.

Video capture is also enhanced, with better noise reduction, longer recording times (up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds) a built-in headphone jack for audio monitoring, and SMPTE-compliant timecode embedding.

The $3,499 5D Mark III body weighs 33.5 ounces, and measures 6 by 4.6 by 3 inches.



Connected cameras: Canon introduces ten new PowerShots

Among ten new PowerShots are four WiFi enabled cameras with which “photographers no longer have to sacrifice image quality for the ability to instantly share images and videos,” claims Canon. “People can quickly upload and share images on social networks.”

The WiFi functionality built into the two ELPH models allow for a variety of connection options to help photographers share, upload, or back-up images. Users can connect directly to a wireless network from their camera to upload photos and videos to Canon’s iMage Gateway online service that lets registered users store images to an online album, and then post their content to social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Canon will offer iOS and Android apps to transfer and save images and videos from the camera to compatible devices.

The new flagship of the Elph line is the 530 HS camera. It is .78 inches thick while packing a 12x optical zoom lens. It has a 10-megapixel CMOS sensor, captures 1080p HD video, and has a 3.2-inch touchscreen for $350.

The 320 also has WiFi, and a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, 1080p HD video, 5x optical zoom, and a 3.2-inch touchscreen for $280.

The SX260 HS has a 20x zoom with optical image stabilization while measuring 1.29 inches thick. It has a 12-megapixel sensor and 1080p video capture for $350.

Also, “the rugged PowerShot D20 camera is ideally suited for the backpacker, snowboarder or tropical-traveler,” Canon says. It is resistant to water, shock, and temperature. An easy-to-access button enables users to switch from normal photo mode to snow or underwater mode, even with gloves on. The 12-megapixel camera has 1080p video capture, a 5x lens, a 3-inch LCD, and GPS for $350.

Canon also debuted six PowerShot A-series cameras, featuring 16-megapixel sensors and 720p video capture.

The $200 A4000 also has the longest zoom to date for a PowerShot A-series model, Canon says, at 8x with optical image stabilization. The $180 A3400 has a 5x zoom and 3-inch touchscreen.

Two other models both have 5x lenses and 2.7-inch LCDs. The A2400 IS has optical image stabilization for $160;  the A2300 is $150.

The similar A1300 and A810 cameras use AA batteries, and are $120 and $110, respectively.
More information is here.



Canon earnings disappoint, president steps down

Canon’s net sales for the fourth quarter of 2011 reached ¥964.8 billion ($12.6 billion) — up from the ¥916 billion the company reported for the previous quarter, but down about 9.7 percent from Q4 2010.
Profit for the full fiscal year declined 2.4 percent to $4.9 billion, from the $5.1 billion earned in 2010.

In light of the results, Tsuneji Uchida stepped down from the presidency. He is replaced by chairman Fujio Mitarai.
The executive changes comes despite quarterly operating profit rising 14.2 percent on the year, to $1.2 billion.

The world’s largest camera maker projects net income to rise less than one percent in 2012, to 250 billion yen ($3.3 billion). However, sales of compact cameras may rise 17 percent to 22 million units, and Canon’s sales of interchangeable lens SLRs may rise 27 percent to 9.2 million units, according to Bloomberg’s news coverage.

More coverage is here.
Canon’s full report [pdf] is here.



Canon updates six camcorders

Along with its new still cameras, Canon this month also debuted six new Vixia HD camcorders.

The company announced three compact M-series models, the M52, M50, and M500, at $750, $650 and $550, respectively. The more budget-minded entry-level R-series models — the R32, R30, and R300 are $550, $450 and $350.

The camcorders have improved functions and features to capture HD videos with high-resolution and superior quality, the company says, such as new CMOS sensor with improved low-light performance.

“Tapping into social sharing experiences,” Canon adds, it equipped select models with WiFi connectivity, with which “users can share, view and store videos wirelessly, including the ability to upload videos directly to YouTube and Facebook, or to mobile devices such as an iPhone or iPad.”



Large-sensor, fixed-lens pocket camera from Canon

With its new flagship PowerShot, Canon is perhaps refuting the need for the compact interchangeable lens cameras that compete with its SLRs: for customers seeking a bigger sensor and better optics, there’s now a third option — one that doesn’t require add-on lenses, and that can fit in a pocket.

The $800 G1 X has the largest sensor to date for a PowerShot, the company says. Canon’s new sensor measures 18.7 by 14mm, or 1.5-inch diagonal, and has a 14-megapixel resolution. Canon says it delivers “shallow depth of field, a wide dynamic range, an ISO range of up to 12800, and incredible light gathering ability helping to ensure brilliant images in even tough low-light conditions.”

Shooting modes include RAW+JPEG, HDR, and 1080p HD video.
The camera has a 4x optical zoom lens, with an aperture of f/2.8 to f/16, and a 3-inch vari-angle LCD. When the lens is retracted, the compact body measures just 2.5 inches deep.

Canon also debuted thinner pocket zooms, and bills the PowerShot Elph 520 HS as the world’s thinnest 12x optical zoom model.

The lens starts at 28mm wide. The 10-megapixel camera has a 3-inch LCD, an ISO range of up to 3200, and also shoots 1080p HD video. It’s .08 inches thick, and $300.

Also: The PowerShot 110 HS is a new 16 megapixel mode with a 5x lens, 1080p video, and 3-inch LCD, for $250.

More information is here.



Portable scanner from Canon

Canon says the “compact size and high-quality imaging” of its imageFORMULA P-215 personal document scanner “bring sophistication to mobile information capture, storage and collaboration.”

The $325 P-215 measures 11 inches long, weighs just over two pounds, and incorporates an automatic document feeder in a sleek design, the company adds, as well as an integrated card scanner, capable of handling plastic ID cards, driver licenses and embossed cards.

More information is here.





Canon makes Hollywood debut

Calling the introduction its “full-fledged entry into the motion picture production industry,”  Canon launched its Cinema EOS, the cinematography system it says “targets a new area of imaging expression for Canon.”

The EOS C300 interchangeable-lens cinema camera has an 8-megapixel CMOS sensor Canon says is the equivalent of Super 35mm film. The pixel size is larger than that for conventional professional camcorders, the company says, “enabling greater light-gathering capabilities for enhanced sensitivity and reduced noise.” With a  heightened signal read-out speed, the CMOS sensor reduces rolling shutter skews, prevalent with CMOS sensors in which fast-moving subjects may appear diagonally distorted.

The $20,000 camera “combines exceptional imaging performance with outstanding mobility and expandability to meet the demanding production needs of today’s motion picture industry,” Canon says. The body measures 5.2 by 7  by 6.7 inches. It enables shooting from “vantage points all but inaccessible to large cinema cameras,” Canon says, “such as close to the ground for high-impact low-angle shots, and alongside walls.”

The C300 has an EF lens mount. The otherwise-similar  C300 PL has a PL lens mount for use with film industry-standard Arri Positive Lock lenses.

Canon also introduced seven new “4K EF Cinema Lenses” — four zooms and three fixed-focal-length models — that the company says “deliver exceptional 4096 by 2160 pixel optical performance. priced around $45,000 each for the zooms and $6,800 for the fixed focal length, the lenses employ “anomalous dispersion glass, effective in eliminating chromatic aberration, and large-diameter aspherical lenses,” Canon says. “The zoom lenses achieve high-resolution imaging from the center of the frame to the outer edges. Each lens is equipped with a newly designed 11-blade aperture diaphragm for soft, attractive blur characteristics, making them ideally suited for cinematographic applications.”

Canon says it is also developing an upcoming SLR camera with the 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor.

More information is here.


Canon cuts profit forecast

Bloomberg reports top camera maker Canon “slashed its annual profit forecast,” citing output disruptions from the floods in Thailand and weakening economic growth in the U.S. and Europe.

Full-year net income may be 230 billion yen ($3 billion) compared with a previous forecast for 260 billion yen.

The floods may damp annual sales by 50 billion yen and operating profit by 20 billion yen, mainly at the consumer unit.

Canon also trimmed its estimate for compact camera sales in 2011 to 19 million from 20 million, citing floods in the southeast Asian country, which also disrupted its suppliers. Sales target of SLR cameras, typically used by professionals, was cut to 7.2 million from 7.3 million.

The full story is here.


Canon prints for pros

“Professional photographers can be confident that the final output from this new printer will match the photographic vision captured from their camera,” Canon says of its new Pixma Pro-1 inkjet printer.

The newly developed 12-ink system has five monochrome tanks to increase the color gamut in all directions when compared to other similar models currently in the market, the company says, truer black creation, smooth gradations, suppressed graininess and a reduction in the bronzing and metamerism phenomenon which shows a metallic luster such as iridescence due to the colors in reflected light. A tubular ink delivery system, with the inks housed in  2.5 times larger tanks on the sides of the printer, improves print speed, Canon adds. A 13 by 19-inch sized print takes approximately four minutes and 20 seconds.

The printer is $1,000.

Canon Pixma printers face front

The new FastFront system, Canon says, locates the ink storage and paper trays “conveniently in the front of the machine, allowing access for users to easily load ink or paper.”

Also, Canon says, its Movie Print software has been enhanced “to produce clearer images of frames from videos… Users can easily tell the story of videos from memorable events, frame by frame in a more unique way than before by merging multiple images into one final shot, capturing nearly every portion of the action.”

Canon announced three new Pixma All-In-One printers with the FastFront system. Each delivers 4800 by 1200 dpi color prints.

The $130 wireless MG4120 and $80 MG3120 can print from most computers or mobile devices, including compatible Android and Apple smart phones and tablets. The MG4120 is also compatible with the Canon’s Pixma Cloud Link for printing directly through the printer on the 2.4 inch color LCD screen, without the use of a computer. The MG4120 and MG3120 also offer Auto Duplex printing. The basic MG2120 is $70.


Canon EOS-1D X: “The Camera With Three Brains”

The new EOS-1D X “represents the re-invention of the EOS-1Ds and EOS-1D series,” Canon says. It features three processors, including dual Digic 5+ image processors capable of delivering approximately 17 times more processing speed than Digic 4, and a dedicated Digic 4 for metering and AF control.

The “completely revolutionized” EOS-1D X is a high-speed multimedia juggernaut, Canon says, replacing both the EOS-1Ds Mark III and EOS-1D Mark IV models in Canon’s lineup

The dual Digic 5+ processors provide high-speed continuous shooting, lower noise, and a significant increase in data processing speed as compared to previous EOS-1D models, Canon says. It allows the EOS-1D X to perform many functions including chromatic aberration correction for various lenses in-camera instead of through post-production software. The Digic 4 processor utilizes a new 100,000-pixel RGB Metering Sensor for enhanced exposure accuracy with color and face detection, and works together with the camera’s new EOS iTR (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) AF, which Canon says is ideal for wedding and event photography as well as sports and photojournalism where facial recognition of the original subject will help keep that person in focus throughout the scene.

The new 18-megapixel full-frame CMOS image sensor produces the lowest noise of any EOS digital camera to date, Canon says, thanks to its pixels that are 1.25 microns larger than those in the EOS-1D Mark IV sensor and .55 microns larger than those in the EOS 5D Mark II sensor. The gapless microlenses on the sensor achieve enhanced light gathering efficiency, higher sensitivity and less noise, Canon adds, for a low-light capability that is adjustable ISO 100 to 51,200.

The $6,800 (body-only) camera can shoot 12 still frames per second. It also captures improved HD video that will “exhibit less moiré than any previous Canon model,” the company says. Also, new HD video formats include intraframe (ALL-i ) for an editing-friendly format and interframe (IPB) for superior data compression.

Canon also announced its 50-millionth EOS-series SLR camera in September of 2011, and will have produced its 70-millionth EF lens by end of this month.

More information is here.


Torrential Thailand rainfall floods camera manufacturers

The worst floods in more than 50 years crippled the Thailand operations of some major Japanese companies, Bloomberg reports — and factories producing photography goods for Canon and Nikon were among those damaged by the deep waters in Southeast Asia.

About 280 people have died in the inundation since late July, IDG News Service reports. More than 3 million acres of farm land are underwater, and 700,000 homes are damaged or destroyed.

In Thailand’s Ayutthaya province, Canon’s inkjet printer manufacturing facility and Nikon’s biggest SLR and lens plants are among the hundreds of affected factories. Sony also halted operations at its plant for digital cameras in Ayutthaya.

Nikon reports “the first floor of all buildings at the premises are presently submerged.” The impact on  the company’s business has yet to be estimated, Nikon adds. “We are continuing to investigate details of the damage, but are unable to predict how soon operation will be resumed.”

Nikon’s inventory of SLR cameras will probably last for about a month, Bloomberg reports, and the effect on earnings would be negligible should the company resume the plant’s operation within a month.

IDG reports the severe floods also disrupted production of hard disk drives and semiconductors. Bloomberg adds the deluge forced Toyota and Honda to temporarily close three factories.

More information is here.


Canon opens Hollywood Professional Technology and Support Center

Canon opened its Hollywood Professional Technology and Support Center “to better serve its film and television production clients,” the company says.

The Sunset Boulevard office “will provide a local site to foster support, research, service and training for Hollywood’s thriving entertainment industry.”

The center will provide “a well-equipped venue for working with professionals in a range of imaging industries, from film and television production to still imaging and professional output,” Canon says. Also, comprehensive product repair services for Canon professional products will be available in the new Hollywood facility starting in late 2011.

The Hollywood center will also serve as “a field extension of Canon’s Research and Solution Engineering Department” for new professional imaging technology for future product generations and customer support provisions.


Canon PowerShots optimized for low light

For working under low-light conditions, Canon says its HS System pairs the sensor with a new DIGIC 5 image processor, which has improved noise reduction and advanced multi-area white balance optimizing color tones of both subject and background under multiple light sources.

The PowerShot S100’s f/2.0 lens further increases the camera’s low-light performance, the company says, by allowing additional light to reach the sensor while creating a shallow depth-of-field for portraits with dynamic, soft backgrounds.  The 5x lens zooms from 24-120mm.

The $430 camera has a 12-megapixel sensor, 3-inch LCD, GPS functionality, and a control ring on the front of the camera for manual adjustment of ISO, zoom and focus. It also captures 1080 HD video with a dedicated button.

The larger PowerShot SX40 HS has many similar features and the same price, but packs a 35x lens that zooms from 24mm-840mm, with image stabilization. It’s LCD is smaller at 2.7-inches, but it pivots for framing shots from multiple angles.


More information is here.


Three new Canon PowerShots: Small Cameras, Big Zooms

Canon says the optical image stabilization in its three new cameras “allows users to snap a memorable, highly detailed shot from a variety of distances.”

The PowerShot SX150 IS has a 12x zoom lens that starts at 28mm wide. It has a 14-megapixel CCD, manual aperture priority and shutter priority control, a 3-inch LCD, and 720p HD video recording for $250,

The ELPH 510 HS also has a 12x lens that zooms from 28mm, as well as a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor, 3.2-inch touchscreen with touch-shutter function, and 1080p HD video recording, for $350.

The 310 is a 12MP model with an 8x lens, 1080p video, and 3-inch LCD for $260.

Canon also introduced two new Pixma wireless printers, with a new “Cloud Link” that accesses photo albums without the use of a computer.

Canon says its MG8220 “is ideal for the user not yet ready for a professional printer but who still values high-quality results.” It produces a 4 by 6-inch borderless photo in approximately 20 seconds, with a maximum color resolution of 9600 by 2400 dpi. It also has a film adapter for converting slides and negatives. 3.5-inch LCD $300. The simpler MG6220 has a 3-inch LCD, and is $200.

The printers use the ChromaLife 100+ ink system, and come with Easy-PhotoPrint EX software, which customizes images with fish-eye, miniature, and toy camera effects, as well as a background blur function. Also, the Movie Print software now produces clearer images of frames from videos, Canon says.


Control SLR with Android phone

Developer Chainfire is offering a beta version of software that controls Canon SLRs from Android phones or tablets.

DSLR Controller provides a live view from the camera with controls such as tap-to-focus, manual focus, burst capture, shutter speed, aperture, and more.

As it requires a direct USB connection from Android device to camera, and so there are plenty of caveats about which devices and OS versions it will work with.

Future support for Nikon SLRs is planned.

The software is here.


Canon pro camcorders add 3D combo-capture capability

Capturing stereoscopic 3D video generally requires a camera with two lenses and sensors. With the 3D Assist Function, however, shooters can instead combine two camcorders for HD video capture in 3D — and Canon now adds the capability to two of its professional models.

The new firmware includes the ability to shift the lenses to aid in optically aligning two XF305 or XF300 camcorders, and a focal length guide to display the zoom position of each camera in relation to each other and help calibrate zoom settings. Once aligned, the amount of the angle-of-view change is displayed after zoom adjustment, preventing camera misalignment and simplifying adjustment. [The added capability is similar to the 3D shooting functionality found in Canon's XF105 and XF100 camcorder models.]

Canon also updated such functions as Scan Reverse, to allow for recorded images to be flipped on the horizontal axis, vertical axis, or both simultaneously to facilitate recording with 3D mirror rigs, and Double Slot Recording to record footage simultaneously to both card slots for instant backup of important footage and files.

“Our professional imaging equipment continues to offer cutting-edge features and capabilities that professionals need in the field and helps open new doorways to endless possibilities for creative expression,” the company says.

The camcorders are priced at $8,000 for the XF305 and $6,700 for the XF300, and include an 18x lens and three 1920-by-1080 CMOS image sensors.